Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reduced Fat Spinach & Rice Alfredo

reduced fat spinach and rice alfredo
This is one of my favorite side dishes. It's from Taste of Home. I recently did a healthy makeover on it, mainly to reduce the fat and thereby the calories. I use half and half instead of heavy cream and cut the butter in half. My healthier version also uses twice the amount of rice and spinach (increasing it to four servings), but the sauce amount remains the same. This helps reduce the fat and calories immensely. And guess what? It's still delicious! At least my husband and I think so. I have made this with medium-grain and long-grain rice and find that the medium makes it creamier. I usually serve it with one of my salmon recipes. I think it's a great side dish for people with fructose malabsorption (if you can tolerate dairy, which thankfully I can.) If you can't tolerate garlic, then just leave it out. It will still be tasty!

This recipe, compared to the original, reduces the calories from 515 calories to 255 calories and reduces the fat from 40 grams to 9 grams! (according to my calculations on

Reduced Fat Spinach & Rice Alfredo
reduced fat spinach and rice alfredo
This is not a low-FODMAP recipe
serves 4


1 cup white rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced (optional, or as tolerated)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups packed torn fresh spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the rice, water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté garlic in butter. Stir in half & half and Parmesan cheese; cook for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted. Add spinach, ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute or until spinach is wilted. Stir in rice and serve.

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