Monday, June 7, 2010

Cherry Salsa with Goat Cheese

My mid-morning snack:

I can't do too much in the kitchen these days, but I can tell I am feeling better because I actually got inspired this morning to get creative in the kitchen and make an easy snack.

Every morning I have a snack, and it's usually fresh fruit of some kind (because that's easy and healthy), but this morning I came across a recipe on one of my favorite websites that got my taste buds tingling. I took a quick inventory of ingredients (by memory; I pretty much know what I stocked up on in the fridge before surgery) and realized that what I didn't have EXACTLY, I had ingredients I could easily substitute. And then, of course, I added my own touches.

So, I rolled on out to the kitchen and began the journey that ended with me exhausted, but with a delicious snack that includes the fresh sweet cherries that are in season right now, crunchy and aromatic celery, low fat dairy, and whole grains. What great fuel for a healing body, delicious and (for a two-footed person), takes about 10 minutes to make!

Cherry Salsa with Goat Cheese

1 cup of chopped sweet cherries
1/2 cup diced celery
1 scallion, very thinly sliced white and green parts
Splash of red wine vinegar (not too much, maybe 1 tsp.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of hot pepper flakes (optional, but I like it)
Honey for drizzling
Crisply toasted crostini slices, whole grain toast, or crackers
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese

Combine the cherries, celery, scallion, vinegar, S&P, and hot pepper flakes. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. (Depending on your preference, you may want to add more salt, pepper, or hot pepper flakes.)
In a small bowl, use the back of a spoon to mash together the cheeses. Spread desired toast or crackers with cheese and top with cherry relish. Drizzle with honey and serve.
Note: If you make this quantity, you can get 4 or 5 servings on regular toast. It will probably top 18 or so small crostini or crackers for party food. I think the salsa would be good served with grilled chicken breasts, too. 1/4 of this recipe is only 78 calories, 4 grams fat, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, and a generous 6 grams of protein. It's a bit over the 30% calories from fat guideline, but in this case I think it's worth the trade off for so much fresh flavor and protein. I think you will, too!

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