Eating for Life

Eating for Life | Guilt-free Pimento Cheese is a song-worthy spread

Who knew there was a hit song in every pimento cheese sandwich?

At least that’s the word at

. Keith Urban’s co-songwriter Monty Powell reveals a fried pimento cheese sandwich is just what the Grammy-Award winning singer needs to get past his mid-morning slump.

Although a fine snack to get the creative juices flowing, it’s not necessarily kind to the waistline. The Southern classic is a mash up of mayo and cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses. Even when it’s spread on celery sticks, it’s hardly diet food.

But The Star’s

Guilt-Free Pimento Cheese Spread

makes some strategic substitutions, including protein-rich Greek yogurt and light whipped cream cheese in place of the mayo and a much smaller amount of reduced-fat shredded cheese.


Serving suggestions:

Mound in cherry tomatoes or serve as a dip for crudite at a holiday party. For a school lunch or after-school snack, spread on whole-wheat crackers or on whole-grain bread.

Guilt-Free Pimento Cheese

Makes 1 cup 1/4 cup low-fat whipped cream cheese 1 cup shredded 2-percent reduced fat cheddar-jack cheese
1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt 1 (2-ounce) jar pimentos, drained well 1 teaspoon grated onion Dash of garlic powder Pinches of salt and pepper to taste Cherry tomatoes

In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, cheddar-jack cheese, Greek yogurt, pimentos, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper until well blended.

Cut a thin slice off the top of each cherry tomato. Use a serrated knife to cut around the inside edges of tomato and hollow out to form a small cup.

Fill and mound pimento cheese (about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons) into each tomato.

Per 1-tablespoon serving: 21 calories (43 percent from fat), 1 gram total fat (trace saturated fat), 3 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 73 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.