Skinny Cheesecake and New Weight Watchers Fresh Meals

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I decided to keep it skinny, since I also happen to be reviewing a few new Weight Watchers Fresh Meals in this post.  When I saw this Skinny Cheesecake with Sour Cream at Cook Book of Trial and Error, the blog I was assigned for March, I knew I had to try it.  Look at how creamy and decadent it looks!  Would you believe it has almost 5 times less calories than a full fat cheesecake?

Trust me, you’d never know it.  It’s lighter in texture, more like a mix between a ricotta cheesecake and full-fat cheesecake, but the flavor is closer to fatty the cheesecake than a skinny cheesecake. I was pleasantly surprised and totally impressed.

However, there are two options here.  You can substitute Greek yogurt, strained overnight in cheesecloth, for the farmer’s or cottage cheese, for a more New York like skinny cheesecake.  The directions for that method are in the notes of the recipe below. Both methods are terrific!

Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!
That said, I was a bit devious when it came to a few questions I had about her skinny cheesecake, and since it’s supposed to be a ‘secret’ when you have someone’s blog, I left an innocuous comment asking those questions.  When she quickly responded with the answers (less butter and crumbs in lieu of powder), she asked me to let her know how it turns out.  I told her I would definitely let her know.  Now, I’m letting her know; it turned out amazing and everyone who tried it cannot believe it’s a skinny cheesecake! 2950 calories for the whole cake..245 calories per slice!

Then again, I didn’t post as Guest or Anonymous, so I’m sure she put two and two together and figured it outAlso, I tried to emulate the cinnamon zigzag in her skinny cheesecake photo, freehand, but it didn’t quite work out, so excuse the strip that looks like dirt. 

By the way, the sour cream on top is minuscule on each slice of this skinny cheesecake, but you can omit it if you’d like to make it an even skinnier skinny cheesecake!

That said, please be sure to visit her blog since she’s got some really fantastic recipes!

On another skinny note..

Remember last September when I reviewed Weight Watchers Fresh Meals and Deli Salads?  Well, Catherine Bowen Brophy of Greencore/Weight Watchers sent me 5 new fresh meals to try and tell you about.  Like I mentioned in the previous review, I like Weight Watchers because it’s a sensible way to diet and the food is delicious and filling.  The meals I received, in order from favorite to least favorite, are;

Photos above courtesy Weight Watchers

Beef Steak Tips with Potatoes and Vegetables – This was my favorite of the 5.  I wanted to lick the carton clean when I was finished.  20 minutes later I realized I was full and satisfied.  This is what I love about Weight Watchers.

Southwestern Style Turkey Chili – I loved the heartiness and flavor of this chili, but it needed a bit more spice.  But, again, it filled me up, so that’s a gold star.

Teryaki Chicken – The sauce was really good, and it tasted pretty close to what you might get at a good Japanese restaurant.  However, it needed salt and teryaki should never, ever need salt.

Chicken Curry – Again, like with the chili, I felt it needed more kick, but I love really hot and spicy food, so maybe it’s just me.  Nice flavor and the sauce was silky.

Wild Alaskan Salmon – This was the least of my favorites.  The salmon was bland, dry and the texture not pleasing at all, but what do you expect from pre-frozen packaged fish? That’s a tough one to pull off. I wanted to dredge each side in Cajun seasoning and give it a quick sear, THEN, smother it with some kind of sauce, but that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? They need to rework this one.

You can always add extra spice to kick up the heat, so I’m giving these 5 new Fresh Meals a 7.5 out of 10, the main caveat being the salmon.  You won’t get 5-star caliber food here, but you will get tasty food that fills you up, without deprivation . My favorite diet plan out there, by far.

Now to the skinny cheesecake photo gallery.  I used to have a story in this post, and now I don’t, but I didn’t feel like filling the spaces with useless text like I’ve done in other posts that used to have this story.  Plus, photos speak louder than words in most cases.

Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!

