Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered so many great flavor combinations by experimenting with these bowl meals and I hope they inspire you as well. This Cottage […]

The post Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered so many great flavor combinations by experimenting with these bowl meals and I hope they inspire you as well. This Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl is my most recent favorite. It’s light and fresh for this early summer heat, but still filling enough to serve as a whole meal (for me, at least).

Sriracha being drizzled onto a cottage cheese crab bowl, from above

What’s In This Bowl

This cottage cheese crab bowl was inspired by the classic sushi roll, the California roll, which contains crab (or often times imitation crab), cucumber, and avocado. I had been seeing imitation crab every time I stopped and Aldi and I eventually started craving it, so I bought a pack, I grabbed a cucumber, and threw them on top of the cottage cheese I had in my fridge. I also went a step further and sprinkled on a little bit of Everything Bagel Seasoning, and a light drizzle of sriracha for fun. It’s not fancy, but it’s soooo good!

P.S. If you have avocado on hand, it would go marvelously with these flavors, just like it does in the California roll. 

What is Everything Bagel Seasoning?

Everything bagel seasoning has been taking the food market by storm lately. It’s basically the mix of ingredients that you’d find on top of an “everything” bagel, or sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flakey salt, dehydrated garlic, and dehydrated onion. I’m not sure who marketed this seasoning blend first, but the first time I saw it was at Trader Joes. It’s gotten so popular lately that several other grocery stores are now making their own version, including Kroger and Aldi. 

What is Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab might throw some people off, and I totally get it. Imitation crab is basically fish that has been processed to taste and look more like crab. It’s probably not the most wholesome choice of proteins, but it’s so much less expensive than real crab and since I only eat it maybe once a year, I’m not going to sweat it. I’m all about everything in moderation, and I encourage everyone to make the food choices that they are comfortable with. Here is a great article from Healthline breaking down exactly what imitation crab is and how it compares to real crab, so you can decide for yourself: What is Imitation Crab and Should I Eat It?

Can I Substitute…

The whole idea of a “bowl meal” is that you allow yourself to be a little experimental, throw in whatever you have, and just go with it. So, can you substitute the imitation crab? Sure, go with what you have. Maybe a soft boiled egg, some canned tuna, real crab, cooked salmon, or smoked salmon. Can you substitute the Everything Bagel Seasoning? Sure, maybe try some plain sesame seeds, or just some freshly cracked pepper and flakey sea salt. Can you substitute the cottage cheese? Sure, try a bed of rice, or maybe some fresh greens. I can’t guarantee you’ll like any of these substitutes, but the point is that you try it and see for yourself. :)

Close up of a bite of Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl on a fork

 
Overhead view of a Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

This Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl is the perfect light, fresh, and filling lunch for summer. It also meal preps well, so pack a few to take to work for lunch! 
Total Cost $1.21 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 149.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese $0.27
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber $0.32
  • 1/3 cup imitation crab $0.58
  • 1/4 tsp everything bagel seasoning $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the cottage cheese, chopped cucumber, and crab meat to a bowl. Top with everything bagel seasoning and a light drizzle of sriracha.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat, up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 149.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.4g | Protein: 15.7g | Fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 710.4mg | Fiber: 0.8g

Want more bowl meals? Check out our bowl meal category

How to Make Cottage Cheese Crab Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Sliced cucumber on a cutting board with a knife

Chop about a ½ cup cucumber. Depending on the girth of your cucumber, you may want to either halve or quarter the slices to make them bite-sized.

Imitation crab meat package

This is the imitation crab meat that I got at Aldi. You can usually find it in the seafood department in grocery stores, but at Aldi it’s with the seasonal refrigerated items. So I’m not sure if they’ll continue to carry this item forever.

Everything bagel seasoning bottle

And here is the everything bagel seasoning I used. I’ve used different brands and each seems to have a different salt content, so you may just want to add your seasoning to the bowl according to your tastes. I find that this one from Aldi has a lot more salt than the one from Kroger (I prefer the less salt version). 

