Andrew and Chad take mixed martial arts classes together 2-3 nights a week. It’s pretty cute when I think about it, though I’m sure they’d be really annoyed with me for calling that cute.
So on the nights that they have class I sort of feel like dinner has to be in a rush. They can’t go beat each other up on empty stomachs, but also they can’t be doing an hour and a half of pretty intensive cardio after eating a giant bowl of macaroni and cheese.
Right next to the studio space where they train there’s this “Italian” restaurant. But actually I ate there once and I learned that “Italian Restaurant” actually means lots of not-so-Italian food accompanied by heavily buttered white bread with some garlic powder on it.
But whenever we go past there I still crave pasta and salad and warm dense earthy bread dipped in olive oil and herbs.
So I guess the lesson here is that if you want it done right you actually DO have to do it yourself, huh?
The first thing you’re gonna need to do to make this pasta dish is wander over to Pinch of Yum and make this Creamy Cauliflower Sauce. I’ve made it 3 times and she only posted it like 3 weeks ago. IT IS SO GOOD. This sauce is everything you want for a creamy pasta (also it makes an awesome white pizza), but without all the cream. I used low-fat milk without a hitch and besides having a head of cauliflower on hand, you really only need simple stuff like water, salt, and pepper. Also it’s quick
And because the “cream sauce” is actually just another serving of vegetables, this meal that would usually feel heavy is filling in a nourishing way instead of the I-Need-A-Nap way.
When I pulled up to pick Andrew up from his class this evening he was all locked up in some kinda crazy move with a kid that has at least 30 pounds and several inches on him. He came out on top but I won’t lie. It makes me cringe. A couple years back Chad was the training partner for a guy that is now part of the pro UFC circuit and there was talk of starting him on the amateur level. I’m secretly (not so secretly now, huh?) glad that got swept under the rug because I know I definitely could not handle the urge X 1,000 to cover my eyes and wring my hands like I did at the middle school wrestling matches. Also there are very fit and toned bikini girls at those things and I really don’t want to stand next to them.
But I can feed my guys good food.
- ½ recipe Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
- 1 (13.25 ounce) box whole grain fettuccini or linguini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh or dried parsley to garnish
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, just until it's fragrant. Remove the mushrooms and garlic to a bowl and return the skillet to the heat.
- Add the chicken pieces to the hot skillet and brown completely. If it starts to stick toss in a little splash or two of water. Sprinkle with the salt and crushed red pepper flakes and continue cooking until the pieces are cooked through.
- To serve toss the pasta with the creamy cauliflower sauce. Top with chicken, mushrooms, and parsley. Add a little more sauce if desired.