Last week I visited Sam’s Club headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas where I was dually impressed by Sam’s quality demands on their food partners and the extensive product taste testing they do. Along with their sustainability efforts – from their stores to their headquarters – I have a new appreciation for the company.
While I was there, I had the opportunity to try out their new food offerings for the holidays - and for every day. As a newly hired Sam’s Club Ambassador, I’ll be sharing with you delicious and healthy food ideas and product news from their clubs in the next weeks and months.
Sam’s Club International Cheeses
Their latest offering is an amazing selection of 24 internationally acclaimed cheeses, like three of Mario Batali’s that are sold exclusively through Sam’s Club - Mountain Gorgonzola from Italy’s Lombardy region, an organic Parmigiano Regiiano, and an Iberico that is made from cow, goat and sheep’s milk. (The Iberico is to die for though the Gorgonzola is amazing, too.)
Sam’s Club is also selling cheeses like Maytag Blue, Fromage D’Affinois (an delectable double cream cheese similar to Brie), Kerrygold butter (a favorite of many bakers) and DaVinci Gouda.
These amazing cheeses are being rolled out over the next few months at select clubs all over the US. You can learn more about the cheeses (including wine pairings and recipes) on the Sam’s Club “Tour de Fromage” Facebook app. The more you take the cheese tour, the more you have a chance to win a trip to Paris! Other prizes include gourmet cheese baskets and the cookbook, Italy: The Country and its Cuisine.
Also, check out Sam’s Club Fall Harvest site, which includes articles like Pairing the perfect wine and cheese, Tips for storing and serving cheese, Oktoberfest beer and cheese pairings, and oodles of recipes.
Use cheese as a condiment, not a main course
Now I know that cheese may be your Achilles Heel, and something you avoid when you’re trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. (Me, too!) However, there is a healthy way to indulge in cheese. Instead of eating it by the piece, use it to flavor your cooking!
A perfect cheese to do this with is Kolios Barrel Aged Greek Feta. Feta is a full flavored cheese that will add a special zing to any dish. I love using it in Watermelon and Feta Salad or on a Spinach, Tomato and Feta Pizza.
My friend, Holly Clegg, author of the cookbook, Too Hot in the Kitchen, suggests serving her Feta Crumble Dip on crackers, in sandwiches or on chicken or fish. I like serving it on precooked whole wheat pizza crusts as a healthy party appetizer. Just spread a thin layer of no fat Greek yogurt, add the dip, slice the pizza into bite sized pieces and serve!
Feta Crumble Dip
From Holly Clegg’s cookbook, Too Hot in the Kitchen
Makes eight 1/4 cup servings
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes (reconstituted)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces of Kolios Barrel Aged Greek Feta, crumbled
- In bowl, combine all ingredients - except feta - mixing well.
- Toss with feta, refrigerate up to one hour, serve.
- Calories 80
- Calories from fat 73%
- Fat 7g
- Saturated Fat 2g
- Cholesterol 5mg
- Sodium 193mg
- Carbohydrate 3g
- Dietary Fiber 0g
- Sugars 1g
- Protein 3g
Dietary exchanges: 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat
For more recipes, visit www.hollyclegg.com
Weight Watchers POINTS = 2 for 1/4 cup
This Mama’s Tips
- To reconstitute sundried tomatoes, pour hot water over them and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain.
- If you can only find sundried tomatoes in oil, rinse them in hot water and blot with a paper towel to remove as much of the oil as you can.
Disclosure: as a Sam’s Club Food Ambassador I receive compensation for my time and efforts and samples of Sam’s Club products.