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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Stuffed apples can make appealing side dish, dessert

March 31, 2004

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Stuffed with good taste but low in fat, here are two updated versions of the classic favorite baked apple -- to prepare as either savory or sweet.

The savory version makes a good light lunch or supper, perhaps with a green salad. It also could be served as a side dish for an Easter ham or grilled steaks.

The recipe for Baked Apples -- Sweet Style can stand alone as a light lunch or supper and can double as a dessert.

Baked Apples -- Savory Style

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1 teaspoon butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped ham

1/4 cup diced celery

4 large Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons minced dried cranberries

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/2 cup shredded low-fat Jarlsberg cheese

2/3 cup to 3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, ham and celery until onion and celery are browned. While mixture is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel apples, starting at the top, 1/4 of the way down sides. Core apples carefully, using an apple corer or small knife, to create a wide top opening (1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter) while keeping bottom intact.

Remove onion mixture from heat and place in small bowl. Add cranberries, sage, thyme and cheese, tossing mixture to combine well. Add chicken broth until mixture is moistened. Fill apples with mixture, dividing evenly, and set in 8-inch-square deep baking pan. Pour water into pan, about 1/4-inch deep. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, based on use of Jarlsberg low-fat cheese: 201 calories, 18 milligrams cholesterol, 5.2 grams fat, 32 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein.

Baked Apples -- Sweet Style

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4 large Granny Smith apples

1/2 cup shredded low-fat Jarlsberg cheese

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Low-fat frozen yogurt or fat-free sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel apples, starting at the top, 1/4 of the way down sides. Core apples carefully, using an apple corer or small knife, to create a wide top opening (1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter) while keeping bottom intact.

Toss together cheese, sugar, apricots and cinnamon. Gently pack mixture into apples, dividing evenly among apples; place 1/2 teaspoon butter on top of cheese mixture in each apple.

Place apples in an 8-inch-square baking pan. Pour water into pan about 1/4 inch deep. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 45 minutes.

If desired, serve with low-fat frozen yogurt or fat-free sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 279 calories, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 4.3 grams fat, 59 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein.

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