Adding everything bagel seasoning to the crab bowl

To make the cottage cheese crab bowl, start with ½ cup cottage cheese, add ½ cup chopped cucumber, about ⅓ cup of the imitation crab, and then sprinkle on some of the everything bagel seasoning (I used ¼ tsp, but would have used more if it had less salt).

cottage cheese crab bowl being drizzled with sriracha

Finally, drizzle a little sriracha on top.

Finished Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Then enjoy! This bowl meal preps really well, so feel free to make a few for easy grab and go lunches later in the week!

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Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a […]

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Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a super colorful, vibrant, flavorful dinner, but they also meal prep well, so consider making them for your weekday lunches!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl next to a lime and bowl of cilantro lime ranch

Are There Any Shortcuts I can Take?

This recipe does look like a lot of “parts” but I promise it really is easy to throw together. That being said, there are a couple of shortcuts you can take if you want to make it even easier. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, they sell a frozen corn that is already “fire roasted” and it’s SO good. You can use that in place of blistering the regular frozen corn in the skillet. You can definitely use a store-bought cilantro lime ranch instead of making your own, or any southwest-inspired ranch dressing you can find (chipotle, avocado, etc.). And lastly, if you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of taco seasoning in place of the taco spices listed below.

What Else Can I Put in My Taco Bowl?

One of the reasons I love bowl meals the most is that they are extremely flexible and they allow you to use leftover ingredients that are lingering in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. Here are some other things that you can throw into your taco bowl, if you have them:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey jack, even feta)
  • radishes (sliced thin)
  • fresh red onion
  • pickled red onion
  • bell peppers (diced, sliced, or roasted)
  • salsa
  • lettuce

How to Meal Prep Your Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

If you want to prepare this meal for grab and go lunches (meal prep), divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, and blistered corn between four containers as soon as they are done cooking. You can skip heating the black beans, because you’ll just be placing the containers straight into the refrigerator, to be reheated later. Pack the bowls with the remaining fresh ingredients (tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges), but leave the dressing separate. When you’re ready to eat your bowl, reheat the bowl in the microwave until hot, then top with the dressing and enjoy.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Frozen cauliflower roasts really well in the oven, but you may have a hard time getting the taco seasoning to stick to the frozen cauliflower. You would probably need to let it thaw completely before seasoning and roasting. The thawed frozen cauliflower will likely roast a bit faster than the fresh cauliflower. I would use about 1 pound frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Close up side view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch

 

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

These light and flavorful Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls have tons of color, flavor, and texture to keep you coming back for more! Great for meal prep!

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.11)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.11)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($0.89)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onion for garnish ($0.20)
  1. Prepare the cilantro lime ranch first, so the flavors have time to blend. Zest the lime, then squeeze the juice from half, and cut the other half into wedges for serving. You'll need about 1 Tbsp lime juice. Finely chop about 1 Tbsp cilantro and one green onion.

  2. Combine the ingredients for the cilantro lime ranch in a bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, salt). Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until you're ready to eat.

  3. Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

  4. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it's brown and crispy on the edges.

  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

  6. Add the undrained can of black beans to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through (if making the bowls for meal prep, skip heating the beans).

  7. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is browned and blistered (about 7-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  8. Slice the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the cilantro, and slice a green onions for garnish.

  9. To build the bowls, divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a pinch of cilantro, sliced green onion, and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro lime ranch over top just before eating.

*The chili powder listed is a blend of spices, usually fairly mild, that is generally used to season a pot of chili. It is not straight ground red chiles. 

Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cilantro lime ranch in a bowl

Make the cilantro lime ranch first. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice from half of it (you’ll need 1 Tbsp juice). Slice the other half into wedges for serving. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 chopped green onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until ready to eat.

Season cauliflower florets with taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning: 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the baking sheet. 

Roasted cauliflower on the baking sheet

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a small sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 more minutes with the lid in place. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

Warmed black beans in a sauce pot, a spoon lifting some toward the camera

Add one 15oz. can of black beans (undrained) to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If making your cauliflower bowls for meal prep, you can skip heating the beans, since the bowls will be going straight into the refrigerator.

Blistered corn in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 cup frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is a little browned and blistered (7-8 minutes).

Chopped fresh toppings for cauliflower bowls

Finally, prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, cut the remaining half lime into wedges (if you haven’t already), slice a green onion or two, and chop a little cilantro.

