Friday, January 20, 2012

Cooking Light with Giada De Laurentiis: Bruschetta with Gorgonzola & Honey

This is an appetizer that I picked to do mainly because it allowed me to showcase a wonderful product; Summer Wildflower Honey from The Mohawk Valley Trading Company (MVTC) in Utica, NY.
A few weeks ago, Betty from MVTC contacted me and offered to send some honey to test out in my cookin'. Naturally, I said YES!!

MVTC offers the highest quality organic and unprocessed natural products we can produce. Their raw honey and maple syrup is used and endorsed by two of the world's most recognized chefs: Bobby Flay recommends their maple syrup and Tom Colicchio recommends their honey. Not only does Tom say their honey is on the his "Personal Pantry Essentials" and "Favorite Gifts", but he also keeps "a jar of the stuff on his desk at all times."

To try out the honey for myself, I chose a very simple recipe that would allow me to really taste the flavor of the honey. I tested it using inspiration from Giada's Bruschetta with Gorgonzola and Honey. I LOVE it! I also love the feeling of knowing that I am feeding my family a little something sweet that is all natural and organic. I can't wait to use this honey in more food and drink recipes as a way to sweeten naturally. Thanks, MVTC!

Serves 5 (2 pieces each)

  • 10  1/2" slices (about 1/4 loaf or 5 oz.) Parisian bread
  • 2 ounces FAT FREE or 1/3 REDUCED FAT Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. (Optional~Spray the bread lightly with "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" before toasting).

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and Gorgonzola. Spread cheese mixture evenly on toasted pieces.

Return to the oven and bake an additional 3 minutes.

Place pieces on a serving platter and drizzle with honey.


This recipe makeover is more of a lesson in moderation. My only trick to cutting calories and fat was to mix the Gorgonzola with the fat free or light cream cheese. This is something I have found works well. You still get the strong flavors of the Gorgonzola, but the cream cheese allows for a right texture and spreads the flavor without all the fat.

This is meant to be an appetizer. Should a meal begin with 6 pieces of bread covered with cheese and honey? How about we just stick with 2 or 3! That is all you need and all this recipe calls for. Two good size Parisian bread slices topped with Gorgonzola cream cheese and drizzled with honey is just the right amount of savory and sweet to get you going. Stick to a serving size and you will be happy; at the moment and later on.

The star of this recipe is the honey from MVTC. It is amazing! You really can taste the difference between this honey and other store bought brands. The natural sweetness is perfect, plus a little goes a LONG way! Only a teaspoon of honey takes this appetizer to the next level.

The facts below show how a tiny change and an exercise in moderation can be the secret to livin' lean. I have said it before and I will say it again, "Cookin' lean does not mean giving up the foods you love!" Sometimes is simply means eating a little less.


NUTRITION FACTS (Per Serving using Fat Free Cream Cheese):

BEFORE:383.8 calories / 21.4g fat / 35.8g carbohydrate / 12.6g protein / 1.5g fiber
AFTER: 134.4 calories / 4.3g fat / 17.3g carbohydrate / 6.6g protein / .86g fiber

SAVES: 249.4 calories / 17.1g fat / 18.5g carbohydrate

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