Friday, 15 February 2013

5:2 How I learned to love (or at least like) cottage cheese

Sooner or later everyone on a diet turns to cottage cheese. Everyone except me, up to now. I’ve always loathed the stuff.

But with ordinary cheese ruled out, on fast days at least, and feeling equally lukewarm about tofu it struck me that it must be possible to make it taste good.

It is.

I’ve had it three ways recently - twice for breakfast and once, just now, for lunch. And it’s tasted good every time.

The key, of course, is to make it not taste like cottage cheese - unless you’re a cottage cheese fanatic in which case you probably won’t have got beyond the first paragraph. And that is by adding low fat yoghurt which zips it up and gives it a much better texture. About half as much yoghurt as cottage cheese does the trick.

Breakfast idea no. 1 was to serve it (or rather my yoghurt/cottage cheese combo) Turkish style (above) with cucumber, tomato and a seeded flatbread with a sprinkle of za'atar (a middle-eastern blend of dried, sesame seeds and sumac) sprinkled over the top. The second time I had it with blueberries and grated lemon rind (below). I really liked this.

And the picture at the top of the post is today’s salad which is slightly more calorific than it need have been due to the sprinkle of seeds. You could leave them out or pass on the Ryvita Thin I ate with it. Or both.

Cottage cheese, spring onion + beet salad (157 calories)

60g cottage cheese (44 cals)
35g 0% Greek yoghurt or other low fat yoghurt (20 cals)
1 spring onion, trimmed and very finely sliced or a heaped tbsp of chopped chives (2 cals)
100g cooked beetroot, drained and cubed (48 cals)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional - 7 cals)
25g spinach and watercress salad (6.5 cals)
1 tsp (5g) seed sprinkle (optional - 29 cals)

Weigh out and mix the cottage cheese with the yoghurt and finely sliced spring onion. Add a little water if you’re using a very thick yoghurt like Total.  Drain and cube the beetroot and mix with balsamic vinegar if you fancy it - though if you’ve deliberately bought it because it wasn’t in vinegar that might not appeal.

Place a handful of salad on a plate, top with the cottage cheese mixture, scatter over the beetroot then sprinkle with the seeds if using. Or za'atar, a pinch of cumin or more chives or spring onion.

As I said, I added a 37 calorie Ryvita thin which brought the calorie total to 193.5. And doesn't leave me much for the rest of the day. But this was pretty filling.

Are you a cottage cheese lover or loather? And if the former, how do you eat it?


Sue said...

I used to hate it but now I love it, even the texture, which used to put me right off!

One way I like it is with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and on hot toast.

Sue xx

Anonymous said...

Try it with fresh pineapple. Use it as the topping as if it were whipped cream.

Joy said...

Super idea, many thanks.

Fiona Beckett said...

@Sue chilli flakes sounds good. Was also thinking about Jalapeno peppers - maybe with your pineapple, anonymous!

Elizabeth said...

I adore cottage cheese, which is just as well as I can no longer eat proper cheese due to a dodgy gall bladder. I like pineapple cottage chesse or plain cottage cheese with a bagel spread with Marmite. Plain cottage cheese can also be tickled up with the addition of some mustard powder and crushed garlic.

Fiona Beckett said...

@Elizabeth - garlic I've tried (very good) but not mustard powder. Shall have to give that a whirl!

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