A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Put Baaaaack the Cheddar, Choose Goat Cheese Instead

Are you a cheese lover? I enjoy a variety of cheeses, both hard types like cheddar and soft kinds like brie are great all on their own. But, when it comes to picking favorites, the creamy tanginess of soft goat cheese (know as chevre) is at the top of my list. Kelley, admittedly, has a love far greater than I do for the cheese, and she has even been upset with me b/c I took a little of hers one time.

What’s so great about chevre anyway? To start, goat cheese (the soft type found in log form) has less fat (6 g vs. an avg. of10 g) and calories (70 – 80 calories vs. 100 calories) per ounce than cow’s milk cheese. You will not lose out on protein and calcium when switching to goat cheese as the numbers are comparable for both; but with lower fat and calories, you get more for less! Another plus is for anyone with a lactose intolerance as goat cheese has been found to be more easily digestible than cow’s milk cheese.

Goat’s milk and cheese also provide a number of other vital nutrients and vitamins like:
- Tryptophan: an amino acid that occurs in proteins; is essential for growth and normal metabolism; a precursor of niacin
- Phosphorus
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): plays important roles in the body's energy production
- Potassium: helps prevent high blood pressure and protects against arteriosclerosis
- Contains 25% more vitamin B-6 and is 47% higher in vitamin A than cow's milk
- It has three times the amount of niacin and is four times higher in copper than cow’s milk

To enjoy this wonderful cheese, all you need is a fork. Kelley enjoys relaxing with a glass of wine, a fork, and an open package of goat cheese very frequently; if I’m quick enough, I can get a few crumbles for myself! It’s nice to know that if I am ever in trouble with the wife (Kelley), a quick trip for some champagne and goat cheese will usually get me out of whatever hole I’m in at the time.

Other ways to enjoy chevre include topping a mixed salad with crumbles; spreading on carrots, apple slices, crackers, or anything really; topping on a thin crust pizza; filling celery sticks as you would peanut butter or cream cheese, or using as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. The tanginess contrasts well with the sweetness of grapes and apples, and it really stands out when mixed into salads. But, there are plenty of ways to add goat cheese to cooked meals too.

Some of my favorite ways to incorporate goat cheese into my meals is to use it in soup purees to instantly boost flavor, mixed into a tomato sauce for a new twist on pasta, and mixed into creamy mashed potatoes. The cheese even has its place in sweets like brownies; here’s a recipe similar to the one that beat Bobby Flay on his Throwdown with Bobby Flay TV show. The recipe is very rich, and if you know me, I alter the recipe to use stevia instead of sugar, 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, whole wheat or spelt flour, and applesauce in place of most of the butter. It takes a lot of trial and error; I’ll report back once I find the right amount for each ingredient.
If you prefer to stay on the savory side for goat cheese applications, give this simple goat cheese mashed potatoes recipe a try:

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes


2 pounds Yukon Gold, Red, or Sweet Potatoes, cut into chunks
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup fat free, plain yogurt
1/2 low sodium chicken stock
4 ounces goat cheese (chevre), cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 ½ tablespoons parsley, dried
Salt to taste
Freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste

1. Place potatoes and garlic in a large heavy saucepan. Add water to cover and season with salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until potatoes are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. When potatoes are done, drain in a colander and return to the pan. Place pan over low heat and shake for about 1 minute to dry potatoes.

3. Mash the potatoes and garlic with a potato masher, an electric hand-held mixer, or by working through a ricer. Add milk, yogurt, and chicken stock to make a smooth puree. Stir in the goat cheese, paprika, parsley, and season with salt and pepper and serve.
This is a simple recipe for a side dish to get everyone raving. Serve with grilled asparagus and boneless, skinless chicken breast or salmon for a healthy meal everyone can enjoy.
Goat cheese has become a staple for our family of two, I recommend you try swapping out the usual block of cheddar and see if you ever want to go back.

How do you savor the texture and flavor goat cheese?


  1. Just discovered all that I can do with goat cheese! Thank you for the post!

  2. Anytime, hope you make good use of the tips and create some tasty, goat cheesy dishes!

    Thank you for reading and commenting!