Cheese, if You Please
6 ways to lighten up your favorite cheese dishes
6 Tips for Cooking With Cheese continued...
4. Sprinkle, don't smother. Often, recipes for casseroles or other
mixed dishes call for a blanket of cheese over the top. Yet a sprinkling is
enough to do the trick. I'm talking about a cup and a half of shredded cheese
to cover a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, instead of 3 cups.
5. Pair cheese with healthy partners. Since cheese is a source of
saturated fat, pair it with lower-fat and higher-fiber foods. Think pears,
pasta, whole grains, beans, and vegetables instead of butter, high-fat crackers
and pastries, and high-fat meats like salami or sausage.
6. Fat-free cheese may not please. I've personally never tasted a
fat-free cheese I've liked, so if you're looking to find one, proceed with
caution. It isn't going to melt like real cheese or taste like real cheese --
it just isn't. I've learned that manufacturers sometimes go too far when taking
the fat out of food ingredients. When that happens, the fat-free food has very
little in common -- chemically or aesthetically -- with the original food.
Fat-free margarine, anyone?
There are lots of types of cheese out there in supermarket-land. You can
even buy cheese made from soy milk or goats' milk. And if your grocery store
has a deli cheese section, you'll find all sorts of imported and domestic
cheese, from feta and farmers to Gouda and Gruyere.
Here are how a few of the more common options measure up nutritionally:
| (1 ounce)|
(% Daily Value)
|Kraft 2% Sharp Cheddar|
|Borden 2% American Slices|
Ready to try some healthy cheese cookery? Here are a couple of recipes to
get you started.
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast
Journal as: 1 serving of lean meat without added fat + 1/4
cup "starchy foods and legumes without added fat"
OR 1 slice bread
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (or 1/4 cup
dried parsley flakes)
2/3 cup plain (or Italian) dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil; coat
the foil with canola cooking spray.
- Add parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, pepper, and lemon zest to medium bowl
and blend well.
- Press both sides of each chicken breast in breadcrumb mixture, and place in
prepared pan. Coat the top of each crusted breast lightly with cooking
- Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through, and the tops and
bottoms are lightly browned (about 25 minutes).