"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dieter's Tartine: Tomato Cucumber Salad over Cottage Cheese #French Fridays with Dorie

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Dieter's Tarine: Tomato Cucumber Salad over Cottage Cheese


I would never eat cottage cheese for fear of being labled, "A Dieter". I've over heard the catty comments about cottage cheese eaters. 

"I think she's on a diet, well it's about time." 

or 

"SHE really thinks she needs to loss weight...she's practically anorexic."

We are really extremist in the US about diets... I mean look what is popular right now, on one end you have the folks who are wrapping everything in bacon and then on the other side you have people completely avoiding meat, dairy, gluten etc...

I think we tend to decide that we are either on or off a diet, so we are over eating or watching and counting the calories of every morsel that goes into our mouth.

The Italians I grew up with never deprived themselves of any food. Nothing was off limits, but the ones who wanted to "keep their figure" as they would say would just eat a slice of a cannoli, a half a plate of pasta... and fill up on salad or the other wonderful vegetables that were at the table.

I have always embraced this way of eating because I find that as soon as I say I am not going to eat a certain food; I begin to crave it. Instead, now if I feel I ate a little more than I should have, I go for a walk to burn it off.


Say for instance you are going out for a big meal in the evening, a French person would eat a lunch like this Dieter's Tartine. I couldn't find Fromage Blanc so I mixed some low-fat cottage cheese and sour cream together, and put it over toasted multi-grain bread. I topped it with Dorie's flavorful cucumber and tomato salad. This lunch was completely satisfying and tasty. And it was low calorie. I didn't even eat a serving of low-fat cottage cheese which is 1/2 cup and is only 100 CALORIES.

I often find that for some reason when people make "diet food" they make it bland. Herbs don't add calories, cheese and butter add calories. You can make something flavorful by seasoning it well, instead of adding fat to it. This Dieter's Tartine has the wonderfully tasty Herbes de Provence herb blend along with fresh chives to kick up the tomatos and cucumber. I didn't even notice that the salad doesn't contain any oil!

Both my husband and I really enjoyed this sandwich. My husband couldn't have cared less that it was low calorie, what he liked about it was that it was bright and light for a summer day...

So Bon Appetit without guilt on this one!




Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


Click here to see how the other Dorista's did.






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59 comments:

  1. It's funny - cottage cheese and cut up cucumbers & tomatoes was one of those things my mom always put on the table while I was growing up. I never thought of it as diet food - it was just food. The herbs definitely take it up a notch :-)

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    1. I remember my mother eating iceberg lettuce with a scoop of cottage cheese on it. She did not seem to be enjoying it.

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  2. I LOVE cottage cheese and eat it almost every day.
    If I could I'd reach out and grab this Dieter's Tartine

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    1. I am going to eat it more often. I had no idea how low in calories it is and it not unpleasant at all, especially with this nice salad on top of it.

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  3. I have always eaten cottage cheese, my mother loved it growing up :) Your recipe looks great!

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    1. Thanks Ann it really is a great low calorie food.

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    2. That is great. I am going to start eating now. Can't get over how low in calories it is.

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  4. This is the perfect snack for me especially during summer with high temperatures!

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    1. I found it perfect to eat yesterday when it was really hot. Satisfying but light.

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    1. Really nice for the summer. The little bit of sour cream in the cottage cheese really jazzes it up.

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  6. I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote in your Post this week. My friend in Henderson, Adriana, that I often wrote about was from Sicily. She probably is one of the healthiest eaters and best cooks that I know - everything she makes is absolutely good for you, delicious and she brings out the flavors with spices. In addition. she eats everything, in moderation. I had made this tartine before and really liked it. I used creme fraiche last time but just whipped up the cottage cheese/sour cream combo this time. Just as good or better. I'm glad your husband enjoyed his lunch. This meal, I believe, is just not restricted to Ladies-Who-Lunch-and-Are-Dieting. Hope you are having a happy Summer.

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    1. We Americans really need to lighten up about food and actually start enjoying it. We either engineer it to death (processing) or we obsess with the negative... BASTA, BASTA... time to enjoy.

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  7. I had no idea that cottage cheese is generally "labeled" as the dieter's cheese. i had bought it once before and we didn't like the taste. but it just clicked in this tartine. we too liked it a lot !

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    1. Big time dieter's cheese when I was growing up, before there were a lot of low calorie choices. Mixed with a little sour cream it tasted pretty good.

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  8. Diane, delicious presentation of your tartine - I think all the Doristas (and their families and friends) really enjoyed this light and healthy open-faced sandwich. It was a delightful "non recipe" of sorts.
    Have a good week!

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    1. Funny it is such a hit, it didn't sound very interesting, but it came right during our heat wave so it couldn't have been better timing for this light meal.

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  9. I agree with Andrea, I think everyone liked this delicious, simple and healthy recipe. Yours looks great, and I know I will
    be making this again.

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    1. I can see myself eating this all August and Sept as long as tomatoes and cucumbers are in season. Really great.

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  10. There's no reason to eat bland food - I sometimes think it's a punishment our culture's devised for women for having to eat at all. That said, I love some so-called diet foods, cottage cheese amongst them.

    Your tartine looks great and I don't think there's any worry about it being labelled diet food - it just looks delicious.

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    1. I definitely think its a punishment concept in our culture. We are big on that... with our strong religious heritage in the States. Well, I'm now a cottage cheese lover. I found a really great organic one that is delicious and I do love how low in calories it is.

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  11. I am with you and the Italians - stuff the diet and everything in moderation. This looks delish!

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    1. Regular dieters seem to me to be the most unhappy people. Moderation and a little exercise. Life is too short to deprive yourself of good food.

