I have been a big fan of cottage cheese since I was a kid. I like it with sliced bananas and squirt of pancake syrup for breakfast. I like with a giant scoop of pineapple and a green salad for lunch. I like it dolloped inside half of a sun-warmed, freshly picked cantaloupe for summer supper on the porch at the end of a long, sweaty day. Giving up cottage cheese when we gave up dairy was a very sad thing. I knew lots of vegan dairy-free replacements could be found at the market so I went in earnest search for vegan cottage cheese and came up empty.
Finally I found some recipes in vegan cookbooks and gave them a try. Some of the recipes were weird and some of them were okay. I stumbled upon my old copy of The Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak. She had a recipe for vegan cottage cheese made from tofu. I tried it and it was good, but not quite as good as I wanted it to be. I kept looking and found that one of my favorite vegan cookbooks Simply Heavenly by Abbot George Burke also had a recipe for Tofu Cottage Cheese. I tried it and found it tasty as well, but not quite want I wanted. Eventually I combined the two recipes together and adapted it to make my own version. It tastes exactly right to me. My version follows.
Tofu Cottage Cheese
- 14 to 16-ounces firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
Open up your tofu and drain off the liquid. Plop the tofu into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce and lemon juice. Use a large fork to mash everything together. Keep mashing until the tofu is in small bits, about the size of cottage cheese curds. If you prefer large curd cottage cheese then make the bits larger. The size and texture of your cottage cheese is up to you and your fork.
Next add the mayonnaise. I use one that isn’t too sweet because I don’t like sweet cottage cheese. I like it savoy with a slight tang. Stir the mayo into the tofu. It should look exactly like regular dairy cottage cheese now, except it will be tinted a slight golden color from the soy sauce. Sort of like ivory instead of bright white.
Scrape the cottage cheese into a lidded-container and stash it in the fridge. It will keep for a week or so.
You can eat the cottage cheese right away if you like. I often do. I will add however, that if allowed to sit for a few hours in the fridge, or overnight or even for a few days, the flavor will mellow and improve.
The onion and garlic powder are not overwhelming, especially after mellowing for a few hours. In fact, they are hardly discernable. You don’t taste onion or garlic or even soy sauce. You just taste cottage cheese. And it tastes good.
I eat this recipe as is, but it’s also good in lasagna and other casseroles. You can cook with it and it seems to do everything regular dairy cottage cheese does, only without the casein to get in the way.
If you receive WIC and your state allows for tofu, this recipe is an ideal way to use it up.
This recipe is a really good one to have kids make by themselves, or help mom make, so they can learn their way around the kitchen. Also, if they help prepare it then they will be more likely to eat it. Plus, it tastes good, so that’s in it’s favor too.
Makes approximately 2-1/2 cups, or 5-servings. 1/2-cup each.
Assuming 1/2-cup per serving; prepared with 16-ounces tofu and 1/3-cup light mayo.
Per Serving: 110 Calories; 7g Fat (54.3% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 6mg Cholesterol; 127mg Sodium.
Calories by Percentage: 54% Fat; 20% Carbohydrate; 25% Protein.
Exchanges: 2 Lean Meat; 1 Fat.