Monday, March 29, 2010

Creamy Pasta Sauce (fat-free)

ok, so of course, asher's surgery earlier this month couldn't go entirely smoothly. sure, the surgery itself was "uneventful," but because this is asher, there are lingering complications. the biggest one (not only due to severity but also because it affects all of us at home), is something called "chylothorax." during the surgery, a lymph node was nicked. lymph nodes take fat out of the bloodstream, and when they leak, the fatty substance (called "chyle") fills the space around the lungs. if left untreated, it can suffocate you. nice, eh? ugh. the treatment for this is a fat-free diet for 6 weeks.

so we have started a new diet at home. i refuse to make more than one meal at a time. everyone eats the same thing. no exceptions. now, i have always cooked somewhat low-fat (just ignore the labels "deep fried", "cheese" and "sausage"... i did say "somewhat" after all...). but now i have to eliminate ALL fat from our home. in some ways, this is proving more difficult than i anticipated. on the other hand... i now get to try all kinds of recipes i hadn't attempted yet. and (surprise, surprise) i've decided to share some of these fat-free recipes with you, gentle reader. bon appetit!

and be warned... this is a typical heather-ish recipe. you know what to expect.

Creamy Pasta Sauce (and yes, it's fat-free)

250 ml fat-free cream cheese (Philly makes a 95% fat-free one, which is allowed)
some spinach
some mushrooms
some sundried-tomatoes (that's right! they're fat-free!!)
skim milk (which i don't hate)

i've picked up a few tricks along the way, so i tried "sauteeing" the mushrooms with water instead of butter. they didn't turn out perfectly, but it helped. then i added the spinach. mixed them all together in the pan. then i added the cream cheese. the whole container (which, admittedly, is the only reason i know how much i used. teehee). the cream cheese actually becomes nice and creamy and delicious at this point. i blanched the sundried tomatoes before throwing them into the sauce (i just used the pasta water for this; it gave the noodles a nice hint o' flavour, too). i didn't plan on using the milk, but the sauce just like that was pretty thick, so i added some milk ("until it looked right") to thin it a bit.

and the review? de. lish. ous. and so simple, and so fat-free, and relatively cheap (because i had sundried tomatoes on hand already). the kids all loved it. in fact, they all had seconds! it was so easy and good and healthy... i'm totally making this again. maybe next time i'll grill some chicken breast and throw that in, too. but we'd already had quite a bit of protein today, so i left it out tonight. but definitely next time! :)

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