Tag Archives: parmesan cheese

Turkey Panini

Turkey with a zesty cheese sauce is the perfect lunch !

Turkey Panini
Turkey Panini

4 servings
272 calories per serving

3 T lowfat mayonnaise
2 T nonfat plain yogurt
2 T shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese
2 T chopped basil
1 t lemon juice
Pepper to taste
8 slices light whole wheat bread
8 oz. thinly sliced deli turkey
8 slices tomato
2 t canola oil
ICBINB spray

Mix mayo, yogurt, cheese, basil, lemon juice and pepper. Spread 2 t of the mixture on each slice of bread and then fill the sandwiches with turkey and tomato. Heat 1 t oil in a large nonstick pan and put in 2 sandwiches. Use a Panini press to weight down the sandwiches. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Spray the top with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and then flip the sandwich and cook until the second side is golden. Repeat with the 2 remaining sandwiches.

Creamy Caesar Salad

This recipe gives you a really nice creamy dressing since you use mayo instead of eggs and oil. If you like it with a lot of bite, add extra anchovy.

Creamy Caesar Salad
Creamy Caesar Salad

8 servings
88 calories per serving

½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ c fat free mayo
¼ c lemon juice
2 t anchovy paste
2 t Worcestershire sauce
½ t pepper
¼ t dry mustard
5 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh bread cut into cubes
4 head romaine lettuce in bite size pieces

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine 1.2 c water with cheese, mayo, lemon juice, anchovy paste, Worcestershire, pepper, mustard and garlic. Whisk well and set aside. Place bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes to toast them. When done combine croutons and romaine and then dress and serve immediately.

Spinach Tarts

These little crustless tarts make a great side dish to lunch or dinner. Very cheesy, very chic :)

Spinach Tart
Spinach Tart

8 servings
124 calories per serving (serving=2 tarts)

16 oz. frozen spinach
3 egg whites
12 oz. 2 % cottage cheese
1 c shredded part skim mozzarella
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 t black pepper
Pam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put spinach in a colander and rinse with hot water until thawed. Using your hand or the back of a spoon, press it down firmly to drain all the water out of it. Mix egg whites, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese and then add spinach and mix well. Spoon mixture into 16 muffin / cupcake cups sprayed with Pam. Bake 35 minutes.

Pesto Stuffed Steaks

These steaks are just DELICIOUS! I had my doubts of how the pesto and parmesan flavors would go with steak, but this was just great. It was a mild yet super flavorful addition to the steak and added back a lot of moisture that grilling can deplete. Serve with a quick salad such as Tomato, Cucumber and Egg salad for a great BBQ meal.

Pesto Stuffed Steaks
Pesto Stuffed Steaks

6 servings
284 calories per serving

2 beef rib eye steaks, about 1 ½ inches thick (2 pounds)
¼ c pesto sauce
2 T shredded parmesan cheese
1 T oil

Heat the grill. Make a horizontal slit in each steak to form a pocket and stuff with pesto and cheese and then press closed. Drizzle with oil and then grill 7 minutes each side or to desired doneness. Cut into thin strips before serving.

Grilled Corn

A special parmesan butter atop a fresh grilled piece of corn just spells S U M M E R !!

Grilled Corn
Grilled Corn

4 servings
200 calories per serving

4 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
¼ c butter, softened
2 T parmesan cheese
2 t basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Shuck corn and clean it well. Wrap in foil and grill 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Grilled Corn
Grilled Corn

Mix butter, cheese and parsley. When corn is done, open foil and place a pat of butter on the corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Spaghetti Carbonara

This recipe makes up a wonderfully flavorful sauce – anything with bacon is good in my book !

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara

2 servings
300 calories per serving

4 ounces uncooked FiberGourmet spaghetti
1/2 cup skim milk
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Pam
1/3 c chopped pancetta or thick cut bacon (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain reserving ¼ c of the cooking water. Mix milk, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat a skillet and spray with Pam then sauté pancetta 3 minutes. Add onions and garlic and continue cooking another 5 minutes until onion is browned. Reduce heat to medium low and add milk mix and spaghetti to the pan. Whisk egg in a bowl and add the reserved cooking liquid stirring constantly so egg does not start to cook. Gradually add to pan stirring constantly and cook 4 minutes on low until sauce is thick.