Before I get to this skinny cheesecake recipe, I’d like to thank my friend, Mandy, from What the Fruitcake?!, for converting the measurements in this recipe from metrics to US for me.  Also, to see all the delicious dishes my fellow SRC’ers made from their assigned blogs, click on the blue frog below.

Skinny Cheesecake

Skinny Cheesecake with Two Options
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
 
Recipe from Cooking with Trial and Error, via her friend's Mom, with my revisions for an 8-inch springform pan
You can make this cheesecake using farmer's or cottage cheese for a ricotta like cheesecake, or yogurt cheese for a creamy NY like cheesecake.
ingredients:
Crust
  • 4.6 ounces animal or graham cracker crumbs (I forgot to measure after I weighed, but I will do that later with remaining crumbs)
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons melted butter (it could get too greasy with 5, so start with 3, which worked for me)
Cheesecake Filling
  • 1¾ cups Farmers or Cottage cheese or 2 cups Yogurt Cheese (recipe linked in notes) *
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Buttermilk or Yogurt *
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
Topping
  • 1⅓ cups sour cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
directions:
  1. Place the animal or graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a clean bowl and drizzle in the melted butter, stirring, until it holds together somewhat. As mentioned above, you shouldn't need all 5 tablespoons, the cheesecake filling will bind it together when baking.
  2. Press the crumbs into a greased 9-inch cake or springform pan – just the bottom. Use the bottom of a glass to really pack it in. Place in the freezer while you make the filling. You can also use a 5”x7” square Pyrex pan, if you want to make cheese cake squares. I used an 8-inch springform pan, which doubled the baking time (see notes)**. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the cheese filling until uniform and silky. Remove the graham cracker crust from the freezer, and pour the filling on top of it.
  4. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degreees F and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Combine the sour cream with the sugar. After the cheesecake has baked for 15 minutes at 350F, remove it from the oven and spread the sour cream on top evenly - be gentle, as it will be slightly jiggly in the middle. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. I topped my mini cheesecakes (I cut them out of the leftover large cheesecake with a round biscuit cutter) with a melange of cut up fruits and honey.
notes:
* The Farmer's Cheese plus buttermilk amounts can be substituted with all Quark or Greek Yogurt - 500 grams total in which you need to make yogurt cheese first. If you choose the cheesecake with the strained quark or yogurt cheese, it will be closer in texture to full fat NY style cheesecake. Strain about 600 to 700 grams low-fat or regular Greek Yogurt in a fine meshed strainer lined with cheesecloth, over a bowl and covered, overnight. You should end up with 500 grams yogurt cheese, which is about 2 cups. Omit buttermilk or regular yogurt in filling if using yogurt cheese.
** I used a 7½ to 8-inch round springform pan. The baking time was 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, then 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees F, and another 10 minutes with the sour cream topping.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice - 245 calories
 

Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious - you'd never know it was only 245 calories a slice!

I was not compensated monetarily for my Weight Watchers Fresh Meals review, only sent the meals free of charge.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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73 Responses to Skinny Cheesecake and New Weight Watchers Fresh Meals

  1. Sarah says:

    looks beautiful!

  2. After making a full-fat cheesecake, I definitely need to try out this one! I love the fruit on top, it makes it look like a dessert you’d be served at a restaurant. 🙂

  3. sara says:

    Gorgeous cheesecake! Looks really delicious – and love all that fresh fruit on top! 🙂 Great SRC choice!

  4. Wow, what an awesome cheesecake and I love that it’s a skinny vs. fatty! Great pictures!

  5. 5 times less calories cheesecake? and it looks so good, a winner. great SRC. Hate platinum girl with big ta-tas. More suspense!

  6. Your cheesecake looks gorgeous – you’d never even think it was low fat, it looks so creamy. And I love your devious way of getting some answers out of your secret blog partner 🙂

  7. Jaida says:

    How adorable and delicious is this cheesecake?!?! I am a cheesecake lover and especially in miniature, adorable forms! Great pick!

