Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Adventures in Cooking: Italian

Living in NYC makes it very difficult to find the motivation to cook. Being Lactose Intolerant and extremely allergic to butter is often the one thing that pushes me to cook, because most delicious dishes use butter.

One meal that I absolutely love is Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti with Garlic Bread, but there is usually a stick of butter in each serving, and the pasta is sometimes also loaded with heavy cream.

But not this time.

I told Patrick (my boyfriend) that I would be making dinner a few nights ago, but that he had to be okay with "fake butter." Because he's awesome, he didn't mind at all, so I stopped at Trader Joe's to buy all the ingredients.

Here is the recipe I used:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound box ziti
5 cloves garlic, minced
grated Romano cheese

Melt butter in deep skillet. Add oil and garlic. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low for 20 minutes. Cut broccoli into small bite size pieces and steam in microwave for 8 minutes. Cut chicken into thin bite size pieces and cook in the butter, garlic and oil. Remove chicken when done and saute broccoli in butter, garlic and oil for 5 minutes. Sprinkle broccoli with Romano cheese. Add cooked ziti with broccoli and chicken, and add more Romano cheese.
Of course, I substituted Smart Balance Light Original Buttery Spread in place of the butter because it is dairy-free. After tasting the food, you'd never even know.

Below is a picture of the result. As you may already know, I can't live without cheese. Thankfully it doesn't affect me the way butter does, so of course I covered both the garlic bread and the pasta with tons of cheese.
I could have taken the garlic bread out of the oven a few seconds earlier, but I actually really enjoyed how crunchy it came out.

After the meal, I thankfully didn't feel sick at all. Just full & happy. Do you ever substitute ingredients when you cook? Is it for health reasons? Allergies? Can you even taste the difference? I can't wait to try some more recipes that call for butter and trying this delicious non-dairy substitute again. The recipe made so much pasta that Patrick and I both had it again the next day for lunch. Yum!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie


  1. I can vouch that the garlic bread was TO DIE FOR.

  2. Can hardly think of anything sadder than having an allergy to butter! But I'm sure I could cope if I had to. I experiment a lot, such as with gluten-free flours, even though I'm not allergic to anything much. That way I can cook for friends who are.