Month: April 2024

Nutrition Benefits of cottage cheese for good health

Move over Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is having a moment. You could even say it’s the darling of the diary aisle!  The truth is, it’s a super versatile healthy food that offers a creamy texture and a bunch of protein to keep you full and satisfied. This soft, fresh cheese is characterized by its mild flavor and unique texture of small to large curds. It’s also a staple food for health-conscious people aiming for a balanced diet. Its high protein content, rich calcium levels, and low fat make it a go-to choice for anyone looking to maintain or achieve a healthy weight, enhance muscle growth, and support overall health.  Bonus, you can find it in nearly any grocery store!

Nutritional Highlights of Cottage Cheese

A half-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese packs a significant nutrition with approximately 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, and modest amounts of fat— 2.5 grams. 


Calciumplays an important role not just in maintaining strong and healthy bones as we age, but it’s also vital for proper muscle functions and nerve transmissions. It’s like giving your body the building blocks it needs to stay strong and functional. 


Phosphorus is another hero found in cottage cheese, which works hand-in-hand with calcium to bolster bone health. It’s also critical in repairing cells and tissues — kind of like your body’s natural maintenance team keeping everything in tip-top shape.


Potassium is another star nutrient, acting to help balance fluids in your body and support heart health by regulating blood pressure. Imagine it as a behind-the-scenes operator making sure everything runs smoothly, from your heartbeat to how your muscles contract.

Vitamin B12:  

B12 is essential for creating red blood cells and maintaining brain health—a real brain booster that keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable.


Cottage cheese is a high-protein food. It’s unique composition of its protein, predominantly casein, offers slower digestion, which aids in satiety and muscle recovery post-exercise. One cup of cottage cheese has nearly 25g protein!  


Some brands are a good source of live active cultures that support gut health.  Just be sure to read labels and ingredients lists to see if a significant amount are included.

If you’re managing conditions such as lactose intolerance or high blood pressure, opting for low-sodium varieties and considering the lower lactose content in cottage cheese compared to other dairy products can be beneficial. 

Choosing the Right Cottage Cheese for a Healthy Diet:

When it comes to picking the perfect cottage cheese, think of it like selecting the best Greek yogurt – aim for options without added sugar, particularly found in flavored varieties. It’s a simple switch that keeps your meals both delicious and health-oriented.

Sodium Levels to Watch For:

Pay close attention to sodium levels if you’re monitoring your blood pressure. Many cottage cheeses on the market tend to be high in sodium. A 1/2 cup serving of cottage cheese has about 356 mg of sodium.  But don’t worry, there are ‘reduced sodium’ or ‘no salt added’ varieties available to keep your intake in check. The American Heart Association suggests a sodium limit of 1,500–2,300 milligrams daily for most adults, with an ideal goal of 1,500 milligrams or less for individuals managing high blood pressure.

The Fat Content Dilemma: 

Dairy products, including cottage cheese, come in no-fat, low-fat, and full-fat versions. Your choice should align with your health objectives. If you’re looking for something that feels more indulgent and satisfies your hunger, full-fat cottage cheese might just hit the spot due to its rich flavor and texture.

Quality Is Key: 

Top-notch cottage cheese should boast a short and sweet list of ingredients, highlighting the quality of the dairy used. At the end of the day, however, the best choice for you might simply come down to the flavors and ingredients that you and your family prefer. And that’s perfectly fine!

Does the size of the curd matter?  

Not really…

Small Curd Cottage Cheese presents a smoother, creamier consistency, making it almost melt in your mouth. Its more homogeneous texture is preferable for those who enjoy a subtle taste profile or when a dish requires a silkier cheese component. 

Large Curd Cottage Cheese, on the other hand, is all about the experience of texture and taste. The larger, chewier curds provide a more pronounced mouthfeel, often described as rich and satisfying. 

bread with cream on top

Quick ways to add Cottage Cheese to your diet

Morning Boost: Break your fast with a serving of low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese alongside fresh fruit or whole-grain toast for a balanced breakfast.

Healthy Alternative: Use it as a substitute for sour cream or ricotta cheese in dips, spreads, and baking to reduce saturated fat while increasing protein (similar to how you may use greek yogurt.