  8. Skinny cheesecake sounds like a must try recipe. It looks irresistible.

  9. Hi Lisa, I am so glad you liked the cake. Your photos look so gorgeous, I cannot believe this is my recipe :-). And I did not put 2 plus 2 together and deduced that you are making my recipe, so it is a surprise! Wonderful post, I know feel that I have to make this cake again.

  10. Shelby says:

    You sneaky little thing you. ;o) Looks fabulous!

  11. Renata says:

    Gorgeous cheesecake, Lisa! Devouring the story though….. can’t wait for next chapter LOL

  12. Amanda says:

    That’s so awesome that you left the comment, I was going to ask a question on my assignment too. But I chickened out LOL This is gorgeous and i can’t believe it’s so much lower than a regular cheesecake!

  13. Sue says:

    Your cheesecake looks so smooth and creamy! I’d never guess that it was a skinny version! Yum!
    You really know how to keep us hanging on:) Now, how many installments are there? An even 10? 🙂

  14. Dan says:

    Great looking cheesecake and with less guilt – your photos are fantastic. Your story is wonderful and your ability to tell it is definately professional quality. Love how you express your thoughts and feelings while weaving in your sense of humor to tell it . Its obvious you have been blessed with several talents cooking, photography and story telling – keep it coming. By the way very tricky how you left us hanging….. again. : )

  15. Skinny Cheesecake. Who’d have thought?!?

  16. chef_d says:

    Yummy cheesecake…waiting for part 8 of the bad-boy-first-love series!

  17. Oh this looks sooooo beautiful! AND I love that you used animal crackers for the crust, what a great idea:-) Hugs, Terra

  18. Tandy says:

    I love the fact that it tastes good and is a healthier option 🙂

  19. I love cheesecake and I like yours even more because it’s so much healthier.

  20. Jamie says:

    Grrrr you’ve gone and done it again, you tease! Finish the damn story so we can all finally find out what happened! And the cheesecake is beautiful – and I love that it is skinny since I love baking with my 0% fat quark (fromage frais). Not a cheesecake fan but this one looks pretty darn delish!

  21. Carolyn says:

    Love the lighter cheesecake.

    Man, this bad boy love…I’m on tenterhooks here. Tell us MORE!!!

  22. samology says:

    Wow Lis! I’m really loving this cheesecake here! Beautiful glaze you have and love the way you topped it with fruits! It’s hard to believe that it’s a skinny cheesecake when it looks so darn good!! Yummmmmm!!!

  23. I’m going to come back to read the Bad Boy story, but I wanted to stop and say that is one *gorgeous* cheesecake. Excellent SRC pick.

  24. That cheesecake sounds yum! I love the presentation… and the story is getting even better… very soap opera! Do we have a love triangle now, or is the platinum blonde just trying her luck with Dreamboat who couldn’t care less about her? I will stay tuned to find out… oh the suspense!

  25. YAY for another Bad Boy instalment! I waited until I had a clear break and a cup of tea and a cookie to read this. Can’t wait for chapter 8! 😀

  26. susie says:

    well, I am back on WW so I really appreciate so much about this post! But the bad boy story has me sucked in! Takes me back…..there’s a book in there you know!

  27. Lisa, you are officially the queen of cliffhangers!!! Gaah! Good thing you make such scrumptious desserts to tide us all over until the next installment. 😉

  28. Lora says:

    what a storyteller you are! Hanging on for part 8. Oh and the cheesecake looks all kinds of delicious.

  29. Fantastic photos of this lighter and still decadent cheesecake. Everyone here is a cheesecake fan and I do prefer something less fatty…wow! Can’t wait to make this one. OH NO!! Part 8:)Love the breath spray…I remember those days. Do they still make them? Part 7 was fun but bring on part 8!xo

  30. Looks amazingly delicious! Beautiful presentations!

  31. Simone says:

    O come on!! The suspense is killing me Lisa! When it part 8 coming… I was sitting on the tip of my chair and then I have to wait again… Get going already..;)
    Now that cheesecake looks amazing. I’m on a diet (weight watchers as a matter of fact) as we speak so I’m constantly looking at ways to make something good a little leaner and this looks gorgeous!

