Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chicken Carbonara THM Style

My almost gone dinner--Oops.
Next time I will take a before picture.

My sophomore year of college, back when Hubby and I were just friends, we had a discussion about his love of cooking.  I told him I was going to marry him just for that.  Since then Hubby has grown into an even better cook.  The sort of cook who doesn't ever look at recipes because he just knows.  The sort of cook who can look in an almost empty fridge and throw scraps together and make them taste delicious.  The sort of cook who, when he was doing a year of service in Belfast, Ireland where he lived with a bunch of guys and was the household cook and made lentil stew during the season of Lent, the guys told him he had to stop making the food taste so good because it was undermining the simplicity intent of the meal.

Since I started following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, I haven't been letting Hubby into the kitchen very often.  I've tried teaching him about the three types of meals--Satisfying (low carb, higher fat), Energizing (low fat, higher carb) and Fuel Pull (low carb, low fat)--but sometimes it's hard for him to remember that you can't throw half a stick of butter into an E meal or pasta into an S meal.  

Tonight he asked to cook dinner.  I had Chicken Carbonara, something I've never cooked before, on the menu.  I ungraciously stepped aside and turned over the kitchen and walked away.  Hovering only makes me anxious that he might slip some flour in the sauce.  

Hubby hit this one out of the park.  The kids, my oh so picky eater kids, said, and this is a direct quote:

The actual toppings taste better than the pasta.  This is really good.

Ya, we were shocked as well.  So of course I forced Hubby to sit down and write out what he put in this magical dish that David, our pickiest eater, scarfed down before anyone else was even done eating (this only happens when dinner involves things like pizza, hamburgers or hot dogs).  I even took a picture of my half eaten meal mostly because I didn't even think to take a picture before it was almost gone.  

As we were eating dinner, Hubby and I both agreed that this recipe lends itself to a variety of vegetables.  Spinach, red peppers, peas, etc.  Next time we are going to switch it up a little and see if we hit an even better combination than what Hubby cooked tonight.  I do need to make a disclaimer here.  If you use regular pasta, this meal would be considered a crossover, meaning it is totally not on plan.  Dreamfield's Pasta has very low net carbs, so it is okay to eat with high fat meals like this one.  And Hubby added the carrots since he was cooking, but I have since cooked this recipe again sans carrots which would keep this recipe in solid S territory without fear of crossing over.   

So here you all go.  Hubby's THM-S style version of Chicken Carbonara.  

Chicken Carbonara

1 box Dreamfield's Pasta (any shape)
9 slices turkey bacon (you can use regular, this is just all we had)
1 T olive oil (if using real bacon, omit)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 carrot, thinly sliced
6 ozs mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 T dried oregano
1 1/2 T dried powdered fennel
1/2 t xanthan gum
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Blanch carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Cook bacon until crispy in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Set aside.  Add oil to the hot skillet and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink.  Add veggies and stir.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the broccoli is soft.  Drain any excess liquid from the pan.

Stir in the garlic and butter.  Cook 2 minutes.  Cut bacon into small pieces and stir into the skillet.  Stir in the cream, cheese, fennel and oregano.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is warm and bubbly.  Sprinkle and stir in the xanthan gum.  Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot over pasta.  Enjoy!


  1. *stomach GROWLING* This looks incredible!

    Thank you for sharing and for linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday.

  2. Oh wow, this is sooo good! I just made it tonight and am already looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

    1. Thanks:) This is one of my family's favorite recipes especially when bacon is involved.