Protein Rich Pasta:  ​Mix cottage cheese into your favorite pasta sauce for a creamy sauce option.  

Post-Workout Snack: Blend cottage cheese into smoothies for a creamy texture and protein boost.

Protein-Rich Salads: Create nourishing salads by adding cottage cheese for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Savory Options: Enhance your lasagnas, casseroles, and stuffed shells with cottage cheese for a calcium-packed twist.

Dessert:  Blend plain cottage cheese into the social media favorite- ice cream!  

For more ideas check out this post for 30 high protein meal ideas that star cottage cheese.  

Cottage Cheese: A Smart Choice for Healthy Living

From aiding in blood sugar control with its low carbohydrate content to providing a good source of selenium, important for heart disease prevention and muscle growth, cottage cheese integrates well into any healthy eating plan.

Considering the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines, incorporating low-calorie, high-protein foods like cottage cheese into your diet supports weight loss and healthy weight management without compromising on taste or nutrition. Whether opting for traditional cottage cheese with its distinctive large curds or preferring the smoother texture of small curds in low-fat options, there’s a variety to suit every palate and dietary need.

Why do we avoid dairy in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

I want to address the elephant in the room. In the FASTer Way, my 6 week weight loss program, we avoid both gluten and dairy. We do this for a few reasons including reducing inflammation, improving gut health, and promoting weight loss. But I know that for many of you, giving up these two food groups can seem daunting and even scary. Trust me, I’ve been there too.

But the truth is, eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet doesn’t have to be difficult or restrictive (or forever!) There are plenty of delicious and nutritious alternatives available that can still satisfy your cravings and provide the nutrients your body needs. We recommend eliminating these two things because many people are sensitive to gluten without knowing it. As a result, they are in a state of inflammation and benefit from removing it from the diet. Similarly, many people don’t tolerate dairy well, and they don’t even know it! So for the first 6 weeks of the FASTer Way, we recommend eliminating both to help reduce inflammation to support metabolism and shed fat. Then, you can slowly experiment with adding whole, unprocessed forms of both back into your diet so you can assess how you feel afterwards.

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

30 High-Protein Meals Made with Cottage Cheese

This post is dedicated to my co-worker who is OBSESSED with cottage cheese. Literally any recipe- he’s shamelessly adding it to boost his protein intake.  But I can’t blame him. It’s a whole food.  It tastes great and it’s incredibly versatile and an excellent ingredient to support weight loss.  So Scott – this one is for you!  

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, and according to the American Dairy Association it packs about 12 grams per 1/2 cup serving.1 Not only does it boast high protein content, but its creamy texture makes it a versatile ingredient for a variety of meals. Whether you’re a fan of the taste of cottage cheese or looking for ways to sneak more protein into your diet, these recipes are great additions to your meal plan. Here, I’ve compiled the best cottage cheese recipes that are gluten-free and perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, each designed to deliver at least 30 grams of protein.

1/4 cup (2 oz) cottage
1/4 cup (2 oz) cottage by U.S. Department of Agriculture


Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls: Start your day with these bowls combining cottage cheese, fresh berries, a scoop of protein powder, and a touch of honey. Blend in a food processor for a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt.

High-Protein Pancakes: Mix cottage cheese with oats, eggs, and a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Cook on medium heat for pancakes that are a healthy breakfast option and a good source of calcium.

Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl: For those who prefer savory recipes, this bowl mixes cottage cheese with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil. It’s a great way to incorporate healthy fats and important nutrients into your morning routine.  

Cottage Cheese Toast: Upgrade your toast with a spread of cottage cheese, topped with sliced bell peppers and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts for added deliciousness.

High-Protein Omelette: Whip up an omelette by adding 1/2 cup of cottage cheese into the egg mixture. Throw in fresh veggies and cooked chicken for extra protein and flavor.

Cottage Cheese Cake Overnight Oats: Combine 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with 1/2 cup rolled oats.  Mix in a touch of vanilla, and 1/2 a mashed banana and let sit overnight.  Top with fresh raspberries.  It’s one of the best ways to have cake for breakfast!  Add stevia as needed for sweetness.  


Cottage Cheese Alfredo Sauce: A healthier version of the classic alfredo made with cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic and fresh herbs blended until smooth. Serve over your favorite gluten free pasta for a nutritious lunch.

