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My journey to a healthier lifestyle has taken several twists and turns over the last year. The first changes came with diet. First to go were soft drinks. Next I tackled processed foods. My philosophy now is to prepare meals with fresh, whole foods with lots of veggies. Along the way, I lost a stubborn 8 pounds and re-discovered the enjoyment of creativity with food.

When I talk to friends and colleagues, I hear the same lament. “I want to eat more healthy foods, I just don’t have time to cook.” It seems that we are all looking for fast, easy, and delicious recipes. With that in mind, I’ve decided to post a fast and delicious recipe every Saturday.

Today’s simple supper is Cheddar Melt with Smoked Salmon. I’ve served this for lunch, dinner, and brunch. It’s one of my favorite breakfasts too. Since it is made with full fat dairy, this recipe is not appropriate for anyone on a low-fat diet, but low or no-fat dairy can be substituted – it just won’t be as delicious. I usually serve this cheese fondue in individual ramekins, but it is fun in a fondue pot for a party. By adding lots of fresh veggies for dipping, the dish is actually quite healthy and oh so yummy.

Cheddar Melt with Smoked Salmon

1 (3 oz. package) cream cheese, room temperature

1-1/4 cup sour cream

10 oz. extra sharp white cheddar, shredded

½ tsp. snipped chives

1 tsp. Whole grain or deli mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

4 oz. smoked salmon

 Dipping Foods

Whole grain toast points

Steamed green beans

Steamed cauliflower

Steamed broccoli

Steamed asparagus

Small roasted potatoes

Blend the cream cheese and sour cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When melted together, stir in the shredded cheddar one handful at a time and stir until melted and smooth. Don’t let it boil or simmer or it will curdle and separate. Stir in the chives, mustard, and Worcestershire. Mix in the smoked salmon. Serve warm in individual ramekins or a warmed, ceramic fondue pot with dipping foods.

Cooks Notes:

Extra sharp white cheddar gives the best flavor, texture, and color. Other types of cheddar are perfectly acceptable. I prefer the smoked salmon filets rather than the thinly sliced lox style, but both types work well. If using the filet, just shred it into the fondue. If using the thin-sliced, chop it with a knife before adding.

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