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I know what you're thinking. 'Ryan, how on earth can you have a cream sauce if you're baking the chicken? The cream sauce is made in the same skillet as the chicken after it's been cooked and you can't bake heavy cream.' You'd be right, this isn't your traditional cream sauce.
You're right. Traditionally a cream sauce is made with heavy cream in the same pan that you cooked your chicken in. The problem with that is that it's hot and time-consuming. You have to constantly add new ingredients and I don't usually have heavy cream just sitting in my refrigerator. And I'm also a little lazy. Why would I spend all of that time running to the grocery store and laboring over a hot stove when I could make a cream sauce and chicken dish that's just as tasty and more healthy with only five minutes of preparation.
I'll admit, this sauce is way closer to pesto than it is to cream sauce. You don't cook it, and you mix it with cheese instead of cream. But it has a few advantages over both.
- Low-fat cottage cheese is high in protein and low in fat.
- Cottage cheese will give you the creamy texture that you want with a cream sauce with the cheesy taste of a pesto.
- You're way more likely to have cottage cheese on hand, and it's cheaper than heavy cream.
- You don't have to use pine nuts or other expensive ingredients that most pestos call for.
It's way less oily than pesto is.
You can make it way faster than either pesto or cream sauce.
- It's healthy. Only 217 calories a serving. Which makes it very easy to add noodles, rice, a vegetable, and maybe even *gasp* a roll and still have a healthy meal.
- Cottage cheese has a more mild flavor than heavy cream, so it won't overwhelm the taste of the spinach.
Have I convinced you yet? This is a quick meal to make when you're feeling lazy, very low effort, and you can even use 1/4 tsp of garlic powder instead of a clove of garlic if you don't have any garlic.