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By Kim Galeaz
It's no secret that picky eaters love pasta. Toss it in a creamy sauce, and even the toughest customers will bite. Store-bought Alfredo sauce is packed with fat and calories, but replacing half of it with 1 percent milk and a hint of lemon really lightens it up. Swap regular pasta for whole grain, add your favorite seasonal vegetables, and you've got a hearty, healthy meal.
Time-saving tip: Cut vegetables in advance and refrigerate in airtight container. Cook pasta in advance and refrigerate. After cooking vegetables, heat pasta slightly in microwave, then toss with vegetables and sauce.
Makes 4 servings (about 2 1/2 cups per serving)
12 ounces whole-wheat or regular rotini, uncooked
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 1/2 cups of seasonal vegetables (broccoli, asparagus or squash) cut into bite-sized pieces
2 finely minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1/2 cup store-bought light Alfredo sauce (found in the refrigerated pasta section at your supermarket)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm in large bowl.
While pasta cooks, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add vegetables and garlic, stirring about 3 to 4 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
With slotted spoon, remove vegetables; add to pasta.
Combine milk, Alfredo sauce and lemon zest in skillet and bring to boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thickened.
Pour over pasta-vegetable mixture, add grated cheese and toss lightly.
Nutrition information (per serving) 435 calories; 11.5 g fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 435 mg sodium; 63 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 22 g protein.
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