Tag Archives: cottage cheese

“I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Low-Fat” Cheesecake

26 Sep

HAPPY BIRTHDAY E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

E’s birthday cake request again this year (after being forced to decide) was blueberry cheesecake.  Last year I was ambitious and followed a recipe from The Best Light Recipe Cookbook.  It tasted just like traditional New York Cheesecake but at a fraction of the calories and fat.  The cheesecake was out-of-this-world delicious (considering it was a pseudo-light recipe!) but took an entire day to make.  I didn’t have time for such things this year so a quick and easy recipe was necessary.

The Birthday Boy + Birthday Cheesecake

Coincidentally, I received an new (but old) cookbook in the mail this week.  It once belonged to my friend L who no longer cooks for herself.  L’s sister R saw me eying this cookbook (it’s no longer in print) and graciously mailed me L’s copy.  I poured over it the day it arrived in the mail and a recipe for a ridiculously light cheesecake caught my eye (along with an “Excellent” written at the top of the page by R).

The ingredient list alone sparked my curiosity.  The crust was simply crushed graham crackers, a touch of sugar, and one egg white.  No butter!  The filling called for low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat sour cream, 2 egg whites and 1 egg, a mere half cup of sugar (compared to one and a half cups in traditional cheesecake), vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of flour.  Really?  That was it?  This recipe sounded too good to be true.

This cheesecake certainly tasted lighter and less cheesy than your standard cheesecake but it was still very good.  It was just perfect for E’s family as they don’t have very big sweet teeth (?), unlike yours truly.  In addition to being low-fat (4 g per serving), it’s high in protein, relatively low in calories, and very easy to make.

The cheesecake was a hit (even the dog thought so!) and I’ll definitely be making it again.  Happy Birthday E!

Blueberry Birthday Cheesecake

 

Say “Cheesecake” (from Looneyspoons)

1-1/2 cups crushed graham wafers
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg white
1 cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
2 cups low-fat (5%) sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
Blueberry (or cherry) sauce or pie filling (see below)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together graham crumbs and sugar.  Add 1 egg white and stir until well-blended, using your fingers if needed.  Press crumb mixture firmly over the bottom and part way up sides (about 1 cm high) of springform pan.  Bake until edges feel firm and dry, about 8 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven to 300 degrees Fahreinheit.
  3. In a blender or food processor, process cottage cheese until smooth (about 1 minute).  Add sour cream and continue to blend, ensuring no lumps remain.  Add sugar, flour, egg, egg whites, and vanilla and process again until well blended.
  4. Pour filling into pie crust and bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until edges are dry to the touch and centre jiggles only slightly when pan is shaken.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving.  Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan and remove sides.  Serve with sauce or pie filling on top.

Makes 8 large slices.  Per slice (cake only): 245 kcal, 3.6 g fat, 234 mg sodium, 11 g protein

For a quick and easy blueberry sauce, in a medium pot combine approximately 2 cups of fresh of frozen blueberries, 1 to 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice, and roughly 1/2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.  Let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve (sauce will thicken as it cools).  Spoon over cheesecake just before serving.

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The Mighty Caesar

31 Aug

My apologies… this post is WAY overdue!  I made this Caesar Salad to accompany the Eggplant Parmesan from a week ago (er, two weeks ago) and I haven’t gotten around to posting the recipe until now.  The past couple of weeks have been busy– I had to pack up my kitchen into boxes, deal with frustrating movers, then try to find new homes for my gadgets while tripping over half-empty boxes and partially assembled furniture in my new “big city” apartment.  On the bright side, the unpacking is now done (ish) and I will be able to eat, drink, and be merry in my new space. Hurrah!

Enough of me, now onto the Caesar Salad.  I decided to call this the MIGHTY Caesar because the oil found in your typical Caesar dressing is replaced with cottage cheese and plain yogurt– good sources of protein and calcium, respectively– which will help make you… mighty!

As long as you have a food processor or a blender on hand, this dressing is a cinch to prepare and is so much healthier than traditional Caesar dressing.  I really like the tartness that the plain yogurt adds, although I must say that I’ve fooled a picky eater or two who thought this dressing made the salad taste just like “normal” Caesar salad.  See if you can fool your guests!

I love making Cajun croutons to accompany this Caesar dressing.  They, too, are incredibly easy to make and definitely beat the butter-laden store-bought kind.  Instead of bacon, I toasted a handful of sliced almonds in a dry pan over medium heat just until they were aromatic and a golden brown. Right before taking them off the heat, I added a splash of soy sauce and stirred quickly to coat.  The saltiness and crunchiness of the almonds made them taste almost like bacon bits (okay, maybe not) and complemented the salad well.
 

A Mighty Caesar Salad


 
Light Caesar Salad Dressing  (from EatingWell.com)

1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup cottage cheese (1%)
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon of salt, or to taste (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Puree garlic and cottage cheese in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add yogurt, Parmesan, white wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and pulse to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Makes about 1 cup.  Per 3 tbsp serving: 45 kcal, 1.6 g fat, 150 mg sodium

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Cajun Croutons  (from Cooking Light Magazine, July 1995)

2 cups whole wheat bread, cubed (I like to use whole wheat buns– you get a better crust to interior ratio!)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium glass bowl, microwave oil, garlic, and Cajun seasoning on high for 40 to 60 seconds.  Add bread and toss well to coat.  Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, checking frequently to ensure bread doesn’t burn.

Makes about 2 cups of croutons.