Not sure what to do with the cream cheese sitting in your fridge? We have 10 delicious ideas.
1. Roasted capsicum dip
Using a stick blender, blend a drained jar of roasted capsicum with 125g light cream cheese and 2 tablespoons skim milk until smooth and creamy. Serve with raw vegie sticks.
2. Creamy mac n’ cheese
Cook 2 cups macaroni, adding 2 cups broccoli florets in last 3 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups skim milk with 3 tablespoons flour and ground black pepper to taste in a saucepan. Whisk in 1/4 cup light cream cheese and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add a small minced garlic clove, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 2–3 dashes Tabasco sauce (adjust to your liking). Remove from heat and stir through 1 cup 50% reduced-fat cheese. Drain pasta, add to cheese sauce and stir until cheese melts.
3. After-school snack
Spread light cream cheese into celery sticks and dot with sultanas for a quick snack.
4. Cheese blintzes
In a food processor, combine 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup light cream cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Blend until smooth. Spread onto store-bought crepes, roll up and top with berries.
5. Lemony frosting
Top carrot cake with this light frosting. Using electric beaters, beat 1 block softened light cream cheese until creamy. Add 1/2 cup icing sugar, zest from 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Beat until creamy.
6. High tea sandwiches
Spread a thin layer of light cream cheese onto slices of high-fibre white bread and top with thinly sliced cucumber and chopped dill. Slice into triangles.
7. Creamed spinach side
Sauté a diced onion in a large frying pan until softened. Add 1/2 block light cream cheese and 3/4 cup low-fat milk, stirring until cheese melts. Add 500g frozen spinach (thawed and excess water squeezed out) and stir until heated through. Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.
8. Creamy jacket potatoes
Bake 4 jacket potatoes as usual. Cool potatoes, then scoop flesh into a bowl and mash. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup softened light cream cheese. Add mash, 1 cup smooth reduced-fat ricotta, 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion and 2 small drained tins of corn kernels. Stir well, then spoon back into potato shells and bake at 190°C for 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with salad.
9. Strawberry parfaits
In a food processor, blend 4 cups chopped strawberries. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup light cream cheese, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and 1 tablespoon water. Crush several plain biscuits and place 1–2 spoonfuls crushed biscuits into the bottom of 4 parfait glasses. Top with a layer of cream cheese mixture, then a layer of strawberry purée. Repeat each layer once more, finishing with strawberry purée.
Spread tortillas or lavosh bread with light cream cheese. Top with smoked salmon, finely chopped red onion, rinsed capers and spinach or baby cos lettuce leaves. Roll tightly, slice into 4–5 pieces and secure each piece with a toothpick.