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Kinds Of Cheese And Cooking With Cheese

Updated on August 20, 2012

Cooking Techniques - Cooking with Cheese Tips

Cheese is one of the most popular cooking ingredients used in the United States and part of the culinary basics is knowing how to use cheese to create healthy and delicious recipes.

There are many varieties, each with their own cooking properties and each with their own set of calories and fat values.

Each kind of cheese enhances a dish for different reasons and gives different flavors – some cheeses are interchangeable while others are not in certain recipes.

Cheese also comes in many different varieties within the same cheese and can be as versatile as the cook is able to use it recipes. There are many, many forms, tastes, and components of cheese and it is a wonderful journey to discover some of the varieties.

Cooking Techniques - Cooking with Cheese Tips

  • It is best to use cheese cold when you are grating and shredding
  • Softer cheeses such as cream cheese work better in recipes when brought to room temperature
  • Natural cheese volume - 4 ounces will yield 1 cup shredded
  • Hard cheese volume – 3 ounces will yield 1 cup grated

  • Softer cheese such as blue, feta or Gorgonzola - 6 ounces will yield 1 cup
  • Regular cheese is 30% to 40% fat
  • Part skim milk cheese is 7% to 15% fat
  • Choose a low fat or fat free cheese to reduce fat and calories although watch the sodium
  • Natural cheese has many nutrients and less additives than other forms of cheese
  • If you are on a low sodium diet, you should avoid cheese with more than 400 mg of sodium per serving
  • Low lactose choices in cheese would be cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk
  • Feta cheese is low in lactose
  • Cheddar, Gruyere, Parmigiano Regiano are good aged cheeses that are better for low lactose diets and also have more calcium
  • Goat cheese although sometimes has a somewhat different taste to some, is easily mixed with pasta or crumbled on salads and adds flavor to the dish - it functions instead of a sauce in pasta

Some of my personal favorites when it comes to cheeses and suggestions on how to use them!


Make a blue cheese dressing with low-fat buttermilk and cottage cheese - add roughly 2 ounces of good quality blue cheese. Add a wee bit of lemon juice and chopped onion and you have a wonderful low calorie (36 per 2 tablespoons), low carb (1 gm) dressing to put on a mixed green salad or spinach salad.

courtesy wikicommons
courtesy wikicommons


Goat cheese is a rather soft cheese and is wonderful when mixed with hot pasta of any sort. Combined with tomatoes, fresh basil, spinach and chicken, it makes a wonderfully creamy pasta dish - it virtually becomes the sauce. You can also add goat cheese to eggs - it adds creaminess and moisture to the eggs while giving you a little cheese boost.

courtesy wikicommons
courtesy wikicommons


You can make a delicious cheesecake using yogurt and my favorite choice is Greek yogurt. Combine that with some cream cheese and you can make a low-calorie, low-fat version of the New York favorite. I use the Neufchatel version of cream cheese because it is lower in fat and lower in calories.  It has always performed perfectly in recipes. Life would not be life without cheesecakes!  Cream cheese is great for other things of course such as pie crusts or fruit bars.  I also use it in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches - just a smear of cream cheese to me adds flavor and texture to the sandwich. 

courtesy wikicommons
courtesy wikicommons


Feta is one of my favorites and is one of the healthier cheese out there. Use crumbled feta to make a healthier pizza or use it to make a Greek salad. In a traditional Greek salad or a Greek chickpea salad, you can't go wrong - it's paired with tomato and cucumber with a smattering of green onions or peppers. Feta cheese also goes great on pasta or on top of salads. Feta cheese is also great in pita bread sandwiches or added to scrambled eggs - or in a quiche.

Cooking Techniques: Cooking with Cheese Tips

In short, there are many wonderful cheeses out there to sample and use as ingredients as part of your culinary basics in the quest for healthy recipes. These are only a few of my favorites.

Check out your supermarket for more wonderful cheeses.  The possibilities for using cheese are endless and there are many fine cookbooks dedicated just to using cheese or you can also find millions of recipes on-line using just about any cheese you can imagine.

Cheese is a very versatile ingredient as long as you know how to use it and what cheeses go with what situation.  Enjoy exploring the wonderful world of cooking with cheeses!


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