Tag Archives: cheese vehicle

Goon Approved (somewhat) Healthy Sides

To the dismay of the goons, the lean and light eating continues.  On most days less dairy, less gluten, less sugar, less meat and more veggies seem to be the way to go.

Other than the non-goon-approved calorie free noodles, below are a few of my favorite sides on the healthy side.  They’re great for meals where you want to indulge a little without totally blowing your diet.

No calories, no carbs, guilt free cheese vehicle….

Light Mac-n-Cheese

1 package of no calorie noodles – drained (in the fridge section @ Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon light butter (or butter substitute)

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (or spelt flour)

1 cup of warm skim milk (or dairy substitute)

1 cup of light cheese (parmesan and cheddar are my faves; does dairy free cheese actually melt?)

1 cup of thawed frozen peas

Drain the noodles and press out any remaining liquid.  Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook down until it’s a nutty brown color.  Add the milk and whisk to combine.  Bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes until thick.  Off heat, add cheese, noodles, peas, salt and pepper to taste.

Mom’s Brussels Sprouts

1 large bag of Brussels, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise

3 slices of nitrate free bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon of light butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 shallot, minced

½-1 cup chicken stock

2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Sautee the bacon in the butter and olive oil until it starts to release its fat.  Add the Brussels, toss to coat, and brown on each side to caramelize.  Add the shallot and cook until softened.  Add the chicken stock and cover for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat to soften the Brussels.  Drizzle with maple syrup, add salt and pepper to taste.  Add a little more butter if you’re not watching your waistline.  Add to save calories, just brown the Brussels in some cooking spray and sprinkle with cooked crumbled turkey bacon.

They taste like candy.  So good you forget they’re good for you.

And now for more bacon…..

 Goon Approved Stuffed Potato Salad (with less fat/calories)
1 pound of small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered into bite size pieces
1/4 cup light mayo
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt (or more to taste)
5-6 scallions – chopped
5 slices of precooked, nitrate-free bacon – cooked and crumbled
Boil potatoes until they are fork tender.  Cool slightly and mix with the rest of the ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I like to eat this when it’s all warm and creamy, but it’s also great after spending some time in the fridge.  Perfect for summer grillin.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlets

This might be the best weeknight chicken ever.

It’s fast and super flavorful. It’s like a combination between juicy pan seared chicken and naughty Greek Saganaki.  Mmmmm flaming cheese. This is going to be my new go-to summer dish because it cooks up in about 7-8 minutes and you do not have to use the oven.  Serve it with lemon wedges, a salad, and a glass of your favorite white wine.

Weeknight heaven!

PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN CUTLETS

2 large chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced horizontally
2 tablespoons of flour
2 egg whites, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
Olive oil

Pat chicken dry and season with S&P.  Sprinkle evenly with flour on both sides.  Whisk egg whites, water, mustard and hot sauce in one bowl.  In another bowl, mix parm and breadcrumbs.  Dredge each piece of seasoned chicken in the egg mixture and then into the parm mixture, pressing the cheese into a thick coating.  Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on high for a few minutes, add chicken to the pan and turn the heat down to medium.  Cook three minutes, being careful not to burn the chicken.  Flip the chicken and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves 4 Goonettes or 2 Goons.  If there are any leftovers cutlets, they’re great the next day on a sando with some crisp lettuce and a little mayo.

The Long and the Short(ening)

This was an excellent lesson in understanding that you should never have a glass of wine and think you can bake at the same time.  I became immediately spastic after the first sip of Pinot.  Flinging flour everywhere.  When I was finished with these bad boys, there was biscuit debris all over me, in every corner of the kitchen, and caked on the dog too.  I’ve tried approximately ten different recipes over the year, and even with my vino in hand, this is the only version to cut the mustard.

I found that my butter biscuits were fantastic right out of the oven (and apparently more easily processed by the arteries), but if you do not intend to serve them right away, they can seize up into lead weapons of war.  I finally gave into using shortening, and I am happy to say that it made all the difference.  From what I understand, bakers in the south prefer to use shortening because it makes for a more stable product, particularly in the heat.  These stood the test of time (cocktail hour), and were also forgiving of errors in the baking process.  For example, if you forget to add the shortening in the beginning, you can add it at the end (not recommended).

This recipe is courtesy of friend’s mother in Georgia.  In my cooking frenzy, I tried to cut the flour with the shortening in my food processor; however, I quickly realized that the food-pro can only handle three cups of flour at a time.  It’s an 11-cup bowl, so you do the math, but it’s true.  It helps to halve the recipe.

I served these tasty mounds of love with country ham, pickles and mustard, and others with pimento cheese and black olives (see previous post) at an event for wine bloggers a Weygandt Wines (www.weygandtwines.com) in Cleveland Park, DC.

This recipe makes approximately 35 small biscuits.

Angel Biscuits

1 1/2 packages yeast
5 tablespoons warm water
5 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Sift dry ingredients together, then cut shortening into the flour mixture.  Add buttermilk and yeast.  Knead lightly but *do not let the dough rise*.
  • Roll out and cut with a round biscuit cutter
  • Put on a baking sheet touching each other (helps keep the biscuits moist)
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Brush with melted butter on top after baking.

Mmmmmmm....buttermilk biz-kits