While trying to find the ingredients for the cheesy rice from ffwd (I wasn't home with the recipe and wondered if I needed to go to the market), I stumbled upon a thread from Chow.com where JoanN talked about a cottage cheese substitute for heavy cream. You just take cottage cheese and puree it. Cottage cheese happens to be one of the few foods I really will not eat plain. It's find in noodle kugel, but that's about it for me. Well I gave it a shot and what do you know, it turned into a great replacement for ricotta cheese. I haven't tried it in place of cottage cheese, but certainly will.
For the test case, I had grilled eggplant and steamed broccoli. I pureed the cottage cheese with basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. Not a lot of parm, maybe a 1/3 cup to 1 1/2 cups of cottage.
I then layered it with the vegetables and topped with some mozzarella cheese. It was watery, but I hadn't added any eggs as I would normally do with ricotta. Calorie breakdown:
Part-skim ricotta - 1/2 cup = 140 calories, 9 grams fat
Fat-free cottage cheese - 1/2 cup = 70 calories, 0 grams fat
If the taste and texture are the same, which would you choose?