Cottage Cheese and Quinoa Salad: A filling salad that combines the protein power of quinoa and cottage cheese with fresh greens and a lemon olive oil dressing.

Stuffed Bell Peppers: Mix cottage cheese, cooked lean ground turkey, and quinoa for a filling, then stuff into bell peppers. Bake in the oven until the peppers are tender.

Cottage Cheese Tacos: Replace traditional taco meat with a blend of cottage cheese, taco seasoning, and black beans, served in lettuce wraps for a low-carb option.

Savory Cottage Cheese Dip: Blend cottage cheese until smooth, then mix with diced tomatoes, green onions, and a touch of garlic for a dip that goes well with tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

Cottage Cheese Egg Salad: For a refreshing twist, mix chopped boiled eggs with cottage cheese, mustard, and herbs for a high-protein egg salad.


Cottage Cheese Lasagna: Substituting ricotta with cottage cheese is a great way to boost the protein content in this classic dish. Layer with cooked pasta, your favorite sauce, and plenty of vegetables. I’ve done it several times with my baked ziti recipe!

Cottage Cheese Pizza: Swap out mozzarella for cottage cheese on your pizza for an unusual but tasty twist. Add toppings like cooked chicken breast, spinach, and bell peppers for added nutrients.

Cottage Cheese Stuffed Chicken: Stuff chicken breasts with a mixture of cottage cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, then bake until juicy and tender.

Creamy Cottage Cheese Vodka Sauce: Make a quick cottage cheese Vodka sauce to create a creamy, satisfying pasta dish paired with grilled chicken.  Zip cottage cheese with your favorite jarred marinara sauce and then heat and serve!  

You can easily replace the ricotta in this recipe with cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Burrito Bowl: Mix cottage cheese with rice, beans, and fajita vegetables for a hearty and nutritious meal.

Cottage Cheese Bolognese: Replace half the meat in your traditional Bolognese sauce with cottage cheese for a lighter, yet still protein-rich sauce.


Cottage Cheese Ice Cream: Combine cottage cheese with coconut milk and your choice of sweetener, then freeze for a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream. Check out my recipe here!

Cottage Cheese Energy Balls: Blend cottage cheese with oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and a bit of honey, then roll into balls and refrigerate—a perfect pre-workout snack.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit Parfait: Layer cottage cheese with fresh fruits, a drizzle of honey, and some granola for a quick and easy snack.

Cottage Cheese Dip for Fresh Veggies: Blend cottage cheese until smooth, then season with your favorite spice mix.  I like the Trader Joe’s Ranch seasoning for a kid friendly dip that pairs well with any type of fresh vegetables.

Cottage Cheese Caprese Bites: A simple snack of a slice of tomato, topped with a scoop of cottage cheese, basil leaf, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Don’t forget the flaky sea salt!

Cottage Cheese on Toast: Just scoop your cottage cheese onto your favorite gluten free bread or seed cracker. Top withe diced tomato, chive and everything but the bagel seasoning.

Additional Meal Ideas:

Protein-Packed Smoothies: Blend cottage cheese with fresh or frozen fruit, almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder for an easy way to increase your protein intake.

Cottage Cheese-Stuffed Avocado: Halve an avocado and fill with cottage cheese, topped with salsa and a squeeze of lime, for a balance of creamy and tangy flavors.

Cottage Cheese Frittata: Beat eggs with cottage cheese, pour into a baking dish, and add your choice of vegetables and cheese. Bake until set for a high-protein, easy meal prep option.

Cottage Cheese Meatballs: Combine cottage cheese with ground meat, breadcrumbs (gluten-free options available), and spices. Basically use in place of your liquid or eggs. Bake and serve with your favorite sauce.

Savory Cottage Cheese Crepes: Fill crepes with cottage cheese mixed with herbs and shredded chicken for a delightful lunch or dinner option.

Cottage Cheese and Berry Compote: A simple dessert or snack, layer cottage cheese with a homemade berry compote for a burst of flavor.

Incorporating cottage cheese into your meals is not only an easy way to boost your protein intake but also enhances the flavor and texture of dishes. From the creamy sauce of a lasagna to the sweet satisfaction of cheesecake, cottage cheese proves to be a great ingredient for anyone looking to maintain a healthy, high-protein diet. 

