|“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” –Julia Child
Free stock image. Used with permission.
I do my fair share of magical thinking, especially when it comes to food. Scrolling through Pinterest, I’m just as likely to pin a decadent chocolate dessert as I am an “awesome” and “amazing” cauliflower pizza crust, even though you and I both know there is nothing “crusty” or amazing about pressed cauliflower. I know, I tried that damn recipe three times. But I persist. The allure of a classic high fat, high calorie favorite done up all healthy? Difficult to resist.
This week it was “Skinny” Alfredo. I looked skeptically at the recipe which called for low fat milk instead of the customary heavy cream. I’ve cooked with low fat dairy and it usually curdles or gets grainy. But I realized that the creaminess would come from a light roux, which is a little flour and milk simmered until thick. With parmesan, garlic and some broth? Who would be able to tell it was a low fat meal?
Me, of course.
I started to get angry when dishing the pasta before our House of Cards binge fest. The way the sauced noodles clung to each other… it didn’t seem like any Alfredo I’d made before.
And the eating wasn’t any better. Three bites in and I looked to an unusually quiet Mr. T and lamented: “This isn’t skinny alfredo, it’s PASTE-FREDO!”
God bless the man, he knows when I’m upset that a recipe doesn’t turn out the way I planned. He offered some nice comments about the flavor and made a point of asking for seconds. But I felt so let down, with only myself to blame. Well, and maybe the food blogging world’s compulsion to healthify everything and then lie about it tasting “just the same” as the original.
Stop it! Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s not “Skinny Alfredo” it’s noodles with a sticky-ish white sauce that vaguely resembles the creamy, cheesy gloriousness that is actual Alfredo.
All this is to say, I’m with Julia “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” Child on “skinny” substitutes: Moderation is the key. Eat the real thing, just less of it.
Of course, I understand the impulse to try and fit fatty classics into healthy diets, but I’m tired of the false advertising!
Still craving proper Alfredo
Other food things: