C is for Cottage Cheese

Before I dive into cottage cheese, I want to give you a little background on why I chose cottage cheese for the letter ‘C’ above the plethora of other yummy ‘C’ foods. Growing up I would be classified as your typical “picky eater”. I survived on peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, corn and green beans. That was pretty much the extent of my culinary palette. While my palette grew some as I reached adulthood, it really exploded when I began studying nutrition and dietetics.

I do not want to give the impression that this was simple. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I liked spinach. I first tried a spinach artichoke dip at a local restaurant. Then, I tried some fresh spinach on my sub during my lunch break. Now, I enjoy spinach in quiches, casseroles and soups. However, I do NOT enjoy cooked spinach alone as a side, but that is fine. I experimented with a variety of ways to prepare spinach and discovered some yummy dishes to add to my dietary experiences. If I had started and stopped at the steamed spinach side, I would be missing out on my daughter’s favorite holiday appetizer – Spinach Balls. I know it does start with the letter ‘C’, but I couldn’t resist sharing as the holidays are upon us.

The point is to try new foods in a variety of ways before excluding it entirely. Hence, the choice of cottage cheese for this week’s post. Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and calcium with a nice splash of potassium. I know when it comes to cottage cheese most people love it or hate it, right? Well, I challenge you to be your own anthropologist and experiment with some different ways to enjoy cottage cheese. Here are a few ideas:

  • Spread it on toast and top with sliced tomatoes and fresh cracked pepper
  • Make cottage cheese patties (google for different recipe variations)
  • If you like it sweet, pair it with fruit like pineapple

Or you can try my favorite way to enjoy cottage cheese. I use it to make a super simple and tasty ranch dip.

Cottage Cheese Dip

What you will need:
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups of cottage cheese (I usually use small curd)
  • ½ packet of Hidden Valley Ranch powder dressing mix

Image of blender, cottage cheese container and powdered ranch dressing mix

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Serve with your favorite veggies, crackers and/or pita chips for dipping.
Image purple bowl with cottage cheese dip surrounded by sliced cucumber and round crackers
Photo: Cottage Cheese Dip

 

The moral of this story is: You CAN teach an old taste bud new tricks!

Hope you found this post helpful in your own journey to expand your culinary palette. Please share your experience with new foods with us – the successes and the challenges.

Series : Food Fun from A to Z

Introducing a new series here on the Nutrition Anthropology blog – Food Fun from A to Z! After all, food is meant to be enjoyed and we want to show you fun ways to enjoy foods throughout the alphabet (Spoiler Alert: the letter X is going to be eXtra fun). We are sure you remember your preschool alphabet lesson – A is for apple and B is for Banana. Well, we won’t be that predictable because Nutrition Anthropology is all about experimenting and approaching life with curiosity. With the help of awesome dietetic students from The University of Alabama, each week we will share stories and recipes introducing you to some unique foods as well as some common foods presented in unique ways. Our goal is to help you discover the fun in food.  Be on the lookout for our first post.  A is for Avocado.

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