Build the cauliflower taco bowls

Once all the components are prepared, it’s time to build the bowls! Divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a little cilantro and sliced green onion.

Cilantro lime ranch being drizzled over a cauliflower bowl

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl if it is refrigerated, then top with a drizzle of cilantro lime ranch and enjoy!

A finished roasted cauliflower taco bowl with cilantro lime ranch, with a black fork on the side.

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

Sheet pan meals are my savior. There’s really nothing easier than roasting vegetables in the oven, and it happens to make them taste really good, too. Add a little meat to the vegetables and you have a meal! For this Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables sheet pan meal, I also added a homemade smoky vinaigrette […]

The post Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sheet pan meals are my savior. There’s really nothing easier than roasting vegetables in the oven, and it happens to make them taste really good, too. Add a little meat to the vegetables and you have a meal! For this Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables sheet pan meal, I also added a homemade smoky vinaigrette for an extra blast of flavor. And as always, this recipe meal preps well! So cook now and enjoy later. ;)

Sheet Pan Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

A hand drizzling smoky vinaigrette over a sheet pan full of roasted sausage and vegetables

What Kind of Smoked Sausage Should I Use?

You can literally use any type of smoked sausage for this recipe. I used beef sausage today, but you can use pork, turkey, kielbasa, or any other type of smoked sausage. The key here is to make sure it’s smoked sausage. You want that smoky flavor and a sausage that is firm enough to slice.

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Absolutely! I would try to include some sort of onion in there, but other than that you can switch them up for anything else, like potatoes, zucchini, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, or even potatoes. Just try to cut your vegetables in similar sized pieces so everything cooks are a fairly similar rate.

How Long Does This Keep?

As with most meal preps, I suggest keeping your meal for a maximum of about four days. This recipe probably isn’t the best candidate for freezing, but if you’re not too picky you might find it perfectly acceptable after freezing and reheating.

Overhead view of a plate with rice and roasted sausage and vegetables. Mason jar with vinaigrette on the side

 

Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

These Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables are an easy sheet pan meal with a smoky homemade vinaigrette that gives an extra blast of flavor.

Smoky Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.64)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp coarse deli mustard (or Dijon) ($0.08)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar ($0.02)

Sausage and Vegetables

  • 12 oz. smoked sausage ($2.75)
  • 1 lb. broccoli crown ($1.69)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) ($1.00)
  • 1 red onion ($0.44)

For Serving

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.20)
  • 1 handful chopped parsley ($0.20)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl or jar combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette (olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar). Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.

  3. Slice the smoked sausage into 1/2-inch medallions. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Dice the bell pepper and onion into 1-inch pieces. Place the sausage, broccoli, bell pepper, and onion onto the baking sheet.

  4. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the vinaigrette over the sausage and vegetables and toss to coat.

  5. Roast the vegetables in the fully preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until they're browned on the edges, stirring once half way through.

  6. While the sausage and vegetables are roasting, cook the rice. Add the rice and 2 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, undisturbed, lid in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork just before serving.

  7. After the sausage and vegetables have finished roasting, add half of the remaining vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season with an extra pinch of salt and pepper if needed.

  8. To serving, add about 3/4 cup rice to each bowl or container along with 1/4 of the roasted sausage and vegetables. Drizzle another spoonful of the vinaigrette over top, then finish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three glass meal prep containers with rice and Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

These are Pyrex 3-cup glass food storage containers. You can find them in my Amazon Shop.

How to Make Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Smoky vinaigrette in a mason jar with spoon

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl or jar combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp coarse deli mustard (or Dijon), ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and ¼ tsp sugar. Whisk the ingredients together, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.

Smoked beef sausage, broccoli, onion, and bell pepper

This time around I used smoked beef sausage, broccoli, red onion, and a yellow bell pepper, but you can modify this to meet your budget or what you have on hand. For some ideas of what else might work, read my suggestions in the paragraphs above the recipe.

Chopped vegetables and sliced sausage on the baking sheet

Slice the smoked sausage into ½-inch thick pieces, cut the broccoli into small florets, and dice the onion and bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Spread the sausage and vegetables over a parchment lined baking sheet (I don’t have parchment in the photo, because I like to fight stuck on food. J/K, it’s just better for photos). 

