Healthy Alfredo Sauce

Healthy Alfredo Sauce | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this because it’s so versatile, it’s super healthy, and it’s cauliflower–a hated and despised vegetable in society. I could not get enough of this and all it took was a blender. No fancy tools or gadgets to make this sauce. It freezes like a dream (there’s some in my freezer right now) and defrosts easily. I’m posting this on a MONDAY because I’m so dang excited about this!!!

Healthy Alfredo Sauce | Domesticated Academic

I love alfredo. You love alfredo. We all love alfredo….they should call it ‘straight to your hips’ instead of alfredo….Pinch of Yum ran a recipe for cauliflower sauce and I was intrigued. It took me longer to buy a head of cauliflower than it did to make the sauce. Honestly, it was easier than pie to make and it tasted….just like the real thing! It was also more filling, and one serving was more than enough.  I added some parmesan cheese to make things taste a bit richer and still consider it a win because it’s cauliflower instead of cream and butter and really good fatty dairy products.

You’ll need:

About 30 min.

  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 6-7 cups stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • ½ cup milk (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cauliflower: Bring the water or stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
  3. Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.
  4. Add parmesan cheese at the end and mix well.
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Spring Sprung in Photos

It’s been a busy spring! I’ve been a bit lazy about posting due to the fact that my feet have been hitting the floor and have not stopped, leaving blog posts in the dust. For this, I can only say, “thanks for your patience!”

It’s been a busy spring and I’ll be thankful for a slowing pace for a few weeks before summer session begins and a grant project kicks off. Never a dull moment….NEVER!!

I’ve been riding the bus for quite some time, jamming out to my headphones and rocking my newest FREE lacoste sunglasses.  Pays to be a loyal customer at the optometrist–the second free pair of sunnies I’ve received in the last few years. Never would have bought a pair of lacoste sunglasses otherwise! Thanks! Snapped this shameless selfie waiting for said bus home the other day….Perfect spring weather, not too hot, not too cold, just right for a……scarf. (anyone think of miss congeniality?)

Self Portrait | Domesticated Academic


I’ve been accumulating my spring/summer reading list. I try and buy books for ‘work’ and books for fun. Once the weather improves, I spend time sitting on the patio reading and my ipad is not great for reading in the sun (no one’s is, is it?) Here’s three of my latest purchases for patio time 2013. What are you reading?

Spring Reading | Domesticated Academic


I’ve been enjoying long walks/hikes this spring as well. The flowers haven’t let me down yet!

Spring Flowers | Domesticated Academic


Finally, I scored this amazing free mug from a friend of mine. The radio station is local but the robot had major appeal to me. I washed it and enjoyed my coffee out of it almost immediately (ok, the next day) and have been rocking with it ever since. I love a good robot, but didn’t need another mug. Oh well!

Coffee Mug | Domesticated Academic


What have you been up too this spring?

Frosted PB Cho Brownies

PB Frosted Brownies | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this recipe because you can take the help from a box mix without sacrificing any taste and the peanut butter frosting is light yet firm, holding up well as the brownies get cut. I saw this recipe on my feedly one morning and was intrigued because peanut butter and chocolate are pretty much cause of any kind of celebration. It took every drop of will power I had to not go crazy on the reese’s eggs for easter and the sales after. I compensated by discovering and making this recipe. I put a spin on the frosting by adding my favorite, non-fat greek yogurt, instead of any additional fat to the frosting. I could not taste it in there, the peanut butter covers it up pretty well and it still maintains a nice thick consistency for the frosting. I was pleased with this frosting as a whole and would consider using it to frost a whole cake or cupcakes because it was firm enough, yet very spreadable.

PB Frosted Brownies | Domesticated Academic

I know we’ve talked about my love affair with greek yogurt, namely Chobani, so it should come as no surprise that there’s always a steady stash in my fridge. Whether it be a giant container of the plain, non-fat or a series of ‘bites’ and ‘flips’ that get consumed for breakfast, I’m a big believer in low-fat dairy in my diet. Perhaps the agricultural upbringing contributes to that, but I do notice when I haven’t had enough calcium and I begin to crave salty snacks. So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it and I’m sticking with Cho. No, they didn’t pay me to say this. I have a brain!

You’ll need:

30 min. + cool time

  • 1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients to make 9×9-inch pan of brownies


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp milk

Make brownies in an 9×9-inch pan according to package directions.  Cool completely.

