Tag Archives: mac and cheese

Goon Approved Sides

Below are a few of my favorite side dishes:

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.

Crack ‘n Cheese

This is the perfect crowd pleaser side dish to bring to a dinner party or cookout.  Once baked off and cooled, it travels well, and if you lack confidence in the chef’s skills, crack ‘n cheese is a filling and reliable back up plan.

Take your lactose pills

Crack ‘n Cheese

1 box large shells pasta

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup flour

5 cups milk, heated lightly

5 cups shredded cheese (parm, pecorino, aged cheddar, and gruyere are my faves, but it’s a great way to clean out the cheese drawer)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/3 cup bread crumbs

Cook shells al dente.  Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and melt butter.  Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Cook until the flour and butter mixture until the roux becomes caramel colored.  Add warm milk, whisk to combine, and stirring frequently, bright to a boil.  Let the sauce thicken, approx 3-5 mins, and add the cheese off heat.  Taste for seasoning.  Add the pasta and toss to coat.  Put the mixture into the greased pan, and top with extra cheese and bread crumbs.  Bake 30 minutes until bubbly and brown on top.

Serves 10-12 goons.