Spotting Eat Lean Cheese on Instagram, I had to look again. High in protein (we all know this about cheese, but this contains 40% more than regular full-fat Cheddar), no carbs or sugar, lactose and gluten-free, and only 3% fat. This Protein Cheese is ‘made using natural ingredients by real cheesemakers on a real dairy farm’ and is ‘versatile to use and great tasting’. If that ain’t impressive for a block of cheese, I don’t know what is.
As a HUGE lover of all things cheese, I was massively intrigued. Yes, it ticks all the healthy boxes, but what does it TASTE like? As a kid, one of my favourite dinners was my Mum’s epic (but not the healthiest) cheesy mashed potato with extra grilled cheese on top. MY GOD, the memories. That’s what I want from cheese – one that melts and bubbles in true food porn style, while tasting buttery and creamy…but without the heart-attack fat levels.
So, the verdict. I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised. Although it looks and feels like cheese, it’s less creamy and doesn’t have a particularly strong taste, instead offering a subtle but still tasty flavour. It wasn’t the easiest to grate but it melted well and satisfied that urge, even when it turned slightly crispy after baking. I’d definitely use this melted into sauces, sprinkled on top of omelettes and any other savoury dish that requires cheese when combined with other strong flavours; personally for me, it needs that extra oomph.
I had a huge craving for pizza the other night, so I had a go at making a healthy, gluten-free one, of course topped with the Eat Lean Cheese grated over it. Now THIS was a heavenly combo, the cheese worked nicely together with the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and paprika. You can choose whatever toppings you want – try other veggies, or add ham, other meats, chillies…Go crazy!
For the base –
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
- ½ small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used Lucy Bee)
- 1 cup oat flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour (I used Sukrin)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli powder
- First of all, cook the sweet potato and butternut squash chunks in water for about 10-15 minutes until softened. Drain then leave to cool.
- Now preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Place the cooked and cooled veggies in a blender and whizz up until smooth. Add the egg and coconut oil and whizz up again.
- Mix together the flours, baking powder, herbs, spices and seasoning in a bowl. Pour in the sweet potato mixture and stir well to combine, so you have quite a thick mixture.
- Spread this out into a circular shape on the baking tray to about a 1cm thickness. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden and becoming slightly crisp. Remove from the oven.
For the topping:
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- Extra herbs, black pepper and chilli powder
Spread this over the almost cooked base to just about reach the edges. Sprinkle over extra herbs and spices at this point. You can add whatever toppings you want but here’s what I used on mine:
- ½ courgette, halved and thinly sliced
- Handful of spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons black olives, halved (I used Fragata)
- 1 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (not in oil)
- 25g Eat Lean cheese, grated
Arrange the vegetables over the tomato-covered base then sprinkle over the cheese. Now return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes so the veggies can cook and cheese can melt. Remove from the oven, leave for a few minutes then cut into slices and plate up. Enjoy!