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Cottage cheese and tuna might seem like an unlikely pair. Yet, they are both wholesome, healthy foods that are high in protein and low in fat. When they are combined, the result is a low-cost meal with a host of nutritional benefits. Cooks have various ways to create dishes using cottage cheese and tuna that are delicious as well as healthy.
Like most cheeses, cottage cheese is high in protein and versatile enough to be added to almost any recipe. Unlike most cheeses, however, it is low in fat and calories, and low-sodium versions are also available. Although cottage cheese can be found with zero fat, when cooking with it, chefs prefer to use versions that have at least one percent fat content. Even a little bit of fat helps the cheese maintain its identity and creamy texture. This is especially important when combining it with a strong-tasting food such as tuna so that the flavor of the cottage cheese does not get lost in the recipe.
When choosing tuna to combine with cottage cheese, many cooks prefer to use the solid white variety packed in water. Not only is it healthier, but it also maintains its taste and integrity better when combined with other ingredients. For people watching their salt intake, low-sodium, water-packed tuna is a good choice. If the low-sodium variety is used in a recipe with cottage cheese, however, many cooks compensate for the resulting bland flavor by adding additional spices and seasonings.
For lunch, cottage cheese and tuna work well together in a salad. Chefs will place a serving of each on top of a thick bed of greens and generally top it with a light vinaigrette dressing. The tuna gives the salad boldness and texture, while the cottage cheese adds a mild, creamy flavor, similar to feta but without the extra fat and calories.
A good dinner choice for cottage cheese and tuna could be a baked casserole. Chefs combine the tuna and cheese with a variety seasonings and chopped vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and peppers, and bake the mixture until heated through. The result is a creamy mix of contrasting flavors that blend well while delivering a healthy dose of nutrition. Cooks who are not worried about carbohydrate intake might consider adding tortellini or other pasta to the casserole. The melted cottage cheese gives the tuna and pasta an Alfredo-type flavor without adding significant fat or calories.
Another tip for combining cottage cheese and tuna is to use them as a topping for a baked potato. The flavor of the tuna and the creamy texture of the cottage cheese will negate the need for butter, sour cream, and other high-fat toppings. As a variation, instead of potato, cooks may use a tomato, creating a mini salad that is low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories yet extremely flavorful and satisfying.
As a variation of the classic tuna melt, cooks use cottage cheese as a substitute for other higher-fat cheeses. Chefs simply spread a dollop of cottage cheese on top of the tuna and prepare the tuna melt as they would normally. Due to the fact that cottage cheese has a milder flavor than many other cheeses, some cooks add more spices and flavorings to the melt to perk up the taste.