Baked cottage cheese french toast with a courgette and corn salsa

by admin on September 21, 2008 · 13 comments

Baked cottage cheese french toast with a courgette and corn salsa

There was an intriguing piece of research published recently regarding the power of eggs for breakfast. Two groups of dieters were each assigned a breakfast equal in calories: the bagel breakfast, consisting of bagel, yogurt and cream cheese; and the egg breakfast, consisting of scrambled eggs, toast and jam. After eight weeks the group prescribed the egg breakfast had achieved a 61% greater weight loss that the bagel group. Eggs it seems are a particularly satisfying breakfast and helped the study subjects to stick to their low calorie diet over the rest of the day. Eggs for breakfast won’t spontaneously cause you to lose weight without also trying to cut down on the amount of food that you eat, however they may make dieting that little bit easier and more successful.

A recent eggy favourite in our household has been cottage cheese french toast with a courgette and corn salsa. Weekends in our household often involve dashing out early, then catching up later in the morning for brunch (I’m writing this at 8.30am on a Saturday and hubby is already long gone, off competing in a local triathlon). This kind of recipe, where much of the preparation can be done the night before, fits with our schedule perfectly. In addition to the satiating power of the eggs, this french toast recipe contains cottage cheese blended into the traditional egg mixture, adding calcium and extra protein and giving the bread that creamy but slightly sour cottage cheese taste. The salsa is delicious and provides a portion of vegetables for breakfast (especially important to factor in if you are skipping a meal and having this for brunch).

The first time I made this I followed the traditional approach of pan frying the toast but the bread soaks up olive oil like a sponge and you have to use a large amount to prevent it from sticking. Baking the bread in the oven turns out to be easier and healthier, and has the added advantage of letting you easily make several servings at once.  That said, if you are stuck for an oven then you can always pan-fry.

Corn courgette salsa

The egg mixture will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days ready for an impromptu rerun. The corn and zucchini salsa is tasty hot or cold and leftovers work great alongside many other dishes, especially vegetable dishes and grilled chicken and fish. The salsa also makes a quick basis for a packed lunch; bundle it into a tortilla wrap with low-fat cream cheese or houmous, or mix with cooked brown rice or canned beans for an easy salad.

Recipe for Baked cottage cheese french toast with a courgette and corn salsa

Serves six as a light breakfast, or three hungry people for lunch
Timings may need a bit of perfecting according to the ferocity of your oven (definitely reduce the temperature if you are using a fan oven). The finished toast should be golden and slightly crisp on the outside, and still moist in the middle. Serve with spicy tomato relish, or just good ‘ol ketchup.

For the eggy bread
6 slices of granary bread
4 medium eggs
1 cup of cottage cheese (a 230g tub)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For the salsa
Kernels from two cobs of fresh sweetcorn
3 courgette (zucchini), cut into small cubes
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp olive oil
Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper

Use a blender to mix the cottage cheese and eggs together until you get a smooth, pale yellow liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the bread into a shallow dish and pour over the egg mixture. Leave in the fridge while the bread soaks up the liquid.

Twenty minutes before you are ready to eat, spray a baking sheet with olive oil and place in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 180 C, 350 F.

Place the slices of bread onto the preheated tray and put them into the oven. Set the timer for 5 minutes (you can get on with cooking the salsa while the toast is in the oven).  After 5 minutes are up, turn the bread (a sharp fish slice is useful).  Return the bread to the oven and set the timer for another 5 minutes.

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a deep-sided frying pan or skillet.  Add the sweetcorn, courgette, chilli and spring onion to the pan and cook for five minutes, stirring the veg continuously.  Add the cumin, salt and pepper and stir well.  Add the chopped coriander.

Serve the bread topped with the salsa.


Meeta September 21, 2008 at 12:04

I love the idea of cottage cheese in french toast and then baking it. simply gorgeous!

ttfn300 September 21, 2008 at 18:07

This looks fantastic, I’ll definately be giving a tri ;-) (i’m jealous that your hubby’s doing a tri… i was looking for one to do in september, but now that it’s in the low 50s first thing in the morning I decided it’s ok to wait until next year!)

Lucy September 22, 2008 at 00:39

Exactly what I need to read given my current weighty matters, Sophie!
Love that it’s baked. So much simpler and, as you say, you can all eat at once when it’s baked.

kathryn September 22, 2008 at 01:05

Sophie, this is brilliant. Two recipes in one, something that can be prepped the night before. And you’ve matched French toast with vegetables – rather than the usual sweet accompaniments. Brilliant. I think we’ll be having this very soon.

Wendy September 22, 2008 at 21:36

Since getting Marco I’ve been (at last) able to spend time eating a proper breakfast at home rather than grabbing toast with a cheese slices at school. The last few weeks I’ve been eating cinnamon bagels with cottage cheese and a few plums on the side. Lovely but, you’re right, I’m hungry by 10am. Will eat eggs next week and see how I feel.
P.S. I love french toast but when I made it recently I was really put off by the amount of oil required. Look forward to trying this out. :)

Elaine September 23, 2008 at 15:54

Delicious and different. I’m about to have my egg for breakfast but I think I will try this recipe on the weekend.
Lovely photos, too.

bee September 23, 2008 at 22:26

what a delightful sunday breakfast this would make!! thank you.

Sophie September 25, 2008 at 09:48

Meeta – glad you like it! I tried a few combinations but this one seems to work the best
ttfn300 – triathlons sound fun, if in a slighty painful way. Definitely give it a go next year!
Lucy – I symphasise entirely, it’s hard to stay svelte when you’re working from home. Baking the french toast definitely uses a lot less fat and the thing is a pleasantly filling
Kathryn – I thought/hoped you would like this one. The nerdy nutritionist in me was pleased with the way the recipe combines so many food groups in one breakfast :-)
Wendy – I’m very intrigued to learn how having a dog means you have more time for breakfast. Is it because you get up much earlier? Cinnamon bagel, fruit and cottage cheese sounds great too but its definitely worth giving something like this a try if you get hungry quickly
Elaine – let me know how you get on if you try it!
Bee, we often have this for breakfast on a Sunday. It’s perfect for a lazy day, when you have a bit more time to cook and chop!

Nora September 28, 2008 at 01:09

Love the addition of cottage cheese for that added protein boost. Thanks for the recipe. Hope that hubby had a good race.

Heather September 30, 2008 at 08:02

I love French toast with poached fruit and a little syrup of some kind – maple, agave, melted raw honey. Do you think the baked technique would work as a sweet recipe? I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

Sophie October 1, 2008 at 20:37

Heather – French toast with poached fruit sounds lovely. I’m absolutely sure the baking method would work with conventional French toast. It’s one of those recipes that might take a couple of goes to get right depending on your oven

Wendy October 27, 2008 at 20:23

Sorry for delay in replying – I get up at 6am these days so that I can spend a couple hours with Marco before heading off to work. Want to give him plenty of attention and exercise when I can as he’s on his own for 3.5 hours in the morning and afternoon with an hour’s walk in between. It’s worked out well for us both! He’s a happy pup and I eat properly in the mornings.
Have been trying out the egg breakfasts and, it’s true, I’m not that hungry until lunchtimes these days. Still need to try out this recipe. Looking forward to it.

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