Intro to Cooking: Greek Yogurt (and Fettuccine Alfredo!)

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If you’ve been a CollegeCandy reader for some time, you know we run our Intro to Cooking series every week, where even the most kitchen-shy co-ed can find easy, yummy recipes to please her suitemates (and sweet tooth!). Starting today, we’ll be changing things up in Intro to Cooking: you’ll still get the fabulous recipes you love, but we’ll be including background nutritional info on specific ingredients that are must-haves in every college girl’s pantry.

The Ingredient: Greek Yogurt

Every health-conscious girl knows yogurt builds stronger bones and is a good source of protein. But did you know that not all yogurts are created equal? Check out the nutrition label on the cups in your fridge–many “light” and fat-free yogurt brands substitute extra sugar and preservatives for fat. For a leaner, creamier, alternative, try Greek yogurt. It packs a giant protein punch (usually 14g or more, almost a third of your daily value!) and boasts more digestive system-cleansing active cultures than regular yogurt. Plus, it comes in guilt-free, fat-free varieties (with none of the added sugar!), and because it doesn’t separate, it’s great for baking or cooking.

Easy Meals

1. Plain, with sliced banana, strawberries, and/or blueberries. (Seriously, it’s so filling, I eat it every day for breakfast!)
2. Mix 2oz with 1/2 cup granola or oatmeal, a touch of cinnamon, and some maple syrup. Let sit overnight in the fridge or enjoy immediately. (Bonus: add pumpkin puree for added flavor).
3. Toss some M&Ms or chocolate chips with peanuts in a cup for a healthy dessert.

The Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo

When I saw a recipe for a so-called healthy alternative to everyone’s favorite artery-clogging Italian staple, I knew I had to try it for myself to pig out on carbs and cheese see if the claim was as delicious as it was nutritious. I’m pleased to report that it satisfies my taste buds as much as it does my conscience.  Most Alfredo sauces are laden with heavy cream, milk, and butter, but this one substitutes Greek yogurt for most of the saturated fatty original ingredients.

The original recipe, by reality-show star Rocco DiSpirito, can be found at Runner’s World, though here is my adaptation:

8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine (or quinoa fettuccine, to go gluten-free)
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, basil to taste

1. Cook fettuccine according to box instructions. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat.
2. Whisk chicken broth and corn starch in a small bowl until smooth. Pour into saute pan, raise the heat, and bring sauce to a simmer, whisking occasionally.
3. Whisk in the cheese until melted. After removing the pan from heat, whisk in yogurt until smooth.
4. Toss fettuccine with the Alfredo sauce and season with salt, pepper, and basil. Serves four.

NUTRITION CONTENT (per serving)
Calories: 386
Carbs: 47g
Protein: 18g
Fat: 10g

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