If you're anything like me, you're constantly on the lookout for ways to switch up your daily eating routine. I literally eat salad at every meal, so I'm always trying to change things around in order to avoid boredom.
Unfortunately, my college's dining hall doesn't offer much variety in terms of salad add-ins (there's only so many times you can have chickpeas, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes before you lose all desire to eat) so I've been forced to get creative lately.
This past summer, I discovered a newfound love for one particular salad add-in: goat cheese (it's also known as chèvre, which is the French term). While interning in NYC, I spent my lunch breaks trying out a bunch of different salad places close to my office building. A fellow intern recommended one particular place called The Picnic Basket, and it was at this hipster NYC lunch spot that I fell in love with a salad featuring pears, dried cranberries, almonds, grilled chicken, and goat cheese.
Since being back at school, I've even begun to bring my own goat cheese to the dining hall, yearning for that great flavor combination that I grew to love over the summer. I don't even care if I get weird looks from other diners.
Here are three reasons why I think that goat cheese (or chèvre, if you want to be fancy) should be your new favorite food:
1. It makes for a great salad.
I'm a salad aficionado. It's my favorite food by far, just because there are so many things you can do with it. Not surprisingly, my favorite way to eat goat cheese is on top of my salad. Here's how I recommend you do it.
Choose either romaine or spinach (I prefer the latter). Next, add one of your favorite fruits. I like green apples or pears, but grapes or blueberries can work, too. Sprinkle on some almonds or walnuts for some crunch and some dried cranberries for added tangy sweetness.
If you're craving extra protein, you can add some grilled chicken. Lastly, crumble on top or add slices of smooth goat cheese to your salad.
2. It tastes amazing when it's warm (and melty).
In other words, try it in omelets, wraps, sandwiches, or on top of pizza. My favorite omelet at the moment includes goat cheese, spinach, and mushrooms.
I also love grilled veggies, such as red peppers and eggplant, inside of wraps or sandwiches with goat cheese. When it warms up, the cheese gets super smooth and melted; it really helps to bring out its distinct flavor.
3. It's healthier than cow's milk cheese.
Goat cheese is creamy and indulgent, so at first glance you probably wouldn't consider it to be all that healthy. But it's not as bad for you as you'd think. In fact, it proves to be even healthier than cow's milk cheese.
Goat cheese has fewer calories per ounce than popular cow cheese counterparts. Goat cheese contains 75 calories per ounce, while mozzarella comes in at 85, brie at 95, Swiss at 108, and cheddar at 115 calories per ounce.
Goat cheese packs in more vitamins and minerals than does a serving of cow's cheese. Lastly, due to its different protein structure and lactose content, goat cheese is significantly easier to digest than cow's cheese.