Say Cheese!

Cottage Cheese, to be specific! (But not if someone is taking your picture, because you know they’ll take it while you’re saying cottage and your mouth will look weird in the photo.)

I’ve never been a huge fan of cottage cheese. In fact, until recently, I’d probably only had it two or three times ever. It was in the category of Foods That Don’t Make Me Hurl But That I’d Rather Not Eat, Thank You*, nestled alongside sausage, pistachio ice cream, scalloped potatoes, and pork & beans.

But in researching healthier (read: non-cupcake), higher protein foods for my recent soft-foods only needs, I quickly saw that cottage cheese would make a nice addition to the plan. According to, the 1% lowfat version of Friendship Dairies cottage cheese looks like this:

nutritional information for cottage cheese

Not bad! Good source of protein and calcium (important for someone with a healing bone graft, I should think),low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and low in calories for those who watch such things. Sodium and sugar content vary by brand, so it’s important to check the labels. Friendship Dairies (no affiliation, FTC!) has a no-sodium version, but to be honest, the combination of salty/creamy is one of the things I like about cottage cheese so I’ll just stick with the lowest-without-going-to-zero-sodium variety I can find (that’s on sale or reasonably priced.)

Two other things I like about cottage cheese:
a) It truly is a dish best served cold! Perfect for someone on a soft foods diet AND trying to survive a heat wave without diving into a gallon of ice cream.
b) On it’s own, it’s really kind of bland which makes it a great receptacle for all sorts of luscious (and nutritious!) add-ins. I especially like fruits (berries, pineapple, bananas-and-a-drizzle-of-honey, or chopped apple) and a healthy tablespoon of ground flax seeds stirred in for sweetness, fiber, and healthy fat, but my late Aunt Cene liked the savory route: cherry tomatoes, chopped green pepper, and fresh ground black pepper on top.

When I decided last week to ban the ban on crunch (just a little), I made a variation of Apple Matzoh. Since I didn’t have matzohs on hand (what with it not being Passover and me being Gentile and all), I used a Wasa crisp instead, which I guess makes this Apple Wasa. Anyway, I skipped the sugar suggested in the linked recipe and just spread cottage cheese on the crisp, layered thinly sliced Gala apple on top, sprinkled on some cinnamon, and heated it in the oven until the apples softened, about 3 minutes or so. Niiiice! Sweetness from the apple, salty/creamy from the cottage cheese, and crunch from the Wasa–a dietary trifecta! I’ll be keeping this one in my “functional dessert” rotation, for sure!

And that’s really all I have to say about cottage cheese. Actually, it’s more than I thought I had to say about it, but that’s what usually happens once I get going. :) esides pointing out the healthiness of cottage cheese, I only brought it up to ask for any suggestions YOU might have for tasty mix-ins or toppings. I have approximately 8 ounces left in this carton, and I would appreciate new ideas!

Wishing you a Happy Monday!

*In case you’re interested, there’s only one known** food in the Foods That Make Me Hurl category: thick pastas like macaroni and lasagna. They stick in my throat and make me gag. Ask my childhood neighbor, Miss Margaret, if you don’t believe me. Oh wait, you can’t because she died last year. You’ll just have to take my word for it, because I’m not going to demo for YouTube.

**I suspect potted meat would make the list, but I’ve never been curious enough to test the theory.

17 thoughts on “Say Cheese!

  1. I love it with fruit like strawberries, melon, peaches and/or nectarines. When I was growing up we had it mixed with (yes, warm) macaroni. And I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. When I made that early in my married life, my husband would have loved to explain it as foods that make him think he’d hurl. Anyhoo, since I pretty much don’t eat pasta or sugar anymore, I will sometimes have cottage cheese with some splenda and cinnamon on top. You are right though about watching the sodium. Yikes.

  2. I just had cottage cheese for breakfast this morning after maybe years of only buying it and letting it go bad in the frig. Sorry, I don’t have mix in ideas. I like it okay plain or with a bit of added seasoning salt. I found a natural one since I finally realized that Lawry’s has sugar in it. Duh! No wonder I loved it so much.
    I kind of wish pasta made me gag. I love it too much.
    Here’s to your continued healing!

  3. I just had this fruit dip that was delicious! Blend (in a blender) the cottage cheese with a little honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla–very very creamy and decadent tasting. I think that’s the way to go for people who don’t like the texture of cottage cheese.

