Bad Pix of Good Food

good (to me!) food I eat, and the bad pictures I take of it – just for you!

Cheese - Italy

Favoritest FAVE! Pecorino Romano Cheese

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I wasn’t feeling that tonight’s dinner was especially post-worthy, as it was just another melange of leftovers. And as much as I love using leftovers, you can only post so much about basically the same thing, right? What I had hanging around in the fridge was leftover roasted lemon-rosemary chicken breast, some whole wheat penne pasta, and roasted vegetables (mostly cauliflower and sweet peppers in this case). So I just reheated the chicken breast by slicing it and browning it a little in a skillet with 1/4 TBSP of olive oil.  Then I tossed the pasta and veggies in the skillet afterward with 1/2 cup of jarred pasta sauce for a few minutes and voila! Dinner. Hmmm…well, it looks like I did end up talking about my recycled dinner anyway. :D But only because tonight’s dinner is what inspired me to post about one of my Favoritest FAVE! things, pecorino romano cheese, as I pulled it out of the fridge to grate a little on top of my pasta. So, here is the bad pic of my dinner, with the cheese hunk pictured on the left (click image to enlarge.) Approx 479 calories.  Get the details in this nutrition info post.

pecorinoromano_09242013Now on to why I am loving me some of this cheese! First let me say that if you have not tried this kind of cheese before, it’s pretty much the same thing as parmesan cheese, but made with sheep’s milk instead of cow’s milk. Secondly, I will say that if you what you have for parmesan cheese is that “classic” green cardboard container of the stuff, do yourself a favor and go THROW IT OUT RIGHT NOW! Then go get you a hunk of real parmesan cheese.  Then…throw THAT hunk of parmesan out and go back and get a hunk of pecorino romano. KIDDING on that last bit! Both are delicious, but I’ve come to prefer pecorino over parmesan, mostly because I just use the pecorino as a little added flavor on top of other stuff. If you want a cheese to serve on a cheese tray with fruit or whatever, parmesan is probably the way to go. It’s a bit less salty and milder in flavor. Both kinds of the real stuff are typically available in the deli section of a grocery store. And either way you go, the difference between the “green” stuff and the real stuff is nothing short of amazing. Trust me.

But anyhoo, because I am counting calories, delicious hunks of cheese on a platter are not in my immediate future, so I just buy the romano. I do really like cheese, but it was never a big part of my normal diet to begin with. And now that I’m calorie-counting, I find myself largely unwilling to sacrifice the necessary calories and saturated fat grams to fit it in – much the same as with traditional peanut butter, which I discussed in this post. Besides the pecorino, I pretty much just stick to cottage cheese, which I mostly use for these PANCAKES, and a slice of Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese if I have a sandwich for lunch.

I always have some pecorino romano on hand. It is great on so many things – like pasta,vegetables, potatoes, eggs/eggwhites, polenta, soups and salads. I probably could go on, but that should paint the picture pretty well. Cooler weather is on its way [hopefully] soon here in Florida, and that is the time I FLOVE to make and eat soups and stews.  I pretty much won’t even eat most soups anymore unless I grate a little pecorino on top! The only exception I can think of is chicken soups. As for salads, I don’t use it all the time on them, just when the mood strikes me.  And that mood is usually when I am feeling kinda  “if I have to eat one more friggin’ salad, I am just gonna whip this bowl right through the nearest window!” I really enjoy salad, but sometimes I’m just eating it to fill the yawning space in mah belly where I would rather have something else that’s more caloric. So you know…eating so much salad can wear on me a little sometimes. But a little grating of pecorino romano works almost like magic to get me over that feeling, and avoid some extra calories.

Because I think that’s almost really the best part – I don’t even count the calories for it! I KNOW! I’m crazy! Wild! AHAHAHAHA!  Ahem. Anyway, it has such a good, strong flavor, that you really hardly need much at all to jazz up any number of dishes.  I’m not even sure of the calorie count for 1 TBSP (grated), but I know it’s under 50 calories.  And I don’t usually use even that much if I’m just grating some on top of a dish, so I just say…fuggedahboutit!

That’s it for now, but please feel free to post some “cheesy” comments (sorry, couldn’t help myself) or questions below.  Thanks for reading!

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Pam

 

P.S. and FYI, I have no affiliation with any companies or products mentioned in this post. :)

 

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