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W.I.C. Challenge: Chicken-Broccoli Alfredo

     Anyone who is familiar with the W.I.C.  Program  (Nutritional Aid to Women , Infants and Children) is probably already a food budget expert.  The W.I.C. program assists pregnant, new and nursing moms,  their babies and young children (up to age 5) with basic nutritional staples, such as milk, cereal, eggs, cheese, beans, pasta, juice and formula. Vouchers to area farmers’ markets are also offered.

     The dried beans, bulk cheeses, powdered  and evaporated milk make me think of Depression era cooking and, although a stark time, those that lived through it  sure learned how to stretch the food dollar. But some folks don’t know how to cook with things like evaporated/powdered milk and dried beans.

     Today’s recipe, “Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo”, uses items from the W.I.C. pantry: evaporated milk, low-fat cheddar and pasta. This is a healthy, low-fat version that gets a rich boost from part-skim ricotta cheese.

     Do you have a favorite recipe using W.I.C. ingredients? I’d like to offer a weekly W.I.C. Challenge to help new moms, so please forward any recipes or tips you may have!

Chicken-Broccoli Alfredo

cooked leftover chicken, cubed (about 2 cups)
2 tblsp. Butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 can evaporated milk
1 ½ cups water, broth or stock
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
Salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp. oregano
Broccoli florets
Pasta, cooked al dente
Grated cheese- optional

Place butter and minced garlic in large pan. Heat slowly, stirring often,  until garlic is cooked, but not browned. Add evaporated milk, water or stock and remaining 2 cloves garlic. Stir well and bring to just below a boil. Add cheeses and seasonings and stir well. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Add broccoli and simmer until broccoli is crisp/tender. Remove whole garlic cloves (optional). Add chicken and stir until heated through. Serve with cooked pasta and grated cheese, if desired.

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