Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Experimenting with a white sauce that's low in saturated fat

All my heart doctors, and I have a slew, agree on one thing: keep saturated fat to a minimum. Fats, like olive oil, are not a worry. But saturated fats are another matter all together. In other words, watch that butter.

If you don't believe me, I'm not surprised. Lots of people don't. And that includes friends and relatives. They all quote articles like the one that ran in the local paper. It proclaimed that saturated fat was not bad for you. It was wrong.

Please read: Setting the record straight: It’s best to swap out saturated fats for healthier fats. You will discover that a new advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) concluded that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats will lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

So tonight I decided to try and make a white sauce for my penne that did not rely on cream. I used four ounces of one percent milk and thickened the sauce with 50gr of chopped cauliflower, 1 Tbsp of instant potato flakes, and one minced garlic clove.

First, I quickly browned the garlic in some hot olive oil. This took but 30 seconds. I added the previously microwaved chopped cauliflower and stirred. After a couple of minutes, I added the milk and kept stirring with the heat set to low. I added the instant potato flakes and kept stirring. The sauce was soon thick enough for my purposes. I set the sauce aside in the still warm pot.

I put 150gr of penne in some fast boiling water and while the penne was cooking I heated some olive oil in a deep frying pan. With the oil hot, I added 7 ounces (200gr) of asparagus. The spears were cut into 3/4 inch long pieces. The asparagus was done just about the same time as the penne.

I put the cooked penne into the deep pan with the pan-grilled asparagus, added the warm white sauce, some salt and pepper, sprinkled on a little grated Parmesan and about a Tbsp of basil chopped into long, thin strips. I tossed all until everything was well mixed.

At the table I added some dried red pepper flakes but this is optional. My wife liked the dinner just as served, unless you count the extra grated Parmesan she added. If she were making a change, she said, it would be to add some chopped nuts, possibly pistachios.

This recipe is all my own. If it interests you, try it. But the reason I'm posting this is to encourage readers to strike out on their own. Set some goals and try to meet them. My goal was to serve a filling dinner for two that was not too high in points, my wife goes to Weight Watchers, and that contained very little saturated fat, while delivering lots of flavour.

I think I was successful. My wife agrees.

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