Tag Archives: cheese

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.

Pimento Cheese If You Please, Knock Me to My Knees…

That’s what David Allen Coe said, right?  Or was he talking about Jack Daniels?  I forget.

This week, I have several get togethers where I need to bring a little something something to satiate the goon squad.  So I threw together a big batch of pimento cheese last night to use on burgers, and it made enough to be a spread, a dip, and a filling for tea sandwiches.  I’m also thinking that it would be killer on nachos with black olives.  (Wait, what kind of goons eat tea sandwiches?)

Here’s my favorite recipe.  It will last for at least a week in the fridge.  My friends from the south grew up eating this sharp and cheesy delight at cocktail parties and holidays, and my peeps from the north are captivated by its bright orangey/pink hue.   You have to try it on burgers, straight up, no ketchup needed.

Pink 'n Juicy

Pimento Cheese

8oz sharp white cheddar, shredded

8oz yellow cheddar, shredded

7 oz. jar of Pimentos, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup mayo

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Black pepper

Combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse to combine.  You will want the consistency to be somewhere between chunky and smooth.  Taste for seasoning.  Store in an airtight container for one week in the fridge.

GOON Feeding

Burger Redemption

Call me burger obsessed, but I plan my next burger weeks in advance.  It gives me time to eat lots of salads and to hit the treadmill, just knowing that on one special night, all of my burger dreams will come true.  This week, I had serious visions of my Saturday night filled with oozy cheese, juicy meat, and the perfect bun…but my burger reality was not the perfection I had envisioned.  It was actually such a disappointment that as soon as I left the table, I started plotting my burger redemption.

Redemption started with the prime meat mix (50% sirloin, 50% chuck) straight from Pam the Butcher at Wagshalls in Spring Valley.  With a light hand, the meat  was shaped into 1/2 pound patties, seasoned simply with S&P, cooked perfectly to 140 degrees and smothered in Brie.  Seriously, Brie might be the best burger topping ever.  We dressed them simply with lettuce, mayo and a little ketchup.  Sweet redemption success!

Does it get any better?

Oh yes...it does