Seasoned sausage and vegetables on the baking sheet

Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the smoky vinaigrette over the sausage and vegetables, then toss until they’re well coated.

Roasted sausage and vegetables on the baking sheet

Roast the sausage and vegetables in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until they’re well browned, stirring once half way through.

Cooked Rice

While the sausage and vegetables are roasting, cook the rice. Add 1 cup white rice to a sauce pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn it down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it sit with the lid in place for another 5 minutes. Finally, fluff it with a fork.

vinaigrette being drizzled over sausage and vegetables

After the sausage and vegetables have finished roasting, drizzle about ½ of the remaining smoky vinaigrette over top, and toss to coat. Season with an extra pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.

A bowl of rice with smoky roasted sausage and vegetables, vinaigrette being drizzled on top with a spoon.

To serve, place about ¾ cup rice in a bowl or container, add ¼ of the roasted sausage and vegetables, and drizzle one last spoonful of the vinaigrette over top. Sprinkle a little fresh parsley over the bowl and serve.

meal prepped roasted sausage and vegetables in rectangular glass containers

You can refrigerate the Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables for about four days. Hello lunch!

Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables on the sheet pan with a spatula scooping some in the bottom corner

Love sheet pan meals? Check out my Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken Dinner, Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner, or Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Vegetables.

The post Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls 6 Ways

Food trends are one factor that can have a big impact on ingredient costs. It’s all about the laws of supply and demand. If the demand is low but supply is relatively stable, the cost will come down. And do you know what food isn’t exactly trendy right now? Cottage cheese. It may not be […]

The post Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls 6 Ways appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Food trends are one factor that can have a big impact on ingredient costs. It’s all about the laws of supply and demand. If the demand is low but supply is relatively stable, the cost will come down. And do you know what food isn’t exactly trendy right now? Cottage cheese. It may not be a popular food, but it is extremely versatile and an excellent source of inexpensive protein. So I’m going to try to make it popular again. 😂 Starting with these meal prep friendly Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls.

Six Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese for Breakfast

Six flavors of Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls in glass meal prep containers

How to Meal Prep Your Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

I made one each of the six different flavors for the photos in this post, but you’ll probably get the most out of your time and money if you prepare four of one flavor at a time. That way you don’t have to buy several different ingredients for each one, or have partial leftover ingredients like a ½ banana, cucumber, or apple. Use the whole piece of fruit and make more than one bowl at a time.

If you’re concerned about the apple and banana getting brown, you can opt to chop those fresh daily. Personally, I’d rather do it all at once and just not worry about the appearance later. Brown does not mean it’s spoiled, only that it has been exposed to oxygen.

Prepared cottage cheese breakfast bowls will be good in the refrigerator for about four days.

What Meal Prep Containers Do You Use?

I’m slowly transitioning from plastic Ziploc containers to glass. The Ziploc containers are inexpensive, convenient (lightweight), dishwasher and freezer safe, and a great option if you’re on a budget. Glass containers are great because they are extremely durable, are also dishwasher and freezer safe (oven safe, too!), they last a lifetime, and therefore reduce waste. The glass containers in the photos are part of a 26 piece set made by Anchor Hocking, and can be found in my Amazon Shop. I also love Pyrex glass meal prep containers.

Customize the Cost and Nutritional Content of Your Breakfast Bowls

I wanted to show you a variety of ways to use cottage cheese in a breakfast bowl so you could see that not only does it pair with many different flavors, but you can also make the bowls to match your price point and nutritional needs. This happens to be the first post on Budget Bytes to include nutritional content (we’ll be adding to the rest of the site starting this week!), so you can see how the different bowls compare. All of the stats below were calculated using 2% fat cottage cheese.

Are you ready to see all these awesome flavors? Yes, I’m calling cottage cheese awesome.

How to Make Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

Apple Cinnamon:

Close up overhead view of an Apple Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl in a glass meal prep container

This Apple Cinnamon flavored Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl is probably the best flavor for cottage cheese newbies to try. It’s not scary at all. It’s a lot like a yogurt parfait, but with a slightly different texture! And honestly, with all the texture from the apples and walnuts, you’re not going to notice the texture of the cottage cheese at all.

