Yes, I am a big fan of cheese. In fact, I never met a cheese I didn’t like. And come to think about it, I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t have cheese. Well, maybe one or two now and again, but let’s just say cheese is pretty much a staple in my diet. I can totally make a meal out cheese and crackers or a really good baguette.
Ohhh wait – have I ever told you about how one time I ate an entire baguette. In. One. Sitting. Yup, true story. I couldn’t help myself. It. Was. So. Good. What? I haven’t told you? Well you can read about it here. Remember, don’t judge – I’m only human.
But I digress. Back to the topic at hand.
So maybe you’re thinking isn’t cheese full of fat? Well, yes – yes it is. And sadly it’s not the “good” fat either. It contains saturated fat, you know the kind you’re supposed to limit. But hear me out, if you’re a cheese lover there’s no need to think you can’t eat it. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend to limit your saturated fat intake to about 10% of your daily calories. So if you’re going to partake in a little cheese and crackers or say some cheesy pasta, then just watch you’re saturated fat intake for rest of day. For example, maybe that day you skip the bacon. Know what I’m saying?
Okay, so it contains saturated fat but you know what? It contains lots of good stuff! Eating cheese can help keep your bones and teeth strong thanks to it’s calcium content. You know what else? It’s also a good source of protein. And protein helps you feel full. If you feel full, you eat less. If you eat less, maybe, just maybe, you may lose a little weight! (Psst – fat helps you feel full too!)
So while I eat it all the time, for some reason there’s one cheese that tends to be more of a seasonal for me – feta. Maybe because feta reminds me of summer salads. You know with cucumber and tomato and maybe a little red onion thrown in there. Sounds good doesn’t it?
But feta’s not just for salads. If you’re familiar with it you know it’s got a tangy, sharp flavor and tends to be a bit crumbly. So I got to thinking – why not make it into a spread? Oh yes, this was a good idea. Once you taste this Spicy Feta Spread you’ll wonder why you’ve haven’t eaten it like this before.
Oh and by the way, I like to eat food that tastes good, really good. So I get the full fat cheese, not the fat-free imposters. When you eat high flavor, full fat cheeses you tend to eat less. You know the saying, a little goes along way and it’s especially true in this case.
What’s your favorite way to eat feta? Not familiar? Check out this guide on how to buy feta.
- 8oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 1-2 tablespoon chopped mediterranean olives
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Rub the jalapeños with a little olive oil and wrap in foil. Slice the garlic head in half rub a little olive oil onto the cloves and wrap in foil. Roast the jalapeños and garlic for about 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked let cool.
- Once the jalapeños are cool, peel the skin from the pepper and remove all the cloves from their skins. You should be able to smash the garlic into a paste.
- In a large bowl, place the feta, garlic paste, jalapeños, celery, olives and mix together
- Add in the olive oil and black pepper to taste. Mash together to form a spread. If it's too dry add a little more olive oil.
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