This recipe brings me back to the year I studied abroad. For my best friend’s birthday, I visited her where she was studying abroad in Florence, Italy.
There’s a point to this story, I promise!
We went out to dinner for her birthday and ordered all the pizza and pasta. I remember there was a dish there with broccoli rabe and chicken that was absolutely smothered in a creamy alfredo sauce and I practically licked the pan. I dipped every piece of bread I could find in that decadent sauce and savored every single bite.
I also tipped the scale at my all-time high after that trip, around 190 pounds. For a reference point, I’m now about 140-145.
While not the healthiest dish I’ve ever had, it tops the charts of tastiest meals, for sure. I was reminiscing the other day about that period in my life, and I was brought back to that specific memory of that alfredo dish.
So what’s a health-conscious girl to do? INSPIRALIZE IT.
I love using vegan alfredo sauces. They really do have that great creamy consistency and cheesy taste. While they’re not as WOW as a true alfredo, they do the trick – especially if you’re a healthy eater and have trained your tastebuds to crave more savory flavors than sweet.
I had to eat it out of the skillet, so I photographed it as such! Truly an amazing dish. It’ll definitely save well in the fridge, although I’d reheat it in a skillet and perhaps add a bit more salt and some vegetable broth to add creaminess.
Today’s my first official week working out of my new Inspiralized headquarters! I can’t wait to show you guys more of the space! Coming soon.
Also, congratulations to our winners of last week’s giveaway! You will be receiving an e-mail today on how to claim your winnings. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 11 points
*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.
Chicken and Broccoli Butternut Squash Pasta
- For the pasta:
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts cubed
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- red pepper flakes
- chopped parsley to garnish
- For the sauce:
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked in water for at least 2 hours (up to 24), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or more as needed to thin
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the butternut squash noodles out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through but slightly al dente (or cooked to your preference.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the chicken and broccoli. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Let cook on all sides until browned on the outside, about 7 minutes. Add the broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust, if necessary.
- When chicken and broccoli is done, add the butternut squash noodles to the pan along with the sauce and red pepper flakes. Toss well to combine.
- Divide mixture onto four plates and garnish with parsley.