Chicken “Alfredo” With Quinoa, Pancetta And Peas

Cauliflower and I weren’t always good friends.

Looking back, I was too judgmental of cauliflower. I didn’t like the way cauliflower “looked” or smelled. I would see it and audibly turn my nose up at it. 

Then one day I finally caved. A friend and I were out to eat and the trendy Buffalo Cauliflower was on the menu. She  said we just had to order it. I wasn’t so sure, but I also will eat just about anything covered in buffalo sauce. So I gave it a whirl. And wouldn’t you know it…it was delicious!

From there I took baby steps to fully liking cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower, cauliflower rice and finally good ol’ plain roasted cauliflower. It’s safe to say cauliflower and I are buds now. Sorry it took me so long to come around, dear cauliflower.

So now that me and cauliflower are tight, when I saw recipes for Cauliflower Alfredo popping up I was all, “Oh, I have to jump on this train!” And you guys…this is definitely a train you want to be riding.

chicken alfredo with quinoa

One of my favorite guilty pleasure dishes is pasta with grilled chicken, pancetta and peas. All covered in wonderful, creamy alfredo sauce. So when making Cauliflower Alfredo, I only thought it appropriate to pair it with a healthier version of this pasta dish. Hi quinoa! 

chicken alfredo with quinoa

Quinoa and Cauliflower Alfredo give this dish a deliciously healthy makeover, but it does NOT skimp on flavor. This alfredo sauce is just as creamy and cheesy tasting as it’s not-so-artery-friendly cousin. 

chicken alfredo with quinoa


Are there any vegetables that you used to hate, but now you love?

Chicken "Alfredo" With Quinoa, Pancetta & Peas
Serves 4
Creamy cauliflower alfredo sauce and quinoa creates a healthier version of the original pasta based dish.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 4 chicken breasts
  2. 1 cup dry quinoa
  3. 1 cup pancetta, diced
  4. 1 cup frozen peas
  5. 2 TBSP olive oil
  6. Salt & Pepper
For the sauce
  1. 1 head cauliflower
  2. 5 garlic cloves
  3. 1/2 large yellow onion
  4. 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  5. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  6. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  7. 1 TBSP olive oil
  8. Salt & Pepper
  1. Prep ingredients. Cut end off of cauliflower and cut into florets. Remove skin from onion and slice thin. Remove skins from garlic cloves, leave whole. Dice pancetta.
  2. Add quinoa to small saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Set aside and keep covered until ready for use.
  3. While quinoa cooks make sauce. Add cauliflower to small saucepan and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain pot and set cauliflower aside.
  4. Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  5. To blender, add cauliflower, garlic, onions, milk and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Wipe pan used for garlic and onion. Heat oil on medium high heat. Add pancetta and peas and cook until pancetta is fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Put in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Wipe pan clean and heat oil on medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add to pan. Cook 6-8 minutes per side or until center reaches 165 degrees. Move chicken to cutting board.
  8. Add quinoa to pan along with pancetta and peas. Mix until incorporated. Add 2 cups of sauce and mix until combined. Add more sauce if desired.
  9. Slice chicken into 1/2 inch slices. Spoon quinoa mixture into a bowl and top with chicken.
  10. Enjoy!
  1. The quinoa will absorb the sauce quickly. If you have leftovers I suggest adding a bit more sauce before heating up!
A Full Plate

How I Fuel My Day

My personal food philosophy is all about balance. I believe in eating all the veggies, but also not denying yourself that piece of cake if you want it. I have learned to listen to my body and to give it what it wants while keeping track of what it needs. On a normal basis you’ll find my plate filled with foods that are energizing, filling and nutritious. However, we can’t expect to have “perfect” meals 100% of the time. It’s dangerous territory when we start to beat ourselves up for not following a meal plan. If I decide to indulge in a juicy burger or a big plate of pasta, I just balance it out with healthier meals the next day. Balance people, balance! Food keeps us healthy and alive, but we should also be able to enjoy it as much as we can.

In saying all of this, I was inspired by GoMacro‘s Fuel Your Day campaign to share how I fuel my day. Here’s a peak into what an average day looks like on my plate!

My mornings start  at 7 a.m. every morning. However, lately it’s been more like 7:30ish (is anyone else still feeling the effects of daylight savings??)

After I feed Miss Maddie and take a shower, I make myself my “green drink”, which is 4 oz apple juice, 8 oz water, 1 scoop Macro Greens and 2 tsp wheat grass. I’ve been starting my day with this drink for months now. It’s a great boost of natural energy and is an easy way for me to get my greens in early on in the day. It’s basically my version of taking a multi-vitamin.

As I’m getting ready I also make myself a matcha to-go and pack my lunch, which includes my apple cider vinegar drink (1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 8 oz water, 1/2 lemon).

I then have to evaluate if I have time to make myself breakfast. Since I’ve been waking up late lately the answer is usually “no”. 

