August 4, 2014

Various types of cheeseOne of the questions we dietitians get asked most often (and with the most trepidation) is, “Do I have to eliminate cheese from my diet?” And I find that people are usually scared of our answer since they’ve often heard that cheese is unhealthy, or heard a story about a friend of a friend who lost 20 pounds by eliminating dairy. But their fear is usually alleviated when we tell them that cheese can be a part of a healthy diet, as it is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and protein. However, not all of the criticism of cheese is unwarranted: it does contain a good amount of saturated fat and calories, and can be pretty high in sodium. So the key with cheese, as with all things in nutrition, is fitting it into your diet in the right way. Here are some of our top tips for fitting cheese into your diet the healthy way!

Look out for sodium

Cheese is often chastised for its high fat and calorie content, but overlooked for its sodium, which can be surprisingly high. Look out for the high sodium in cheeses like feta, parmesan, and Gouda. Many people are surprised to hear that cottage cheese is a sodium offender, with about 450 milligrams of sodium per 1⁄2 cup serving. For lower sodium options, try ricotta or Swiss cheese.

Use a reduced fat cheese when you can

While it won’t work for everything, a reduced fat cheese can be a great substitution in recipes that call for a lot of cheese. It still melts well, and when it’s combined with the other flavors in the recipe, you likely won’t be able to tell a difference from the full fat variety. However, keep in mind that fat free cheeses don’t melt very well.

Limit your portion size

This is probably the most important tip for eating cheese healthfully. I have seen many people trying to lose weight who snack on large chunks of cheese, which is likely not doing any favors for their waist lines, as one serving of cheese is just one ounce. One ounce of cheese generally contains 110 calories and 9 grams of fat, 6 of which are saturated. (Saturated fat is the one that isn’t so good for heart health) If you have trouble slicing cheese to the right portion, try buying cheeses that are already sliced or pre-portioned and wrapped, such as string cheese, Tillamook brand Tilla-Moos, or mini Babybel cheeses. I also recommend using a food scale a few times, until you’re used to what a 1 ounce serving size looks like.

Use cheese so you can taste it!

Who doesn’t love melty, gooey cheese on a cold day? (or any day!) When eating cheese, make sure that it takes center stage for your taste buds, and isn’t just adding joyless calories. For me, this means foregoing cheese on cold sandwiches, as I don’t really taste it, but instead topping my salads with a shaving of parmesan cheese where I can really enjoy it. So be strategic about your cheese, and use it so you can really savor it.

Pick cheese with more flavor (and use less!)

When you buy cheese, pick ones that have a stronger flavor so that you can use less. For example, instead of using a lot of mild cheddar in a recipe, substitute a smaller amount of a sharp cheddar. Need a good recommendation for a flavorful cheese? Our cheese islands carry cheeses from over 10 different countries, and our fabulous cheese mongers would be happy to point you in the direction of a delicious, flavorful cheese.

Dietitians Choice

Another question we get frequently is why we don’t tag any cheeses as Dietitians Choice. It’s a difficult question to answer, because as you can see above, cheese can be part of a healthy diet. However, cheese is higher in saturated fat than we generally allow in our criteria, and can also be pretty high in sodium. So ultimately, we decided not to tag cheese as a category not because it isn’t healthy, but because it became difficult to find cheeses that would really meet our saturated fat and sodium standards. From a nutrition standpoint, cheese probably won’t ever be the best choice, since there are more nutrient-dense foods with less saturated fat and sodium, but we also think that it can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet.


Recipe: Fried Mozzarella w/ Roasted Garlic & Heirloom Tomato Sauce

June 5, 2014

Yesterday was National Cheese Day and we celebrated all things cheese with Chef Kimberly Larsen and Specialty Cheese Manager Mariah Christensen! Click HERE to see them prepare Fried Mozzarella w/ Roasted Garlic & Heirloom Tomato Sauce on Good Morning Utah.

