  32. Lisa~~ says:

    Lisa, you did another knock out job on this recipe, your photos look delicious.

    Life here has been crazy and come night time I’m just knackered and too lazy to pick up the phone. Give a call one of these nights, I’d love to chat.

  33. Juliana says:

    Lisa, great looking cheesecake, even better since has less calories…like how you decorated with lots of fresh fruits…so colorful 🙂
    Hope you are having a fabulous week!

  34. Winnie says:

    Your cake looks stunning, I can hardly believe it’s a skinny cheesecake as it looks very rich
    Wonderful recipe – you outdid yourself
    And the photos are sooooooooo beautiful

  35. Katrina says:

    You always do such wonderful justice to all your posts and especially your desserts look so divine! I love making cheesecake “skinny” because I really can’t tell the difference.

  36. Bunkycooks says:

    I am very interested in trying this recipe for cheesecake. If you say it rivals the real thing, I am all for giving it a go! However, on the Bad Boy story, you have left me hanging here and I need to know what’s next!!

  37. Ahhh the suspense!! How do you keep drawing this out? You are killing me! Ok, but in the best way possible. Also, this cheesecake looks insanely delicious, and I love that it’s a “skinny” version.

  38. Cara says:

    I’m so excited to try this cheesecake! It looks fattening and creamy. Love how you plated it!

  39. Dinavia says:

    Love the cheesecake, but I want more story! I’ve been checking back for part 8 every other day! Dying to know what happens!!!

  40. Jacob says:

    Saw this on cheesecake foodgawker, love your blog. Just subsribed to your feed. Looking forward to trying it :>)

  41. A cheesecake both healthy and delicious! Gotta love it 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Rich Sticky Date Pudding w/ Butterscotch Sauce

  42. kellypea says:

    So can I ask a simple question? As much as it is wonderful to read your writing — so skilled in all the right ways — WHY are you writing it here? Tell me you have a manuscript ready to send off and that we’ll not find out what happened because we’ll have to buy it. Please?

    Gorgeous cheesecake — totally. Love the way you made it friendly for those of us watching our girth. Beautiful photos, too. Is there anything you can’t do? I bow to your awesomeness, Lis. Really.

  43. Wow, there is a LOT going on in this post! Weight Watchers to losing it on the Tilt-a-Whirl – where should I start? First, that cheesecake is ahhmazing, esp. since its lower cal and has a fabulous fresh fruit topping and animal cracker crust! Second, I’m predicting that years later you saw Dreamboat and would like to remember him as you did when he made your legs turn to Jello!

  44. What an amazing cheese cake the photo had my attention! When I first was reading through your recipe I thought it first said 2950 calories per piece and then I was so happy to hear that was for 12 people. What an interesting use of farmers cheese. I am so bookmarking this recipe. Take Care, BAM

  45. oh no! I can’t believe that he was walking with some other girl!

    The cheesecake looks amazing! I love that it is so light.

  46. Valerie says:

    Cute platinum blondes are always suspicious in these stories… Here’s hoping there’s another (positive) twist to your story!

    This is the second low-fat cheesecake recipe I’ve seen today; is the universe trying to tell me something? Not sure I could feed this one to my relatives, as the last time I made them cheesecake their first reaction was: “It’s not ricotta or anything like that is it? We hate ricotta”. Greek yogurt might work, though. That said, it certainly looks deliciously creamy!

  47. LIz says:

    Oh, my gosh, Lisa!!! You’re torturing us!!! But at least you’ve given us this amazing skinny cheesecake as a consolation prize…beautiful!