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  12. Me too, I agree with the Italian philosophy on just eating less of something indulgent rather than skipping it altogether. Glad you guys enjoyed a delicious lunch. I liked the veggies on top, but being a cottage cheese despiser, I did sub goat cheese instead. This tastes like summer.

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    1. I would prefer goat cheese but now I see that if you mix cottage cheese with another cheese you can keep the calories low and get more flavor.

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  13. I totally agree with your dieting philosophy...moderation.

    PS Your photos look excellent :)

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    1. I am totally indebted to you for telling me about the custom absolute white setting. Has made a world of difference in my pictures.

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  14. Great presentation and happy to hear that your hubby enjoyed it as well. I have enjoyed cottage cheese on toast (with freshed cracked pepper) for years, so was not surprised to see this combo turn out a winner ~

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    1. Well, that sounds like a terrific way to eat cottage cheese if you are out of vegetables.

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  15. Yours looks perfectly summery Diane. We really enjoyed this for breakfast although I preferred mine with the more flavourful goat cheese. I'm just not a huge fan of cottage cheese I guess. But anyway, you're totally spot on on the dieting.

    "I have always embraced this way of eating because I find that as soon as I say I am not going to eat a certain food; I begin to crave it. Instead, now if I feel I ate a little more than I should have, I go for a walk to burn it off."

    I couldn't agree more with you on that. Bonne semaine Diane.

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    1. Thanks Ayu,
      I must be really stressful to be a dieter and absolutely no fun in the kitchen LOL.

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  16. Beautiful photo and food philosophy. Deprivation often leads to over indulgence!

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    1. Thank you Christy, I think you summed it up well.

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  17. You raised some good points about North American's love/hate relationship with eating and dieting. I feel it most acutely when cooking for a group of friends. I'm so used to planning menus to accommodate food allergies and a whole myriad of dieting preferences these days...when I discover a group of friends who gave me carte blanche, I didn't know what to do!

    All the praises from FFwD convinced me to give this recipe a try.

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    1. I wonder if many Americans know how strange our eating habits are to the rest of the world, probably not, we are so large and self-contained. It has gotten really hard these days to make a meal that satisfies everyone... you are so right when you can cook anything...it is so exciting.

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  18. Your tartine's look so healthy and delicious! As a person who has struggled long and hard to find the balance between being slim and loving food, I loved your message. Here in the US we tend to be caught in the extremes of ridiculous super-sized overindulgence and unsustainable deprivation. Recipes like this illustrate the deliciousness of moderation! Glad I found you on the Make Ahead Mom's Site.

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    1. Thank you so much Martha. I think you said it quite well yourself. We really need to be a little easier on ourselves. Thanks for visit hope to see more of you.

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  19. This looks like the perfect lunch for me. Found you over at Tuesday's Table. I am co-hosting Tasty Tuesdays this week and would love for you to link up this recipe.
    http://www.lorisculinarycreations.com/2013/07/TastyTuesdays2.html
    Lori
    Lori’s Culinary Creations

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    1. Thanks for coming by Lori I linked up.

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  20. I love cottage cheese! This looks really tasty, I will definitely give it a try!

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    1. The salad really makes the cottage cheese special.

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  21. This is SO good! We eat it on Ezekiel Bread and it makes my belly happy - it's also good with ricotta! YUMMORAMA.
    Visiting from Hungry Little Girl.
    ~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

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    1. I will give your version a try Stacy. Thanks for stoppy by.

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  22. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on dieting. It is amazing. It seems like other cultures tend to have much healthier relationships with food. Luckily, this didn't feel like "diet food" at all.

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    1. Glad it wasn't diet food for you Jora... yeah, one of the biggest food producers in the world and we have food issue... go figure?

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  23. Looks absolutely delicious Diane!
    I'm from Yugoslavia and I have to admit dieting was never discussed growing up in our house.
    Now I have a 16 year old daughter and all her friends are so conscious of what they eat it makes me sad.
    I've noticed she eats everything but keeps it in moderation or makes the next meal lighter.
    I think culture plays a big role!

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    1. Yes, dieting seems to be an American obsession and ironically we are some of the most overweight people in the world. It sounds like your daughter picked up your good habits. My daughter is only 11 but she seems to be a moderate eater also.

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  24. Replies
    1. Then you will love this recipe Jeni, It really jazzes up cottage cheese.

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  25. YUM :) I love the way you described telling people you're on a diet ;) it's SO TRUE! Saw you over at This gal cooks!

    Would love for you to come over to Who Needs a Cape and link up to Super Sunday! http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/08/super-sunday-link-party-9/

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    1. Thanks so much for the invitation Heather. I'm not usually on line on Sunday but I will head over today.

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  26. Hi Diane,
    I love the combination of the tomato and cucumber with the cottage cheese, I don't think I have ever tried that combo and it looks great! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  27. I like how you have made these delicious, healthy ingredients into Tartine. It makes them extra special, and they look so appealing served in that way.

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    1. Thanks April... presentation can really effect taste. My husband was more open to it because it looked nice... otherwise I think he would have said no to a cottage cheese sandwich.

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  28. Oh this looks so good! I came over from Caroles Chatter. I agree about the poor PR cottage cheese gets, although I love it :)
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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    1. Its really good, and healthy, and seriously low calorie.

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  29. I can't say I'm a cottage cheese fan but its more of a texture thing with me I dont like creamy cheeses like cream cheese, goat cheese or brie. I can do this with some grilled halloumi for a light lunch though

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    1. This cottage cheese was fresh and organic... it was the first cottage cheese I ever liked.

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