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10 ways with cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a versatile and healthy ingredient.

1.  Work-day snack

For a light and tasty snack, top wholegrain, rice or corn crackers with low-fat cottage cheese and 1 spoonful of your favourite chutney or salsa.

2.  Mini filo tarts

Place 3-4 squares oiled filo pastry in a greased muffin tin. Combine 150g low-fat cottage cheese with 50g blue cheese, then top with caramelised onions.

3.  Lunch wrap

For a satisfying, healthy work lunch, spread 1 wholegrain wrap with low-fat cottage cheese. Top with 1 small can salmon and chopped fresh chives. Season with freshly ground black pepper and roll up.

4.  Guacamole alternative

Process 1/2 avocado, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 250g low-fat cottage cheese, juice from 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce and 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander in a food processor until smooth. Serve as a spread for grainy bread rolls or as a dip with vegetable sticks.

5.  Cream cheese substitute

For a lower-fat option, use low-fat cottage cheese instead of cream cheese on bagels and raisin toast.

6.  Cheesy baked potato

Top jacket potatoes with this delicious filling: combine low-fat cottage cheese with a little grainy mustard, 1 can four-bean mix (drained) and fresh herbs. Spoon bean mixture into potatoes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place under grill to melt parmesan, if preferred.

7.  Cheesy stuffed mushrooms

For a quick and easy dinner, combine a 95g can tomato and basil tuna, 250g low-fat cottage cheese and chopped fresh basil or oregano. Divide mixture equally over 4 portobello mushrooms. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with grated reduced-fat cheese. Bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes until golden.

8.  Ricotta replacement

Use low-fat cottage cheese in place of ricotta in baking and savoury recipes. You can whiz it in a blender to give it a smooth texture or just whisk with a fork and use it as it is.

9.  No-cook cheese sauce

For an easy no-cook ‘bechamel’ sauce to use in lasagnes or pasta bakes, use a food processor or stick blender to blend 250g low-fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup parmesancheese and 1/4 cup trim milk into a smooth cheesy sauce.

10.  Pumpkin cannelloni

To make cannelloni filling, mix together equal parts mashed pumpkin and low-fat cottage cheese with 1 teaspoon dried rosemary. Fill cannelloni tubes with mixture, top with tomato passata and bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes.

First published: Oct 2011



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