There’s that saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.
I prepare a lot of food from scratch, and in large batches, to put aside for days when I don’t have a lot of time to cook. I also like to freeze seasonal fruits and veggies to use throughout the year. You can imagine how full my freezer is with “good intentions”.
So when I woke up yesterday morning and discovered that the fridge had quit in the night, I got a dizzy sick feeling thinking about all that hard work (literally) melting away. I pulled warm, spoiled lunch meat and leftovers out of the fridge in a panic and packed what I could save into a big cooler. I checked the freezer-still very cold but things were beginning to melt. Ice? Gone. Popsicles, ice cream bars? Gone. Luckily, the meats I’d just bought and most of the fruits and veggies were still OK. A little slushy but salvageable. Sadly, I had to sacrifice all the chicken stock I just made to be used as ice packs for the more expensive stuff. I was left with a very full garbage bag, an equally full spare fridge in the basement, and an assortment of some really random stuff that needed to be used up, pronto.
Sidebar: Once upon a time in high school, a friend’s mom taught me how to make Alfredo sauce. Something I previously believed only came from a jar. I’ve kept her technique in my back pocket for
16 a few years. I whip it out when I have an assortment of random stuff that needs to be used up, pronto. Because everything tastes good when it’s covered in cheesy sauce.
Unlike the lightbulb in my ill-fated fridge, the lightbulb above my head flicked on. I looked at the rapidly-melting ingredients before me: salmon filets, a half bag of peas, a container of homemade Greek yogurt, a half bottle of milk. Yup, Alfredo it is!
My friend’s mom used butter, half and half, and cream cheese to make her sauce. Decadent, but not so friendly to the waistline. In high school, sure. But in my 30s notsomuch. So I replaced that trifecta of sat fats with olive oil, whole milk, and Greek yogurt…it tasted brilliant. Just as rich and creamy as the original but so much lighter. And I could check two items off my “use up quickly” list.
I baked up those salmon filets, poured the bag of peas into the pasta water to steam, and tossed it all together with this delicious sauce. Check and check.
It ROCKED. Everyone gobbled it up! So I give you my Lightened Up Alfredo Sauce, feel free to toss it with whatever random stuff you’ve got on hand (diced tomatoes, leftover chicken, steamed broccoli…you name it!)