Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snack Attack: Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes, Cucumber, & Basil

As I mentioned before, I've had a major sweet tooth lately between meals.  And as a business strategy/cruel joke/(complete accident?) my store manager moved the discounted baked goods right between my pharmacy and the bathroom.  Really?  A whole cart of marked down sweets between the two places I spend my entire 13 hour days... thank you for that!  Normally, I have enough will power to just ignore/not buy junk food so it's not even an option to eat.  In an effort to make that change again, I emailed Michael's cousin, Elizabeth for some helpful snacking tips.  (Check out her faith/family/fitness/food blog FitLifeWithE).  Sometimes it just helps to get a fresh perspective - just like writers, cooks get mental blocks and forget the basics - especially when they have a lot their plates (metaphorically speaking, in this case!).  Elizabeth reminded me of some great snacking ideas, as well as some new ones I'd normally not think about.  It definitely helped refocus my food choices and stock my kitchen (and work fridge) with healthier options.  One of her favorites was cottage cheese with tomatoes, avocado, and spinach.  Since I didn't have an avocado on hand, I Mama-fied it to my taste, and made this delicious (and filling! Even for me!) snack.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes, Cucumber, & Basil

Ingredients: (makes 4 snack sized servings)
- 1 1/3 c. cottage cheese
- 1/2 large English cucumber, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1 T. fresh chopped basil (I used the refrigerated tube kind)
- salt/pepper to taste
- about a cup of baby spinach (packed)


1.  In a medium bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and vinegar.  Stir gently to combine, then add salt and pepper to taste.  Store in fridge until ready to use if making this up ahead of time.

I actually tossed it all in a bowl with a lid and shook to combine

2.  When ready to eat, layer 1/3 c. cottage cheese, 1/4 of the tomato mixture, and a small handful of the baby spinach.  It's that easy!

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