Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Trader Joe's Ovoline Fresh Mozzarella

Delightfully Creamy Fresh mozzarella!
More cheese talk. BelGioioso is the lowest sodium fresh mozz I can find in local supermarkets. But nothing can beat Trader Joe’s Ovoline. It’s another creamy, milky, and delicious tasting fresh cheese but with only 25 mg sodium per ounce. Yes, that’s right! 25 mg sodium per ounce. Unbelievable! The one downside is that it's only sold at Trader Joe’s. So in order to take advantage of it, you must live relatively near a TJ market.

Only 25 mg sodium/oz.

It’s sold in a tub with two balls of cheese floating in lightly salted brine. Like BelGioioso, this cheese is perfect for salads, pizza, omelets, lasagna, baked ziti, eggplant parmesan, chile rellenos, and anything that could benefit from a touch of cheese. Tonight I’m making lower sodium antipasto salads with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, toasted pine nuts, and Colombus low sodium salami. I’ll top the salads with handfuls of chopped Ovoline fresh mozz. I can hardly wait!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella

If you’ve been on a low sodium regimen for any length of time, you’ve discovered how difficult it is to find truly low sodium cheese. A lot depends on the type of cheese. Harder, drier, longer aged cheeses are higher in sodium. Semi-soft cheeses may be slightly lower but not always. As a general rule, fresh cheeses like creamy goat cheese and fresh mozzarella are quite a bit lower in sodium content. But it varies from brand to brand.
Only 85 mg sodium per ounce
Bel Gioioso produces a truly lower sodium fresh mozzarella. It has only 85 mg sodium per ounce. Most regular mozzarella cheese ranges from a low of 170 mg to a high of 210 mg per ounce. So the Bel Gioioso fresh is quite a bit lower. Another good thing is that this particular brand can be found in most supermarkets.

I’ve been particularly pleased with their sliced fresh mozzarella. The slices weigh in at 1 ounce each, so it’s really easy to figure out exactly how much cheese you’re using and consuming. The slices are too thick, in my opinion, for using as is. But they’re easy to chop up or just pull apart into shreds or small pieces.

The cheese has a creamy texture and fresh, milky flavor. Perfect for pizza, omelets, lasagna, baked ziti, eggplant parmesan, chile rellenos, and anything that could benefit from a touch of cheese.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Blueberry Crisp

Grandma's Blueberry Crisp
I’m not much of a dessert person, but I somehow ended up with two boxes of fresh blueberries that needed to be used up. My all time favorite blueberry dessert is a simple yet delicious blueberry crisp recipe I got from a pal on GardenWeb’s Cooking Forum – Grandma’s Blueberry Crisp. The thing I really like about this recipe is that it doesn’t fuss with thickeners or sweeteners for the fruit. The “crisp” topping provides enough sweetness.

For something so easy to put together, the result is outstanding. And quantities do not have to be exact. A little more fruit, and all is well. A little less sugar, still good. Change the fruit, no problem. In fact, a few days later, I made an apricot crisp, combining some drained canned apricots with some Trader Joe’s semi-dried/frozen apricots.  

The recipe makes an 8 x 8 pan but is easily doubled. I usually double the topping (we like a thick layer) and keep what I haven’t used in the fridge or freezer for other applications like baked apples.   

So, thanks to Annie and her Grandmother.

Ready to Serve

Grandma's Blueberry Crisp
Annie from Cooking Forum

3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, unsweetened
2 tbsp lemon juice
⅔ cup brown sugar (I’ve used less successfully)
½ cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
½ cup quick oats (I use old fashioned rolled oats)
⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened (I often just melt the butter)
¾ tsp cinnamon (I often use cardamom)

Heat oven to 375. Arrange berries in ungreased square baking dish (8 inch) and sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine remaining ingredients until crumbly. Crumble topping over berries, and bake until topping is lightly browned and berries are hot, about 30 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.