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Self-Dressing Cottage Cheese Salad

To remember a successful salad is generally to remember a successful dinner; at all events, the perfect dinner necessarily includes the perfect salad.

George Ellwanger

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While I don’t think Mr. Ellwanger is wrong when he refers to salad as being part of the perfect dinner, I think that is only true when you have a 3+ course meal. In fact, I’m a huge fan of just salad for dinner, or better yet, lunch.

This recipe is one I’ve been making for a couple of years, ever since I did the Blood Sugar Diet a couple of years ago. A few small changes over the years has refined this self-dressing salad which has become one of my go-to lunches especially on Fridays when I generally don’t eat meat. So, if you are a fellow Friday-Faster or a Meatless-Monday doer, you may want to add this to your repertoire. In fact, I’d often make it in the morning, minus the cottage cheese and avocado, and put it in the fridge at work until my lunch time. Easy peasy. What I like even more is that most of it can be prepared ahead of time, up to 24 hours in advance.

Thanks to the avocado and the cottage cheese, there are quite a few calories but they are essential for the creaminess and for the “self-dressing” part of this salad. The carrot, radish and peppper provide the crunch. Scallions, radish, garlic, the bite. The beetroot gives it a bit of earthiness. So, lots of different textures and flavours for your tastebuds to enjoy. A few things that I love about this salad, besides the tetures and flavours, is that most of it is fresh ingredients. The only three things “from a jar” are the olives, cottage cheese and the chilli sea salt. Everything else is a fresh vegetable or herb. Also, it’s really filling. I only ever eat this salad by itself and I never have bread with it. The Chilli Hit Sea Salt was a gift from my sister, K, and this lovely bowl from my sister, Smyles. Thanks, girls.

I wanted to give a shoutout to Amanda Biddle at Striped Spatula for her very easy to follow “jump to recipe” how-to-tutorial. Thank you! When I can I’ll go back through recipes and create this “jump” on all of them.

Self-Dressing Cottage Cheese Salad

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cherry, baby plum or sunstream tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on the size
  • 1 cooked beetroot, chopped
  • 13 pitted black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1 sprig of fresh parsley, washed and chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh coriander, washed and chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp Cornish Sea Salt Co. Chilli Hit OR 1/8 tsp of chilli flakes and 1/8 tsp freshly ground sea salt, depending on your own preference.
  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 4 red radishes, topped and tailed, then sliced.
  • 1/4 cucumber, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 red, yellow or orange capiscum pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, chopped
  • 150g Milbona Cottage Cheese (or one that is more curds than whey)
  • 50g smoked salmon sliced Or a hard-boiled egg, chopped (optional)

Method

  1. In a tupperware container (or an old Carte D’or ice-cream tub) put the tomatoes, beetroot, black olives, garlic, herbs, pepper and chili sea salt*. Mix together and set aside.
  2. At this stage, I then prepare rest of the ingredients, as above, from the carrot to the scallions.
  3. Put them into a colander and wash. Add them to the tupperware container a tablespoon or two at a time and mix well.
  4. Put the lid on and refrigerate for a minimum of three hours, or overnight. **
  5. When you are ready to serve chop your avocado and mix it in, then add the cottage cheese. If using either the salmon or egg, add at this stage as well. Mix together and dig in.

Tips

*If you want, as you can see in one of the photos above, you can add the chilli at the end with the cottage cheese. I prefer adding it as in step 1 but I do like to change it up every now and then.

**As mentioned, I used to make this for work. I would prepare this salad, steps 1-4, around 7am. When I got into work at 8/8.30am, I’d pop it into the fridge until lunchtime, which for me was 11a.m. ESL teacher life. And office life. Ah, those were the days!

If you don’t like refrigerated tomatoes, you can add them at the same time as the avocado and cream cheese.

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