Disclosure: We received a gift card to offset the expense of our ingredients. By posting this recipe we are entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and are eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. We were not compensated for our time.
For those that may not know, I’m a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – somewhat of a dream school for those studying in the fields of nutrition and agriculture. During my time at Cal Poly, I became friends with many of my peers who grew up on farms – including dairy farms – across California. So, when The California Milk Advisory Board, which represents more than 1500 dairy families, asked the Recipe ReDux members to “lighten up” some of their favorite recipes with California dairy, it’s immediately transported me back to those blissful days in San Luis Obispo where I first learned about the lives of dairy farmers.
And this leads me to a very delicious post featuring California dairy…
Both Lisa and I love incorporating dairy products for flavor and texture into our dishes. We’re no strangers to cheese on our pizza. We seem to have a thing for Greek yogurt. And cottage cheese definitely has its place in our fridge, too.
In addition to calcium benefits, dairy – in any form – packs in protein which helps to ward off hunger pangs in between meals, and also helps to maintain lean body mass. That’s why we encourage our clients to have a good quality source of protein at every meal.
In addition to promoting food that is good for our bodies, we are such big advocates that food is meant to be enjoyed. All food has its place in a healthy eating pattern. It’s true! Sometimes it just takes a little bit of shifting the recipe to maximize on taste while still being good to your body.
This creamy pasta dish features whole wheat noodles, incorporates nutrient-rich green veggies, and utilizes cottage cheese and reduced-fat milk to make the creamy sauce. It’s gotten the thumbs-up from everyone I’ve served it to. It’s kind of like fettuccine alfredo’s nicer cousin.
Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
½ cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup California milk
2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
½ cup California cottage cheese
4 oz. whole wheat pasta
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups fresh baby spinach
Freshly grated Californian Romano cheese, to taste
Fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Cook pasta according to instructions.
2. Once pasta is cooked, add in 1cup frozen peas and 3 cups fresh spinach. Stir until spinach wilts.
3. Meanwhile, sauté garlic and shallot in olive oil in a medium saucepan for 3-5 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms, sauté for 3-5 minutes.
5. Pour in stock, milk, and add dill.
6. Let simmer on low to medium heat 10 minutes.
7. Add cottage cheese and continue to simmer and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth
8. Add sauce to pasta and garnish with fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Makes ~4 servings
Enjoy, preferable with those you love.
Recipe and photos by our wonderful contributing bloggers, Amanda and Jaime!