honey-thyme marinated sharp cheddar

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

On our early-morning flight home from DC last week, I was far too exhausted to read the book I planned on reading (I’m currently reading Steve Jobs), so I picked up the November issue of the Food Network Magazine. (Buying magazines at the airport is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine!)

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

And in between short sleeps on that cross-country flight, I paged through the magazine, ripping out the recipes I want to try. I love the variety that comes in a magazine like Food Network. I currently only subscribe to two food magazines: Bon Appétit, which is great for more modern, upscale recipes and I just re-subscribed to Rachael Ray Magazine, which is great for simpler, family-friendly meals. Often times, I like to merge the two styles into my own cooking style.

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Given that the Food Network is my favorite tv channel, I always enjoy the magazine from time to time. (Food Network side note: I really miss Rachael Ray’s cooking shows.)

But the cheese! This marinated cheese recipe in the magazine caught my eye, right away! I used to buy marinated feta ALL the time (it’s amazing on salads) and any recipe with cheese as the star…well, it’s bound to catch my eye.

In this recipe, sharp cheddar cheese is marinated with olive oil, honey, thyme, smashed garlic clove and red pepper flakes. It’s a bit sweet and a bit hot with a hint of garlic and so much better than sharp cheddar on it’s own. It’s perfect for snacking straight out of the bowl, or as an accompaniment to crackers, of course!

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Traditionally, cheese plates include a sweet and spicy component – here, it’s all combined! I have a feeling it will become your new favorite appetizer. Bring it to every party, serve it at every party. You can’t go wrong with this easy crowd-pleaser!

Serving suggestion: remove the garlic before serving so no one accidentally thinks its cheese…it happened.

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar
Author: Emily Dingmann (adapted from Food Network Magazine)
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Cut up cheddar into little squares. (Small enough to eat in one bite!)
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl (red pepper flakes amount depends on how much heat you want!) and toss with cheese.
  3. Marinate at room temperature for at least a half hour, or make ahead and marinate overnight in the refrigerator if possible.
Notes
The flavors get more intense over time, so if it’s best to make a day or two in advance!

 

tzatziki

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

This is my ALL-time favorite dip. ALL. Time. Favorite.

And if you have no idea what tzatziki is, I’ll explain.

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

Years ago, we visited Greece with my parents and (in addition to having a different color hair) I was introduced to Greek cuisine and I totally fell in love with it. Some of my favorite memories from the trip are the ones that happened around a table. We started our days with these amazing phyllo dough pastries, had the best gyros in a restaurant with dirt floors and no power, some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had and “extra-amazing” gyros on New Years Day after dancing (if you can call it that) until dawn the night before.

A Nutritionist Eats

It was in Greece that I was introduced to their version of yogurt – which was so thick it reminded us of sour cream. And we were totally smitten with it. It’s also where I was introduced to tzatziki and it’s been a staple in my diet ever since. I can’t even believe I haven’t written about it more, because its something I make on a regular basis and it’s surprisingly easy!

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

It’s one of those foods that if you’ve ever been intimidated to make it yourself and you buy it from the store – you’ll be blown away by how much better your version is. Seriously, no comparison.

Even better, it doesn’t even require any fancy ingredients. The most exotic ingredient is greek yogurt…and nowadays you can find greek yogurt everywhere. A note about the yogurt: I use reduced-fat or full-fat – never fat-free! The extra flavor and satiety factor are so worth the minimal extra calories in my opinion. Fat-free works fine…if you must!

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

Tzatziki is so versatile and it’s honestly good on anything. I’ll often make some for the protein portion of my lunch and serve it with toasted pita bread and some fresh veggies. It’s filling and delicious. It’s great on kebabs or with grilled lamb burgers. And most recently, we determined that it’s fantastic on grilled bread. (Everything is good on grilled bread, but tzatziki really is too!)

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

I’m thinking next week’s lunches might have to feature an epic pita sandwich stuffed with hummus, tzatziki, sliced tomatoes and kalamata olives…who’s with me?!

