A Healthier Version of Comfort Food
I crave comfort food, especially in cold weather. But I want to maintain a healthy diet, so I tend to tweak the recipes. This is one recipe that you can easily make healthier than the original without sacrificing taste. It’s also easy to pull together on a work night or when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.
The original recipe for chicken tetrazzini calls for whipping cream. But I’ve found that half and half works just as well. It’s around 12 percent fat, versus up to 38 percent fat in heavy whipping cream, so it’s a good substitute and you really can’t taste the difference. You can also easily substitute whole wheat pasta for regular in this dish.
If you’re looking for a quick comfort food recipe for two, give this a try!
4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, broken into thirds
1 cup frozen sweet peas
2 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS flour
¼ TSP salt
1/8 TSP pepper
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup half and half (I used Horizon organic half & half)
1 TBS sherry (I used cooking sherry)
1-2 cups cubed, cooked chicken (I used two boneless chicken breasts)
½ cup canned sliced mushrooms
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start heating the water for the pasta.
Cut the chicken into cubes and cook it in a skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil until it’s no longer pink. Once it’s done, place the chicken in a separate dish and set it aside. In the same skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the half and half and the chicken broth. Return the mixture to the heat and boil for one minute, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Add the sherry and mix well.
Meanwhile, start the pasta. I use a thin variety so mine is usually ready in about five minutes. Add the frozen peas to the pasta water during the last minute of cooking.
Once the pasta and peas are done, drain them and then add to the sauce, along with the sliced mushrooms and chicken. Mix well and pour into an 8” square casserole dish. Top with the grated parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes.