Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cheese that goes crunch! Really!

Over the years I've had a lot of success losing weight with a low-carb lifestyle. I've done it on my own, I've done it at a weight-loss clinic, I've done it on this last fad diet I was on (which I'll be starting up again on Monday). I always gain weight back, but I never go through a maintenance phase - I just head right back into "normal" eating. I hope this time will be different, and I'm going to work toward that, but I still have a long way to go before I get to that point. Mostly I just want to get back to a more normal weight and am working toward that goal.

What I miss most about eating low-carb is the lack of crunch. I can live without potato chips. I can live without popcorn (but not without complaining). I can live without corn chips, although I crave them and it is a struggle. In the past, whenever the urge for crunch becomes too much to bear, I always fall back on pork rinds. I know that grosses out a lot of people, but I like them and it satisfies my need to hear my food as I'm eating it.

So this week I was craving crunch. Muchly craving crunch. I've looked in three stores for pork rinds, but can't find them anywhere. Maybe they're more a southern thing? Although I've lived in Maryland most of my life, and I remember my father eating them when I was a child. But right now? Not a rind to be found. So what's a crunch-crazed girl to do?

Enter crunchy cheese.

Crunchy cheese - food you can hear!
These puffy, crunchy morsels started out as a lowly piece of yellow American cheese. The kind you can buy in large presliced bricks at any discount box store. Not the sort wrapped in plastic - they taste like plastic and I don't know if they'd work here.  The sort of cheese always on sale at a local grocery store.

 I simply cut each slice into 9 little squares. I arranged them in a circle on a small piece of parchment paper, leaving a little room in case they decided to spread. Then microwaved them for about 38 seconds. They puff a little, spread a little, and dry out a lot, toasting a bit from the center out. After they cool (which takes about 20 seconds), peel them off the parchment and put them on a towel lined plate for further cooling. And taste testing.

And whenever I crave crunch? I eat a handful of these. I'm staying low carb, and even if I eat 18 of them (which is a lot for one sitting - usually 9-10 do the trick for me), I've only eaten the equivalent of two pieces of cheese, and maybe 2-3 carb.

I love them.