  4. I agree with debby that the best way to enjoy cottage cheese is to whip it in a blender or food processor first.

    To play on the sliced apples, I like to used whipped cottage cheese as a binder for a faux Waldorf salad—apples, celery, walnuts or pecans, and raisins or grapes (and perhaps a shake of cinnamon). Wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, this is one of my favorite late summer breakfasts, when the apples are in season but it’s still too hot for oatmeal.

    Variation—stir in shredded carrot, raisins, and a few nuts for a healthier take on carrot raisin salad.

    Another one of my favorites: Canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and sweetener of choice (I usually opt for naturally sweetened pumpkin butter or homemade apple butter).

    I’ve also had success stirring cottage cheese into hot pasta; think alfredo sauce. But I doubt you’re wanting hot pasta right now!

  5. Hi Cammy,

    I’ve not been posting for a while but slowly coming back.

    Another idea. but this does involve turning the grill on so maybe not such a good idea right now.

    Lightly steamed veggie of choice, eg cauliflower. Place in a small baking dish, maybe a ramekin, top with seasoned cottage cheese, dust generously with paprika. grill until bubbly and golden. I too am one who buys cottage cheese with best intentions and end up throwing it out. I do like apple and cottage cheese combo.


  6. I know this is going to sound weird- but I really liked it. Mix your cottage cheese with a ranch powder (the kind you would make in to a salad dressing) Then mix in half a cup of chick peas. It sounded really weird to me- something I may have craved when I was pregnant! It is really good and filling. The chick peas are high in protein too- so plus for that!

  7. How funny!!! I had just mentioned to Tami of Nutmeg Notebook that cottage cheese might be a “soft” protein to add to her list of foods following some oral surgery tomorrow, I was EATING cottage cheese myself and this post popped up next in my reader.

    I’m the weird soul who actually loves cottage cheese straight up. I eat it all the time right out of the carton as a quick pick me up protein. If I choose to mix, my favorite combo is cottage cheese, fresh pineapple, banana and walnuts.

    I’ve also found there is a HUGE difference in taste and consistency among brands. I like the thicker kind that isn’t as goopy. Our Aldi stores stock a brand called Friendly Farms that is my favorite.

  8. Don’t forget protein pancakes! These are soft enough for you to eat.

    1 egg
    1/3 cup cottage cheese
    1/3 cup rolled oats
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    sweetener if desired (I leave that out).
    Blend until smooth and cook like pancakes. Or use a waffle iron. This is the recipe you see a lot of on my blog 😀

  9. What a wonderful ode to one of my favorite go-to protein sources. It’s my second breakfast, mixed with fruit (currently watermelon….yum!). It’s also wonderful plain, with some cracked black pepper on top.

  10. I have not been a fan of cottage cheese either.. it is more the texture to me & finding a small container of small curd & lower sodium for my likes along with my dairy intolerance BUT dang that recipe sounds amazing!!!! THX!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Thanks for this timely post Cammy! I have oral surgery later today and will be on a soft food diet for a while!
    I do like cottage cheese straight up or with both savory and sweet additions. Sometimes I blend it with frozen fruit to make an instant frozen concoction that is delicious.

    I have been eating cottage cheese for lunch with fresh fruit, watermelon, strawberries and cantaloupe. Or for a savory lunch I will have 1/2 cup cottage cheese with sliced tomatoes, cucumber slices and whole grain crackers.

    I came away with plenty of new ideas from this post. Those pancakes Lori makes are looking good!

  12. One of my favorite ways to eat cottage cheese is to grill a bunch of asparagus, top it with a scoopful of cottage cheese, top THAT with some wilted spinach, and finish it off with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

  13. I’ve tried to like cottage cheese, several times….but just can’t get into it. However, great stats on the protein! Wishing you a happy Monday back Cammy! Hope its a good one.

  14. I actually really like cottage cheese but tend to go through stages – I have it a lot and then don’t buy it for quite awhile. A really good snack is cottage cheese with cinnamon and some pecans mixed in. If you like it sweeter add some sugar or sweetner. Diced apple is good mixed in with this too!

  15. I love love love me some cottage cheese!!!
    sweet or savory and on everything :)

    now MAYO? can not stand. on anything.

  16. I actually adore cottage cheese! I’ve eaten it since I was a kid. After my surgery it was the “meal” I looked forward to having once I advanced to “mushies”. Yum yum

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