Benefits of eating cottage cheese

It’s a good source of high-quality protein.  With about 12 grams of protein per half-cup serving, cottage cheese is an excellent source of casein protein. 

It’s a source of bone-strengthening minerals: Cottage cheese is packed with calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are vital for strong, healthy bones. 

Can be low in fat: Available in low-fat and nonfat varieties, cottage cheese is an excellent option for those looking to reduce their fat intake without sacrificing taste or nutritional value.

Gut Health Benefits: When produced with live and active cultures, cottage cheese can offer probiotics similar to yogurt, promoting a healthy gut microbiome. 


This is a list of ideas. You will need to play with the amounts you use to fit your macro goals. Feel free to DM or email me with questions!



About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Start making extra money with a nutrition side hustle

As a registered dietitian and all around food person, FASTer Way to Fat Loss is THE program I would recommend for anyone looking to tone up, shed fat, feel better in their clothes, have more energy, even improve cholesterol levels or simply start establishing healthy habits.  I would recommend it for all of these reasons and more – BECAUSE IT WORKS!  

It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle that delivers customized results.  No gimmicks, just a massive support system and all the tools you need to be successful.  

Read more about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss here.

But then something unexpected happened

After just a few months of starting the FASTer Way – I had a little voice in the back of my head that was nudging me to become a coach.  It was involuntary… and kind of a no-brainer.  With my corporate position as a dietitian, I don’t have the opportunity to work with clients one on one.  So in sharing a lifestyle that I already live (and know delivers results), I can help people and make significant income.  Three years later, I wouldn’t change a thing.  

There is nothing quite seeing one of your clients hit a milestone or overcome a limiting belief.  It is G-O-L-D.  

Who would I recommend become a coach with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

  • Registered Dietitians who works in a clinical setting who want’s to diversify client base.  Or maybe you’re an RD that wants to get out of clinical all together?
  • Do you want to pivot to working with motivated clients?  
  • Are you an RD entrepreneur who is starting out and wants to make a bigger impact.
  • Wellness professionals who have the knowledge, but need the business support to get started. 
  • A personal trainer who has the fitness expertise, but needs the proper nutrition support that is correct and sound!    

If you are a nutrition or wellness professional that wants to make additional income, this post is for you!  

Blending Passion with Income 

Convergence is a beautiful thing, especially when your passion for nutrition intersects with the potential for earning income. The median annual wage for a dietitian or nutritionist is $71,000.1  That’s the median, meaning many RD’s are making much less. By becoming a Faster Way coach, you unlock a great way to do just that (and more). Not only do you get to witness incredible health transformations everyday, but you also get compensated for your commitment and expertise in coaching clients through the program.  So how much can you make?  Sky is the limit really.  Check out this income calculator tool to get an idea of what you could make in a side hustle or in a full time commitment.  

Is this passive income?

No, as a coach with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, you are paid to coach clients through the six week program and on an ongoing basis when they go into membership.  This is an active and ongoing commitment to leverage your nutrition knowledge and coach clients with healthy recipes, tweaking macros, learning balance and educating clients on a daily or weekly basis.  (Totally different than patient care!)

To empower you to become the best nutrition and fitness coach using the most effective program on the market so you can help your clients get incredible, sustainable results while you earn a significant income.

All of the right tools to do the job

Imagine having an online course, digital products like lead generators, and social media marketing strategies at your fingertips. With Faster Way, you’re not just dabbling in an extra gig; while it could be your hobby, you’re actually growing a scalable online business. When I logged into the coach portal for the first time, I was really impressed with the amount of resources available.  Literally everything I wanted to know was at my fingertips. But more importantly, the infrastructure to run a business is already set up. Once I signed on to become a coach, it’s like I received a business in a box and could hit the ground running.  

For example:  

  • coding on the back end
  • all the financials are automated from clients, and to you
  • a back office login to keep leads, income, reports organized
  • tools like macro tracker, meal plans, and workouts that synergistic and customizable
  • macro tool for nutrition analysis
  • Did I mention that the program works?  

Literally all of the little things that you need have already been thought of, and they’re at your fingertips!

Read more about the initial six week program here.  