If you’re concerned about your apples browning, either chop them fresh each day, or sprinkle a little lemon juice on them just after chopping.

 

Apple Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Protein packed creamy cottage cheese, sweet and juicy apples, warm cinnamon, and crunchy walnuts make a delightful and healthy no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/2 apple, chopped ($0.25)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup ($0.30)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon ($0.02)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or container. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


Peanut Butter and Jelly:

A spoon digging into a glass container full of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

This flavor may be a little more experimental for some. If you think of cottage cheese as being a lot like yogurt, that might help you imagine how this combo tastes. Cottage cheese is like yogurt, minus the acidity, so it actually tastes creamier. It goes great with both sweet (jam) and savory (PB) flavors. The oats in this bowl will soak up the moisture as it’s stored, just like overnight oats, but you can also eat it immediately with the oats still dry. Banana would also be a great addition to this bowl!

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Hearty oats, creamy cottage cheese, sweet jam, and rich peanut butter make a filling and delicious no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats ($0.04)
  • 1 Tbsp jam (any flavor) ($0.05)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.08)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or container. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


The Savory Bowl:

A glass bowl with cottage cheese, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper.

If you’re a savory breakfast lover, like me, you’ll LOVE this one. Tons of fresh crunchy vegetables, an extra dose of protein with the hard boiled egg, and a little cracked black pepper for good measure. It’s simple, delicious, and honestly, good any time of the day!

 

Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, fresh crunchy vegetables, an extra shot of protein from a hard boiled egg, and a little black pepper to kick things up make this easy, protein-filled breakfast!

  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 6 grape tomatoes ($0.47)
  • 6 slices cucumber ($0.22)
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  1. Add one inch of water in a small sauce pot, place a lid on top, and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, carefully add the egg using either tongs or a slotted spoon. Replace the lid and let the egg steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and use the tongs or slotted spoon to transfer the egg to a bowl of ice water. Peal the egg once it is cool enough to handle. (If meal prepping these bowls, peel the eggs daily.)

  2. Add the cottage cheese, tomatoes (sliced or whole), sliced cucumber, peeled egg, and some black pepper to a bowl. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


Blueberry Almond:

Cottage cheese, blueberries, sliced almonds, and honey in a glass meal prep container

This simple bowl is sure to be a hit with its familiar breakfast flavors. Again, this cottage cheese breakfast bowl is a lot like a yogurt parfait, but with cottage cheese swapped out for the yogurt. The little bit of honey drizzled on top makes the bowl so 👌👌👌. It almost tastes a little like blueberry cheesecake!

 

Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, juicy blueberries, crunchy almonds, and a little drizzle of honey make a breakfast bowl that tastes surprisingly like blueberry cheesecake!

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (optional) ($0.03)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries ($0.37)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds ($0.25)
  • 1 tsp honey ($0.04)
  1. Add the vanilla extract to the cottage cheese and stir to combine. Top the cottage cheese with the blueberries, almonds, and honey. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


The Tropical Bowl:

Cottage cheese, pineapple, banana, and coconut in a glass meal prep container

This one is a little like ambrosia salad, minus the icky stuff like marshmallows and maraschino cherries. Haha! The creamy cottage cheese pairs so nicely with the sweet tropical fruit, it’s like they were made for each other! I suggest using frozen pineapple tidbits for this bowl, since you can save the leftovers without them going bad, and they tend to have a better texture than canned. Canned pineapple can be used, if needed. Just make sure to get pineapple canned in juice, not syrup.

 

Tropical Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, sweet banana and coconut, plus tangy pineapple make a delicious and easy no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp shredded coconut ($0.02)
  • 1/4 banana, sliced ($0.05)
  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl. If you plan to enjoy immediately, allow the pineapple to thaw before adding to the bowl. If you plan to store the breakfast bowl for later, the pineapple can be added frozen. Refrigerate the bowl in an air-tight container for up to four days.


Chocolate Peanut Butter

Chocolate flavored cottage cheese with peanut butter and granola in a glass bowl

Yes, you can make chocolate flavored cottage cheese! And I promise, it’s delish!! I added cinnamon granola to my chocolate peanut butter cottage cheese bowl, but you could do any flavor granola, or even plain rolled oats. Sliced banana would also go awesome with this one!

