Simply Healthy Family: Lightened Up Fettuccine Alfredo with Veggies: Eat.Live.Be. for a better 2011!

1.4.11

Lightened Up Fettuccine Alfredo with Veggies: Eat.Live.Be. for a better 2011!




















I first came across Eat.Live.Be. on my dear friend Joanne's blog, Eat's Well With Others. If you haven't been to Joanne's blog, do yourself a big favor and make your way over there. She's all kinds of awesome. I honestly can't wait to go to her blog every morning with my cup of coffee in hand in anticipation of a new, quirky, smartly written post about a recipe that I never knew I couldn't live without.

I was smitten with the concept of Eat.Live.Be. right from the beginning. I knew I was going to make this a part of my life. When I first saw the topic for this week's Eat.Live.Be.  post "Creative Ways To Eat Your Veggies"  I honestly got giddy. Bounced in my seat I tell you. Eat more veggies? That's my gig!


So, we all know we should eat more veggies, right? But saying a thing and doing a thing are entirely different matters. I would like to think that this blog is a resource of sorts for people. I know that I can make the best 5 star fancy meal out there. Cooking foods that are creative and unique from across the globe are my expertise, my hobby if you will. I love food excellent, full of flavor and unique food. However, my life as it is does not allow such fancies at the moment. Having 4, count them, FOUR, beautiful, energetic and healthy children {the dears} creates a big challenge when it comes to making healthy, home-made and most importantly good tasting foods. I refuse to eat 'kid food'. Mamma wants her gourmet, the kids want hot dogs. There's a compromise in there somewhere and that's what this blog is all about. It is possible to eat flavorful, healthy and kid friendly foods even on a budget and short on time.


So I decided to beat the odds. Take the healthy eating living challenge:

I will make home made meals and snacks for myself and my family.
I will not buy processed foods which are a major contributor to mindless eating.
I will make sure I buy and prepare a wide variety of fruits and veggies into our daily diets.
I will not lose my sanity in the process.

Three out of four is not bad folks.


How Do I Do It?

Easy.

No really. There are a  lot of sites out there telling you how to be healthy. What to do. Some of them are good. Some of them are great. Do what works for you. Do what's Do-able. Just Do It! {sorry, had to.}.

How we do what we do. {Eat More Veggies}

1. Eat less meat. Way less. Sounds obvious right?  It is, but again, knowing a thing and doing a thing are completely different.

I know a lot of people do the 'Meatless Monday's' thing which is great if you're used to eating a ton of meat. We however, do this in reverse; Meat on Monday's (o.k. usually it's on the weekend). This not only saves a ton of money which I then use to upgrade our meat to Organic, Free Range, Grass fed, Game and
Wild {fish}, but it also means that we eat a lot more veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes out of necessity. If your stuck for ideas on what to make for dinner without involving meat just browse through my recipe index on the top of my blog for some ideas. There are also a lot of great vegetarian and vegan 'blogs' out there for inspiration.


2. Buy more veggies.

If you buy them. You will eat them. This works.

When I buy things like mini sweet peppers, celery, snap peas and baby carrots to use as 'dippers' in my hummus or laughing cow cheese instead of crackers, that's what I eat. Plain and simple. Did you hear me?
Don't. Even. Buy Crackers, cookies or 'insert bad snack temptation here'. If you don't have a choice, the choice is easy; Healthy. It's only a matter of time before you don't want the crap anymore. Promise.


3. This goes hand in hand with  #2.  Put extra veggies in foods like eggs, rice, pasta, tuna salad, sauces & marinara's, and even smoothies! If you buy a variety of veggies, you'll find yourself starting to put them in crazy things at every meal just to use them up.

I put chopped Bok Choy, Collards or Spinach {along with garlic of course} right into my side of brown rice. Then we have another side of steamed or grilled veggies along with or protein packed, non-meat main dish.

When I make Pasta or Mac n' Cheese I add chopped greens right into them for extra vitamins.

I keep chopped Red Bell Peppers and onion pre-chopped in a bowl in the fridge so they are ready to throw into my eggs or millet first thing in the morning. Try adding things like zucchini, tomatoes and mushroom into your eggs for a different spin.


 4.  Last but not least. Try buying veggies outside your comfort zone. You never know what you are missing out on. Visit your local Farmer's Market for delicious and super fresh fun veggies. Sign up for a co-op to get fresh, local veggies right to your door.
Let your kids take their own re-usable bag to the marked with you and have them pick out their very own veggie to make for dinner! Talk about where veggies come from and why they're good for you. When you pass a farm play the " I wonder what's growing in this field? " game. You'll be surprised at some of the answers you'll get. My 3 year old thought hot dogs grew on the farm. ;)


Here is a simple recipe I make occasionally as part of that 'compromise' I talked about earlier.
My kids love Fettuccine Alfredo but Mamma doesn't like the calories. So I've adapted this recipe from an old Pillsbury Fast and Light cookbook I have to come up with a healthier recipe loaded with whatever veggies we have on hand.