My criteria for breakfast is something quick, full of protein, healthy fat, whole grains and of course, tasty! My go-to’s are usually avocado toast (with or without an egg) or a yogurt bowl with granola and banana.

But on those days where I need to run out the door as soon as possible I always keep some of my favorite bars on hand.



GoMacro bars are one of my absolute fav on-the-go breakfasts. Their Balanced Goodness bar being a more specific favorite. Their bars have just the right amount of calories, protein, carbs and fats to fuel me through the morning. And their ingredient list is on point. ALL real ingredients that you can pronounce. 



If I grab a bar on-the-go I’ll usually also grab a yogurt and/or banana to take with me for a mid-morning snack. Something to keep me from counting down to lunchtime!

Lunch is either leftovers from the night before, a big salad or a mish mash of protein, veggies and grains. If I’m working out later in the day I’ll be more conscious and make sure I have extra protein and/or grains to give me more fuel and to keep me going longer. 

I don’t always have an afternoon snack, but I do have a snack drawer at work if hunger strikes! It’s filled with mostly nuts, dried fruit and bars. If a workout is on my agenda I always make sure to eat something sustainable about an hour before I’m going to be active. This is usually in the form of a bar since I know it’s an easy way for me to get in all the nutrients I need to fuel my workout. This is where I’m glad GoMacro labels their higher protein bars so I know exactly which one to grab! Their Everlasting Joy and Prolonged Power are two of my favs.


Post workout I head home to start making dinner. As I’m cooking, I’ll snack on some veggies and hummus or CHEESE (I heart cheese). Possibly a glass of wine if I’m in the mood for one.

Dinners vary from week to week since I’ve been using Marley Spoon. Since I get to choose my meals though, I always try to choose meals that are high in protein and have ample amount of veggies. 

I’ve been ending my nights with a cup of tea. It helps calm me as I prepare myself for bed. If my sweet tooth kicks in I’ll grab a bite or two from a chocolate bar that I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping in the fridge. 

And that’s a day in the life of Katie’s plate! What are your favorite ways to fuel your day?

Disclaimer: This post was a collaboration with GoMacro, however I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and I only feature products I truly love!


Foodie Finds – March 2017

foodie finds

I’m not the type of person to eat the same thing all the time. I love trying new foods! I’m always on the hunt for new drinks and food to try. Here are a few of my favorite foodie finds from this month. Let me know if you’ve tried any or if you have any favorite foodie finds of your own!

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks









I have been in the habit of making my own apple cider vinegar drink to bring to work with me everyday (1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 lemon, 8 oz water). When I didn’t have time to make it one day and was in the grocery store trying to find a kombucha, I came across this guy. My inner five year old jumped for joy at the grape flavor, so I grabbed it. And it is SO good. If you don’t like the flavor of apple cider vinegar then hunt down this drink because the grape masks it really well.

Why drink apple cider vinegar? It’s been said to help lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, help with digestion…the list goes on! Get on it!

Ancient Harvest Pasta

ancient harvest








I am most definitely not gluten free, but this box caught my eye while I was at Rollin’ Oats (I’m a sucker for pretty packaging). Pasta made out of corn and quinoa intrigued me so I decided to give it a whirl.

Verdict? Delicious! I mixed it with pesto and chicken sausage for dinner one night and I swear I could not tell the difference between this stuff and regular pasta. I will definitely be trying out some of the other pastas when I want a healthier alternative for a pasta dish.

Bilinski’s Chicken Sausage









My heart has belonged to Bilinski’s for awhile now. This is my absolute favorite brand of chicken sausage. They have a variety of yummy flavors and the ingredients are minimal. I usually always have a pack hanging out in the freezer. They make a great, quick, put together meal when you add them to rice, quinoa or pasta (and veggies!)

The Republic of Tea Matcha

republic of tea








Since going off of coffee and espresso I’ve been on the hunt for an alternative to help get me moving in the morning. I tried a Green Tea Latte at Starbucks one day and fell. in. love. Realizing my wallet wouldn’t like me spending $5 a day on a drink I started looking into how to make them myself at home. This is the first matcha powder I’ve ever bought and so far I’m enjoying it. If you have a favorite, please share! I whisk 1 tsp of matcha with 2 tsp coconut sugar and a little hot water together. Then I add unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I’m still playing around with recipes, but so far that’s been my favorite way to make it.

Frontier Bites

frontier bites







The kind folks at Frontier Bites recently sent me some samples of their fruit and nut granola bites to try. I had never heard of them before, but the flavors sounded unique and the ingredients were all real so I was down. I have only tried the Apple Vanilla flavor so far, but I’m hooked! They make a perfect on the go snack or addition to your morning yogurt or smoothie bowl. I can’t wait to try the rest of the flavors! (P.S. You can get these bad boys at Publix.)



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