Skip to content

    6 Tips for Cooking With Cheese continued...

    2. Sometimes real cheese counts. There are situations in which a particular type of cheese is needed for a recipe, and there's no reduced-fat version available -- as with Parmesan or Brie. In these recipes, I tend to use the "real" cheese. But sometimes I use less, and I try to cut back on fat and saturated fat in other steps and ingredients of the recipe.

    3. High-flavor cheese to the rescue! When you switch to a high-flavor cheese, you can use less. I follow this strategy when I can't use a reduced-fat cheese in a particular recipe. Some high-flavor cheeses that come to mind are:

    • Parmesan and Romano
    • Any smoked cheese
    • Bleu cheese, gorgonzola, or other pungent cheeses
    • Extra-sharp cheddar
    • Goat or feta cheese

    4. Sprinkle, don't smother. Often, recipes for casseroles or other mixed dishes call for a blanket of cheese over the top. Yet a sprinkling is enough to do the trick. I'm talking about a cup and a half of shredded cheese to cover a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, instead of 3 cups.

    5. Pair cheese with healthy partners. Since cheese is a source of saturated fat, pair it with lower-fat and higher-fiber foods. Think pears, pasta, whole grains, beans, and vegetables instead of butter, high-fat crackers and pastries, and high-fat meats like salami or sausage.

    6. Fat-free cheese may not please. I've personally never tasted a fat-free cheese I've liked, so if you're looking to find one, proceed with caution. It isn't going to melt like real cheese or taste like real cheese -- it just isn't. I've learned that manufacturers sometimes go too far when taking the fat out of food ingredients. When that happens, the fat-free food has very little in common -- chemically or aesthetically -- with the original food. Fat-free margarine, anyone?

    Cheese Comparisons

    There are lots of types of cheese out there in supermarket-land. You can even buy cheese made from soy milk or goats' milk. And if your grocery store has a deli cheese section, you'll find all sorts of imported and domestic cheese, from feta and farmers to Gouda and Gruyere.

    Here are how a few of the more common options measure up nutritionally:

    (1 ounce)
    Calories

    Fat
    (gm)

    Saturated
    Fat (gm)
    Protein
    (gm)
    Cholesterol
    (mg)
    Calcium
    (% Daily Value)
    Reduced-Fat Cheeses:
    Kraft 2% Sharp Cheddar
    90
    6
    4
    7
    20
    20%
    Part-skim mozzarella
    80
    5
    3
    8
    15
    25%
    Borden 2% American Slices
    67
    4
    2.7
    5.4
    14
    40%
    Regular Cheeses:
    Cheddar
    114
    9.4
    6
    7
    30
    26%
    Monterey Jack
    106
    8.6
    5.4
    7
    25
    26%
    Parmesan
    111
    7.3
    4.7
    10
    19
    42%
    Brie
    95
    8
    5
    6
    28
    7%

    Healthy Recipe Finder

    Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

    Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

    Healthy Recipe Finder