A Source of Joy and Personal Growth 

From personal experience—I can tell you, there’s little that compares with the satisfaction of guiding real, everyday women towards sustainable health solutions and if you’re a health professional, I know you know it’s true. The FASTer Way program is technically virtual, but you can bring it to the real world in a lot of ways.  Partner with a local grocery stores, bike shop or coffee shop to add value in a small group for these businesses.  You can put as much work into it as you want to, and you have the ability as a dietitian to discuss you’re passion nutrition topics with your clients.  Some FASTer Way to Fat Loss coaches incorporate the program into their private nutrition practice offerings while others exclusively promote the FASTer Way to Fat Loss.  

Unbeatable Support

Fruit smoothie kale, arugula, berries

You’re not going into this alone. I will help you, and the FASTer Way team will support you every step of the way. Benefit from tools and resources crafted to boost your personal growth and professional development. From meal plans, workouts and a central app to a back office manager, comprehensive coach portal and ongoing trainings, you will have everything you need to succeed.  

Harness Your Expertise 

Leverage your nutrition knowledge in ways traditional dietetic roles may not allow. Personally I love that we focus on whole food nutrition while incorporating fitness and mindset.  With the FASTer Way you get the benefit of a nutrition program developed by dietitians WITH the expertise from trainers to pair diet and exercise to build healthy longterm habits with your clients.  

Flexible Schedule

Benefit from a flexible schedule that tailors to your time management needs. Whether it’s a supplement to your full time job or a transition to entrepreneurship, Faster Way gives you the control to pace your growth and client engagements on your own time.  

Is Social Media Required?

Truthfully, you don’t even need social media to get new clients.  If you’re a dietitian, you know, once you tell someone what you do – you get all the details, and inevitably you’re asked for a meal plan!  Welp- the FASTer Way offers a solution that can turn those conversations into extra income.  But it doen’t hurt to have a social media presence. Many coaches start from scratch with Instagram, a brand new youtube channel, an email list or simply dedicated blog posts.  Whichever platform you use to communicate to your ideal client, is where you will start.  And a lot of times this changes as time goes on.  

The First Step Towards a Full-Time Passion 

If that little voice is in the back of your head too. Read more about certification here.  It’s a great place to start thinking about your business plan and to find out if it’s the right place for you!  As I continue with the FASTer Way, I often think back to our ShopRite User Group days.  All 50-150 dietitians getting together once a month to share best practices and learn from each other.  The FASTer Way is user group on steroids.  IYKYK 🙂

If you’re ready to redefine your career or to become a side hustler, then this opportunity is for you!  

Your expertise is needed, wanted, and can be lucratively rewarded. Coaching with Faster Way to Fat Loss isn’t just a profitable prospect; it’s a substantial move towards a more fulfilled, impactful professional life. 



About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Low-carb & delicious Cheesy Cabbage Pizza recipe

Who says pizza can’t be both delicious and healthy? Last night, I decided to put a creative spin on pizza by using cabbage as the crust.  

Cabbage as a pizza base may sound unusual, but these thick slices of low-carb deliciousness are not only satisfying but also packed with vitamin C, aiding weight loss (because they’re low calorie) and supporting immune systems thanks to their prebiotic fiber. Plus, it aligns perfectly with a whole foods approach to nutrition that I teach in my weight loss program – The FASTer Way to Fat Loss. The fact is, this unique take on pizza is perfect for your next week’s menu rotation—especially if you’re looking to keep things tasty and nutrient-rich.  Did I mention cabbage is likely the most affordable vegetable at the market?  

Jump to Recipe

Join my next round of the FASTer Way

Tired of endless diets and no results? Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and see real, sustainable changes in just 6 weeks!

Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach


  • Thick slices of green cabbage or red cabbage (I’ve tried both and they’re great)
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce or tomato sauce per slice(Recommended brand: Rao’s)
  • 1/2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese per slice
  • Toppings of choice (we like turkey pepperoni)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: green onions, cherry tomatoes, garlic powder, fresh basil, mushrooms, pineapple and left over ham.  Sky’s the limit!  
Jump to Recipe
image of cabbage pizzas on sheet pan

Step-By-Step Guide:

Preparing Your Cabbage Base:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking tray.
  2. Cut your red cabbage into 3/4 inch slice rounds that will form the bases of your pizza.
  3. Lay them on a baking sheet and spray each slice with olive oil.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to infuse the slices with flavor.
  5. Roast in the oven until they reach a delectable golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Adding the Toppings:

  1. Once the first roast is done, carefully flip over each cabbage steaks.
  2. Spoon 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce over each round, creating a tomato mixture that mirrors traditional pizza.
  3. Sprinkle each with 1/2 oz of finely shredded mozzarella cheese.
  4. Add the turkey pepperoni or any other bite-sized pieces of your preferred toppings.
  5. Optional: For a burst of fresh taste, add green onions, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of garlic powder or oregano.
  6. Return to the oven and bake at medium heat for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese bubbles into melted perfection.


  1. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  2. Serve hot.
Pizzas portioned out on plate

Why Cabbage Pizza?

The beauty of this cabbage pizza lies in its simplicity. With only three core ingredients, it takes the hassle out of dinner prep. Cabbage is a powerhouse vegetable, making these pizzas ideal for those on a keto diet, low carb or even carb-cycling, providing essential nutrients with minimal g fat.  

Because we’re baking the cabbage rather than frying, it retains much of its nutritional value. And thanks to cabbage’s flexibility, it pairs beautifully with nearly any topping. 

If you’re in meal prep mode, these pizzas are convenient to reheat and can make great quick lunches throughout the week. Plus, for anyone interested in weight management without compromising on taste, swapping your traditional pizza base with cabbage might just be the tip you’ve been looking for.

Social media platforms like TikTok have sparked a trend for innovative, health-focused recipes, and this cabbage pizza is sure to join the ranks as a great recipe for low carb meals.

Remember, when it comes to cooking, the joy is in the experiment. Swap ingredients, try new toppings, and find what works best for you and your dietary needs.

How they fit into macros

One 3/4 inch pizza with 1/4 cup marinara and 1/2 oz mozzarella cheese provides:

107 Calories

8g Carbohydrate

3g Fiber

6g Fat

6g Protein

Log your toppings individually to customize for your macros!

Pizzas portioned out on plate

Cabbage Pizza

3 ingredients and simple. Need I say more?
Cook Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 107 kcal


  • 1 Sheetpan lined


  • 1 head cabbage sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese shredded


  • Lay cabbage slices onto sheet pan. Spray both sides with olive oil spray. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
  • Flip cabbage and layer with sauce, cheese and toppings.
  • Cook for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.


Calories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 420mgPotassium: 579mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 583IUVitamin C: 87mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Healthy Costco Grocery Haul with a Registered Dietitian

Do you enjoy shopping at Costco as much as I do? I visit my local Harris Teeter or Trader Joe grocery store several times a week, but there’s something special about a Costco run. The wide aisles filled with fresh produce and seasonal favorites offer a lot of healthy options if you’re aiming for a balanced lifestyle. I applied for Costco membership with the Mooresville, NC store when they opened and have never looked back.

As a registered dietitian, I make biweekly visits to stock up on family favorites and household essentials. Today, I’m sharing my favorite Costco picks that are whole foods and staples in my pantry and fridge. These items taste great and make creating healthy (& macro friendly) meals much simpler, especially on busy days. Whether you’re looking for a great source of protein, healthy fats, or whole grains, I’ve got you covered. If you’re following the FASTer Way with me, you’ll definitely want save this post to refer back to!

Join my next round of the FASTer Way

Tired of endless diets and no results? Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and see real, sustainable changes in just 6 weeks!

Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach

In the FASTer Way program I coach, we emphasize the importance of balanced and satisfying meals. The goal is to include a mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats in every meal to keep you feeling full and energized. That’s why I’ve categorized my list into healthy fats, fiber, protein, and healthy carbs. Let me know what questions you have!

