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Cheese, if You Please

6 ways to lighten up your favorite cheese dishes
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Cheese Recipes

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 spray.
  • Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through, and the tops and bottoms are lightly browned (about 25 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving (if all of the crumb mixture is used): 234 calories, 32 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 1.9 g saturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 1.3 g fiber, 268 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 20%.

Deluxe Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Journal as: 2 servings of whole wheat bread + 1 ounce regular cheese + 1 tsp light margarine + serving of raw vegetables
OR 1 "sandwich and burger, veggie burger or sandwich"

One of the most common ways to enjoy cheese is as a grilled cheese sandwich. Here's a deluxe and healthful rendition of the old favorite.

4 slices whole-wheat bread
2 teaspoons less-fat margarine (with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon)
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (or shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese or Jarlsberg Lite or part-skim mozzarella)
1 medium vine-ripened tomato, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste (if desired)
About 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

  • Begin heating a nonstick griddle pan (or similar) over medium heat. Coat one side of all 4 slices with the less-fat margarine.
  • Place two bread slices, buttered side down, on griddle. Top with cheese, then sliced tomato, pepper (and salt if desired), and fresh basil leaves. Top with the remaining two bread slices (buttered side up).
  • When bottom side is golden (2-3 minutes), flip sandwiches over and grill until other side until golden (2-3 minutes). Cut each sandwich diagonally and serve.

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