garlic cheese toast

One of my favorite additions to almost any meal is garlic cheese toast. I would not only serve it with soup or pasta, but with a main course of meat and vegetables. It is easy to make and only takes minutes to prepare. Plus, it is relatively low in fat, and the only carbs come from the bread you use for toast.

  • 1 tub <butter>
  • 1 cup garlic purée
  • 1 cup 2% fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes

Slightly melt the <butter> in the microwave. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Put into refrigerator containers affixed with labels marked “Garlic Spread” and save until use.

To use, toast bread* in the usual manner. Slather heavily with garlic spread and place in oven on top shelf. Broil until cheese melts, about 4 minutes.

Apple Squash Muffins §

I’ve been known to bake muffins when the more easily prepared breakfast alternatives need a rest. These apple and squash muffins are exactly the type of breakfast one craves in such situations–slightly sweet and full of spice. The recipe is a meld of several found online and massaged to fit my diet. It is low enough in fat, sodium, and carbohydrates that I don’t feel as if I am going off-diet in consuming them.

The recipes I encountered called for various kinds of squash, from acorn to zucchini. But then I remembered, “Hey! Pumpkin is a squash! And it comes in a can, pre-puréed.” I list yellow squash in the recipe, but you can guess what I used.

  • ½ cup Granny Smith apple, grated
  • 1 cup yellow squash or pumpkin, grated or puréd
  • ½ cup carrot, grated
  • 1 cup <brown sugar>
  • 2½ cup lower G. I. flour
  • ½ tsp <salt>
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange zest
  • ½ shredded cup coconut
  • ½ cup pecans, broken pieces
  • ½ cup X
  • ½ cup nonfat half-and-half
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange extract
  • 2 tbsp molasses

Assemble the wet ingredients into a large bowl and mix to distribute constituents uniformly. Assemble the wet ingredients in another (smaller) bowl or measuring cup and mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and toss until just mixed.

Spray a medium-sized non-stick 12-muffin pan with vegetable oil and distribute the batter evenly into the cups. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, remove from the oven, and rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the pan gently. Serve with <butter> for breakfast.

Makes 12 muffins.