This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.
Let's Move Logo
Let' Move Blog

Spinach and Apple Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette and Whole-Grain Cheese Pennies

“I make Cheese Pennies that are a hit with everyone, but are very high in fat,” says Julia. “I decided to make a modified version of the recipe, decreasing the amount of fat and including healthy whole grains without sacrificing the delicious taste of the New York extra-sharp cheddar cheese. I love the taste of sharp cheese with fruit, so I paired them with a salad featuring apples and blueberry dressing topped with homemade cinnamon almonds.” - Julia Rissberger, Age 11, New York

Makes 6 Servings


For the Cheese Pennies:

  • ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces grated New York extra-sharp low-fat cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white

For the Cinnamon Almonds:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup almonds

For the Blueberry Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) blueberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Dash of pepper

For the Spinach Salad:

  • 12 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 apple, such as Gala or Honeycrisp, cored and thinly sliced


  1. To make the Cheese Pennies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the butter, cheese, all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, oat bran, sesame seeds, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white with an electric mixer until soft peaks appear. Fold the egg white into the cheese mixture. Roll into 24 small balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten the balls with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the pennies from the baking sheet, and let cool slightly.
  2. To make the Cinnamon Almonds: In a nonstick sauté pan, bring the sugar, water, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat. Add the almonds and stir continuously until the water evaporates and the sugar starts to harden on the almonds. Pour the nuts on a plate to cool.
  3. To make the Blueberry Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, smash the blueberries with a potato masher or fork. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. To assemble, divide the spinach, cucumber, and apple among 6 plates. Top each salad with 1 tablespoon lightly chopped cinnamon almonds and drizzle with blueberry vinaigrette. Serve with warm cheese pennies. 

479 calories; 32g fat; 35g carbohydrates; 19g protein

Learn more: