Cajun Alfredo with Chicken

IMG_3223In honor of launching the revamped version of my blog, I thought heck, let’s kick things off with a meal that also has a kick! If you’re a fan of Alfredo, you’re going to love my husband’s twist on Lisa Leake’s Cajun Alfredo with Shrimp from her cookbook–our all-time favorite–100 Days of Real Food.

This is creamy Alfredo with a spicy kick that doesn’t overwhelm. I can’t handle a lot of spice, especially while nursing, but I found this to be just right in the heat department. You can make it with chicken or shrimp (or both), but we prefer chicken! It’s not complicated, so it’s doable during the week or if you’re like me, you’ll crave this hearty pasta dish on a Sunday night with a glass of Gewurztraminer to compliment the kick. Yum!

What you’ll need:
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cubed*
1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
2 garlic cloves, minced*
3 cups raw spinach leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan*
16 ounces fettuccine noodles, cooked (health tip: use whole-wheat noodles)*
Optional: Himalayan Pink Salt to taste

*Can sub shrimp for chicken.
*Can use jarred minced garlic, no problem.
*Out of fresh parm? If you have a can of pre-grated parm, that works as a last resort!
*Can cut noodles in half if you want more spice and less leftovers.

Let’s get cookin’:

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the diced onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and slightly carmelized.
  2. Add the bell peppers and cooked chicken to the pan. Then, sprinkle on the Cajun or whatever spicy mixture you’ve come up with! Cook, stirring here and there, making sure to not dry out the chicken, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Toss the garlic and spinach leaves in the pan and cook for 1 minute. The spinach will wilt as you stir. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan to the pan and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring here and there, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Add the sauce mixture to the pot of cooked fettuccine and mix until well combined.
  5. Dish up on plates (unless you prefer bowls), top with MORE Parmesan, of course, and then…
  6. IMG_3221Salt! If you’re like my hubby and me, you love salt (in moderation), but not just any salt…Himalayan Pink Salt! It’s the best because well, it’s salt, yet it has health benefits, unlike your typical table salt. It’s rich in iodine and is jam-packed with over 80 minerals and elements, which help balance electrolytes, promote hydration, reduce acid reflux, lower blood pressure, boost metabolism, and much much more! Like I said, it’s the best. We sprinkle it on our plates to taste. The nice thing about this salt, too, is that you consume less sodium per serving due to the size of the sea salt crystals! Win!
    And that’s it! This makes approximately 5-6 servings, so there are plenty of leftovers (if it’s just dinner for two). We hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do! I’m thinking about trying this with sundried tomatoes next time. I love them, and I think they’d add a tangy punch to this dish. I’ll keep you posted if it’s a successful substitute for the peppers. Anyway, enjoy! Check back and comment with your own personal touches and tweaks, or just to rave about how much you looove this dish too!

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