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Refreshing Watermelon

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Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 am, Mon Apr 28, 2014.

(Family Features) Watermelon conjures images of warm weather days, refreshing sweetness and the delightful dribble of sticky juice trickling down your chin. Though it is, indeed, a delicious seasonal snack, watermelon is a healthy treat that can be enjoyed year-round and all day long, too.

These recipes show how easily nutrient-rich watermelon can be incorporated into meals throughout the day, starting with a morning breakfast on the go. Variations on traditional sandwiches, salads and slaws give you more opportunities to explore how watermelon pairs with some of your other favorite dishes.

Selecting a Watermelon

With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Actually, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.

2. Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Most of the weight (92 percent, in fact) is water.

3. 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.

For these and other recipes featuring the distinctly crisp flavor of watermelon, visit www.watermelon.org.

Breakfast a Go-Go

Recipe: Breakfast a Go-Go

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup low fat granola
  • 3/4 cup de-seeded watermelon chunks
  • 5 ounces low-fat banana yogurt

Preparation:

  1. In tall glass or to-go container, layer ingredients as follows: half each of granola, watermelon and yogurt. Repeat to create two of each layer.

1

Greek Pita Flatbread with Watermelon

Recipe: Greek Pita Flatbread with Watermelon

Ingredients:

  • 4 wedges seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 pieces whole pita bread, halved
  • 1/4 cup prepared spreadable herb cheese
  • 4 large lettuce leaves

Preparation:

  1. Place sliced watermelon on paper towels to remove excess liquid. Mix chicken, cilantro, yogurt, garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Spread inside surfaces of pita bread halves with herbed cheese and fill each with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Top with watermelon and lettuce before serving.

4

Watermelon Rind, Carrot and Pineapple Slaw

Recipe: Watermelon Rind, Carrot and Pineapple Slaw

Ingredients:

Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Slaw
  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind with fruit and green peel removed
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

Preparation:

  1. In small bowl, blend together dressing ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium-sized bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple and toss to thoroughly coat.

4 one-cup

Watermelon Pomegranate Toss Salad

Recipe: Watermelon Pomegranate Toss Salad

Ingredients:

Dressing
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper, to taste
Salad
  • 8 cups baby spinach (one 6-ounce bag)
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Preparation:

  1. Simmer juice in small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to about 3 tablespoons and liquid is a thick syrup. Set aside. When cool, add remaining dressing ingredients. Whip; set aside for flavors to blend.
  2. Place watermelon on paper towel to absorb excess fluid. Place spinach in large serving bowl. Top with onion, watermelon, raspberries and pomegranate seeds. Divide onto four salad plates and drizzle with dressing.

4

Watermelon and Beef with Tangerine Herb

Recipe: Watermelon and Beef with Tangerine Herb

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound lean sirloin tip beef, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soybean oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tangerine peel, soaked in sherry
  • 1 cup watermelon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/4 red pepper, cubed
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, cubed
  • 1/4 red onion, cubed
Marinade Sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons port wine or red wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Sauce for Stir Fry
  • 1/2 cup water or veal stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon lite soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons port wine or red wine
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved
  • 3 drops sesame oil

Preparation:

  1. Mix together marinade ingredients and marinate beef for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Saute beef in non-stick pan over medium-high heat until brown on all sides.
  3. Heat soybean oil in wok or large saute pan; add garlic, ginger, tangerine peel and watermelon, and saute for 30 seconds. Add vegetables, stirring constantly to sweat peppers and onions.
  4. Stir in sauce ingredients, except cornstarch, and bring to a boil. Stir in dissolved corn­starch to thicken sauce, add beef and mix thoroughly.
  5. Finish with drops of sesame oil and arrange on plate. Serving tip: Use a piece of triangular cut watermelon for garnish.

2

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Lodi's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is hosting a public workshop at 7 p.m. at Hutchins Street Square to find out how it can better meet the needs of the community. What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

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