Fried Mozzarella w/ Roasted Garlic & Heirloom Tomato Sauce
Fried Mozzarella Ingredients
  1. 6 oz. Harmons fresh pulled mozzarella
  2. 2 panko bread crumbs, I like the whole wheat (GF breadcrumbs work great)
  3. ½ cup flour
  4. 2 eggs
  5. Fresh herbs of choice, minced
  1. 1. Slice fresh mozzarella into ½ inch thick slices.
  2. 2. Set up breading station - First bowl add flour. Second bowl add eggs and whisk slightly. Third bowl combined breadcrumbs and fresh herbs.
  3. 3. Dredge cheese through the flour, then dunk completely into eggs.
  4. 4. Next move to bread crumbs and cover completely. Make sure breading is not too thick.
  5. 5. Allow to set for about 10 minutes.
  6. 6. Heat large sauté pan to medium high heat. Add about 1" oil. Heat oil until hot and ready to fry.
  7. 7. Pan fry for 1 minute on each side or until coating is brown.
Roasted Garlic & Baby Heirloom Tomato Sauce Ingredients
  1. 1. 8 oz. baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
  2. 2. 2 oz. roasted garlic, minced or smashed
  3. 3. 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  1. 1. In small bowl combined ingredients.
  2. 2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Blog

National Grilled Cheese Month Recipes

April 11, 2014

SweetSpicyGrilledCheeseApril is National Grilled Cheese Month and we would like to share four variations of the popular sandwich.

Watch Chef Johnny and Cheese Monger Jeremiah Stratton prepare these 4 amazing grilled cheese sandwhiches on KUTV’s Fresh Living by clicking HERE!

On Saturday, we’re celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month at Harmons City Creek with a grilled cheese special in our delicatessen. Stop by and grab a delicious sandwich for lunch!

4 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches To Die For!
Inside Out, Sweet and Spicy, Tom and Mozz, & Barbara McAdams’ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Inside Out Grilled Cheese
  1. 2 slices of bread cheese
  2. 2 slices of roasted garlic bread (crust removed)
  3. 1 Tbs. butter
  1. In small sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter until bubbly. Place 1 slice of bread cheese in the pan then the slices of garlic bread on top of the cheese. Place the 2nd slice of bread cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the cheese to toast to a dark caramel color. Flip with a spatula, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow the sandwich to rest for about 2 minutes before serving.
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese
  1. 4 slices Jarlsberg cheese
  2. 4 slices Gloucester cheese
  3. 2 Tbs. jalapeno jelly
  4. 2 slices sourdough bread
  5. 1 Tbs. butter
  1. In small sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter until bubbly. Place 1 slice of bread and all of the cheese slices on the bread. Spread the jelly on the remaining slice of bread. Place the bread in the pan allow the sandwich to toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow the sandwich to rest for about 2 minutes before serving.
Tom and Mozz Grilled Cheese
  1. 8 slices fresh Mozzarella
  2. 4 slices roasted garlic bread
  3. 2 Tbs. butter
  4. ½ C. cherry tomatoes (halved)
  5. ½ C. sweet onion (sliced)
  6. ¼ C. basil (chopped)
  7. ½ C. dry chardonnay
  8. 2 Tbs. olive oil
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil, tomatoes and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the chardonnay and basil; cook until the chardonnay is evaporated. Turn the heat to low and allow the sauce to reduce until thick.
  2. In small sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter until bubbly. Place 1 slice of bread and all of the cheese slices on the bread. Spread half of the tomato chutney on a slice of the garlic bread, repeat for the other slice. Place the bread in the pan allow the sandwich to toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow the sandwich to rest for about 2 minutes before serving.
Barbara McAdams’ Grilled Cheese
  1. 4 slices of American cheese
  2. 2 slice of cream cheese
  3. 4 slice of wheat bread
  4. 2 Tbs. grape jelly (me) or strawberry jam (my mom)
  5. 2 Tbs. butter
  1. Start by placing the cream cheese between the slices of the American cheese, 1 slice cheese then cream cheese 1 slice cheese. In small sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter until bubbly. Place 1 slice of bread and the stuffed cheese slice on the bread. Place the bread in the pan allow the sandwich to toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow the sandwich to rest for about 2 minutes before serving. Spread the jam or jelly on the top of the grilled cheese and enjoy. Blog

Cheese will be a star at the Spanish Roof Party

May 31, 2013
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Hi Everyone,

Come one, come all to our Spanish Roof Party. We are going to have a PARTY at City Creek on June 8th from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Food, dancing, fun, and most important cheese!!!!