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

A slightly sweetened chocolate flavored cottage cheese makes the base for this decadent high protein no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract ($0.03)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.08)
  • 1/4 cup granola ($0.18)
  1. Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, and vanilla to the cottage cheese and stir to combine. The cocoa may not blend in completely immediately, but it will after it sits a few moments and the powder hydrates.

  2. Add the flavored cottage cheese to a bowl and top with granola and a drizzle of peanut butter. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to four days.


So how about you? Do you like this slightly unpopular ingredient? If so, share your favorite way to eat cottage cheese in the comments below!

Six glass bowls with different flavors of cottage cheese breakfast bowls inside.

Want more breakfast meal prep? Check out our Breakfast Meal Prep Category!

The post Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls 6 Ways appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

I’m kind of obsessed with meatballs. They’re easy to make, filling, they pack well for lunches, are freezer-friendly, and can be paired with so many different flavors. Plus, I just kind of think meatballs cute (is that weird?). This time I seasoned my meatballs with some garlic and ginger, and drenched them in a homemade […]

The post Teriyaki Meatball Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m kind of obsessed with meatballs. They’re easy to make, filling, they pack well for lunches, are freezer-friendly, and can be paired with so many different flavors. Plus, I just kind of think meatballs cute (is that weird?). This time I seasoned my meatballs with some garlic and ginger, and drenched them in a homemade teriyaki sauce for these super easy and delish Teriyaki Meatball Bowls. You’re going to love the simplicity of this meal, and those juicy little pork and ginger meatballs!

Originally posted 1-20-2012, updated 12-6-2019

Homemade Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Teriyaki meatball bowls with teriyaki sauce being drizzled on top with a spoon, a bowl of sesame seeds on the side.

Can I substitute the Pork?

I used ground pork for this recipe because it’s inexpensive and always juicy, but you could certainly use ground turkey or chicken instead. The bulk of the flavor comes in the potent teriyaki glaze that coats the meatballs, so any milder ground meat works great. Ground beef can be used, but I find the flavors work a little better with mild white meat.

How long do the Teriyaki Meatball Bowls last?

You can store these meatball bowls in the refrigerator for about 4 days. To reheat, simply microwave for about 2 minutes, or until heated through.

Can the Meatball Bowls be Frozen?

Most of the components of these bowls are freezer friendly—the meatballs, rice, and broccoli. The teriyaki sauce, however, is not. Sauces thickened with cornstarch don’t tend to hold up to freezing and thawing. So you have a few options here. You can freeze the cooked or uncooked meatballs to quickly reheat or cook on busy nights, and then make the rest of the dish fresh, or freeze the meatball bowls whole but without the teriyaki sauce. You can then make the teriyaki sauce fresh and drizzle over top after reheating the bowls.

Teriyaki Meatball bowls in rectangular glass meal prep containers

You can find these rectangular Pyrex meal prep containers in my Amazon Shop.

Other Ways to Serve Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

If you love pineapple with your teriyaki, simply stir a can of drained pineapple tidbits into the sauce, or use thawed frozen pineapple tidbits. These teriyaki meatballs also make a great appetizer! Just drench them in the sauce and serve with toothpicks.

Updated Recipe

As mentioned above, this is an updated version of an old recipe from 2012. The older version had more of a sesame sauce, whereas this newer version is a straight, classic teriyaki sauce. If you’re a fan of the older version, click here to download the old recipe.

 

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls include fragrant jasmine rice, tender pork meatballs, hoemamde teriyaki sauce, and broccoli florets for an easy meal prep friendly meal!

PORK AND GINGER MEATBALLS

  • 1 lb. ground pork ($3.49)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs ($0.13)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce ($0.02)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.2)

TERIYAKI SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce ($0.48)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ($0.18)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.20)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch ($0.06)

FOR SERVING

  • 1 cup jasmine rice ($0.66)
  • 2 cups water ($0.00)
  • 2 green onions ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds ($0.8)
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets ($2.59)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Begin with the meatball mixture. Add the ground pork, egg, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sliced green onions to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until evenly combined.

