For the Snack Obsessed: Herbed Cheese Dip

October 4, 2017




We have a week and a half of The Great Meal Plan Shake Up under the belt, and it’s been going pretty well, if I might say so myself. There have been some adjustments and some lessons here and there, but so far, there hasn’t been too much pain. I will say that I have been trying hard to make really interesting, tasty meat-free meals, and as time goes by, I can see that going by the wayside.

When an eating plan is new and fresh, it’s pretty easy to motivate yourself to put time and effort into feeding yourself (and in my case, significant other). I have been spending lots of time these past few days researching recipes and hitting up the market daily for fresh produce when inspiration strikes. I’m enjoying it–for now–but let’s face it, that kind of time expenditure isn’t sustainable. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

A few things I’ve learned this first week-plus:

~ it takes lots of herbs, spices, vinaigrettes and seasonings to make vegetables really tasty. Having a stocked pantry in that regard is a must. Having access to super fresh, organic produce is a necessity too. And throwing cheese on stuff never hurts.

~ it’s not necessarily easier to eat vegetarian at breakfast and lunch, and then eating meat at dinner. That was the original plan but it was kind of short-sighted of me, actually, because a lot of the vegetarian meals I want to cook make much more sense for the hot evening meal. That’s the meal I have the most time (and motivation) to prepare. Thus, I can pack Sandwich Man a nice roast beef or turkey sandwich several times a week if I’m planning something like Portobello Parmesan or Mushroom Bourgignonne or Indian Veggie Curry for dinner. Hey, flexiblity is nice! Who’d have thought?

~ eating less meat definitely improves the grocery bill. For years, my husband and I have been following a mostly high protein, low carb eating style. It’s worked for us, but it’s costly. Since we eat local, organic, grass-fed protein as much as possible, it’s been no small investment. Vegetables are certainly easier on the pocketbook, although I’ve been splurging on really good, high quality cheese…so there’s that.

~ both my husband and I are finding ourselves hungrier between meals. I’m normally not much of a snacker but this past week, I’ve been needing at least one snack and sometimes two during the day. It would be pretty easy to sabotage myself with sweets or salty chips or my beloved cheese and crackers. I’m trying not to do that. Happily, Honeycrisp apples are back in the stores now but a girl can only eat apples so long. I’m on the lookout for tasty, protein-filled, healthy snack ideas. Feel free to let me know if you’ve got some good ones up your sleeve!


On days when I’m particularly hungry, I’ve been relying on this Herbed Cottage Cheese Dip to get me through until mealtime. It’s the perfect dip for sliced veggies or whole grain crackers. Note: Don’t balk about the cottage cheese! I know cottage cheese is a very divisive thing for people, but hear me out.

Hear me out!

The thing that freaks most people out about cottage cheese is the texture of it, not the taste. Because truly, cottage cheese doesn’t really taste like much of anything, does it? Well, haters, I’ve solved the texture problem here, because I whip the bejeezus out of the cottage cheese to make it completely creamy. When you blend the devil out of it, cottage cheese mimics the taste and texture of sour cream. Seriously! I’m not a-lyin’. Especially if you use whole milk cottage cheese (the 4% milkfat kind. Not the 2% and not the abomination that is fat free cottage cheese because the fat free kind isn’t even fit for stray dogs).

When you whip the cottage cheese, it becomes a blank canvas for any flavorings you wish. It’s actually kind of genius.

You can use this little hack to make all of your dips healthier and higher in protein. I dare you to try it with your favorite (cold) dip recipe. Sub in 2/3 of the sour cream called for with whipped cottage cheese. I guarantee that nobody will even notice. The only one the wiser will be you, you sly dog.

This dip is also AMAZING on top of a piping hot baked potato. I should know, because 3 of my lunches this week consisted of a baked potato topped with this yummy stuff and I almost didn’t miss having bacon on top. Truth.

I’ve been nibbling on this dip whenever the 3pm hunger pangs set in and I don’t feel like munching on another apple. I also brought it out on game day this weekend and nobody guessed that it wasn’t the same junky old dip recipe. And yes, Virginia, it is terrific when you dip potato chips in it. A girl’s got to have a little fun in her life.

If you’re looking to healthy-up your snack routine, give this a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and won’t you feel smug, knowing that you can have your dip and eat it, too?



Herbed Cheese Dip


1 pound (4%, please) cottage cheese

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (not non-fat)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot

1 tablespoon finely minced chives or scallion

1 tablespoon chopped capers

3 tablespoons minced bell pepper (red, orange, yellow)

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish


Blend cottage cheese in a food processor until completely smooth. Combine with all other ingredients and refrigerate at least an hour to allow flavors to combine. Serve with crackers, toasted baguette or sliced vegetables.

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