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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Spaghetti with Broccoli-Garlic Sauce

I have been looking for heart healthy, lower cholesterol meals so was quite pleased to find a copy of Weight Watcher's Smart Choices Recipe Collection( 1992) at the local thrift store for 25¢.  This binder style cookbook is chock full of delicious recipes all meeting the Weight Watcher's guidelines for losing weight.  Each recipe has a beautiful colour photograph along with the nutritional information per serving.  At the back of the binder, the previous owner added in several pages from McCall's Cooking School which is a nice bonus!

Neither of us are watching our weight or on any type of diet restriction but we do try to eat mainly healthy, home cooked meals.  There is room to improve our diets though.  Our biggest culinary vices are larger portions of red meat, cheese and butter.  We have been reducing the portion size of red meat as well as having a meatless dinner once a week and fish at least once a week.  Butter adds a lot of flavour and it is only used in cooking for that purpose.  We very, very seldom use butter as a spread.   The cheeses remain a vice but we are cutting back on them as well.   Offsetting our vices is our tendency to eat a lot of vegetables including some type of salad with dinner and often just a salad for lunch.  We very seldom indulge in desserts and for the most part our snacks tend to be healthy (eg. popcorn, nuts, fruits).  That being said, a recipe book full of delicious, healthy and low cholesterol recipes is certainly a welcomed addition to my recipe book collection.

spaghetti with broccoli garlic sauce
One of the first things I do with any new or new to me cookbook is browse through it from cover to cover tagging recipes I want to try with post-it-note.  I doubt I have a recipe book without tags!  I was always very particular about never writing or highlighting in my post-secondary textbooks most of which I still have but take the opposite approach with my cookbooks.  I do record any changes I made, whether we liked the recipe and anything thing I would do different the next time.  Browsing through the Smart Choices Recipe Collection I came across a recipe called linguine with broccoli-garlic sauce (Pp. 28) that had wonderful eye appeal.  I took that healthy meal idea then personalized it into a very tasty, easy to prepare spaghetti with broccoli-garlic sauce.  My version uses butter for the added flavour but I reduced the amount of Parmesan cheese and used home canned defatted turkey stock so the total dietary cholesterol in my version was just slightly lower than the 32 mg even though I used a little butter.

Spaghetti with Broccoli-Garlic Sauce
recipe by:  Garden Gnome

2 c chopped broccoli florets
½ small red onion
¼ small red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
½ c defatted turkey stock
1tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh ground Parmesan cheese
½ tsp dried parsley flakes
6 oz dry spaghetti (about 1/3 of a 450 g package)*

Bring a large saucepan with salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.   While the pasta is cooking, mince garlic cloves and chop vegetables.  Heat oil and butter in non-stick, ceramic coated fry pan.  Add garlic and heat through.  Stir in vegetables, cooking until the broccoli is a bright green.  Stir in the turkey stock.  Make a slurry with water or stock and the cornstarch.  Stir the slurry into the vegetable mixture cooking just to thicken.  Remove from heat.  Drain the spaghetti.  Place the spaghetti on plates for serving.  Top with the broccoli-garlic sauce.  Sprinkle pepper and parsley flakes on top of the sauce.  Garnish with the Parmesan cheese.

*Note:  I used about half of a 450 g (about 16 oz) package and cooked extra specifically for planned pasta leftovers.

[Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Connector program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.]

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