  2. Divide and shape the meatball mixture into 16 ping pong sized balls. Place the shaped meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Baked the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of at least 160ºF.

  3. While the meatballs are cooking, begin the rice. Add the jasmine rice and water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top and turn the heat onto high. Bring the pot up to a full boil, then turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer, undisturbed for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit, with the lid still in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

  4. While the rice and meatballs are cooking, prepare the teriyaki sauce. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, water, and cornstarch in a medium sauce pot. Stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Place the pot over medium heat. Stir and cook the sauce until it begins to simmer, at which point the sauce will thicken and turn from opaque to a shiny sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.

  5. Finally, if serving the meatball bowls immediately, cook the frozen broccoli florets according to the package instructions. If you're packing the bowls as meal prep, the broccoli florets can be added in their frozen state.

  6. Once the meatballs have finished baking, add them to the sauce pot with the teriyaki sauce and stir to coat.

  7. To build the bowls, divide the cooked rice and broccoli florets between four bowls or containers. Add four meatballs to each bowl, then drizzle the extra sauce overtop. Finish the bowls by adding sliced green onion and sesame seeds to each bowl.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of teriyaki meatball bowls with sauce being drizzled over top

 

How to Make Teriyaki Meatball Bowls – Step By Step Photos

Pork and Ginger Meatball Ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine 1 lb. ground pork, 1 large egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 sliced green onions, and 1/2 tsp soy sauce in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until they are evenly combined.

Shaped pork meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Divide and shape the meatball mixture into 16 ping pong sized balls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Baked pork meatballs on the baking sheet.

Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 160ºF.

Cooked Rice in a pot.

Once the meatballs are in the oven, begin the rice. Add 1 cup jasmine rice and 2 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top and put the pot over high heat. Bring the pot up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer with the lid in place for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed for 5 more minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Teriyaki sauce in the pot uncooked

Once the meatballs and rice have started, it’s time to make the quick teriyaki sauce. In a medium sauce pot, combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, about 2 tsp grated ginger, 1 cup water, and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Cooked teriyaki sauce in the sauce pot

Place the sauce pot over medium heat and cook the sauce, stirring often, until it comes up to a simmer. When it reaches a simmer the sauce will thicken into a shiny glaze. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Frozen broccoli florets

If you’re going to be serving the teriyaki meatball bowls right away, heat 1 pound of frozen broccoli florets according to the package directions (or just heat in the microwave). If you’re going to be packing these bowls up for meal prep, the broccoli florets can go into the containers frozen.

Meatballs coated in teriyaki sauce in the sauce pot

By this time the meatballs should be finished baking. Transfer them to the pot with the teriyaki sauce and stir to coat.

Finished teriyaki meatball bowls with a fork, yellow napkin, and bowl of sesame seeds.

To build your bowls, divide the cooked rice and broccoli florets between four bowls. Add four meatballs to each bowl and drizzle the extra sauce over top. Finish the bowls by topping with more sliced green onion and some sesame seeds.

Teriyaki meatball bowls in rectangular glass meal prep containers

As with any meal prep, if you’re packing these up for later, make sure to get them into the refrigerator right away so they can cool down as quickly as possible to maintain quality and avoid food safety issues.

The post Teriyaki Meatball Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

I hope I’ve convinced you to experiment with leftovers in your fridge by now. Most of my favorite recipe creations have come from me just piling whatever I have leftover in my fridge into a bowl or pot, and seeing how it turns out, including this Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen. I’m not kidding when I […]

The post Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I hope I’ve convinced you to experiment with leftovers in your fridge by now. Most of my favorite recipe creations have come from me just piling whatever I have leftover in my fridge into a bowl or pot, and seeing how it turns out, including this Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen. I’m not kidding when I say this is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted, and it only takes about 15 minutes and a handful of ingredients. #totalwin

Noodles being lifted by chopsticks out of a black bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen

I had some coconut milk leftover from making my Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala on Facebook live the other day, plus Aldi had baby bella mushrooms on sale for $1.69 per container 😱 so I had purchased some of those with the intent of roasting them, which didn’t happen. I came home ravenous for carbs after Orange Theory, saw that coconut milk and the mushrooms in my fridge, and immediately knew what I needed to make! 

