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.

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

Making sure I get vegetables into my diet takes daily effort. But one thing I know for sure is that if I have them prepped, I am 1000x more likely to eat them. So this week I made these Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes to hopefully remove one more barrier between me and my […]

The post Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Making sure I get vegetables into my diet takes daily effort. But one thing I know for sure is that if I have them prepped, I am 1000x more likely to eat them. So this week I made these Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes to hopefully remove one more barrier between me and my vegetables.😜

Four glass rectangle meal prep containers with Roasted Vegetable Salads and three small dressing containers

How to Eat Your Roasted Vegetable Salads

This salad is meant to be eaten cold, but you could certainly warm it if you prefer. Warming the salad will cause the spinach to wilt, so it will be more like a sautéed spinach in the dish, which would still be quite delish! You’ll still want to add the dressing after reheating.

Dressing Options

I used my Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing for this salad because I’m still obsessed with it, but I think there are some other suitable options if this one is not your favorite. A green goddess dressing would be amazing, as would a yogurt based Greek salad dressing. 

Vegetable Options

What I love about this meal prep is that you can always change up the vegetables to give it a new flavor. It’s still the tail end of summer, so I am using mostly summer vegetables here. Other great summer vegetable options are eggplant, asparagus, and bell peppers.

When we head into fall and winter I’ll probably start using harder winter vegetables, like sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. Just keep in mind that the hard winter vegetables may take slightly longer to roast.

Other Topping Ideas

I’m all about keeping things simple, but if you have some of these items laying around waiting to be used up, here are some other ingredients that would make great toppings for this roasted vegetable salad: pita bread (cut into wedges), kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, or fresh parsley.

Dressing being poured onto a Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep container

Where can I get those containers??

The glass containers are the 3-cup rectangular Pyrex containers and the dressing cups are 2.5 oz. metal dipping cups. Both were purchased from Amazon, and can be found in the “meal prep” category of my Amazon Shop

 

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

These Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes are an easy, no-reheat, plan-ahead lunch option that will help you get your daily vegetables!

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 cup tahini ($0.75)
  • 1/4 cup warm water ($0.00)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.09)

Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa ($1.20)
  • 1.75 cups water ($0.00)

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($1.99)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
  • 1 zucchini ($0.95)
  • 1 yellow squash ($0.56)
  • 1 red onion ($0.44)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Other

  • 4 cups fresh spinach ($2.15)
  • 1/2 cup hummus ($1.15)
  1. Make the dressing first. In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, onion powder, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, tahini, water, and lemon juice. Stir or whisk until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing as you prepare the rest of the salad.

  2. Begin cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa well in a fine wire mesh sieve. Place the rinsed quinoa in a small sauce pot and add 1.75 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. After letting the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for five minutes. Empty the cooked quinoa out into a casserole dish, spreading it out to increase the surface area. Refrigerate the dish with the quinoa until you're ready to assemble the meal preps.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the grape tomatoes onto a large baking sheet. Slice the onion into 1/4-inch strips. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash into 1/4-inch wide half-rounds. Cut the mushrooms in half. Mix the vegetables together on the baking sheet. If there are too many to fit in a single layer on the baking sheet, divide them between two baking sheets.

  5. Add the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt to the vegetables. Use your hands to mix the vegetables and seasoning, until the vegetables are well coated in oil.

  6. Roast the vegetables in the preheated 400ºF oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are browned on the edges. Allow the vegetables to cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

  7. To build the meal prep bowls, place one heaping cup of spinach in each dish. Add 1/2 cup of the cooked and cooled quinoa on top of the spinach. Divide the roasted vegetables between the four containers, then add 2 Tbsp hummus to each dish.

  8. Divide the dressing between four small dressing containers. Refrigerate the salads and dressing for up to 4 days.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Four glass containers with Roasted Vegetable Salad and three dressing containers

Step by Step Photos

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing dripping off a spoon into a white bowl.

Make the Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing first. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/4 tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup warm water, and 3 Tbsp lemon juice. Stir or whisk until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until you’re ready to make your salads.

Cooked Quinoa in the pot

Next, begin the quinoa. Rinse 1 cup quinoa well in a fine wire mesh sieve. Place the rinsed quinoa in a small sauce pot, add 1.75 cups water, and place a lid on top. Place the pot over high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Spread out quinoa in a dish to cool

After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the quinoa rest, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Then empty out the quinoa into a shallow dish and spread it out to increase the surface area, so it will cool faster. Refrigerate the quinoa until you’re ready to build your salads.

Whole vegetables for Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

Begin preheating the oven to 400ºF. You can use any mix of vegetables for this meal prep (see notes above the recipe for more ideas). I used 8 oz. mushrooms, 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 zucchini, and 1 yellow squash.

Chopped vegetables ready to roast on a sheet pan.

Slice the onion into 1/4-inch strips, slice the zucchini and yellow squash into 1/4-inch half-rounds, and cut the mushrooms in half. Leave the tomatoes whole. Combine the vegetables and spread them out onto a large baking sheet so they are in a single layer. Use two sheets if needed to make sure they’re not piled on top of one another. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Toss until the vegetables are well coated in oil and spices.

Roasted vegetables on the sheet pan

Roast the vegetables, stirring every 15 minutes, until they are browned on the edges (about 40 minutes). Let the vegetables cool on the sheet pan for about 10 minutes.

Add spinach and quinoa to meal prep containers

To build the meal prep salads, add a heaping cup of spinach to each container. Then add 1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa to each container.

roasted vegetables and hummus added to containers

Once the vegetables are cool enough that they won’t wilt the spinach, divide the roasted vegetables between the four containers. Add 2 Tbsp hummus to each container.

Divide dressing into containers

Lastly, divide your dressing into four small containers. Refrigerate your roasted vegetable salad up to four days.

Glass meal prep containers with Roasted Vegetable Salad in a row.

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