gorgonzola + honey crostini

I’m currently in the sky, headed back to the West Coast! I’ll call it the “best” coast if it feels more like the fall weather I enjoyed in New York, and less like the summer weather I didn’t enjoy in LA this past weekend. (I loved being in NYC, the energy feels so different than in LA – I only wish I could have extended my trip so that I could have stayed longer than 36 hours!)

But back to the weather (I am from the midwest after all, and we do like to talk about it), I’m ready for squash and soup and chili and hot tea ALL the time! Temps in the 80’s make that complicated.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

But I’ll try not to complain about the weather and continue to drown my weather woes with good appetizers. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Appetizers are the way to my heart. They are my heart.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

And easy appetizers are best. Because when you’re hungry, you’re HUNGRY!

Here, crunchy crostini is topped with creamy and slightly pungent gorgonzola cheese (I used a triple cream!) and a drizzle of sweet honey. You can’t go wrong with this combination. Crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Three minutes until crostini is in your belly.

  1. Lightly toast bread
  2. Spread cheese
  3. Drizzle honey
  4. Lightly toast again

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Perfection in a bite.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • french baguette
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or blue) cheese
  • honey
Instructions
  1. Lightly broil bread for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Spread blue cheese and drizzle with honey.
  3. Broil crostini for another 2 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

cottage cheese + hard-boiled egg toast

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

Any other cottage cheese fans out there?

I have to admit that I typically keep my cottage cheese-consumption pretty typical. You know, plain. Or with chunks of cantaloupe. Or applesauce. (Which was probably one of my first foods, I ate that combo as a baby!)

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

But today, in light of a cottage cheese conversation, I decided to step out and try something a little different. So I gave toast a protein boost with a scoop of cottage cheese and a hard-boiled egg. It sounds a little weird, right? But it makes sense.

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

And it works. It turns out that you can’t really go wrong with a hearty slice of bread topped with creamy cottage cheese, hard-boiled egg and sliced tomato. (Don’t forget a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to finish things off!) I had my whole family try it out and though everyone was skeptical at first, we all loved it. Or, try swapping out the egg slices for avocado for a protein-boosted twist on avocado toast!

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

Why do I like cottage cheese?

  • It’s high in protein (fun fact: a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese has more than double the protein of an egg!)
  • It’s low in sugar
  • It tastes good AND it’s satisfying

A serving of cottage cheese is a great addition to any meal, or perfect for a snack. Try it topped with fresh fruit or go the savory route with cucumber, chopped tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Find recipe ideas and ways to incorporate cottage cheese here.

And please, give this toast a chance!

This post is sponsored by Daisy Brand

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!

 

broccoli pesto pasta

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve received some wonderful cookbooks lately but there’s one problem: I’m drawn to – and therefore bookmarking – all of the cozy and rich, fall and winter meals. And the only problem is that we just came off of another scorching few days (90’s and I’m so over it) and I can’t quite bring myself to make the hearty meals quite yet. (The soup was an anomaly!)

I managed to find something a little more forgiving in the heat: broccoli pesto pasta! We absolutely LOVED this meal.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

FRESH and LIGHT by Donna Hay* is the kind of cookbook I would love to write. It’s filled with beautiful pictures (simple ones, not heavily styled, which I’ve come to realize is what I’m drawn to) and recipes, ideas and inspirations for real food, kept both fresh and light. I have about 15 recipes bookmarked, but it’s the kind of cookbook that can be pulled out for inspiration on a regular basis. She has a number of sections in the book with a whole spread of simple variations on meals like pizza, pasta, dips and muffins. It’s my kind of cooking. Simple, no crazy-long ingredient lists or equipment required, just real food that’s full of flavor and perfectly healthy.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

(So yes, I HIGHLY recommend the book!)

Let’s talk about this pesto! I’m a pesto fan and so I was drawn to this variation right away. I’ve had kale, arugula and edamame pestos, but never broccoli pesto. It comes together really quickly (about 20 minutes!), requires only a few ingredients and I love that your entire meal is served in one bowl for a simple dinner.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

After taking a bite, my first thought was, wow, it tastes so fresh and light. (Yes, the title of the book!) But it really does taste so fresh and it’s while it’s a very satisfying meal, it’s light at the same time. Richie also loved this meal, and not just because it included pasta. :)

I think it would be great for kids who aren’t thrilled by the idea of broccoli on it’s own – it’s hard to resist when it’s combined with cheese, fresh herbs and pasta!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

Broccoli Pesto
Author: Donna Hay
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups of blanched broccoli
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups hot spaghetti
  • parmesan
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine broccoli, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and olive oil in food processor and process until finely chopped. (You want to keep some texture to it!)
  2. Toss with hot spaghetti and sprinkle with parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  3. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Calories: 575 Fat: 22 grams Carbohydrates: 77 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 20 grams

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