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Since Parmesan is such a strong-flavored cheese, a little of it can go a long way. For healthier eating, sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto foods before serving. Another excellent tip for using Parmesan is to combine it with low-fat cheeses that tend to be bland in flavor when making low-calorie macaroni and cheese or other dishes. Buying freshly grated Parmesan on sale in bulk can be efficient since it tends to freeze very well and can be used right out of the freezer. Parmesan cheese added to leftovers and salads can help make them more delicious.
After tossing dressing on a salad of crisped greens with fresh vegetables such as sliced celery, chopped cucumber and grated carrot, sprinkling on a little Parmesan cheese can help bring out its flavor. Since cheese is also a protein, Parmesan can be especially ideal for using on main dishes rather than side salads. It may be combined with another protein source such as sliced hard boiled egg or sunflower seeds.
Leftover cooked rice that is heated then tossed with some Parmesan cheese can be quite tasty. Adding cooked zucchini or green beans plus perhaps some tomato sauce can create a quick meal that could be completed with a crisp green salad and a glass of milk. Another good way to use the cheese is to make stuffed potatoes by scooping out the center of each cooked potato and stirring it with Parmesan, pepper and a little garlic powder before replacing the mixture back in the skins to heat.
As Parmesan is so finely grated, using it frozen either in dishes or to top them is usually fine. Combining Parmesan cheese with other types such as cheddar and mozzarella in a freezer bag can be both quick and convenient for use in pasta recipes. Parmesan can help give low-fat versions of other cheeses much more flavor in a blend. The cheese blend may be used to make a fast macaroni and cheese. Parmesan mixed with cottage cheese and pepper can make a tasty filling for lasagna layers.
Good quality Parmesan cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano should always be used for special meals. It's ideal for a risotto or scallopini. Buying a wedge of Parmesan and grating or shredding it as needed for dishes can provide the utmost in fresh flavor. Oftentimes, Parmesan rinds may be used in soups or other dishes. The already grated versions sold in tubs in delis are preferable to Parmesans in containers in grocery aisles as they tend to be much fresher tasting in flavor.
One of my favorite ways to use parmesan cheese is to grate it and then mix it in with panko crumbs, olive oil and a little seasoning for the absolute best casserole topping. It beats the heck out of crackers, since the panko crumbs stay crispy and crunchy after they come out of the oven. It's so easy to make the topping that I just use it as a default now, rather than worrying about whether I have enough Ritz crackers on hand to make anything. I just grab my panko, parmesan and olive oil and I'm ready to put a topping on nearly anything.
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