Tag Archives: Cheese

Philly Cheese Steak

This is one of those recipes that isn’t much of a recipe really. More like an example of how to make those naughty things we love a bit healthier. My husband loves philly cheese steaks, especially when they come in pizza form. So with some leftover buns I decided to give making these healthier a go and see if they pass with the cheese steak eater. They did! Here is what I did.

  • Thinly sliced eye of round steak, tossed in montreal steak spice
  • thinly sliced 4 crimini mushrooms
  • thinly sliced 1/2 sweet onion
  • thinly sliced 1/2 red pepper
  • 4 sliced of reduced fat provolone cheese
  • 2 herbed sub buns
  1. Saute the steak in a hot pan until done. Remove and set aside and keep warm.
  2. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook until the juices come out and the onion caramelize slightly. You can add the red peppers to the cooking mixture if you like. I like mine to have some crunch left in them.
  3. Layer the steak in the cut buns, top with the mushroom and onion mixture. Layer red peppers on top and then the cheese.
  4. Arrange the sandwiches on a flat pan and put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly. Serve!

Makes two subs. There is so much room for variation in this recipe it’s difficult to post nutritionals for it. I will say though that for us it was what I usually spend on dinner. This philly was totally conquered and really easy.

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Potato Surprise

When I was in my early teens my dad came back from a trip to south africa with a bunch of french culinary magazines for me. I was elated, oh so many new tasty things to pour over, this was of course before the internet was so full of the information it is now. Back when BBS stuff was more the norm. I know, I’m a fair bit aged. I came across a recipe that was called potato surprise that just sounded oh so tasty…and it was. It was the first time I had come across a stuffed potato and I was in love. Years later, driving across the country with my husband I encountered another version of the stuffed potato that made me raise an eyebrow in Alberta. Served in this amazing steakhouse was a spiced potato surprise. I have been adding a kick of spice to them ever since. Now that things around here are a bit lighter I have had to re-imagine my potato surprise and you know what? It is still awesome. Oh potato surprise, you never let me down.

  • 2 large potatoes (any type will do, I’ve done them with them all. For a really interesting show get yourself a blue or purple potato. Awesome!)
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tsp low fat cooking margarine
  • 1 tbl montreal steak spice
  • 1 tbl finely chopped chives
  • 30 grams parmesan cheese
  1. Clean, dry, stab the potatoes with a fork 6 times. Bake at 350F for 1 hour. Sure, you can do them in the micro but I hate the texture you get when that is done. Bleh.
  2. Carefully slice the potatoes in half and allow to cool enough that you can handle them safely.
  3. Scoop out the insides of the potato leaving about a centimeter of flesh still attached to the skin. Reserve the potato flesh in a bowl. Place the skins on a baking sheet.
  4. Add the sour cream, spices, and half the cheese to the potato flesh you reserved. Mash until smooth and creamy (this happens best if the flesh is still warm when you are working with it). If you want to get fancy get out the mixer and whip.
  5. Spoon the mixture back into the potatoes (or if you are being fancy pipe them back in). Top with the remaining cheese.
  6. Place back in the oven at 350F for 20-30 minutes. Serve.

Makes 4 servings (1 half a potato). Each serving contains 191 calories, 3.1 grams of fat, 34.3 carbs, 3.3 grams of fibre, and 7.3 grams of protein. It’s definitely a filling special occasion side dish. The work involved really isn’t much considering it can be broken up. I tend to bake and stuff the potatoes before hand and then do the final baking step right before serving. They work out just fine if you make them the night before. Great for serving to guests.

Pistachio Avocado Pesto

I’m one of those people who has a sensitivity to pine nuts. It’s not so bad to have stuff that may have been in contact with them but if I eat them, well…it’s just not a happy time. So, for the longest time pesto was something I eyed with longing and dread. Then one day years ago I made my own, but with different nuts. There was dancing and rejoicing far across the shire. Pesto was once again a tasty thing to be had again. I have done it with walnuts, pecans, and almonds but so far my favourite has to be this newest version with pistachios. Pesto is chock full of nice and healthy ingredients but sadly so full of fats. It’s those fats though that are giving us those healthy benefits so they stay. This is one of those things to be enjoyed in moderation.

  • 30 basil leaves
  • 4 tbl pistachios
  • 4 tbl extra virgin avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbl parmesan cheese
  1. Pulse the pistachios to the desired texture in a blender.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until a paste or sauce forms.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 92 calories, 8.3 grams of fat and .9 grams of fibre. To help metabolize a lot of that fat you can add a clear dissolving fibre supplement to the mix without any loss of taste or texture. This pesto is great tossed with angel hair pasta but my favourite is serving it as a flatbread topped with a nice light goat cheese and prosciutto.

There are some really great high fibre flat breads out there or you can make this using some of the dough from the deep dish pizza crust recipe.

Mexican Style Low Fat Layered Dip

Come on, everyone has a recipe for these. They are so great for parties or in my case role playing groups. I usually have a chili layer I include in these but I skipped it this time to make it more vegetarian friendly. Served this with a choice of regular tortilla chips and baked chips…and it disappeared fast. Such a crowd pleaser and really not that hard to portion control for yourself. Get a spoon and grab a cross section for yourself, fill up a ramekin (which is usually 1/4 cup) and you have yourself one serving of this dip! That and you won’t have to fight the others as they omnomnom this too. Why no pictures of it baked? Because as soon as it came out of the oven it was grisly zombie scene of devouring frenzy. Goodtimes.

