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!

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

Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip

I’m continuing my new love affair with cottage cheese and experimenting with all the fun things you can do with this inexpensive source of protein. I know a lot of people just can’t stand the texture of cottage cheese, so I wanted to play around with whipping it up into a smooth sauce or dip […]

The post Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m continuing my new love affair with cottage cheese and experimenting with all the fun things you can do with this inexpensive source of protein. I know a lot of people just can’t stand the texture of cottage cheese, so I wanted to play around with whipping it up into a smooth sauce or dip to get rid of the “curds” that turn so many people off. My first experiment was this Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip (using my all-purpose garlic herb seasoning), which turned out amazing and tastes a lot like ranch dip, but with way better nutrition stats. Pair this creamy dip with some vegetables and crackers for dipping and you’ve got a pretty meal-worthy “snack.”

Smooth & Creamy Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese Dip

A platter full of crackers and vegetables with a bowl of garlic herb cottage cheese dip in the center

How to Use Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese Dip (or spread!)

As I was crunching down on my cottage cheese dipped vegetables and crackers, I was thinking of all the delicious ways you could use this dip! In addition to dipping vegetables and crackers, this dip would make an awesome spread for a veggie sandwich or wrap sandwich. And I’d totally spread this all over a toasted bagel if I didn’t have any cream cheese on hand. And while I haven’t tried it, I suspect this would be good stirred into mashed potatoes! 😱

How Long Does it Keep?

You probably don’t want to keep this in your fridge any longer than about 5 days. Dried herbs and spices contain natural yeasts and molds that become activated when hydrated, and they can grow at colder refrigerator temperatures. But hey, this is a small 1 cup batch, so I think you’ll be able to eat it up within that time!

What Kind of Blender do I Need?

I just used my super inexpensive Hamilton Beach single serving blender (the type usually marketed for smoothies), so you definitely don’t need anything super powerful to make this dip. If you have a small food processor, that would also work well. 

What Brand Cottage Cheese Do you Recommend?

Okay, so here’s the thing with cottage cheese: they can vary a LOT from brand to brand. I find that a lot of brands add a lot of extra ingredients in attempt to make the texture and color better, but IMHO those ingredients just end up making it taste a little off. So, I look for brands with the least amount of Ingredients. Daisy is the best I’ve found, but it’s also more expensive. The worst, IMHO, is Kroger brand. This week I used Aldi’s Friendly Farms brand and it fell somewhere in the middle. It’s okay and the price is great, so I rolled with it. Feel free to leave your favorite brand in the comments below! I’d love to hear your fav’s.

4%, Low-fat, or No-fat Cottage Cheese?

I definitely recommend 4% fat cottage cheese for this recipe. The little bit of fat really helps the flavor and mouthfeel of the dip and even though it’s the “highest fat” version available, it’s still far less than sour cream or mayonnaise based dips.

A cracker being dipped into the whipped cottage cheese dip, the platter of vegetables and crackers in the background

Shown in a small Splatterware Collection enamelware bowl.

 

Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip

Say goodbye to curds because this Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese Dip is whipped until smooth and creamy for a high protein vegetable and chip dip!

  • 1 tsp dried parsley ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese ($0.53)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice ($0.01)
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth. You may need to add about 1 Tbsp water if the mixture is too thick to blend, but avoid adding excess water as this will make your dip too thin.

  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

How to Make Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese – Step by Step Photos

all-purpose garlic herb seasoning in a small wooden bowl

Make the All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning by combining 1 Tbsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill).

Add cottage cheese and seasoning to a blender

Add 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 tsp lemon juice, and your garlic herb seasoning to a blender. Purée until smooth, adding a tablespoon of water, if needed, if the mixture is too thick to blend.

A spoon lifting some whipped cottage cheese dip out of the blender

Avoid adding too much water so the dip doesn’t get too watery. It will firm up a bit after being chilled in the refrigerator, too.

A platter full of crackers and vegetables with a bowl of Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip in the center

Serve your whipped cottage cheese dip immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 days! This would be another great dip to include in your meal prep Veggie Snack Packs!

The post Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip 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.

Our Favorite No-Fuss Lunches All Have This Ingredient in Common

We’ve partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways you can use their creamy cottage cheese to make a light, easy-to-prepare lunch that’s still satisfying and never boring.

Lunch can be a tricky thing. Read More >>

We've partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways you can use their creamy cottage cheese to make a light, easy-to-prepare lunch that's still satisfying and never boring.


Lunch can be a tricky thing.

Read More >>