Have you given up most cheese products because they upset your stomach? Are you are vegetarian or avoid cheese products that contain rennet? Or, perhaps you are simply looking for a new cheese to include in your diet. Regardless, give goat cheese a tasty try. It is healthier than cow cheeses and can be used as successfully in a wide variety of dishes. Here are three healthy recipes featuring this luscious white cheese.
How does goat cheese compare to cow cheese?
Believe it or not, goat milk bears similar characteristics to human milk – the fat particles are smaller than those produced by cow – making goat milk and goat cheese easier to digest, especially for those who are lactose sensitive or intolerant.
Goat milk and goat cheese are also lower in fat, calories, carbohydrates and cholesterol content as compared to cow milk and cheese. Goat milk (like cow milk) is a great source of calcium, too.
Goat cheese is rennet-free, which makes it a vegetarian-friendly product. If you are wondering, rennet is a natural complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest mother’s milk. It is often used in the production of cheese. Rennet contains a proteolytic enzyme that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey), a process in making cheese.
Recipes with Goat Cheese
Baked Goat Cheese Portobello Mushroom Salad
8 medium-sized Portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced parsley
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 (4-ounce) package Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Goat Cheese
4 cups mesclun greens (mixed lettuces)
1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wipe or brush mushrooms clean and cut the stems off at the cap (reserve stems for another use). Cut mushrooms in half to make a crescent shape.
2. Place on a cookie sheet with the top of the mushroom cap facing down. Drizzle or brush mushrooms with olive oil, sprinkle on garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
3. Slice goat cheese from log into thin disks and place on top of mushrooms. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until cheese is nicely browned.
4. Mix lettuce with desired amount of dressing and divide among four plates. Arrange mushrooms on lettuce and serve.
Grilled Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large red onions, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 recipe pizza dough
1/2 cup pitted and halved black olives
1 cup crumbled Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Goat Cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Pinch of red chili flakes or cayenne
Cornmeal for dusting cookie sheet
1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sugar and vinegar. Saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pan, reduce heat and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally or until onions are a thick mass.
2. Layer onions on top of pizza. Top with black olives and goat cheese. Sprinkle over basil and chili flakes. Place pizza on a cornmeal dusted cookie sheet or pizza pan. Place on grill. Close cover and grill for 7 to 15 minutes or until bottom is browned, pizza is heated through, and cheese is melted.
Goat Cheese and Raspberry Filled Crepes
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
11 ounces Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Goat Cheese, softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons table cream
3 to 4 drops almond extract
6 tablespoons raspberry jam
4 tablespoons chocolate sauce
1 pint raspberries
1. For the crepes, whisk together crepe ingredients in a large bowl. Pass through a sieve and add additional milk, if necessary, to reach a thin batter consistency.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with vegetable oil spray. Pour in enough batter while tilting the pan and let the batter cover the bottom in a thin layer. Cook for 1 minute or until batter just sets. Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute or until light brown. Repeat with remaining batter and set aside.
3. In a stand up mixer fitting with the paddle attachment, blend cheese, extract, and cream until smooth. Evenly spread cheese mixture on to each crepe. Spread jam on top of cheese and roll up crepe.
4. Cut crepe diagonally in half and arrange on plate. Sprinkle with raspberries and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve warm or cold.
Woolwich Dairy produces a superlative chevre (goat cheese) called chevrai, and a divine goat brie. Check out these delicious recipe ideas featuring goat brie and visit Woolwich Dairy and Norseland for even more recipes and information on goat cheese. And if you are opting to purchase cheese from companies with an eco-conscience, give these Fiscalini eco-friendly cheese recipes a try.