I will be there sampling out some of the best Spain has to offer. Spain is famous for their sheep and goat cheeses. Because of the geography, it is the perfect place to raise sheep and goats. One of Spain’s most famous cheeses is Manchego. This dry, yet creamy, cheese is favorite around the world. The high butterfat of the milk lends a richness to the cheese and the flora and fauna the the sheep graze on comes thru with a tang of thyme and nuttiness. We will also have some of the famous goat’s milk cheeses. One of my new favorites is Montelvea. Just the right amount of earthy tones and milkiness give this cheese a smooth flavor that will go with the beverage selections.

There will be many things going on that night and I can’t wait. I hope to see all of you cheese lovers there to taste and explore Spain. I will be buying my family tickets as a thank you for all the times I made them try the samples of cheese that I get in (not a hardship). A special thank you goes out to my sister and brother-in-law for all of the phone calls on, “how do you pronoun this?” and, “this means ceiling not roof?”

See you at the cheese table . . .

A Night of Navigating the Cheese Island

March 30, 2013

IMG_0706Hi Everyone,

The other night I had a rare privilege. I taught a private class on Navigating your way thru the Cheese Island. Peggy and her cohorts allowed me to blather on for three hours about my favorite subject . . . cheese!

We started by walking the cheese island and looking at all different varieties that we carry here at Harmons. From beautiful blues to the hard Gran type cheeses of Italy.

I talked about the many different ages of Gouda cheese and how to spot a Washed Rind Cheese. (Think orange or reddish rinds). Then we went upstairs to sample. Eating cheese is always fun but Ken, our Cooking School Coordinator, put together cheese plates of contrast. We tried American Brie cheese against French Brie cheese. Bet you can’t guess which one won? Both are cheeses that you can find in a grocery store, either in France or America. For me the French Brie had better flavor and depth. Everyone was in agreement on that. The next one that we tried is the difference in a nice piece of Parmigiano Reggiano and a can of shaker Parmesan. No contest . . . Parmigiano Reggiano comes from northern Italy and is arguably the best cheese in the world. The wheel we tried was from October of 2010. Nice fruity notes with a nutty base. We also tried grating it to highlight how the taste is freshly done with a microplane.

I had so much fun with Peggy and her friends and they were very patient with me because when I start talking about cheese it is really hard to shut me up!

Keep a look out for public classes being offered in the future. If you are interested in a private class in increase your cheese knowledge, contact the Cooking School coordinator at Bangerter Crossing, City Creek, or Station Park.

Spring, Shamrocks, and Irish Cheese!

March 8, 2013
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Hi Everyone,
Well Spring is in the air and green is on your mind. Shamrocks that is. It is the time of year when everyone is from “The Old Country” and trying to have an Irish accent. It is also the time when people have parties (my favorite) and drink green beer (I’m not sure why). I do know that we can take care of all of your Irish cheese needs. Most Irish cheese you will come across will be an Irish cheddar. Kerrygold, an Irish cheese company, is famous for their Dubliner cheese. A nutty sharp cheddar with just a hint of sweet. All that clover you know . . . This year we have a new Irish cheese that we have not carried before and that is our Oscar Wilde. Yes, it was named after the rascal and poet, Irishman Oscar Wilde. This cheese is aged two years so it will have a sharp flavor with a underlying sweetness. One of my favorites is the Whiskey Cheddar.

M2When you are in our stores don’t forget to stop by our cheese islands. Each and every store has its own style. This week I have been privileged to spend time with the guys at The District, Nate and Kevin. These two are so much fun and totally nuts. Come on in and say “Hi!” Oh and don’t forget to check out their mascot . . . Like I said, Totally Nuts.

Complete your “Passport to Cheese” and meet a Cheeseworld Rockstar

January 16, 2013
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Hi Everyone,

It is a special time here in our cheese world. Allison Hooper will be visiting our little abode. Most of you cheese folks know who she is, but for the ones who don’t, she is the face and cheesemaker for Vermont Creamery. They make some of the finest goat cheese around. Allison started in France studying under the best cheese makers and brought back all that knowledge to Vermont to start her own creamery. Allison has won many awards, almost too many to count. Her cheese is a perennial favorite at the American Cheese Society as well as the World Cheese Competitions. She makes fresh chevre and some more aged cheese. Her Bonne Bouche is one of my favorites. It is an ash ripened cheese with just a little seasalt on the rind. Fabulous!!!!!!