First layer ( the jalapeno popper inspired layer)

  • 5 oz. Fat free cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (with seeds)

Second layer ( guacamole inspired layer)

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 small onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

Third layer

  • 4 tbl Taco sauce of desired hotness or chili layer

Fourth Layer (bean dip inspired layer)

  • 1 cup low fat refried beans
  • 1 tbl lime juice
  • 2 tsp. Taco seasoning

Fifth layer

  • 1/2 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  1. Combine ingredients for first layer in a blender. Jalapeno first and then added the cream cheese, room temperature. Spread evenly on bottom of oven proof container. I use my loaf pan, always the perfect size.
  2. Combine the various layers ingredients and layer them on top accordingly. For the bean layer I used the blender. Finish it up by sprinkling the cheese on top and then topping with green onions (if serving cold, if baked add green onions after baking).
  3. Two ways to serve this. Keep in the refrigerator for an hour and serve cold or heat oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes (or until cheese is just the way you want it). I prefer the hot way.

Makes about 8 servings of about 1/4 cup. Each serving contains 102 calories, 4 grams of fat and 3.6 grams of fibre. Calculated assuming you used a taco sauce layer, if you go with chili make sure you add those values! Totally delicious!

 

Pear and Brie Strudel

When it comes to strudel pastry I totally cheat. My grandmother was always a very practical woman. When something can be bought to help that dessert be successful she had no qualms about doing so. Phyllo dough is one of these short cuts my grandmother supported. Why go through the trouble of making it when the ingredient is right there? Now you can concentrate on the more important things…like the filling. Oh wait, that isn’t hard either? Well…score! Seriously, whipping up a strudel like this as a weeknight dessert isn’t all that hard. That’s exactly what this one was.

  • 2 pears, cored, sliced
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 30 grams brie, sliced thinly
  • butter flavoured cooking spray
  1. Lay your first sheet of phyllo dough on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Layer another sheet on top. Repeat until all sheets have been stacked.
  2. Lay the cheese slices on the strudel sheets horizontally, not quite center. I usually go for about an inch off center towards me.
  3. Layer the pear slices on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and splenda.
  4. Fold in the sides of the dough, then the bottom. Flip away from you to wrap. That moves the seam of your folding underneath the pastry.
  5. Spray the pastry. Cut four slits into the top and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  6. Cover with foil. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 4 generously. Each serving contains 141 calories, 3.9 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. I love pears and brie so creamy and sweet, apples would work with this too. If you don’t want the brie each serving will contain 116 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. Nothing wrong with a simple fruit strudel, I just like to get a little fancy sometimes hehe.

Hardcore Hobbit: Roasted Chicken with blue cheese and onion stuffing

Oh num! I love my cheeses very sharp and this definitely did the trick for me. Ofcourse, if you are not as much of a fan of sharp cheese or the idea of blue cheese just oogs you out, you can just substitute with any other cheese you love. This hardcore hobbit was so simple to start with. The game suggested: chicken, salt, and a pouch fine seasonings. With that chicken so tasty and roasted your vitality will be renewed. Well, I felt a tasty chicken like that needed a stuffing and the grocery store had this lovely blue cheese on special and roasting chicken….well….I think you know what happened.

  • 3-4 lb chicken
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 40 grams blue cheese
  • 1 tbl dried parsley
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • butter cooking spray
  1. Cube or tear bread into pieces. Season with parsley, black pepper and salt.
  2. Saute the onions in a sprayed pan until golden, pour into the bread mixture. Add olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Crumble the blue cheese into the mixture and stir in carefully.
  4. Stuff into the chicken. Truss the chicken using cooking twine to help it keep it’s shape. Some stores will do this for you. Spray with cooking spray. Season the chicken with basil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  5. Place in roasting pan and bake uncovered at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375F and bake for 1 hour.

Serves 4. Each serving contains 191 calories, 8.2 grams of fat, and 1.7 grams of fibre. This assumes that your portion comes from the breast meat mostly and that you remove the skin before eating. Sure, I had a bit of skin but I was being naughty. Shhhh.

Turkey Meatball Sub

Aack, so I forgot to update on friday again! I was so busy running errands, gazing at my newly acquired blood oranges, shopping for new 10 sided dice, gazing again at the blood oranges, that I completely forgot! Maybe a meatball sub will make it better? Oh I think so. Always a big old mess to eat but such a happy mess really. In this recipe I was going for a quick fix so I used store bought turkey meatballs. If you want to make your own turkey meatballs I would make them the same way I made my thintastic thai meatballs just use turkey meat, and skip the hoisin sauce in the mix. This was such a tasty indulgence…and without consequence. Sweet!

  • 2 sub buns
  • 16 lean turkey meatballs
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbl oregano leaves, dried
  • 1 tbl italian spice
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (Garlic and I are best buds for evah!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 tbl parmesan cheese
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in a pan until golden. Add to crockpot.
  2. Add the meatballs, tomato sauce, oregano leaves, and italian spice to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  3. Serve 8 meatballs on each bun with a bit of sauce, top with 3 tbl of cheese. Enjoy!

Serve 2 hungry hobbits. I did not include the bun in the nutritional value since there is so much variation in what you can choose. I suggest a nice high fibre bun. I’m lucky to have a store local to me that makes a good fibre bun that pretends to be white bread. Tastes just like subway…or maybe even better! Each serving contains 217 calories, 7 grams of fat and 6 grams of fibre. You will have leftover tomato sauce from this. I suggest saving it for a pasta night. Delicious!!! Don’t have a crockpot? No sweat, you can do this stove top same way except you should leave it simmering for 30 minutes.