A Refreshing Watermelon Salad

FLAVOR-TOWN-MED-SMALLHow about a refreshing and flavourful salad? This unusual combination is a real winner!
A ‘ONE HIT WONDER’ at my last dinner for 16 people. The colourful, delicious salad is an enjoyable departure from your regular dinner servings. Make this salad for your family and friends and watch the smiles appear.

With these refreshing, succulent flavours you have just entered ‘FLAVOUR TOWN’.

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INGREDIENTS
1 red onion
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 kilograms watermelon
1 bunch fresh mint, basil or cilantro (chopped)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100 grams pitted sun dried or Kalamata olives
250 grams feta cheese
watermelon-ingredients
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Cut the red onion into fine slices. Place the onions in the lime juice. This will soften the sharp flavour of the onions. The lime juice will turn a light pink colour.
2. While that is marinating, cut the watermelon into cubes or balls using a melon baller. This looks so appetizing.
3. Cut the feta into bite sized pieces.
4. Assemble the watermelon, herbs, and olives in a salad bowl.
5. Add the olive oil and black pepper to the onions and lime juice. Stir this to combine.
6. Add to the watermelon mix and gently toss.
7. Scatter the feta over the salad. Add these at the end to maintain the white colour.

Serves 8
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didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW? Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.
Watermelon is also a good source of pantothenic acid, copper, biotin, potassium and magnesium.
Cancer: As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, watermelon can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer prevention in several studies.
VARIATIONS: Garnish with balls of honeydew melon for an even brighter colour!  Peppery  arugula greens contrast well with the sweet watermelon. A good addition to this salad.

Light Lunch: Grilled Marinated chicken with assorted veggies /Watermelon Salad

Light Lunch: Grilled Marinated chicken with assorted veggies /Watermelon Salad

Sweet Potato Salad – Simple Version

This is a wonderful and healthy side dish to accompany those grilled ribs, chicken, pork and even salmon. This is an alternative to those usual potato and pasta salads. It’s a great take along for those summer barbecues! It’s a crowd pleaser!
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IMG_0870INGREDIENTS
2 large or up to 4 small (2 1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes
4 teaspoons white wine or champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup capers or chopped pickles(optional)

DIRECTIONS
1) Preheat oven to 400F.
2) Cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast about 30 minutes turning occasionally.
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Alternatively the potatoes can be steamed for 10 minutes and let them air dry to remove access liquid. It is easy for them to soften too much so do not overcook.
3) While the potatoes are roasting, make the dressing. Place in a blender or whisk in a bowl, the mustard, vinegar and salt. Slowly add the remaining tablespoons of olive oil in a slow stream.
4) If you have been oven roasting the potatoes remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and let rest and cool slightly about 10 minutes.
5) Toss the still warm potatoes with the dressing.
They absorb the dressing better when slightly warm.
6) Add scallions and toss gently.

Your finished salad

Your finished salad

VARIATIONS: You can also add to this 1/2 bottle of capers, 2 sliced celery sticks or fennel, a couple of boiled eggs chopped, etc…. Look in your fridge. It’s fresh. Use it up!
Serves 4-6 persons
This is actually better the next day.

Sweet Potato Salad – Spicy Version

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INGREDIENTS
sweet-potato-ingredients21 large to 2 small (about 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes)
1 medium size red pepper
1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium apple (any sweet organic is good)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped or 1/4 cup dried mint
1 or 2 minced jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins(optional)

DIRECTIONS
1) Preheat oven to 400F and roast as per previous recipe or alternatively steam the potatoes.
2) While the potatoes are cooking, put in blender the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, red bell pepper, cumin and the orange zest if you are using. Sprinkle with the salt.
3) Add the apple, scallion, mint, jalapeno and raisins
to the warm potatoes and gently toss.
4) Add most of the dressing and toss. Add more dressing if you need it. Taste for seasoning.
5) Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for the next day.
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Mighty Mango Slaw

Do you want to lift your taste buds above old-hat combos? How about a creamy dressing you can have today and tomorrow? When you make this salad, you will make it again and again. People do request it!  It’s that good! This colourful and chunky salad is spiked with jalapeño and fresh lime juice and zest that has your taste buds dancing. Great summer salads to celebrate RAW FOOD.

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RECIPE
Ingredients

1 lime
¾ cup (175 mL) regular or home made mayonnaise
1 tsp (5 mL) celery salt
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded
2 ripe but firm mangos
2 apples such as Granny Smith or Royal Gala
1 large red bell pepper, seeded (optional)
1 small napa cabbage
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped cilantroIMG_0564

Directions
1 Finely grate lime peel into a large salad bowl. Add the juice from the lime, about 3 tbsp (45 ml). Stir in the mayonnaise and celery salt.

2 Peel and julienne mango into long thin strips.  Julienne red pepper as well. Finely chop jalapeno (no seeds). Slice peeled apples into julienne strips.  Stir all of these into the dressing.

3 Shred the head of cabbage by slicing as finely as possible crosswise. You should have about 8 cups (2 L). Stir into the salad.  Add about half of the chopped cilantro ( or parsley).  Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.  Scatter with remaining cilantro before serving.

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NEXT DAY Salad: Slice up the RAW vegetables except the apple and mango. Keep the dressing separate from the other ingredients. An hour before servings, combine all of the ingredients except half of the cilantro. Add the coriander (cilantro) just before serving.
Serves 6
Variation: Substitute parsley for the cilantro.  If you add only one mango — it still tastes great.  You may substitute peaches or nectarines for the mango.   You can add another diced jalapeño pepper if you like the heat. Taste your salad first before you add the pepper.

The  mango and apples balances the heat from the jalapeño pepper. The apples really give this salad a fresh crisp taste.

Celery, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

This is the perfect slaw for Green Goddess dressing. Fennel is a delicious alternative  giving this a slightly sweeter, milder taste than the traditional cabbage. You have all your GREENS together with an accent of red.

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RECIPE
Ingredients
3 celery stalks, thickly sliced diagonally, plus 1.4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced crosswise plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 firm apple (such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or Gala) julienned
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup green goddess dressing
1/2 red pepper thinly sliced

Preparation
Combine the first three salad ingredients and 1 tablespoon of the herb and toss with dressing.
Garnish with sliced red pepper and the remaining tablespoon of cilantro or flat leaf parsley and serve.

I used the green goddess dressing for this salad. Fennel, apple, celery and red pepper.

I used the green goddess dressing for this salad. Fennel, apple, celery and red pepper.

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FOOD TIP: After preparing the mayonnaise add the ingredients for the green goddess dressing right into your blender. Use some for this salad and refrigerate the rest to use as a dip, or for another salad or to serve with fish, meat or chicken.