For frosting:

  1. Put powdered sugar, vanilla, yogurt, peanut butter and milk in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat with a hand-held electric mixture until combined.
  3. Add more milk until you get the desired consistency.
  4. Spread frosting over cooled brownies.
  5. Cut into squares.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

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Chobani Black Cherry Chocolate Coconut Bread

Cherry Cho Chocolate Coconut Bread | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this bread for its’ chewy texture, the pop of the chips and coconut, and the fact that it might be a bit healthier than some of the other recipes out there. I opted to keep some of the fat in this one, I think it tastes better. You’re welcome to go wild with substitutions and change it up for your own dietary needs. I use soft bananas in several of my recipes instead of fat, and use gluten free from time-to-time, but again, make this your own. The batter is thick because of the yogurt, but don’t be alarmed, it’s just fine. It also gets pretty dark in the oven, but again, just keep an eye on it!  Chobani was nice enough to send me some promotional yogurt after I submitted another recipe to their site. The big 16 oz. tubs showed up at my door and I knew I couldn’t eat that much yogurt by myself, so I headed to the kitchen!

Cherry Cho Chocolate Coconut Bread | Domesticated Academic

I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows! Ah, Elf….one of my favorite movies during the holidays (and almost anytime if we’re being honest here). I’ve been on a greek yogurt kick again. I was craving salt a while back and while I know the Internet lies, it did tell me in several places that my craving might be a result of not enough calcium and/or trace minerals in my diet. After getting some cho, cheese sticks, and making a point to drink more milk–cravings diminished. I still love some good, salty olives from the fancy olive bar, but the craving was insatiable for several days and I know myself well enough to know that I don’t crave salt like that. ever.

You’ll need:

15 min. prep + cook/cool time

makes one loaf

  • 16 oz. container of Chobani Black Cherry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick of butter soft
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • handful of mini chocolate chips


  1. Grease your bread pan and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream together Chobani, sugar, butter and eggs.
  3. Add  dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Fold in chips and coconut.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour .
  6. Check with a tooth pick to see if center is cooked through.
  7. Let cool for 15 min. before removing from pan to complete cooling.
  8. This freezes like a champion too–don’t be scared to make a whole bunch & save for a rainy day!

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Citrus Syrup Fruit Salad

Citrus Syrup Fruit Salad | Domesticated Academic

Spring is here! I hope to stay–she’s been playing hard to get with her random snow storms, crushing my spirit and my bulbs in front of my place. In fact, she’s kind of holding out on me!

I made this pioneer woman inspired fruit salad for FEASTER (sorry, i’m not into easter due to several reasons, none of which i want to discuss on this blog post, but know that feaster was a celebration of multiple belief systems with mighty good food) and the bowl was empty before I had chance to get seconds, leading me to believe one of a few things:

  1. it didn’t suck
  2. the zombies are coming
  3. everyone at the meal hated fruit

Since it was clear that everyone hated the fresh fruit I had cut up that morning without cutting my fingers off, I figured it was good enough to share with the masses. PW: she’s got time for this stuff. I don’t. PW: she makes real money off her blogs/cookbooks/shows. I don’t. See the difference? I like to keep it simple in the old kitchen. No really, my kitchen is old. PIC and I can’t be in there together cooking b/c of it’s suckiness and small size. (that’s what she said. i’m done now).

Citrus Syrup Fruit Salad | Domesticated Academic

This recipe can be made several ways, depending on your availability of fresh fruit. I totally understand that you may not have ready access to fresh fruit due to the time of year, the cost, or you live in a less than desirable place to get whole pineapples at a moments notice. Use this recipe as a guide and DEFINITELY make the simple syrup to pour over it. You won’t regret the simple syrup.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  •  Juice Of 1 Orange
  •  Zest Of 1 Orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 pints Strawberries, Hulled And Halved (frozen is also fine if not available fresh)
  • 1 pint Blueberries or Blackberries
  • 2 cups Grapes, Halved (red or green are fine)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cubed & cut into bite size pieces (canned or frozen is also fine)
  1. Place the sugar, water, orange juice and orange zest into a small saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
  3. Set aside to cool, then store in the fridge until cold.
  4. Strain the syrup to remove the zest if you don’t want it in your fruit salad. 
  5. Pour over bowl of fresh fruit. Mix to combine.

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