  48. Lisa, I read this post a while back on my iphone but had not told you how yummy this lite cheesecake looks 🙂 I would love one or two. Your story continues to feed us and I am waiting to see how it all turned out! Have a great week dear xoxox Suz

  49. Sophie33 says:

    A low-fat cheesecake! Waw! I am truly impressed here! 🙂

    I love a good old fashioned cheesecake but with the real most indulgent & bad for you ingredients that after you eat it, go straight to your hips but this one looks fabulous!
    I love the yoghurt in here! 😉

  50. Sami says:

    This cheesecake was amazing!!! I used the non fat plain greek yogurt and everyone that tried it had no clue it was a skinny cheesecake…dont think i’ll ever go back to making fatty cheesecake 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      I’m so glad you and everyone you served it to, loved it, Sami, and couldn’t tell it was a skinny version! I can’t wait to try it with greek yogurt!

  51. Kiera says:

    First of all I want to say fantastic blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve
    had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Appreciate it!

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  53. sara says:

    Yum, that cheesecake looks fabulous! 🙂

  54. Pingback: Skinny Cheesecake made with Cottage or Yogurt Cheese. Super creamy and delicious – youd never know it was only 245 calories a slice! | Dreamy Blog

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  57. Raven says:

    What is Farmers cheese?

  58. tanushree mandal says:

    Can I substitute eggs with gelatin
    As m vegetrian
    Plz reply as soon as possible
    Want d recipe fr a competition

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, tanushree, since I’ve never tried it, I cannot guarantee it will work, but I’ve heard you can substitute flax seed for eggs. That might work!

  59. Missy says:

    How much yogurt cheese did you end up using altogether?

  60. Pingback: One green smoothie each day can pack in all of the important nutrients you need to reach your health goals | Healthy Classic Blog

  61. Pingback: Skinny Cheesecake. It’s so super creamy and rich, you’d never know it was only 245 calories a slice! | Healthy Classic Blog

  62. Andrea says:

    I think I must have made a mistake with this one. I used 500 grams of quark like said below but didn’t want to use any sugar in the cake so I substituted for dates syrup and agave syrup. When it was time to take it out after putting on the sour cream and baking it for 5 minutes the sour cream was totally liquid still and I decided to leave it in for another 5 minutes. Then it was still liquid but somehow looked curdled. I left it in for another 10 minutes but its not at all creamy. Did I leave it in too long and it would have been okay if the sour cream was still liquid? Or do you think it was the substitution for sugar that made it not work out? I really like the idea of a skinny cheesecake

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Andrea. I’m not quite following. Was it just the sour cream topping you had trouble with, or did the cheesecake curdle too? The date syrup and agave syrup in lieu of granulated sugar would most probably be the reason since the recipe was not created using either, so the chances of it turning out properly, without testing and adjusting the recipe for those ingredients, is slim to none. But, first I need to know if it was just the topping or the whole cheesecake. 🙂

      • Andrea says:

        Sorry, I guess my question was a bit confusing 🙂 I actually had trouble with both layers (even though the sour cream was worse) but I thought already that it was probably the lack of sugar / addition of something else instead.

      • Lisa says:

        Hi again, Andrea; I’m glad you came back! I did some research on subbing agave and date syrup for white sugar, and you pretty much have to do a lot of adjusting to the recipe to make it work since it doesn’t fit in seamlessly cup for cup, as you can see here; http://www.allaboutagave.com/substituting-agave-nectar-for-other-sugars.php .
        So, in order for this cheesecake to work with the syrups, it’ll take a little science or math, and in the end it still may not turn out the same, but I’m sure it will be delicious. 🙂

      • Andrea says:

        Thank you so much for the link Lisa! I will keep it in mind for next time 🙂

      • Lisa says:

        You’re so welcome, Andrea! If I ever get to testing it with your sugar substitutions, I will send you the results/recipe ASAP 🙂

  63. Lillian says:

    Wow, superb weblog structure! How long have you ever been blogging for?
    you make running a blog glance easy. The whole look of your website is excellent, let alone
    the content!

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