But I'm not the type of person that gives up easily. So I was determined to find a version of the recipe that would fit in my with low calorie diet AND not contain a ton of cheese that would bother my tummy. A small amount is ok, especially with a Lactaid chaser.
A few months ago, I discovered Hungry Girl. She takes classic recipes (and your favorite comfort foods) and makes lower calorie version using a few key substitutions. Two things that she constantly recommends and uses in her recipes are:
1) House Foods Tofu Shirataki noodles; and,
2) Laughing Cow light spreadable cheese wedges.
The cheese wedges I was familiar with and have enjoyed in the past. At only 35 calories they make a perfect snack accompaniment. Now the noodles? Never heard of them. But Hungry Girl raves about them--apparently they taste like real full carb pasta, but the entire package has only 20 calories.
No, I didn't forget a zero in the above sentence. 20 calories. For the entire package.
But would it really taste like pasta? And can an alfredo substitute that is made with only 1 teaspoon fat-free sour cream, 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge, really hit the spot??
Well, yes. Yes it can.
Now, let me give you the whole truth here. This is not as creamy or cheesy as a big steaming plate of fettuccine alfredo from a restaurant. Of course it's not, it's diet foot. But does it hit the spot? Absolutely. The noodles are a little more slippery and springy than regular pasta, but honestly? It was delicious, and hello, only 20 calories. I would use this as a pasta substitute every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Literally. I would eat it twice on Sunday no problem.
And the best part? The serving size is listed by Hungry Girl as the "entire recipe." That's right, you get the full package of noodles, 5 ounces of chicken, and a cheese sauce that will fill up your entire plate. There's not going to be sauce dripping off your noodles or anything (it's more like an overall creaminess for the noodles), but it gets the job done and is honestly delicious. If you really can't do without more of a cream feeling, consider adding an extra cheese wedge, which will only add an extra 35 calories to the recipe.
As pictured: 260 calories. Yes, you read that right. This whole big plate of creamy noodles and chicken is only 260 calories. And trust me, that is a big dinner plate.
Final note, I was a bit worried about locating the noodles since they seem like a specialty item. I was able to find them in the vegan/vegetarian refrigerator case in Wegman's and according to the company website, you can also find them at Wholefoods, or at lots of online food shops.
Bottom line: if you are a pasta fan who is counting calories, FIND THE TOFU NOODLES. Seriously, they will change your life. And the whole recipe is definitely a winner.
Hungry Girl Fettuccine Chick-Fredo (follow the link for a microwave version of the recipe, I cooked it using the stove)
1 package House Foods Tofu Shirataki noodles, Fettuccine Shape
1 wedge The Laughing Cow cheese, Light Original Swiss
2 tsp. fat-free sour cream
2 tsp. reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
5 oz. skinless chicken breast; grilled with nonstick spray only (I used two chicken tenders)
Optional: salt, pepper, and paprika
Drain and rinse noodles well. Dry noodles thoroughly (use paper towels to soak up as much moisture as possible) and use a knife or scissors to slice them up a bit. They can be really long, so make sure you cut them!
Spray frying pain with nonstick spray. Salt and pepper chicken, add to pan over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes. Flip chicken and cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and slice into strips.
Respray pan, reduce heat to medium, and add sourcream, parmesan, and cheese wedge. Top with noodles and mix until cheese has melted. Add chicken, mix further, and put on your plate. Enjoy!
Serving Size: Entire recipe