Tag: cheese

Cheese Basics

by in Healthy Tips, July 6, 2013

Cheese is one of my favorite foods, but when it comes to getting all the cheesy facts (and there’s a ton!), I turn to the professionals. I had the opportunity to chat with the owners of Sartori Cheese who gave me pretty interesting tips for buying, storing and even pairing cheese.

Q. What are 3 basic facts folks don’t usually know about cheese?

  1. Cheese is a great snack (in moderation)! One ounce of Parmesan has more protein than red meat, 33% of the recommended daily amount for calcium, and vitamins such as B12 and riboflavin, with 11% and 8%, respectively.
  2. With some cheeses, you may experience a slight crunchy feel.  That crunch is actually crystals called calcium lactate that forms as part of the aging process.   They can also appear as white spots on the cheese and are a sign of a well-aged cheese.
  3. Wisconsin is the only state in the United States that has a Master Cheese Maker Program. This is an advanced education program for experienced cheese makers. The three year program requires a minimum of 10 years as a licensed cheese maker prior to applying to the program.

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A Little Bit of Cheese Goes a Long Way

by in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2013

Risotto with Yogurt and Peas

The March issue of Food Network Magazine is the cheese issue. While working on the issue, I found that you don’t need a ton of cheese to add big flavor; stretching out your cheese means fewer calories, and it’s cost effective, too. Use these tips in your everyday cooking:

A little goes a long way. When using strong cheeses like the blue cheese in this month’s Turkey Cobb Salad on page 96, remember that sometimes just a sprinkle is enough. We used only 1/4 cup (about 1 tablespoon per person)—that equals just 30 calories.

Reserve your rind. We added a piece of Parmesan rind to the broth for our light Risotto With Yogurt and Peas on page 150 (pictured above). This old-school cooking trick is something grandmothers have been doing for years—it’s a cost-saving way to add richness and depth.

Put your peeler to use. Try using it to create the shaved cheddar cheese on our Cheddar and Peanut Butter Bites on page 146. Peeling is a great way to ensure thin pieces of cheese; they’re just as satisfying as any hunk.

Why We Love Cheese

by in Uncategorized, January 20, 2012
We love this stuff.

From ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwiches to fancy shmancy cheese and crackers, there are so many ways to love cheese. Worried about your waistline? We’ll tell you how you can incorporate all types of cheeses in a healthy and enjoyable way.

Cheese 101
When I was growing up, my parents owned a cheese store on Chambers Street in New York City. There were so many cheeses, I couldn’t keep them straight but it was sure fun sneaking a taste every time I sliced a piece for a customer. Luckily I learned a thing or two while working for my parents about the various cheeses.

Cheese is categorized by their texture as unripened (or fresh) and ripened. Unripened cheeses are usually slightly tangy with a mild and creamy texture. They include cream cheese, mascarpone, mozzarella and ricotta.

Ripened cheeses can be categorized as soft, semi-soft, firm or hard. Soft cheese is characterized by thin skins and creamy centers.  Brie, camembert and boursin are three of the more popular varieties. Semi-soft cheeses include many mild flavored varieties that have a smooth and easily sliceable texture. They include fontina, gorgonzola, Havarti, Roquefort and stilton.

Firm cheeses are usually either similar to the consistency of cheddar or they’re dense and holey like emmenthaler. Some other popular firm varieties are manchego, jarlsberg, monetary jack and provolone. Hard cheeses are carefully aged for a long period of time and are less moist than the other cheeses. Varieties include asiago, parmesan and pecorino romano.

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Non-Messy Kids’ Snacks

by in Healthy Tips, Kid-Friendly, November 3, 2011
kids ans snacks Grapes, carrots and cucumber slices aren’t so messy.

I have 3 kids with completely different personalities, but one thing is for sure—they’re all messy eaters. Like most moms, cleaning up after their mess becomes never-ending and frustrating. There are several things I do to make snacking less messy, especially when I’m on the go. Hopefully these tips can clean a little mess out of your life.

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Better Together: Power Food Combinations

by in Healthy Tips, May 17, 2011
Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Eggs and cheese: (nutritionally) better together.

Some foods just taste great together, like milk and cookies. But others pairs actually work together to help your body get the most nutrition bang for its buck. Here are 5 of the most powerful food combos.

Eat it together: 5 power food combos »

Scalloped Potatoes, Lightened Up

by in Healthy Recipes, December 21, 2010
Scalloped Potatoes Lightened Up
Provencal Potato Gratin

Most classic versions of this all-time favorite potato dish aren’t very figure-friendly, especially with boatloads of heavy cream and mounds of cheese.  There are a few tricks to lighten things up—here’s how.

Scalloped potatoes, lighter »

Casseroles 5 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, November 2, 2010
Ellie's Sweet Potato Casserole
Ellie's Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole

A one-stop meal, casseroles make an easy weeknight dinner (and next day lunch). But many recipes call for cups (yes, cups!) of mayo, cans of creamy soup or lots of heavy cream — if you eat  these on a regular basis, you may as well have “911” on redial for the after-dinner coronary. Here are our top 5 lighter casseroles that’ll keep your waist slim and your heart in tip-top shape.

See all 5 lightened-up casseroles »

5 Ingredients or Less: Eggs In A Basket

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, October 11, 2010
Toby's Eggs in a Basket

Also called “eggs-in-a-hole”, “birds nest,” “eggs-in-a-blanket” or “toad-in-a-hole”, I served this fun breakfast fave  to my kids on their first day of school. With less than 5 ingredients, it’s an easy and stress-free dish to cook up on a school day.

Get the easy breakfast recipe »

Strawberries 5 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, May 20, 2010

strawberries with ricotta cream

In-season strawberries are delicious all by themselves, but I love to enjoy these nutrient-packed berries other ways too — from traditional sweets to new savory twists.  Give these 5 recipes a try while the red gems are at their peak.

Get 5 easy strawberry recipes »

Reading List: Foods of the Future, Breast Milk Cheese & Raw Food Safety

by in Food News, March 12, 2010


In this week’s nutrition news: Soda taxes help shed pounds, how to choose the right nutrition expert and cheese made from breast milk — would you eat it?

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