Before the holidays, Laughing Cow cheese sent me a great "surprise" package which included Mini Babybel Light cheese and a recipe for a lightened up sandwich using it. (Disclaimer: I received this package for free and the opinions expressed in this post are mine and I have not been compensated for them.) The package also included a bunch of great tips from The Laughing Cow Community Leader, Roni Noone, to make your winter "lighter."
Some of the tips included in the package were:
1. Lighten up your favorite meals. We all have favorite recipes and snacks. Lessen the calories but not the taste by swapping out some of those high calorie ingredients for a low calorie option. Mini Babybel Cheese is the perfect swap! Only 50 calories and 3g fat per pre-portioned round, with all the taste and meltablity of a full fat full calorie cheese. You can check out all of the nutrition facts HERE.
2. Snack Smarter. Snacking thought the day makes you less likely to overeat at meals or make a last minute dash to the vending machine. One of my favorite snacks includes some fruit and a Mini Babybel Light cheese round. They are great for grab and go in their cute little waxy packaging.
3. Plan, Plan, Plan. You are less likely to grab unhealthy takeout if you have your family's meals planned for the week. A great way to plan is to look at the Recipe Index of Mykitchenadventures and decide at the beginning of the week what meals you are going to make. Planning will also save you money on your grocery bills!
4. Stay hydrated. Many times we confuse dehydration with hunger. Next time you think you are hungry, drink an 8 oz. glass of water and see if you still need something.
5. Keep moving. You don't need to belong to a gym or be a fitness guru to get exercise. Enjoy a 30 minute walk outdoors or even at your local mall when the elements won't allow you outdoors. Walking will make you feel great!
All of these tips are really good ones! I have to admit, I tend to fall short in the planning department, so that is one thing I intend on working on this year.
The recipe for the Pressed Turkey, Mini Babybel and Pear Sandwich is a keeper. So tasty and healthy and I love the subtle sweetness of the pear with the saltiness of the smoked turkey and Mini Babybel Light Cheese. I happen to have a panini press I use all the time, but you really don't need one to create this sandwich. You could also use a non-stick skillet and something to weigh the sandwich down on each side as it grills (like another skillet). I love my panini press, and I have to say, of all the small electronic gadgets I own, the press seems to get the most action. My kids all love it because it's so easy to use and clean up and you can create just about any kind of panini your imagination can dream up or just make a super simple grilled cheese without any added butter or oil. The best part is that it grills the bread on both sides at the same time.
Pressed Turkey, Mini Babybel and Pear Sandwich
adapted from The Laughing Cow
Servings - 1 Serving Size - 1 sandwich Points Plus per Serving - 7 Points+
Calories - 255.9, Total Fat - 5.1g, Carb. - 39.7g, Protein - 18.6g, Fiber - 9.7g
2 slices of whole grain, "light" (45 calorie per slice) bread
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1/8 tsp crushed dried rosemary OR 1/4 tsp fresh, finely chopped rosemary
1 Mini Babybel Light Cheese round, grated
2 oz. lowfat deli smoked turkey breast
4 - 5 thin slices of a fresh, ripe pear
Handful of baby spinach
1. Preheat panini press or non-stick skillet. Mix the mustard with the rosemary. Spread each slice of bread with the mixture. On top one of the slices of bread with the mustard, sprinkle half of the cheese, followed by the turkey, pear and spinach. Sprinkle the remaining grated Mini Babybel Cheese on top of that and cover with remaining slice of bread, mustard side down.
2. Grill on press until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted. If using the nonstick skillet, place the sandwich on the preheated pan and top with a weight, such as another skillet, and grill on one side until golden brown and then flip and repeat with other side.
I had this sandwich for lunch, along with the rest of the pear I cut up to put inside of it and a HUGE glass of water. I have to say, it kept me full for a long time. Look at all the fiber in it! Wow. I used dried rosemary because that is all I had on hand, but next time I would like to try fresh. If you aren't a fan of rosemary, just omit it! You will still have a yummy sandwich. The Mini Babybel Light Cheese has long been one of my favorites. It melts beautifully. I find that grating it gives the best coverage of cheese, but if you wanted to skip that step, you could just slice it thin and split the slices between the two sides of the bread. The thing I really love about this cheese is the packaging. I love peeling back that little waxy cover! It's the little things! haha
Once again, I find myself apologizing for the lack of attention my blog is getting. First the holidays and now all the shuffling I am doing with my college kids. I am happy to report my daughter is all moved into NYC. It all went relatively smoothly, thank God. Next on the list is apartment shuffle for my son, who starts classes on Monday. I am really looking forward to some down time so I can concentrate on myself and cooking and baking. Unfortunately for this blog, our meals have been pretty much repeats of favorites or quick put together boring combos. I am planning on working my way through all the reviews I have promised to companies that have sent me sample items over the past month or so.
I am so over all the indulgent treats of the holidays and ready to get back on track with diet and exercise. I am sure many of you are feeling much the same way. I will admit, my long weekend in NYC I was not being very good. So much good food! I was so busy with my daughter, I didn't even get a chance to photograph any of it to share!
Give this fruity, cheesy Ham, Cheese & Pear Wrap a try from Winelady Cooks.