Food Writing & Food Photography from a self-proclaimed Foodie

Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

Tanya’s French Comte’ Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese

Not too long ago, I made my first ever mac & cheese from scratch.  Prior to this experience, I had always and only made mac & cheese from a box labeled Kraft.  Well, after making my own from scratch – twice now – I will NEVER make or eat mac & cheese from a box again.  It’s just too easy to make it myself, and it tastes oh so much better!  The first time I made it, I watched a chef on Food Network make a fancy three-cheese version, and I tweaked it to our tastes and made it with Smoked Gouda, Gruyere, and Sea Salt Cheddar.  It was OMG SO GOOD.  This afternoon I decided to make it again, but didn’t want to spend as much on the cheese as I had before, so off to Market Street I went.  With some help and samplings from the amazing cheese goddess, I was soon on my way home with ingredients in hand.  She showed me a French version, somewhat, of Gruyere cheese (which is Swiss) – the difference was amazing:  softer, creamier, milder, and WAY less expensive.  I was sold, and you will be, too – this dish was amazing!


  • 1 block of Smoked Gouda cheese, grated (yields 1-2 cups)
  • 1 block of French Comte’ cheese, grated (yields 1-2 cups)
  • 2 cups milk (I used Almond Milk, Vanilla unsweetened – helps with my allergies)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • Sea Salt, about 1 tsp.
  • White Pepper, about 1/2 tsp.
  • Heart Healthy Pasta, the shape of your choice (I like the kind that looks like corkscrews)
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Bacon Bits


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In saucepan, cook pasta until water is boiling and pasta is tender (add 1 tsp. of oil to prevent sticking)
  • In a large pot, melt butter and mix with flour
  • Pour all of the milk in; cook until just about to boil, stirring occasionally
  • Mix in grated cheese and stir until all cheeses are melted and blended well with the milk sauce; add sea salt and white pepper
  • Mix in cooked pasta with cheese sauce; stir together well
  • Pour cheesy pasta into casserole dish; top with Panko Breadcrumbs and Bacon Bits
  • Cook in oven until top is crunchy and cheese sauce is bubbling slightly
  • Serve and enjoy!

Low-Cal Coleslaw

When making the low-cal pulled pork, I wanted to find a recipe for coleslaw, since it goes hand in hand with bbq, as far as I’m concerned.  Well, bless her heart, Hungry Girl came to the rescue again with her “Slaw of Attraction” recipe.  Here are the stats (per serving):

  • Calories:  49
  • Fat:  <0.5 g
  • Sodium:  304 mg.
  • Carbs:  9.5 g
  • Fiber:  2 g
  • Sugars:  5 g
  • Protein:  1.25 g
  • Points value:  1


  • One 16-oz. pkg. cole slaw mix, dry
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijonnaise
  • 2 no-calorie sweetener packets (I use Truvia, but Splenda, Stevia, etc. can be used also)
  • 1/4 tsp. seasoned salt (I didn’t use it to try and keep sodium down)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • To make the dressing, combine mayo, sour cream, rice vinegar, Dijonnaise, sweetener, and seasoned salt; Mix well.
  • Place cole slaw mix in large bowl; add dressing and stir until all of the slaw is thoroughly coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (for best flavor, make slaw the night before you plan to serve it).  Then give it a good stir, add season to taste with salt and pepper.