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Health in red and green

Cottage cheese is an excellent, low-calorie source of protein — a half-cup of 1 percent low-fat cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and only 82 calories. But unlike other dairy products, it isn’t an excellent source of calcium; much of that nutrient goes out with the whey during the curding process.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2010 23:09 IST

Cottage cheese is an excellent, low-calorie source of protein — a half-cup of 1 percent low-fat cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and only 82 calories. But unlike other dairy products, it isn’t an excellent source of calcium; much of that nutrient goes out with the whey during the curding process.

Cottage Cheese Pesto

Use this pungent mixture as a vegetable dip, a spread or a pasta sauce.

What you need

2 plump garlic cloves, halved

½-cup fresh basil/ parsley leaves

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Salt and fresh pepper to taste

1 tablespoon low-fat or nonfat yoghurt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Chop garlic, finely chopped basil/ parsley, and mix. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix until smooth.

2. Serve with pasta, or as a dip or spread. If serving with pasta, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cottage cheese pesto per serving. Add a spoonful of the pasta cooking water to the cottage cheese mixture to dilute it before tossing with the pasta.

Yield: Makes 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons

Nutritional information per 2-tblspn serving (using 2 percent low-fat cottage cheese): 47 calories: 3 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 1 gram carbohydrates; 118 milligrams sodium (does not include added salt); 4 grams protein

Nutritional information per 2-tblspn serving: 43 calories; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fibre; 131 milligrams sodium (does not include added salt); 4 grams protein

Blender tomato soup

This pureed tomato soup is much like gazpacho, but without bread. And this soup is strained, so it has a different, lighter texture and an intense tomato flavour that is extremely refreshing on a hot summer day or evening.

What you need

One kilogram ripe tomatoes

1 large garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the tomatoes in wedges and toss in a bowl with salt to taste, the garlic clove, vinegar and olive oil.

2. Add the tomato wedges and all of the juice in the bowl, along with the tomato paste, basil leaves and water. Blend until smooth.

3. Strain the soup through a medium strainer, pushing the soup through with a spatula. Serve right away, or for the best flavour refrigerate for one to 24 hours before serving. Blend again or whisk before serving. Serve, garnishing each bowl with slivered basil.

Variation: For a sharper flavour, blend 1/4 cup chopped onion with the tomatoes.

Yield: Serves four.

Nutritional information per serving: 105 calories; 7 grams fat; 1 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fibre; 77 milligrams sodium (does not include added salt); 2 grams protein.