There is something so fun about going out for breakfast! Probably because it’s a rare occasion that Jordan and I are ready to face the public before lunch.
Plus, I really do look forward to making breakfast every morning. I love the ritual of making coffee, stirring oats or scrambling eggs. But sometimes there is nothing more special then enjoying instant coffee service and yummy omelets made to order.
U.S. Egg got two thumbs up from us! The restaurant is nestled in a small neighborhood of shops, which was super cozy. We were sat on a beautiful patio covered in scattered rays peeking through the trees.
I ordered the Arizona Fritata [open face omelet with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms + spinach] served with a side of fruit.
The fruit platter made me go “wow” when we got our dishes! All freshly cut and beautifully presented. [grapes, orange, honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple + grapefruit]
Yumm! I can’t wait to take our families to this spot, definitely a place to share with others!
Okay, it’s time for this recipe remix!
Enter Baked Spinach Alfredo light.
I couldn’t pick which picture I liked more, so you guys get both! These look like the typical ingredients for a classic alfredo dish.
[1 3/4 cups dry shells + 2 cups spinach + 1 cup cream + one lemon + 1/2 cup parmesan + 1/4 cup bread crumbs]
But, I have a dirty little secret. The liquid in a non-liquid measuring cup is actually not dairy-cream! Nope, it’s coconut milk creamer.
And it is amazing! Once again, I discovered this product trying non-dairy options. Oringinally, I grabbed this for my morning coffee. But after reading the nutrition facts, I realized this little carton had infinite possibilities!
Compared to heavy cream, this silky product has 40 less calories per tablespoon and 6 grams less fat! [source] There are only 10 calories per tablespoon and absolutely no fat, but the coconut cream tastes just as decadent nonetheless. Perfect for a lighter rendition of alfredo!
The other ingredient that makes this dish possible is arrowroot powder. [I talked about arrowroot powder when I made an amazing buttercream.] Having so much success with it, I knew it could create a thick, creamy sauce.
Success! Only after a few minutes of simmering the coconut milk creme, the sauce began to coat the back of my spoon.
I added the freshly grated parmesan cheese, zest of one lemon, salt and juice of one lemon.
Lemon attributes an amazing brightness to this dish, which is crucial for a heavy tasting cream. I also tried fresh spinach this time [instead of frozen], and I think I may prefer the frozen. Either way it’s super tasty.
Slather everything into an oil-sprayed dish and cover with additional parm, cracked pepper and panko-bread crumbs. The panko is obviously not very traditional either, but I love the airy crispness of these bread crumbs. It is actually the only kind I ever use!
Browned under the broil for about 5 minutes, and this dish is ready to meet your hungry mouth.
Super creamy, cheesy, lemony and crunchy! With a touch of earthy green-ness from the spinach, this dish is a perfect combination of delicate flavors. And the best part is, you can enjoy this relatively rich dish without looking for a couch to crash on after. This recipe remix will leave you still feeling light and springy. And there is definitely still room for dessert!
Baked Spinach “Alfredo”
serves 2-3 main courses or about 4 sides
1 3/4 cups uncooked semolina shells [you could also sub whole-wheat]
1 cup coconut creamer
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups loose packed spinach [or one thawed 8 oz container frozen spinach]
parm for topping
pepper for topping
1/4 cup panko-bread crumbs
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, put coconut milk cream over medium heat. Once the cream begins to simmer add arrowroot+water mixture. Continue to stir for 3-4 minutes, or until the cream coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add parmesan, zest, lemon juice and salt. Continue to cook over medium heat until desired creaminess is met. [about 4-5 more minutes] Pour over prepared pasta and add in shopped spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted [if using fresh] or until completely incorporated.
Grease a small casserole dish with oil spray and pour in the shells + alfredo mixture. Top with more parm, pepper, and bread crumbs.
Broil for about 5 minutes or until the topping becomes golden brown and crisp.
**If you don’t like spinach, you could try subbing in the following:
- asparagus [YUM]
- cherry tomatoes
**If you want to add more protein to this dish try:
- roasted chicken breast
- shrimp [grilled would be amazing]
- edamame [sub parm for a dairy-free cheese to make it vegan]