Meal Planning Monday ~ I Love Cheeses!


Fill in the blank: “The one food I could NEVER live without is ________.”  For me, the answer is easy – Cheese!  Yes, I would give up eating desserts, fried food, chocolate… and even red wine before cheese.  I’m so glad that I have a Diet Free Life mentality, so I never have to give up any of the foods that I love, including cheese!

I love most any kind of cheese, with very few exceptions (Swiss being one of them).   At our house, we always have feta, Parmesan, sharp white cheddar, string cheese, and a variety of shredded cheeses on hand.  Sharp white cheddar is far and above my favorite.  My co-op sells Amish cheeses and their sharp white cheddar is to die for!  I use it on grilled cheese and egg sandwiches, with crackers, or just plain with a good glass of wine.

Since I’ve been Carb Stepping, I’ve been snacking on string cheese on a regular basis.  It’s a great snack because two of them have only 160 calories, no carbs, and 12 grams of hunger-curbing protein.  The only problem with string cheese is that we can never have enough in house!  My husband loves it, and so does my cat, Peanut.  When she hears the plastic peel back on one of those, she comes running to beg for a piece!

I love Parmesan cheese because it adds so much great flavor with a small amount of fat and calories.  Just this week, I tried a great roasted salmon recipe with a Parmesan-mayo topping that Leah posted in our recipe group on Facebook.  Oh my word, it was hands-down the best salmon recipe I’ve ever made at home!  (See below for recipe.)  If you don’t like fish, the Mmm… Chicken recipe I shared a few posts back is similar and equally delicious.  I also make Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese sandwiches.  All you do is sprinkle a bit of parm on top of the buttered bread before you cook it.  I’ll also shake some on top of roasted veggies for extra flavor.

Some people – like Leah – are crazy about goat cheese, but I’m definitely a feta girl.  It’s my cheese of choice for salads.  I love making a huge Greek chicken salad for lunch – salad greens, chicken, garbanzo beans, olives, cukes, pine nuts and feta.  Sometimes I’ll mix it up and do salad greens with turkey, walnuts, Crainsins, and feta.  When it’s warm enough to fire up the grill, my hubby and I love to make Chicken Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, feta, and basil.

What are you favorite cheeses?


Oven Roasted Salmon with Parmesan-Mayo Crust



  • 16-20 ounces salmon fillet(s), skin on
  • Kosher salt/ freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • additional Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • a few dashes of sweet paprika

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a shallow roasting pan with foil.  Rinse the salmon with cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels, and place in roasting pan.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.  Spread completely over the salmon.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese on top, and add a few dashes of sweet paprika.

Roast for 12-14 minutes (depending on thickness of salmon).  Remove from oven; carefully slide a wide spatula between the skin and meat to separate from the skin, and serve!


  1. kathy hardway says:

    Since you love Amish cheee…have you ever visited Amish Country in Northern Ohio (Walnut Creek, dover, etc)? How fun would it be to take a road trip and visit??!!! We should think about organizing one!!! Kathy from DFL