This delicious dish — which makes a quick and refreshing summer lunch — supplies high-quality protein and takes a mere five minutes to throw together.
By using low-fat cottage cheese to which I add olive oil, I have changed the fatty acid profile of this dish, lowering saturated fat (which some people shy away from for health reasons) and increasing the amount of monounsaturated fat it contains.
Cottage cheese is a great source of protein (which is why body builders love it); one cup of reduced fat (1%) cottage cheese yields 28 g protein. Reduced-fat Greek yogurt, on the other hand, provides 21 g protein.
On the other hand, if it’s calcium you’re after, Greek yogurt is the better bet, providing 240 mg per cup vs. 138 mg in cottage cheese.
And if you’re looking for probiotic (beneficial) bacteria, both supply them — though yogurt tends to provide a wider variety of microbial strains.
To optimize calcium, protein and probiotics, I often combine them (as here); tweak ratios to suit your preferences.
Mediterranean cottage cheese
- 1 tsbp pine nuts
- ½ cup cottage cheese reduced fat (1%)
- ½ cup Greek yogurt reduced fat (1%)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning of Herbes de Provence
- ¼ tsp black pepper freshly ground
- a pinch salt cottage cheese contains a fair btoi of salt already, so start by adding just a little
- ½ cup grape tomatoes quartered
- 1 tbsp basil thinly sliced
- Place the pine nuts on a small plate and microwave on HIGH for one minute until golden and fragrant. (Microwaves vary and one minute might not be enough; if so, microwave for another 30 seconds -- and perhaps another 30 seconds -- until golden and frangrant.) Remove plate from microwave and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, olive oil, Italian seasoning or herbes de Provence (whichever using) and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to mix. Salt to taste if necessary.
- Top the cheese-yogurt mixture with the chopped tomatoes and basil. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately; if desired, accompany with freshly toasted sourdough bread or a slice of Norwegian crispbread.