Friday, July 10, 2015

“Watermelon & Pomegranate Tossed Salad” & “Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast with Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa”

Welcome, come on in….I know it has been a long time since I last posted a story or recipe. I have been unwell and was not able to post anything…I want to say thank you to all of you that have sent me well wishes and prayers…but never fear I am back with more recipes and fun posts. At this point I will only be posting on Friday’s for the next few weeks…..due to the fact that I have to go slow…So "Wordless Tuesday" will have to wait for a while.
So with that being said…Guess what July is known for? Yes, you got it right…It is “National Watermelon Month!” Now this month should not be confused with “National Watermelon Day,” which is celebrated every August 3rd. “National Watermelon Month” is to honor and enjoy the great flavor of a juicy ice cold watermelon, especially when the weather has been so hot lately. Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits in the summer. You can eat them sliced, cut in chunks or just from the rind. Some people like to put a sprinkle of salt on top and enjoy it, while others like to blend it up and make slushies. 

There's something fun and sociable about eating a tasty watermelon outside with your family and friends. Children gather around the designated watermelon slicer just to be able to hear that nice ripe pop when it's cracked open. Everyone gets a nice fat wedge and begins to eat the sweet juicy red melon.... and the best part is, we don't even mind the juice running down our chin! Watermelon seems to be the standard for picnics and outdoor socials. Then there are the black seeds, (unless you have a seedless melon) which I remember when I was young, we had contests to see who could spit the black seeds the furthest. 

The origins of watermelon have been traced back to the deserts of southern Africa, where it still grows wild today. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred about 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife. From there, watermelons were brought to countries along the Mediterranean Sea by way of merchant ships. By the 10th century, watermelon found its way to China, which is now the world's top producer of watermelons. The 13th century found watermelons spreading through the rest of Europe via the Moors.

More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America, where complementary growing seasons provide a year-round supply of watermelon in an array of shapes, colors and sizes. Because there are so many varieties, they are often grouped according to characteristics, like fruit shape, rind color, pattern, and size. The most common watermelon options are:

Seeded: The classic watermelon comes in a wide range of sizes. (15-45 lb, round, long, oblong)

Seedless: Due to high demand, the majority of watermelon cultivars grown today are seedless – and they are getting redder and crisper thanks to seed breeding advancements. They are not the result of genetic engineering, but rather hybridization – the crossing of two different types of watermelons. (10-25 lb, round to oblong)

Mini: Petite “personal watermelons” are easy to handle and their thinner rinds can mean more flesh per pound. Hollow them out for a serving bowl. (1-7 lb, round)

Yellow & Orange: Generally sweeter than red-fleshed watermelon, yellow and orange varieties add a surprising element to the plate or glass. (10-30 lb, round)

There are health benefits to eating watermelon. A great health fact to know about watermelons is that it's an excellent source of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is only found in a few red plant foods. It has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. It also qualifies for a great heart- healthy food too! Watermelon is 92% water! The body needs a lot of water to function so this is a good thing. It's nutritious and good for us! Watermelon has no fat or cholesterol which makes it a parent’s favorite snack to give to their children. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin A, B6, C, potassium and fiber which we all struggle to get more of. These vitamins are vital to good health and disease prevention.

Do you know how to pick a watermelon? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents. Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size, due to the fact of its water content. Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun. So go get yourself a few and chill them up. So have fun with it and celebrate it!

Today, I am sharing with you two recipes that I know you will enjoy, using watermelon. “Watermelon & Pomegranate Tossed Salad”and “Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast with Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa”….Yummy!

“Watermelon & Pomegranate Tossed Salad

Ingredients for dressing for salad:
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Pomegranate vinegar is the best)
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
1 small minced shallot
1/8 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:
8 cups baby spinach (one 6-oz bag)
3/4 cup diced red onion 

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
2 cups diced seedless watermelon (placed on paper towel to drain excess fluid)
Some fresh raspberries (6oz.)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Place juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer until reduced to about 3 tablespoons and liquid is a thick syrup. Set aside. When cool, add remaining dressing ingredients, from vinegar to salt and pepper. Whip. Set aside for flavors to blend. Place spinach in a large serving bowl. Top with onion, watermelon, feta cheese, raspberries, and pomegranate seeds. Divide onto 4 salad places and drizzle with dressing.

Yield: Makes 4 servings and 3/4 cup of dressing.

Sweet watermelon perfectly complements the earthy spices, such as oregano, chili powder, and cumin as you marinate your chicken breasts.