Tzatziki
Cuisine: Greek
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3/4 medium/large cucumber
  • 16 oz greek yogurt (about 2 cups)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and seed cucumber.
  2. Grate cucumber with a cheese grater and squeeze excess water out with paper towel.
  3. You should have about 1 cup of packed cucumber shreds.
  4. Stir together remaining ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Calories: 163 Fat: 9 Carbohydrates: 9 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 42 Fiber: 1 Protein: 12

 

 

cucumber & dill goat cheese

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

Since moving to LA, we’ve become house/dog-sitting extrordinares. Meaning not much more than, we (mainly Richie) are good at taking care of a cute dog named Ruby.

So when my cousins head out of town, we move into their house. We love it because 1) grill 2) back yard 3) GRILL! And even though I always say we aren’t “dog people” we do love having a pet for a month or two out of the year. My cousins love food as much as I do, and it was in their kitchen where I got totally hooked on maldon sea salt. So much so that I refuse to use anything else. Most recently, it’s where I discovered a cucumber & dill goat cheese. Because last time we were there, we had special instructions to “eat the goat cheese!”

You don’t need to tell me to eat goat cheese twice…

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

It was a delicious and ultra-fresh goat cheese (from the farmer’s market) specked with cucumber and dill. We loved it. So naturally, I re-created it shortly thereafter.

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

While I could never choose my favorite cheese, goat cheese ranks with the best of them and I love this version. It’s fresh and totally perfect for summer.

The wonderful thing about this cheese is that it is good on just about everything. It’s reminiscent of the classic cucumber and dill creamy salad and the possibilities are endless. Bagels, pita chips or crackers – it’s all good. If you want to be especially virtuous, spread on cucumber slices!

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s eat cheese!

nutrition facts: 139 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber

P.S. What kind of recipes you would like to see here (healthy or a particular type of diet, kid-friendly, gourmet, quick dinners, 5-ingredients or less, etc.) I’d love for you to add your input!

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: appetizer snack gluten-free low-carb spring summer

Ingredients (2 cups, 8 servings)

  • 11 oz goat cheese (give or take, it will work out fine with 9-12 oz)
  • 1/2 english cucumber or regular cucumber (peeled and seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

Remove cheese from fridge and let come to room temperature.

Grate cucumber with cheese grater and then squeeze all of the water out of it. Use a paper towel to remove as much water as you can.

Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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4th of july inspiration

Um, can someone please explain what has happened to June?! I do NOT understand how the 4th of July is next week.

It’s quite disturbing, especially because we haven’t done anything on our summer to-do list. (And I mean that we haven’t even made the list yet.) I do know that we want to spend some time at the beach, see a few outdoor shows but beyond the food + drink below, I have no idea!

At least this is a good place to start…

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sip: Berry Kombucha Sangria. I haven’t made sangria yet this summer, but this version is at the top of my list. Recipe and image via Edible Perspective.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Spread: You can tell me that there is a food better than grilled bread, but I won’t believe you. This Bruschetta Bar idea is genius and totally my type of meal: wine + bread + cheese. Oh, and it’s beautiful. Recipe via What’s Gaby Cooking, photo via Matt Armendariz.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Simple: Grilled Watermelon and Feta Stacked Salad is the perfect example of a simple – yet delicious – salad that combines sweet and salty over bitter greens. Recipe via Cooking for Keeps.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Splurge: Adding bacon to hot dogs is a splurge in my book. These BLT Hot Dogs are topped with bacon, tomatoes and lettuce dressed with a caraway-pickle mayo. (Please tell me hot dogs are on your menu next week!) Recipe and image via Food & Wine.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Side: 4th of July = Summer and Summer = Pasta Salad. This Blue Cheese & Olive version is a staple in my family and great because you can make it a day ahead of time. And that = more time for fun and sun!

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sweet: All these Red Velvet Cupcakes need is a few blue sprinkles and they’ll be red, white, blue and delicious! Recipe and image via Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.

What are you making? (Link below!)