Sunday, March 24, 2013

Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl with Mini Tomatoes, Cucumber & Avocado

Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl |

There are certain foods I crave in specific seasons. Now that it's spring and we're receiving warmer weather here in Texas (unlike other parts of the country that are still covered in snow), I'm back to eating protein packed cottage cheese. Sure, I could eat it all year long, but I tend to enjoy cottage cheese more with fresh fruit or vegetables mixed in. 

Don't get me wrong, I love eating it plain with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper, but I can snarf down a large bowl pretty quickly. When you combine it with other healthy foods not only does it bolster the nutritional value, but it makes the cottage cheese a more filling snack. Win/win!

Now I know it's several months early for tomato season, but I snagged a dry pint of organic mini heirloom tomatoes at my local health food store. Yes, they were grown in a greenhouse in Mexico. And yes they have a large carbon footprint. I'm sorry...I just couldn't pass up organic heirloom tomatoes. I love 'em! 

If you have more self control than I do and can wait until early summertime for the first local crop, by all means! The cottage cheese will still taste delicious without them. 

And one last thing...if you don't care for savory cottage cheese, try it with diced fresh fruit (I love it with pineapple) or unsweetened applesauce. 

No, I did not make a typo. I said applesauce with cottage cheese. They're wonderful together. Don't knock it til you try it. 

Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl with Mini Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced Cucumber & Diced Avocado
Protein packed cottage cheese mixed with organic mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced cucumber and diced ripe avocado then seasoned with savory spices like homemade lemon pepper seasoning and cayenne pepper. 
| Original Recipe & Photograph by The Rising Spoon | © Elaina Newton 2013
Serves: 1

3/4 cup of grass fed organic cottage cheese (or find a local brand with no additives or chemicals)
1/4 of a small cucumber, sliced and quartered
1/4-1/2 a medium ripe avocado, diced
10-12 organic mini heirloom tomatoes (or substitute organic grape & cherry tomatoes)
Pink sea salt, cracked black pepper, homemade lemon pepper seasoning, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper, to taste
(I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)

Portion out the cottage cheese into a bowl. Season it with the spices mentioned above, to taste. If you dislike spicy foods, omit the cayenne pepper. Slice and quarter the cucumber and pit and dice the avocado. Add these two, plus the heirloom tomatoes to the cottage cheese. If desired, season the mix-ins with additional spices, to taste. 

Notes & Tips
It's important to buy the best cottage cheese you can afford. Why? You may or may not be aware, but many store and national brands have weird chemicals and additives in their products, especially the low fat or fat free versions. Your best option is to choose a full fat cottage cheese with no artificial ingredients or chemicals mixed in. If you don't recognize the ingredient or can't pronounce it, don't buy! ALWAYS check the ingredients label before you purchase. 

If you're "dieting", please keep in mind that 1) not all fats are bad and 2) your body needs healthy fats (in moderation). For example, in order for your body to absorb certain fat soluble vitamins and nutrients in vegetables, it has to be consumed with a healthy fat. That means when you eat fat-free foods mixed with veggies or fruits, your body is likely just flushing the vitamins out! For more info read here and here.

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your mix-in for cottage cheese?

Answer in the comments section below or join the conversation on The Rising Spoon Facebook page. Prefer Twitter? And feel free to circle me on Google Plus or follow me on Pinterest.

This post is also linked to Tuned-In Tuesday Blog Hop. Check out this weekly series for awesome articles relating to real food, health, living green and so much more.

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