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast with Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1 cup salsa)

Ingredients for marinate:
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa Ingredients:
Cooking spray
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed seeded watermelon
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled ripe mango
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded Jalapeño pepper (about 1 small)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator up to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally. Next prepare grill. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill on each side or until chicken is done. Combine watermelon and remaining ingredients. Serve watermelon mixture with chicken. Delicious!

Till Next Time……………………………….........................................

Copyright © 2015 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Good morning dearest Dottie ,
    Welcome back , you have been missed terribly much . Take it slow , regain your strength and you will be back stronger than ever . You are a very strong person .
    I can relate to this post , my family grows watermelons and most vegetables , now sweetie you out did yourself with the chicken recipe , my sisters will love this one and so will a lot of my friends.
    Just the right combo ...watermelon and jalapeno ...right amount and sweetness.
    Again , I must say welcome back . You are in our prayers . Have a wonderful and blessed weekend. :) Nee

    1. Good afternoon Nee,
      Thank you dear friend for your comment and your prayers. It really feels so good to be back, I really missed you all and my writing. I will take it slow, that is for sure...don't want to have a relapse. I love watermelon and these recipes are amazing! I love to mix fruit in with a good and yes the chicken recipe is really good with a little heat. I thought of you when I wrote this post. I know you love jalapeno and hot peppers. Hope that you have a fabulous blessed weekend with your family too.
      Hugs..Dottie :)

  2. I've missed you Dottie, and am happy to see your return here! Hope your recovery is going well and you're getting stronger with each day.
    We love watermelon and your recipes for it sound great. It's amazing with all the different varieties, and I like the original just fine. Interesting with the history of it and that China is the top producer of it. It's definitely a sociable delicious fruit!
    You take care and don't over-do it! Hugs

    1. Hi Pam,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I have missed you all as well. Yes, I am doing better everyday and I am glad that I am back...I enjoy blogging and I sure missed it. Yes, I am glad that you liked these recipes. It is so much fun using fruit in meals as well as eating it after the meal. Love watermelon especially on a hot day, it is so refreshing. So much info on watermelon that I never knew. Hope that you have a wonderful weekend....will get to your blog soon...
      Hugs Dottie :)

  3. Welcome back! So good to see you post again. And wow, what a winner of a post. So much info! Thank you, thank you, thank you. :-)

    1. Hi John,
      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! It feels good to be back at what I love to do, write about food...So glad that you enjoyed this post on watermelon and the recipes. SO your welcome....Have a fabulous weekend...
      Dottie :)

  4. Glad to hear you're feeling better. And what a wealth of interesting information you've provided! Now I'm craving watermelon like never before...

    1. Hi Audra,
      Thanks so much for your kind words....Yes, thank goodness I am doing really well. Still have to take it slow, but I am on the mend for sure. I know what you mean, everytime I see this post, I want a slice of watermelon too. Glad that you enjoyed this one...Have a wonderful week...
      Dottie :)

  5. Hi Dottie,
    Nice to see you back on your blog! I hope you are feeling better.
    I love your watermelon recipes, they make my mouth water. I have not had watermelon this year yet but I will soon be going to Italy so I think I will have lots of it!
    I had a beautiful wedding day and I felt quite emotional (I didn't think I would though!).My cake was hard work but it turned out very well. It all went very well and I am happy to be married! It was the cherry on the cake as they say.
    Take care and looking forward to your next post xxx

    1. Hi Alida,
      Thank you for your comment! Yes, it does feel good to be getting back to my writing and recipes. I really missed it and all of my Foodie friends. I know watermelon is so good and refreshing especially if it is ice cold on a hot day!
      I am so happy for you that your wedding day was beautiful. I know what you mean about being emotional, you just can't help it. Wow, I can imagine your cake, how amazing it must have been. Your family and your children must have had a wonderful time. Now you are married and you can actually say husband now. Can't wait to see some photos, Blessing to you all...Be well and will chat soon...
      Hugs, Dottie x :)

  6. Dear Dottie, Welcome back!!! I am so happy to see that you are posting again.
    Please take it slow and regain your strength. It is not easy to move to quickly in this heat as it is. I was thrilled to see your comments and am looking forward to you feeling good.
    I simply love watermelon and so do Michael and Tammy. Incorporating it in salad and with vinegar is delicious!!
    A big hug xo Catherine

    1. Dear Catherine,
      Thank you for your warm welcome...I was back, but now had pc problems for over a week, had my pc man take the tower and fixed it. So now I hope to be really back. I could do with a slice of watermelon right now as it is so hot out and getting worse this week...Be cool and have a wonderful week!
      Dottie :)