Can fruit make the perfect summer salad?

Can fruit make the perfect summer salad?

I’ll tell you a small secret. We already use a very common fruit for salad on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Yep, tomato is a fruit! But this salad with the addition of watermelon is so juicy and fresh, it will blow you away! So can fruit make the perfect summer salad? Why yes they can!

It will be a fun dish to present to your friends and family. It is easy and quick to make, and can be accompanied by a summer BBQ or just serve this salad as a refreshing lunch or light dinner!

You can also serve this with some fresh burrata, mozzarella or some feta cheese!

Accompany this salad with some other things like…

You can accompany it with the homemade Wholegrain flatbread or maybe serve it as a side for this spectacular slow cooked lamb! Your choice!

Can fruit make the perfect summer salad?

Tomato and watermelon summer salad

Sweet and sour, juicy and fresh, the perfect combo for a refreshing hot summer's day or evening meal!
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ medium sized watermelon
  • ½ sweet white onion
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • fresh herbs, like oregano, basil, mint
  • 2 tsp marinated capers

Instructions
 

  • This is all pretty basic. Cut the tomatoes in big chunks. Cut the watermelon in similar-size pieces and take out the black pits.
  • Slice the onion in thin rings.
  • Chop the capers and the herbs.
  • Mix everything in a big bowl with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add some salt, if necessary.
    Yes, fruit and veggies can make for the perfect summer salad
Keyword fresh, plant-based, salad, summery, tomato, watermelon
Refreshing Tzatziki for hot summer evenings

Refreshing Tzatziki for hot summer evenings

Have your summer eves been so hot, that you just can’t force yourself to eat anything even slightly tepid? Well, it seems that summers become hotter by the year, so it’s good to have some recipes with cold ingredients that can cool us down. But this refreshing tzatziki for hot summer evenings is not only a nice cool dish for the heat.

It is also great to reduce meat consumption in some meal times, and this dish served with some grilled veggies and homemade pita bread will be perfect for a vegetarian meal!

Refreshing Tzatziki for hot summer evenings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium sized cucumber
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • some herbs you like, for example, fresh or dried oregano, mint, dill
  • Greek yogurt (if not available, look for something thicker)

RECIPE

This is as simple as it gets! No need to buy something ready at the supermarket that will have some preservatives and things that you really don’t want in your food!

  1. Grate the cucumber and sprinkle the salt, leave it for 10min to release some water. The squeeze it all nicely to eliminate the excess water.

2. Add some squished or chopped or grated garlic.

IF YOU HAVE A SENSITIVE STOMACH, I suggest you put the whole garlic clove in and leave it for 20 min to aromatise the tzatziki and then just remove it before serving.

Add some extra virgin olive oil, this will give fantastic taste, will pack this with some monounsaturated fatty acids and give it more consistency.

Add the 1/2 tbsp of white wine vinegar. You can also use apple or even red wine vinegar, it will just slightly change the colour.

3. Add the yogurt and stir well. You can add the aromatic herbs and some more extra virgin olive oil, if you like.

And voilá! You have an exquisite and fresh dish for a summer evening!

Pair this together with some wholegrain flatbread!

Refreshing Tzatziki for hot summer evenings
Feta cheese roasted with chickpeas, sundried tomato and garlic

Roasted chickpeas and feta

Are you always busy with zero time to cook? Is it maybe a lazy Sunday when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking? Roasted chickpeas and feta will save your day!

Welcome to one of our 10 minute recipes, easy, fast, tasty and healthy! a true Mediterranean style dish. Just make sure you always have some canned or boiled chickpeas at home, some feta cheese that can stay in the fridge for quite some time and aromatic herbs.

Roasted chickpeas and feta

Check out the recipe, share it with family and friends and let us know what you think!

Roasted chickpeas and feta with oregano, dried tomatoes, paprika

Roasted chickpeas and feta

A very fast, tasty and nutritious recipe to do in just 10 minutes and it's excellent for the meatless days too!
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • A baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g chickpeas pre-boiled or canned
  • 1 feta cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes optional

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to a 180 degrees Celsius with ventilation
  • In a baking tray put the chickpeas, smashed garlic cloves, paprika, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil, and mix everything well.
  • Put the feta on top of the chickpea bed and season with the oregano, and add a splash of olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 min until the top of the feta is slightly browned.
    Feta cheese roasted with chickpeas, sundried tomato and garlic
Keyword chickpeas, feta, healthy

And there you go! Tasty, healthy, fast, what else would you want from a recipe! I advise not to use extra salt on the chickpeas, as the spices, dried tomatoes and the feta will already be salty enough, and if you use canned chickpeas, they will have some salt in them for sure, so don’t over do it.

How do people who cook every day do it?

Obesity is one of the biggest health issues nowadays. It can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease. High blood sugar, high cholesterol, frequent tiredness that can come from bad dietary habits. Frequent fasting, frequent dieting are not answers to a healthy durable life either. So what to do?

The answer from many MDs is – cook more at home! In fact, a very interesting and useful MOOC course from Stanford University on the basics of nutrition states just that. You can find this short online course HERE and I advise anyone to sit though it and listen.

But why is it so many people struggle with cooking at home?

Going out for lunch or dinner is a normality nowadays, it’s not just something reserved for festive occasions. We have less and less time to spend at home, doing shopping lists, going to the market, and then spend hours cooking. So supermarkets are filled with precooked meals, snacks with very little nutritional value but high fat, sugar and salt content, high energetic but low qualiy content.

There is always a reason to not cook at home.

But how can some people still manage to cook and lead busy lives working, doing sports, reading, meeting friends, getting home almost every day to prepare a meal?

I cook every day. Except for a dinner out maybe once every two weeks, now with the pandemic it has gotten even less frequent. And I enjoy going out for a meal so much more if I don’t do it every day.

How do I have time or the will to cook something at 8pm, when I should be in bed by 10pm because I’ll be getting up at 6am? And I need those 8 hours of sleep to feel well rested.

Easy! I have a few ingredients always at home, they hardly ever go bad and they are perfect for a quick and tasty dinner.

Pasta is one of hte easiest dishes to do quickly at home with veggies. Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

The magic ingredients and some incredibly simple recipes

Garlic, Pasta and Extra Virgin Olive oil

Garlic is a fundamental ingredinet for almost all dishes I cook. It gives great flavour without the need to use many other ingredients.

Garlic is not only a great ingredient to boost flavour, but it is antiinflamatory and antibacterial too!

You can use this to make pasta aglio, olio, peperocino. Cooking time 10min aprox.

Recipe for aglio olio peperoncino

Preheat water to a boiling point and put some salt. Drop the pasta in and check the cooking time on the pack, put a timer 1 min before the indicated time.

In a pan on the lowest heat just warm up the olive oil, chopped garlic and some peperoncino (chili pepper), once the pasta is cooked, drop it in the oil for 1 min to absorb the aroma.

Voilá! Dinner is served!

Good quality canned tuna or sardines

Portugal, Spain, South of France, all have excellent tradition of quality canned fish.

Buying fish at the market is usually the most difficul thing, you need to plan to go when the fish is fresh and be sure you’ll be back home quickly before it starts going bad.

So keeping canned sardines or tuna at home is always a great idea. They are tasty, full of omega 3 fatty acids (good fat) that is lacking from so many people’s diets.

These can be served as an aperitif with some bread, fresh tomato, extra virgin olive oil. You can use these for pasta too. Or one of my favoritres for summer – fresh salad with tuna, like the Niçoise salad.

Canned tomato and parmigiano reggiano

Some tasty good quality canned tomato fried, chopped or pealed are all perfect.

Recipe for tomato sauce

Heat some olive oil and chopped garlic. Add the tomato, adjust salt, maybe add some sugar, if it’s very acidic. You have a tomato sauce in 10 min that you can use with anything!

Have an egg? You can make some shakshuka by frying the egg in the tomatoes. Just crack it in and turn up the heat.

Pasta? Top it with the tomato sauce and some parmigiano reggiano.

Same with rice or if you have some fast cooking red lentil, drop them in for 15min, add some water so it doesn’t dry out and you have the perfect dinner!

Gated parmiggiano or cut in pieces is excellent to give more flavour for any dish and it goes so well with tomato.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Canned chickpeas and tahini paste

Photo by Sophie Mikat on Unsplash

Hummus. Such a satifying dish!

And yes, extremely easy to make. When you have no time to cook, you have your canned chickpeas and tahini paste. You can serve this with veggies, cheese, bread. You can even use this as a sauce for pasta and top it off with some grated parmiggiano reggiano!

Recipe for hummus

In a food processor mix the drained canned chickpeas, a tablespoon or more of tahini paste, two tablespoons of icy cold water, add some salt, cumin, if you like, a splash of lemon. Adjust the quantity of the cold water with the consistency you want to acheive.

With little and not so expensive ingredients you can stack up your pantry and never worry, if there has been a day you haven’t been able to go to the market to get some fresh produce. It’s not necessary to buy precooked meals, processed foods, or takeaway every day, when you can make your dish in only 10 min with very few ingredients!