The super simple broth for this ramen (vegetable broth + coconut milk) is so freaking good that I’m 100% going to be making a regular “cream” of mushroom soup with this method in the near future. So if you don’t like ramen but love creamy mushroom, just hang tight. ;)

What Kind of Mushrooms are Best for Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

Definitely try to get baby bellas or full sized portabella mushrooms for this recipe. The deep color and robust flavor of these mushrooms makes a big impact, and I think regular button mushrooms would fall flat. 

What Kind of Coconut Milk Should I Use?

I used full-fat coconut milk in a can for this recipe and it made the broth extremely rich and delicious (and surprisingly it didn’t taste like coconut). I think you might be able to get away with using light coconut milk, but just be aware that the broth won’t be nearly as creamy or thick. I do not suggest using the dairy milk substitute type of coconut milk that comes in a carton. It is FAR too thin. Only canned coconut milk for this recipe.

Overhead view of a bowl full of Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen garnished with chili garlic sauce and green onion

What Kind of Ramen Should I Use?

I used the super basic, super cheap, 25₵ per pack ramen. Nothing fancy needed here. I did toss the seasoning packet and use my own vegetable broth, though (Better Than Bouillon). 

What Else Can I Put in My Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen?

Whatever you want! Ramen is one of those great “catch all” dishes that is good for tossing all your leftover vegetables and proteins into. Check out my post about 6 Ways to Update Instant Ramen to see what other fun things I like to put in my ramen. Some quick ideas are tofu, sliced bell pepper, sesame seeds, or shredded cabbage or carrot.

 

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

This incredibly simple Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen is a rich and flavorful 15 minute meal that only requires a handful of ingredients! 

  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.02)
  • 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms ($0.85)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth ($0.20)
  • 1 handful fresh spinach ($0.53)
  • 1 package ramen noodles (discard seasoning) ($0.25)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned) ($0.66)

Optional Garnishes

  • 1 green onion, sliced ($0.11)
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce ($0.13)
  1. Slice the mushrooms. Add them to a small sauce pot with the cooking oil and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft, dark, and all the moisture in the bottom of the pot has evaporated.

  2. Add the vegetable broth, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, add the ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) to the broth. Cook the noodles in the boiling broth for about 3 minutes, or until tender.

  3. Turn the heat off, add a heaping handful of fresh spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted (about 30 seconds). Pour the coconut milk into the pot and stir to combine.

  4. Serve the Vegan Creamy Coconut Ramen as-is, or with garnishes like green onion or chili garlic sauce.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks lifting some noodles

How to Make Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen – Step by Step Photos

Baby bella mushrooms being sliced on a white cutting board

Slice 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms (about 4-5 mushrooms or half of an 8 oz. package). If you want to do full sized portobella mushrooms, just slice the caps in half, then slice crosswise into thin strips.

Cooked sliced mushrooms in a sauce pot

Add the sliced mushrooms to a small sauce pot with about 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil (your favorite type of oil to cook with, any type is fine). Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they are soft and dark, and all the liquid they release has evaporated out of the pot.

Vegetable oil being poured into the sauce pot with the cooked mushrooms

Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth to the pot with the mushrooms. I use broth made with Better Than Bouillon broth concentrate. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the broth to come up to a boil (this goes faster with a lid).

Dry ramen added to the broth in the pot

Add one “brick” of ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packet) to the broth and continue to boil for about 3 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.

Spinach added to the sauce pot.

Turn off the heat and add a heaping handful of fresh spinach to the soup. Stir until the spinach is wilted (about 3o seconds).

Coconut milk being poured into the ramen noodles in the pot

Finally, pour in 1/2 cup coconut milk (the canned kind, not the dairy milk substitute kind in a carton). Stir to combine.

Finished vegan creamy mushroom ramen in the sauce pot

And that’s literally all it takes! Done in about 15 minutes. You can serve it as is, or add some fun toppings.

Front view of noodles being lifted out of a bowl of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks

I added sliced green onion and some chili garlic sauce to mine. The sharp chili garlic sauce added a nice contrast to the super creamy broth!

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