Allison will be showcasing her cheese in two cooking classes. The first one at our City Creek Cooking School on the 23rd of January and the next at our Bangerter Crossing Cooking School on the 26th. Seats are going fast so sign up today. (click on the school and date to register)

Allison is also kicking off our Passport to Cheese this month. Harmons is partnering up with UEN to bring you Cheese Slices and Cheese Science. This is a wonderful program seen Monday nights on UEN, channel 9 at 8pm. It is part travel show, part cheese making, and part history show. Will Stud is a master cheese maker and he travels around the world to meet fellow cheese makers and show us how it is done. He really brings the cheese and the region to life. After Cheese Science, stay tuned for Cheese Cubed which features our local scientist answering your questions about cheese.

Now this is the best part – your participation. Watch the show on Monday and then come into any Harmons and taste one of the cheeses that was featured and get your passport stamped. There will be 10 programs to watch and 10 cheeses to taste. After your passport is full you receive a special prize. This is a fun way to learn about where your food comes from as well as the science of it all.

The first program starts with Allison’s show and I hope that you watch. It is just a taste of the passion that people have for tradition, the land, and cheese.

One More Party for the Year

December 29, 2012
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Well the year is ending and the holiday season is coming to a close. One more party to go and what a party it should be. You could have the theme ” I am jumping off the fiscal cliff” or “The Mayan Calendar Start Over” or the old stand by “New Year’s Eve”. What ever you decide, of course you should have cheese. How about a nice fondue? Or Raclette? Both of those cheeses are such social cheeses. Fondue is a melted cheese dish with Swiss origins. The traditional cheeses to use are Gruyere and Emmental, but just about any cheese can be used. We have fondue mixes ready to go, made from scratch, all you do is add the wine. Though Raclette is a cheese with Swiss origins, it can be found in a very nice French version. Raclette is the name of the dish as well. It means to scrape. You melt the cheese and then “scrape” it onto boiled potatoes, vegetables or cornichons. The best part about serving these cheese is the social aspect. Everyone is standing around the fondue pot or the raclette grill and what do you know? People are talking to each other and hopefully there will be a laugh or two in there. That is the one thing you can always count on. You just can’t be silent around good cheese.

This year I will be hosting the party. My theme will be “I have made it thru another year” party. I will be serving good wine, great conversation and the best cheese. I wish everyone a great New Year and many good cheeses to come.

Gifts of Cheese and Special Salumi

December 16, 2012
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Happy Holidays,
Just a week left before Christmas and if any of you are like me, you are looking at the calendar and realizing that you still have to shop for one or twenty people. It just seems to go by quicker every year. Of course there are those people who take two days after Thanksgiving and have all of their decorations, shopping and New Year’s resolutions done. Yeah, I’m talking about you!!!

As you know, every year I give cheese as my neighbor gifts. This year it will be a small cutting board, a couple of cheeses and maybe a salami from Creminelli. They have put out some special ones for the holidays. White Truffle, Musica and Whiskey, made with local high West Whiskey. These are all in limited quantity’s so get while you can.

I wish everyone a Happy Holiday, and most of all, for it to be filled with cheese!

Meet Your Local Master Salumi Maker

December 5, 2012

The Creminelli family boasts a long history of creating fine artisan meats in Italy and a slice of that lineage is providing fine meats to the US from right here in Salt Lake City. Cristiano Creminelli is Utah’s own local artisan salumi maker. You can find a variety of Creminelli’s fine meat selections at all Harmons delicatessens and on select dates this month you can meet him and try his meats.

Tuesday, December 4th
11am – 1pm City Creek
2pm – 4pm Emigration Market

Wednesday, December 5th
11am – 1pm The District
2pm – 4pm 7th Street

Wednesday, December 19th
110am – 1pm Bangerter Crossing
2pm – 4pm Draper

Thursday, December 20th
11am – 1pm Orem
2pm – 4pm Brickyard

Italy to Utah ties – Some may recall a few blog posts from Bob Harmon during a trip to Italy a couple years ago. While on a visit to Italy and Salone del Gusto with nine other Harmons associates, the group had the opportunity to meet Cristiano’s family. They were able to experience the salumi making process passed down through generations and bring back hugs from Mama Creminelli.