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Delicious Lower-Calorie Cheese Recipes

Love cheese? Cut fat and calories and keep the flavor

Which cheese to choose?
Bottom line: as a food lover who watches (not obsesses) about her calorie intake, I tend to use smaller quantities of regular or low-fat cheese and heighten flavor with cheese naturally lower in calories. My favorites include:

  • Parmesan
  • goat
  • feta 
  • buttermilk blue

If you're looking to moisten cheese-laden dishes like macaroni and cheese, or pizza, avoid bulking up with large quantities of grated full-fat cheese or rich sauces. Rather, supplement with low-fat fresh cheeses and dairy like:

  • Greek yogurt
  • cottage cheese 
  • ricotta

The three recipes that follow exemplify this approach and prove that it is possible to savor great-tasting cheese dishes without running up the calorie count.

The Three Grilled Cheese
Serves 2

A single slice of cheese — particularly the reduced-fat variety — just isn't enough to make a good grilled cheese. Instead of adding another slice of mild cheese, heighten flavor by sprinkling on naturally low-fat feta, goat, or buttermilk blue. Press a little naturally low-fat shredded Parmesan into the buttered bread slices for even more flavor and great crunch.

  • 4 slices good quality white bread
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat medium-sharp cheddar cheese slice
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat, feta or buttermilk blue cheese

Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spread butter over one side of each of the bread slices. Evenly sprinkle two of the slices with Parmesan cheese, pressing it into the butter to stick. Place the two cheese-coated bread slices, Parmesan-side down in the skillet. Lay a cheese slice over each bread slice and evenly sprinkle on your choice of crumbled cheese. Top each with remaining bread slice, Parmesan cheese side up. Grill until golden brown on bottom side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn sandwiches and continue to grill until golden brown on remaining side, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Halve each sandwich and serve.

Next: A better-for-you mac & cheese. »

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