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce (Crock Pot)

I am very passionate about my sauce ! My Italian Grandma and Mom taught me well :) I have been making my own since I was 16 and over the years developed a recipe that is LOVED and CRAVED by many. That recipe included cooking sausage and meatballs in the sauce – and that gives it a very rich flavor. But it also adds calories. So in my quest to keep things lower cal, I’ve been trying a few batches of sauce without meat and this one is really, really good. It comes quite close to my regular recipe !

I’ve added beef bouillon to make up for some of the lost flavor from the meat, I’ve added roasted garlic which gives a great depth of flavor (much different than dropping in raw or sautéed garlic) and I make sure to use tomato paste. Tomato paste is to tomatoes what lemonade concentrate is to lemonade – – it is highly concentrated and adds a different flavor than any other tomato product out there. And finally I add 2 secret ingredients – shhhhhhh ! Fennel and anise seeds add the flavor you would get if you cooked sausage in the sauce. It is the finishing touch that so many sauces are missing. You only get the slightest hint of taste of the seeds in the finished product. But let me tell you, without them, the sauce is just not the same.

If you’ve never tried sauce before – try !! This one starts from canned products, not raw tomatoes – so it is NOT labor intensive. And even a bad batch of homemade is better than a jar of Ragu ;) It’s what makes a pasta meal special, so do it up !

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce
Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce

12 servings
58 calories per serving

8 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
¾ c water
1 T oil
2 t basil flakes
6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 t oregano flakes
½ t red pepper flakes
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
½ t whole anise seeds
1 t whole fennel seeds
2 packets or 2 cubes beef bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ c parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

You can also put this in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or simmer stove top for 2-3 hours.

The length of time does make a different – the sauce tastes much richer when simmered for hours than a quick sauce (which have their place in some recipes, but don’t equal a traditional slowly simmered sauce).


Freeze your extra portions and next time it’s pasta night, just defrost in the frig over night and quickly reheat in a sauce pan.

Let me know how you like it ! :)

Mini Calzones

Here’s another one of those appetizers that also makes a great dinner side – these are great served next to a hearty bowl of minestrone soup.

Mini Calzones
Mini Calzones


24 servings
50 calories per serving

1 11 oz. can soft breadsticks
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
6 slices very thin deli ham, each rolled and cut into 4 pieces
¼ t oregano flakes
2 T grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let dough come to room temperature then unroll it and separate into 12 sticks then cut each in half making 2 short sticks. Flatten each piece of dough to about a 2 inch wide piece. Sprinkle all the dough pieces with garlic powder. Place 1 t mozzarella cheese in the center. Fold ham and place over the cheese making sure to leave a border so you will be able to seal the calzones. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges to seal and make a little pocket. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the parm and oregano. Bake 15 minute or until golden brown.

Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

Stuffed artichokes cooked in a pressure cooker are delectable ! They soften up beautifully and the garlic seems to just be infused into the artichoke leaves. This is a great recipe – so flavorful, so classic.

Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)
Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

8 servings
105 calories per serving

8 large artichokes, trimmed
½ c bread crumbs
½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ c minced garlic
1 c chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon

Everyone trims an artichoke differently – I cut off the stem and then ½ inch from the top. Then I trim all the leaves by nipping off the end. To get the leaves to open up enough to stuff them, I bang the leave side down on the counter a couple of times – then you can use your fingers to pry open the leaves some. Yes, all this work is definitely worth it :)

Separate leaves slightly so you can drop in the ingredients – each should get bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic.

Place artichokes in pressure cooker (you can double decker them) and pour over broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then squirt with the juice of 1 lemon. Close pressure cooker and bring to pressure and cook 60 minutes. Quick release pressure.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook these stovetop in a dutch oven – simmer for 2 hours or until tender.

You can make these ahead of time and just reheat in the microwave prior to serving – I actually prefer to do it this way. They just seem to be more flavorful with the second heating.

Spinach Au Gratin

Creamy, cheesy, savory spinach – a perfect side dish to a light fish meal.

Spinach Au Gratin
Spinach Au Gratin

6 servings
200 calories per serving

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 slices pre-cooked bacon, finely chopped
15 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
4 oz. low fat cream cheese, cubed
15 Ritz Crackers, coarsely crushed
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 T butter, melted
Pam

Preheat broiler. Spray pan with Pam and add onion. Cook 5 minutes adding a couple of tablespoons of hot water along the way if needed to keep the onions moist. Add bacon and cook 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook 3 minutes to wilt the spinach then remove from heat and add cream cheese being sure to mix well. Turn into a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Mix crackers, parmesan and butter and sprinkle over the casserole. Broil 2 minutes to brown the crackers.

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