Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Monte Cristos

So what started out as a craving for grilled cheese somehow turned into me trying out Rachael Ray's Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Monte Cristos. Sometimes this sort of thing happens. I don't fight the pull of a craving. I go with it. Now, there is absolutely nothing boring about two slices of bread held together by melted American cheese. The traditional grilled cheese is a classic; one of the very first things I ever made over the stove. But last night, as I am mentally going through my refrigerator during my exciting commute home from work (sense the sarcasm?), I realized there was already enough at home to put together a more elaborate grilled sandwich. Once I got home, I went directly to my most recent copy of Everyday with Rachael Ray and turned to the section I had marked; Breakfast for Dinner. With a quick check to make sure I really did have everything I needed, it was confirmed. Grilled Cheese Night had just gotten an upgrade to Monte Cristos!

Serves 4
Just a pinch of powdered sugar makes a pretty finishing touch.


12 slices center-cut bacon

8 slices White Wheat Bread 

4 slices Reduced-Fat Cheddar Cheese 

4 slices Fat-Free (or Reduced-Fat) Swiss

2 Golden Delicious or Gala apples, cored and very thinly sliced

3 large eggs; egg whites only

1/2 cup fat free half-and-half

A little freshly grated nutmeg

Non-Fat Cooking Spray

Warm lite or sugar-free syrup, for drizzling


Cook the bacon however you prefer (pan, microwave, broiler, etc) just until crisp. Arrange four slices of bread with one slice of Swiss cheese and the apples on top. Beat the egg whites with the milk (or half-and-half) and a little nutmeg.

Heat a large griddle pan over medium heat and spray lightly with non-fat cooking spray. When ready, arrange three slices of bacon on each sandwich and top with one slice of RF Cheddar cheese and four more slices of bread. Coat each sandwich in the egg batter. Grill the sandwiches until deep golden on each side and the cheese has melted. Halve the sandwiches and drizzle with a little bit of lite, warm syrup.


I remembering ordering Monte Cristos as a young teenager and never being able to eat but half of it. The sandwich was always monstrous; way too much for one serving. Even knowing I was only going to eat half, it didn't stop me from ordering my favorite sandwich. Now that I have this recipe, I know it is possible to recreate those same flavors in a leaner, portion controlled way. With this recipe, believe me, there were no left-overs or waste. The added bonus; the ingredients are common enough that on any given night, I could make this sandwich as a last minute, care-free dinner without having to make another trip to the store. You busy bees gotta love that!

What the nutritional breakdown for this one? Take a look!

                                                              BEFORE                                  AFTER

CALORIES                                           904.50                                      423.50
FAT (grams)                                           41.35                                        15.00
CARBOHYDRATES  (g)                       92.10                                        46.50
PROTEIN  (g)                                          40.00                                        30.75

* Per Serving = one sandwich

 Want to cut the fat a little more? Try substituting Canadian bacon or thin-sliced deli ham for the bacon.

I hope you enjoy this lean twist on the Monte Cristo. To me, it is the perfect sandwich for those cold, winter days.

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving using light bread & fat free cheddar): 327.75 calories;  8g fat; 47.25g carbohydrate;  24.89g protein;  8.65g fiber

1 comment:

  1. I love Monte Cristo's but it has been years since I have had one, and mine were not made like these. This sounds wonderful!!



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