Feel free to use whatever veggies you like, just use a lot! ;)





Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo with Veggies





You Will Need:

6 oz. cooked fettuccine (I use quinoa pasta)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 cup chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups skim milk (or almond milk)
1-8 oz. container of Light Sour Cream
2 tablespoons almond or brown rice flour (regular or whole wheat flour will work)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese + more for topping
2 teaspoons Herbamare or Braggs Organic Sea Kelp Delight seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use French Grey Sea Salt for the vitamins and minerals)
freshly ground pepper to taste
sliced black olives and fresh parsley for garnish



Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add broccoli  and carrots. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 4-5 minutes till crisp-tender. Drain well, reserve.

Melt oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and bell pepper. Saute 3-4 minutes till soft. Remove from pan onto a plate, reserve. Add mushrooms to pan and let sit untouched for 2-3 minutes, flip with spatula, add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add butter to the pan with the mushrooms. Stir in flour, seasonings and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook until mixture starts to bubble and thicken, stirring constantly stirring with a slotted spatula.

Stir in all veggies, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated,  about 2 minutes stirring constantly. Do Not let boil!

Remove from heat. Place pasta into bowls and ladle sauce and veggies on top. Add garnishes.



What Do You Do To Eat More Veggies?



Check out these other amazing Eat.Live.Be. members for inspiration and support!


Cate O'Malley - http://www.sweetnicks.com/
Joanne at   Eats Well With Others
Chris Arpante - http://www.melecott.com/

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22 comments:

  1. This looks so delicious!

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  2. Looks super good and I might be able to pull it off....

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  3. this looks spectacular...I am all about putting veggies into dishes that don't normally call for veggies to help increase my families intake!

    Found you on Friday Potluck! come and visit me at www.mykitchenadventures1.blogspot.com

    we share the same philosophy on food!

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  4. looks gorgeous...very tempting..
    Tasty Appetite

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  5. This post practically had me jumping up and down! Love love LOVE your tips! And I can happily say that I use all of them in my daily life. We have absolutely ZERO snack food in this house that isn't fruits or veggies. Vegetables go into every meal I eat and I LOVE hitting up the farmer's market!

    This fettuccine alfredo sounds delicious. It was one of my favorite meals as a kid but I haven't had it much since the age of ten :P.

    Thanks so much for the sweet words Gwen! I adore you!

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  6. i make alfredo sauce all the time but this looks way better! thx for the idea.

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  7. I think I could eat that every day and be satisfied. :)

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  8. what a great post gwen. i personally struggle to get more veggies into the mouths of my children. i try. i already feel like the foods that i prepare are way "out there" as far as flavors and ingredients are concerned and dinner screws with my emotions. lol. i just want my family to jump up and down over beans, peppers and wheat berries.

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  9. Beautiful and good for you, it's a win-win situation :o) Love the colors in this dish!

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  10. I try to include veggies at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've gotten into the habit, and now my meals aren't complete without them. Thank you for sharing with me, sweet girl. Your posts inspire me and remind me to appreciate all the beautiful moments in life, big and small. I hope you have a blessed day tomorrow. Hugs and love from Austin.

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  11. This looks so healthy and spring-like! I feel the same way about the whole Meatless Monday thing. We eat meat one or maybe two days a week, usually on weekends, and I often serve some kind of meat leftover on Mondays because that works out best.

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  12. I really enjoyed your post. You have some great tips in it, along with a fabulous recipe. Your fettucini alfredo looks SO yummy!

    We eat meatless meals several times a week, and like you, I always buy free range, pastured, traceable meat when we do eat it. We love veggies so that makes it easy. I also get an organic vegetable box once a week, which forces me to step outside my comfort zone with veggies - and most of the time we love them!

    Thank you for sharing this post with Let's Do Brunch. I hope you will come along and join in again this week - the linky is up now.

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  13. Love how you sneak veggies into foods. Shh...don't tell the kids! I am so pleased to have signed up for a CSA this year, and I think it'll be such a great way for us to expand our horizons. Great topic. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Hi Gwen, what a fantastic recipe. I share your quest for healthier nutrition! Your recipe post is FEATURED today on Fresh Clean and Pure Friday. Thanks for sharing and I hope that you stop by again and share another wonderful post.

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  15. This sounds like such a healthy, delicious meal! I want to try making this soon :-)

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  16. Really great tips! We've cut way down on our meat eating, and we eat a lot of veggies too. Life is better for it. And OMG your alfredo looks incredible!

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  17. this looks so good and love the healthy factor!! xoxo thanks for sharing

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  18. I really enjoyed your post. You have some great tips in it, along with a fabulous recipe. Your fettucini alfredo looks SO yummy!

    We eat meatless meals several times a week, and like you, I always buy free range, pastured, traceable meat when we do eat it. We love veggies so that makes it easy. I also get an organic vegetable box once a week, which forces me to step outside my comfort zone with veggies - and most of the time we love them!

    Thank you for sharing this post with Let's Do Brunch. I hope you will come along and join in again this week - the linky is up now.

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  19. I try to include veggies at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've gotten into the habit, and now my meals aren't complete without them. Thank you for sharing with me, sweet girl. Your posts inspire me and remind me to appreciate all the beautiful moments in life, big and small. I hope you have a blessed day tomorrow. Hugs and love from Austin.

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  20. i tried this last night..thanks so much! wonderful recipe, yummy taste of fetuccine alfredo but without the guilt or the 'heavy' feeling afterwards...

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  21. Excellent! Thanks for the feedback. ;)

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