Guiltless Pimento Cheese Spread

pimento-cheeseThis is the week that I am gearing up for holiday parties and holiday baking – time to dust off the holiday party recipes.  I was watching Miss Trisha Yearwood on Food Network a while back and remembered why I loved living in the south – those decadent holiday appetizers! I know that Miss Trish has lost a TON of weight lately – she looks amazing – however there is no way she did it eating that mayo laden, cheddar cheese concoction that she makes. The pimento cheese spread is a southern classic – the nickname “southern pate” is cute but it is really more like cheddar crack – dip a cracker in and you simply can’t stop! If by some miracle you have leftovers, then using the spread as the “cheese” in a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch the next day along with a cup of tomato soup is heaven on a plate. I have lost a lot of weight this year too, and I am determined not to gain any back over the holidays. I think this recipe substituting plain Chobani greek yogurt for the full fat mayo is a great compromise – it tastes just as creamy and delicious but you cut the fat by half.  Try it with my new favorite cracker  – Trader Joe’s Pita Bites – also a great choice for dodging the holiday party calorie gauntlet!

Ingredients:

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded

4 ounce jar pimentos, drained and chopped

6 ounce container Chobani 0% greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

In the bowl of a food processor, process all ingredients until just combined – about 10 seconds. A large mixing bowl works fine as well. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to thoroughly blend flavors. Serve with crackers or as a filling for grilled cheese sandwiches.

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