Cottage Cheese

The WFH Snack You Can Make (& Eat) Between Zoom Calls

It all comes together in minutes—we swear.

November 13, 2020
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.

We've partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways their creamy, protein-rich cottage cheeses—like their savory Cottage Cheese with Cucumber and Dill—make for a delicious, speedy snack.

Working from home in pajamas, with your dog napping next to you: Once upon a time, that would’ve sounded luxuriously relaxing, right?

Over the past few months, many of us have discovered we’re actually more busy nowadays, not less. And yes, we might be spending our days wearing leggings, but those days are also packed with Zoom calls and housecleaning and emails—and that’s not even including the parents who are bolting back and forth between virtual meetings and kid duties. (I bet you never thought you'd be sitting through a first-grade math class again.)

Recently, when I’ve found myself engulfed by a tidal wave of work (and stress), I’ve gotten creative about what constitutes “lunch.” A reheated can of soup? Sure. A stack of salami slices, a pickle, and a large piece of peppermint bark? Festive! A handful of tortilla chips eaten while standing over the kitchen counter? Wow, please try not to confuse me with Ina Garten.

But I’ve finally realized that when time is tight—like, ridiculously tight—I still shouldn’t let myself miss out on a proper meal. That pause, even a speedy one, breaks up the day and makes me feel a little more human. Plus, my impromptu fridge smörgåsbords are never all that satisfying or nourishing. (No offense intended to that stack of salami.) It might seem daunting to actually make myself a real lunch, but in actuality, I usually have at least a few minutes to assemble something substantial before running back to the glow of my laptop.

I’ve been a cottage cheese fan since I was kid, when I used to dip into my mom’s container of the pineapple variety, an enduring classic. Honestly though, I haven’t been in the habit of using cottage cheese as the base for a savory meal—I’ve been stuck in the fruit-jam-walnut topping rut forever.

But it’s just as versatile as any other soft cheese, and seeing as how I’d happily put ricotta or cream cheese on virtually anything, I started to dream up ways to make it more of a savory staple. Plus, some cottage cheeses come with veggies and spices already incorporated, making it feel a little like you’ve “cooked,” even when all you’ve done is grab one from the fridge.

Here's my go-to combo:

While a thick slice of bread toasts, I mix a heaping spoonful of cottage cheese with some black pepper and olive oil. On top, I layer a few slices of lox, prosciutto, or whatever’s in the fridge. Then there's a scattering of capers, herbs, or even chopped pickles. Next to it all, I'll toss sticks of the veggies I have in the crisper, be they carrots, celery, or peppers. Together, the combination has the perfect mix of textures and tastes: the crisp of the toast, the silky creaminess of the cottage cheese, the meatiness, the sourness, the smoothness, and the crunch.

Best of all, it comes together in minutes (I may or may not have made this more than once while actually on a call), and makes for an experience that feels like a treat—a moment to take one deep, real breath. But just a moment...and then back to my Zoom.

What's your go-to midday snack? Tell us in the comments!

In partnership with Hood Cottage Cheese, we're sharing speedy, snack-y ideas to make your mid-day breaks way more delicious. No matter what you're in the mood for—be it something savory and spicy, or sweet and satisfying—cottage cheese makes the perfect snack or base for a meal. To make sure you don't stay hungry the next time you're in need of a pick-me-up bite, stock up on Hood Cottage Cheese With Cucumber and Dill, which is packed with versatile flavor and a hearty serving of protein.

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1 Comment

Lindsay G. November 16, 2020
One of my favorite mid-day snacks is cherry tomato toast! I cut the cherry tomatoes into halves, coat in olive oil, salt, pepper, and put it on top of my grain of the day. Fresh sourdough, Daves killer bread, bagel... whatever I am feeling! I also spread some mayo after I toast the bread and pile the tomatoes on top. So fresh and easy. I also butter the toast to get a little of that extra creamy buttery taste that is my favorite in the entire world. I feel like I always have cherry tomatoes and bread so this works great for me:)