Cottage Peace

I have never had cottage cheese in my life. Not a fan of dairy even before I turned vegan, there was something terribly off putting about its texture, smell and appearance that discouraged ever trying. However, I am definitely a fan of anything soft, cold and creamy with a good dose of fruit.

As the days get hotter here in Texas, we have been trading cooked oatmeal for Bircher muesli or smoothie bowls. But this morning, I figured why not swap tofu for the oats and see where it takes me. There was a musk melon sitting on the countertop, just begging to be addressed. And so it came to be. This melon bowl with tofu cottage 'peace'. Wonderfully clean, extremely filling and relatively inexpensive. 
 

Melon Bowl with Cottage Peace

Serves 4

2 small musk melons or variety of choice (papayas are another option)
1 block extra firm tofu (I use Trader Joe's Organic)
1/4 cup dried raisins, currants , chopped dates or apricots
1/4 chopped nuts of choice
1 tsp. pure almond or vanilla extract 
2-3 Tbsp. coconut cream 
1/4 tsp. sea salt (table salt is a good bit saltier so use less)
1/2 lemon or lime, juiced
Sweetener of choice (if desired)

Wrap the tofu in a thick cloth towel and weigh down with a heavy pan or cutting board to drain the water out (takes about 30-45 minutes). Transfer the pressed tofu to a wide bowl. Shred into small 'curds' using your fingers or a fork. I use an immersion blender whenever I want the texture of ricotta cheese. See picture below

Throw in the nuts, dried fruit, coconut cream, lemon/lime juice, extract and salt. Mix well. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop and until ready to assemble.

Wash and dry the melons really well. Halve and clean out the seeds. 

Stuff the seed cavity with the tofu mixture. Serve chilled or at room temperature. 

A heavenly smoothie bowl consisting of bananas, berries and flax with scoops of creamy cottage peace. 

A heavenly smoothie bowl consisting of bananas, berries and flax with scoops of creamy cottage peace.