Heart-Healthy Fats

For a good source of fat, which can help manage heart disease, help keep you full and on track to hit your macro targets on low carb days, I’ve got a few must-haves:

  • Avocado Mash: Squeeze some lime juice on this perfect addition to any meal! It’s full of those heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and essential nutrients; a great way to satisfy hunger.
  • Kirkland Fancy Mixed Nuts: These are chock-full of healthy fatty-acids and they make a perfect quick snack when paired with a source of lean protein.  Protein shake maybe?
  • Kirkland Basil Pesto: Toss it with some whole-grain pasta, miracle noodles or drizzle over grilled veggies; either way, you’re getting those heart-healthy fats and a ton of flavor.  I particularly love this pesto because it doesn’t have that weird aftertaste that other store bought brands have. Normally, I would make my own pesto- but this one tastes so good, I don’t have to!
  • Hummus Cups: Snacks are all set for the week’s meal prep with these protein and plant-based goodies.
  • Kirkland Nut Butters:  Whichever you choose, just be sure that there is little to no added sugar!
  • Costco Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  Whether we’re sautéing vegetables or making salad dressings, this high quality oil is always in my cabinet.  I even use it in baking sometimes 🙂

Protein Powerhouses

Looking for protein options? Here’s what I keep in my cart:

  • Frozen Atlantic Salmon Fillets: With enough omega-3 fatty acids to make any heart happy, Costco’s salmon is a staple for my healthy meals. I usually make these on Monday nights for a quick 14 minute meal. Read more about it here!
  • Greenridge Farms Beef Sticks: These are a fan favorite.  They remind my of the kabanos Polish sausage that my father would bring home from Brooklyn when I was a kid. My children love these for school lunches and they fit really well into my macros on a low carb day.  You can find them in the refrigerated protein section.  
  • Ground Bison: This high-quality meat with essential amino acids is a super lean substitute for your traditional ground beef.  We like to use it for burgers, taco night or chili.  
  • Rotisserie Chicken Breast:  Convenience meets nutrition with this high-protein, minimal fuss choice.  It’s ready for you to simply serve with dinner, or make chicken salad with.  Don’t forget to make your own broth after! While you can get the whole chicken already cooked, they sell the large packages of precooked and pulled chicken in the prepared foods area.
  • Bare Chicken Nuggets: These are the famous nuggets that taste like the Chick-fil-A nuggets.  My children love them and they’re my favorite to add to my signature salad too.  If you follow my IG stories, you know I eat it a few times a week!  They make for quick family meals that keep everyone happy!
  • Built Puff Protein Bars:  These are a collagen protein bar that are dipped in real chocolate, so if you have a sweet tooth like me – these satisfy it.  They have a marshmallowish type center, they’re delicious and have 17 grams of protein per serving!
  • Boiled Eggs:  I have always, always, always boiled my own eggs.  But Costco sells them already peeled and packaged in 2’s which takes less time and brainpower when packing food for the-go.

Fiber-Filled Finds

Reaching your daily value for fiber is no joke.  That’s 25 or 38g respectively for women and men.  And Costco makes sure I hit that target with:

  • Kirkland Rolled Oats: With a hearty bowl of oats; packing in grams of fiber and whole grains.
  • Black Beans:  I like to have these on hand to mix into salsa or add to taco meat for extra fiber.  
  • Kirkland Signature Quinoa: Whether you’re into brown rice bowls or trending TikTok recipes, these are fiber-rich (and protein) and full of flavor and an easy substitute for rice. I like to cook one cup of quinoa with 1.5 cups of water and then divide into 4 portions to eat sweet or savory later in the week.
  • Cauliflower Rice: Perfect for side dishes, adding to stir-fries, even to smoothies for a boost of micronutrients and fiber. Easy, delicious, and nutritious!
  • Benefiber: If you’re traveling, or if your diet is light on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains it’s not a bad idea to take a fiber supplement to support your gut health.
  • Frozen Broccoli: We actually really like Kirkland frozen broccoli. One large package has several smaller bags inside, so you can take one out, microwave it and not have extra broccoli fall out all over the freezer. One bag is perfect for our family dinner with a little extra to spare for the next day’s lunch.

Quick & Healthy Carbohydrates

Complex carbs provide our bodies with sustained energy, so I’ve got the inside scoop on the best ones:

  • Dave’s Killer Bread:  This is one of our favorite whole-grain bread options.  They sell it in a two pack, and they are easy to freeze for future use.  
  • Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers: Whether it’s for a sandwich or a charcuterie board, these are great options.
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries (frozen): Fruits are nature’s candy, packed with vitamins, essential for those who love dried fruit and berries.

Other Costco hall-of-famers:

  • Raos Sauce:  Whether it’s for pasta night with tomato sauce or a creamy curry, these are a good addition to your next meal.
  • Kirkland Almond Milk: These boxes are very handy to have in the pantry for last minute smoothies or baking.
  • Kombucha: Stay hydrated and gut-happy with these delightful beverages.

Check these items out during your next Costco haul; and let me know what favorites I missed! Remember, the key to a balanced diet is a mix of macronutrients and flavors to keep your body nourished and satisfied.

Melanie Marcus MA RD, your guide to smarter grocery shopping and easier macro friendly meals.

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Will Tiktok’s oatzempic trend help you lose weight?

As a registered dietitian, I can’t help but share my thoughts when a new trend hits my instagram.  The latest is the rise of TikTok’s oatzempic trend for weight loss. It’s called the “Oatzempic” challenge—a catchy name for a homemade smoothie purportedly offering benefits similar to the popular weight loss drug Ozempic. So lets get into it.  Is this weight loss hack the newest weight loss tonic that you’ve been looking for?

What Is the Oatzempic Trend?

The Oatzempic trend involves blending a cup of oats with a cup of water, a squeeze of lime juice, and sometimes a dash of cinnamon to create a gel-like substance. The name “Oatzempic” derives from its comparison to Ozempic, a diabetes medication often prescribed for weight loss, playing on a “budget ozempic” alternative. Dr. Tommy Martin, a Physician, and Karina Chiddo, a TikTok influencer, are among the many TikTok users who have contributed to the trend’s popularity.

Some participants claim that drinking this oat-heavy concoction leads to rapid weight loss. They feel that swapping a high-calorie breakfast for the Oatzempic drink results in a calorie deficit and therefore pounds of weight loss.

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Dissecting the Oatzempic Recipe

Before we get into the effects, what exactly is this oat-based drink?

1.  Oats –  Whole grains that contain a type of soluble fiber, which can help manage blood sugar levels and promote gut health according to the New England Journal of Medicine. 

2.  Water

3. Lime juice

The blend of oatmeal and lime juice creates a smoothie that allegedly mimics the feeling of fullness provided by the GLP-1 hormone, which is what Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, targets.

However, the scientific evidence supporting the Oatzempic drink as a weight management tool remains as scarce as high-fiber foods in a fad diet. Longterm healthy habits will always win over the fad diets. 

Rolled oats on white background

Impact of Oatzmpic drink

Though the Oatzempic trend boasts the body’s hormonal changes and reduced food intake through a feeling of fullness, I would caution against expecting dramatic weight loss similar to clinical trials with actual diabetes drugs. While sustainable weight loss is often gradual and involves a balance of physical activity and fewer calories over time, TikTok’s latest smoothie craze promises an easy solution to a complex health issue.

Social media users are often drawn to the allure of quick weight loss. Replacing whole meals with something like the Oatzempic recipe could lead to deficiencies in other valuable nutrients found in a balanced diet, such as lean proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins.

The Verdict on the Oatzempic Recipe

Despite its popularity, the Oatzempic drink is unlikely to be a safe or healthy long term way to achieve substantial weight loss in the long term. Plus, there are much tastier ways to consume a cup of oatmeal. 

Simple 3 Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies

How to cook oatmeal in the microwave without the mess


Ultimately, the Oatzempic trend reflects the chronic desire for rapid and massive weight loss through seemingly simple and budget-friendly solutions. But as a general rule of thumb in women’s health and beyond, meaningful weight loss and health improvements come from a mixture of diet, consistent physical activity, and often, changes to long-established habits rather than a quick fix.  Incorporating well researched strategies such as intermittent fasting and carb cycling along with a healthy diet right in whole unprocessed foods is the best way to get the weight loss and health benefits you’ve been looking for.  

The Oatzempic craze serves as a reminder that engaging in social media health trends without thorough research or professional guidance can lead to more harm than benefit. Healthier choices, consulting medical professionals, especially if one has a medical condition, and setting realistic goals are the keystones for genuine, sustainable weight loss.

Remember, when it comes to managing your weight, there are no magical drinks—a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a commitment to making healthier choices in the long run are the tried and true ingredients for success.

If you want to lose weight sustainably, for the long term. Check out more about the faster way to fast loss. Just six weeks to a new you!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie