Fuck Whole 30,
Let’s Talk About Cheese 30
Everyone and their mama is starting a cleanse or a diet this week, which means it’s time for my annual PSA: cheese is fucking healthy (click here for scientific proof). No matter what your clean eating goals are this year, you don’t need to deprive yourself of delicious dairy, especially not during the coldest months when you most need its sweet melted comfort. Enter Cheese 30, the healthy, cheese-filled diet that’s all about portion control and balance.
Cheese 30’s Three Simple Rules:
1. Eat three to four 1-oz servings of cheese a day.
2. Pair with a bunch of various plants.
3. Limit the rest, especially fried food, sweets, simple carbs like bread and pasta, and alcohol. You don’t have to cut that shit out, just do it in moderation.
A lot of tasty AF dishes can be made within the confines of these three simple rules. Let me help get you get started with the following 9 versatile, cheesy meal ideas that you can incorporate into your own Cheese 30 diet.
Cheesy loaded sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to eat in the wintertime. Blankets of melty cheese smothering hot, velvety orange flesh—it’s almost too seductive to be healthy. You can stuff them with anything your heart desires, but here are some of my favorite combos.
This flirty little skillet meal is basically just eggs baked in a spiced tomato sauce. It’s cheap, easy, and tastes especially fantastic when showered with feta. I like to add some kale for a little extra veg, too.
3. Cheese and Salad
Behold Cheese 30 in microcosm. All you need is lettuce, cheese, and dressing to make a delicious and nutritious salad. I love using marinated cheese because you can use the marinade as the dressing. Add anything else you like, or just eat it straight up.
4. Bean Bowls with Shredded Cheddar
Bean bowls are super versatile, and so much better with cheddar. I suggest topping them with garlicky mushrooms and shredded chicken or, for breakfast, a fried egg, avocado, chopped kimchi, and hot sauce. Cook your beans with broth and a little hot sauce for an extra boost of flavor.
5. Cheese and Pickles
There are endless possibilities for this portable meal: Comté with pickled Brussels, fresh goat cheese with pickled beets, soft stinkies with cornichons. You can also add cured meat and some fresh veggies like radishes. I love sautéeing pickles in a little butter and pairing them with roasted potatoes and hot melted Raclette.
These poblano peppers are tender, forkable, and bursting with hot, bubbling cheese. I even snuck some hearty greens in there so you can feel really good about it. For a full meal I eat two, but one makes a good snack.
7. Cauliflower ‘n Cheese
Just replace the noodles with cauliflower to transform mac ‘n cheese into diet food. Boil or steam until al dente, then finish with your fav cheese sauce. I love Bon Appetit’s, but if you want to make it extra healthy, make the sauce with a little pumpkin puree.
Cheesy frittatas have a ton of protein and are easy to pack with vegetables. They’re delicious hot out of the oven, but I also really like them at room temperature, accompanied by a light salad. One of my favorite recipes is this swiss chard frittata with lots of onions and Cantal.
This creamy, dreamy dip is perfect with raw or roasted veggies and also makes a great salad dressing when you thin it out with a little milk. You can also make some of these trendy buffalo cauliflower “wings” if you’re feeling extra spicy.