USDA’s MyPlate™ Food Guidelines Focus on Less Is More In Your Diet 

CABOT, Vt. (June 30, 2011) — Fire up the grill, break out the sparklers and get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July in a big way by going small!  Seriously?  You bet!  You can celebrate America’s 235th birthday with a great big barbeque or picnic bash, and do it in a healthy, but still delicious, way, following the USDA’s MyPlate dietary food guidelines.

“With the introduction of the USDA’s new MyPlate dietary guidelines, never has the concept of ‘less is more’ been more timely,” says Regan Jones, a Registered Dietitian with Cabot Creamery Cooperative.  MyPlate, which replaces the USDA’s decades old Food Pyramid that millions of Americans grew up with, stresses balancing calories, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, reducing sugar and salt intake and switching to fat-free or low-fat milk.  It clearly illustrates for Americans that you can enjoy favorite backyard grilling fare – burgers, grilled chicken, barbecued pork and such – without allowing those foods to take up your entire plate.

MyPlate shows us that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (half the plate) and then portioning the remaining half between grains and protein foods, with dairy incorporated either by shredding, spooning or sipping, is the best way to start building a healthy diet,” Jones says.

Jones says your Fourth of July holiday celebration doesn’t have to be a fizzle.  In fact, if you follow these guidelines and use a bit of old-fashioned American culinary ingenuity, your holiday barbecue can be a thunderous success.

“You can use Cabot’s delicious line of 50% and 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar to really boost the flavor of a smaller-sized burger and still meet the MyPlate guidelines,” Jones says.  “In fact, our 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar cheeses are the only cheddars on the market made from the recommended 1% milk as detailed in the MyPlate guidelines.  And best of all, they taste great – something all chefs, backyard or professional, agree is important.”

In keeping with the “less is more” theme for the 4th, the farm family owners of Cabot Creamery recommend their delicious Mini Cabot Cheddar-Bacon Burgers featuring Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar or Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar.

“And you can complement your Mini Cabot Cheddar-Bacon Burgers with Cabot’s delicious Gingered Apple-Cheddar Slaw,” Jones says.  It’s a tasty way to incorporate both fruit and dairy into your meal, and it’s easy on your waistline, too,” Jones said.

“While the MyPlate guidelines are new,” Jones says, “Cabot makes it easy for everyone to follow the USDA’s recommendations through the use of its handy 5-Day Menu Planner – an easy to use guide that helps you include more nutrient-rich foods in your diet every day.  By focusing on all of the food groups in the MyPlate guidelines, including dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, Cabot’s team of Registered Dietitians has developed a healthy 5-day meal plan to help everyone get more nutrients per bite.”

Now there’s a reason to celebrate!

Mini Cabot Cheddar-Bacon Burgers
Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres

1 pound ground beef (round or chuck)
4 ounces 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar or Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
12 slices packaged "already-cooked" bacon, cut in half
6 hot dog rolls
Arugula or watercress leaves (optional)
Chipotle Aioli (see recipe)

1. Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F.

2. In large bowl, combine beef and cheddar; scatter salt and pepper over top. Gently work mixture together until well combined.

3. Divide mixture into quarters and shape each quarter into six (1 1/4-inch) balls, for a total of 24 balls.

4. Wrap each ball in a half slice bacon, pressing into patty shape. Arrange patties on large baking sheet.

5. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until cooked through to center. Loosen from baking sheet with spatula.

6. Cut each roll crosswise into 4 sections to make mini-buns. Place some arugula or watercress in each, topped with mini-burger and small dollop of Chipotle Aioli.

Chipotle Aioli
Makes 2/3 cup

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or chipotle hot sauce

1. In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Analysis (calculated using Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar)
Calories 110, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 2g, Sodium 180mg, Carbohydrates 6g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Protein 7g, Calcium 40mg

Gingered Apple-Cheddar Slaw
Makes 4 Servings

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 Fuji apple
2 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1. In medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and ginger.

2. Cut apple into quarters and cut away cores. Cut quarters into thin slices, then stack several slices and cut into matchsticks.

3. Add apple, cheese and cilantro to bowl and toss gently to combine.

Nutrition Analysis
Calories 90, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 2g, Sodium 136mg, Carbohydrates 9g, Dietary Fiber 1.5g, Protein 4.5g, Calcium 105mg

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Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and we make a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter. Best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by 1275 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit