Deep Mexico Fruit Salad

The Recipe: A simple, summery fruit salad arranged in a pretty and symmetrical pattern around a mound of cottage cheese. So simple and surprisingly tasty – and yes, we know, more of a suggestion than a "recipe" even if it's a great illustration of how we're using common Mexican ingredients and serving them in untraditional but Mexican-ish ways.

Deep Mexico Fruit Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, just summer fruit atop a mound of cottage cheese.

"I Love This Concept Even If I Feel a Little Overwhelmed."

That's what a long-time Kitchen Parade reader wrote last week when I first talked about our month-long cooking adventure in Deep Mexico: Ingredient-Driven Mexican Meal Prep. (Hello, Linda O!)

Funny thing is? For us, anyway, letting ingredients drive our meals is simplifying our grocery shopping, meal planning, meal prep and cooking. With a limited number of ingredients and a focus on Mexican preparation styles, it all seems less overwhelming not more.

Deep Mexico Fruit Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, just summer fruit atop a mound of cottage cheese.

Take This Simple Fruit Salad

So before I share recipes that fit more traditionally into the idea of Mexican food, I decided to share this lovely fruit salad, one my husband came up with on Day 2 of our Deep Mexico project and which we continue to enjoy ever since.

Is it a "Mexican Fruit Salad"? Probably not. We do love a more traditional Mexican Fruit Salad, seasonal fruits and vegetables tossed with cumin, cinnamon or chili powder. So good!

But plates of fresh fruit kinda-sorta artfully arranged on plates completely fits our Deep Mexico concept of using ingredients commonly found in Mexican cuisine and treating them in a Mexican-ish way.

And it's truly simple, just fresh fruit arranged in a beautiful way atop a mound of cottage cheese.

And doesn't every plate look like those stylized round Aztec calendars you see in Mexico?

Paint restoration at San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya in Oaxaca, Mexico that inspires our Deep Mexico Fruit Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com

And then I found a photo I took in 2010 during the restoration of Templo de San Jerónimo, first built in the late 1500s at San Jerónimo Tiacochahuaya near Oaxaca, Mexico. Our salads mimic those four hundred-year old flower medallions, too! Ever since, we make sure to create round, symmetrical designs with pieces of fruit.


You'll Love Our Deep Mexico Fruit Salad If You ...

... keep pretty summer fruit on hand
... want a fruit salad that can serve one or a crowd
... appreciate beautiful plating but never feel up to it!


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CONCEPT RECIPE:
DEEP MEXICO FRUIT SALAD

Hands-on time: 5 – 30 minutes, depending on fruit and servings
Chill time (optional): 30 minutes – 2 hours
Time to table: 5 minutes – 2-1/2 hours
Serves one to many

  • Cottage cheese
  • A variety of fresh fruit (oranges, tangerines, mangoes, pineapple, avocado, strawberries, etc.)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Something with crunch, toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds, granola, even pomegranate seeds, optional but good texture contrast
  • Sprinkle of fresh cilantro, optional

Scoop a mound of cottage cheese onto a pretty plate. Now get creative! And artful! Arrange fresh fruit around the perimeter of the cottage cheese, letting some peak out. Surround the mound with fruit, showing off the different colors and shapes.

Add a squeeze of lime juice, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon, then top with a few bits of something crunchy and fresh cilantro.

Serve for (or at) breakfast or lunch or as a starter for a light supper.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS We like to chill the plates after they're all arranged, even a few minutes will make for a cool and refreshing salad.

ALANNA's TIPS Aim for at least three different fruits of different colors, wetness and shapes. Bananas work well, just dip the chunks in lime juice to prevent them from turning brown on the plate. For a very Weight Watchers Freestyle-friendly breakfast or lunch, skip the avocado and substitute non-fat yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt for its thick consistency) for cottage cheese. I've really started to pay attention to varying textures in each dish and especially on each meal plate. That's why we add a bit of crunch on top, toasted pistachios once, another time Maple-Glazed Pecans and also a pumpkin-seed granola recipe I'll share soon.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per serving, a total swag, assumes 1/3 cup cottage cheese, 4 ounces fresh fruit, a tablespoon of lime juice, a teaspoon of honey: 129 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 9mg Cholesterol; 264mg Sodium; 24g Carb; 2g Fiber; 19g Sugar; 9g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 1 (Freestyle assumes non-fat Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese)


Summer Fruit for the Win!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

This looks like a PERFECT spring and summer breakfast/brunch/lunch dish! Cottage cheese is incredibly good stuff (full fat for me, please -- the flavor is so much better, and the calorie count isnt that much higher). And it works so well with fruit. I'm not wild about cilantro with fruit (love cilantro, just not with fruit), but mint runs wild in our garden, so that'd be my choice. Really nice -- thanks.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna