Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Here in New England, we have been socked in with some truly HOT and HUMID and RAINY weather! It’s a JUNGLE out there! And even with air conditioning, the humidity makes us feel dull, sluggish, and is playing havoc with our healthy eating habits. It’s hard to fire up the stove or oven when you want to keep the house cool. And there’s only so many grilled meals in a row that a person can tolerate. What to do when you need lots of protein but want to keep it cool?
I have a great idea for you — Tuna and Cottage Cheese Salad! Yep, you read that right–tuna and cottage cheese together.
Cottage cheese is a somewhat overlooked source of dairy protein. Just like plain Greek yogurt, it’s very versatile in that it can be eaten plain, pairs well with either fruits or vegetables, and can be incorporated into many cooked and uncooked dishes. How do cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt stack up against one another?
- Protein & Calcium: Nonfat cottage cheese can actually be higher in protein, per ounce, than nonfat plain Greek yogurt. But Greek yogurt usually has more calcium.
- Sodium: Flavor-wise, many people find cottage cheese more palatable due to the much less tangy taste and the addition of salt. Greek yogurt is always lower in sodium than cottage cheese, which can contain as much as 1/3 the daily recommended amount (700 mg) in one serving. If sodium is an issue for you, there are low-sodium versions of cottage cheese available. Read the labels carefully.
- Probiotics: Greek yogurt has the edge in probiotics. You won’t find a lot of gut-friendly probiotic bacteria in a serving of cottage cheese unless you purchase cultured cottage cheese with the label specifically stating that it is packed with active cultures like L. acidophilus and B. bifidum.
After you’re done checking the labels, be sure to treat yourself to a carton of cottage cheese and make this tasty cold salad!
Tuna and Cottage Cheese Salad
If you don’t like the idea of little “lumps” of cottage cheese in your salad, first process the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender to give it a creamy consistency.
- 2 eggs
- 1 (5 ounce) can chunk light tuna, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup low-fat (not fat free) cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tbs organic mayonnaise
- Place eggs in a saucepot, and add enough cold water to cover the eggs 1 inch over the tops. Bring water to a full boil and let boil for exactly 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let eggs stand for another 5 minutes. Then take the pot to the sink and run cold water in it until pan and eggs are no longer hot to the touch. Add ice cubes to pot and let eggs sit in ice and water until they are completely cool.
- Peel the eggs, loosely chop, and add to a large bowl.
- In that same bowl, flake the tuna. Add cottage cheese, celery, green onions, parsley, lemon pepper seasoning, celery salt, lemon juice, and mayonnaise; mix well. Chill.
- Before serving, taste the salad. You may want to add:
– a few dashes of Sriracha or hot pepper sauce
– 1/4 tsp of Old Bay seasoning
– 1/2 tsp dried dill
– 1 tbs sweet pickle relish
– 1 or 2 tbs hot salsa
- Ways to enjoy your salad:
– scooped up with endive leaves or wedges of red/orange/yellow bell pepper
– wrapped in greens such as kale or lettuce leaves
– served over a mound of tomato wedges or halved cherry tomatoes, with sliced cucumbers
– with Vegetable Flax Crackers
Photograph via Pinterest