Toasted Cheese Sandwich French Style

Originally, these luscious hot sandwiches were coated in egg like French toast and then deep fried. This is a lighter version that uses egg whites and is pan-fried to give the same golden brown crust and creamy center with less fat.

For the sandwiches:
1-tablespoon butter
1/2-cup fresh chopped mushrooms
1/4-cup chopped onion
1/8-teaspoon ground black pepper
8-slices white bread
4-slices American or cheddar cheese
2-slices part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut in half crosswise

For the egg coating:

1-large egg
1-large egg white
3-tablespoons low-fat (1% milkfat) milk
Nonstick cooking spray

Step 1...To prepare the sandwiches, melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Cook mushrooms, onion, and pepper in butter until vegetables are tender. Remove from skillet. Wipe out the skillet to use later.

Step 2...For each sandwich, layer a slice of bread, a slice of American cheese, some of the mushroom-onion mixture, a half slice of mozzarella cheese and another slice of bread.

Step 3...To prepare the egg coating, whisk together the egg, egg white and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip both sides of the sandwiches in coating. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and cook sandwiches 2 at a time over moderate heat until bread is golden and cheese begins to melt, turning once.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving:
428 calories, 18g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 20g protein, 46g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 729mg sodium, 89mg cholesterol

French-Toasted Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Prepare as for French-Toasted Cheese Sandwiches, omitting all of the sandwich ingredients and using:
1/3-cup fat-free cream cheese
1/4-cup finely shredded carrots
1/4-cup finely chopped walnuts
8-slices raisin-cinnamon bread

In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, carrots and walnuts. Spread half of the bread slices with the mixture. Top with remaining bread slices. Prepare the egg coating, dip sandwiches and cook as directed in step 3.

Per serving:
250 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 13g protein, 30g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 458mg sodium, 60mg cholesterol