Watermelon-Mint Salad with Toasted Rice and Szechuan Vinegrette

Have any of you ever tried a watermelon salad before? My dad once had it- before it was a thing- at a Portland bar called Expatriate. And he’s raved about it ever since.  Now, these salads are poping up everywhere! I realized- I need to hop on this bandwagon. So here I am, with my own brainchild recipe.   
 

watermelon salad

Don’t mind the tomatoes- I decided not to use them ūüôā

  

Featuring elements from both Expatriate– mint, toasted ground rice, the vinegrette- and A Cozy Kitchen– lime, + jalape√Īo. 

I just have to say that I’m very happy with the results. 

  

The key to getting this recipe right is the watermelon. Invest in a good one- it’ll make all the difference, while still only being $3. Get a watermelon that sounds deep and hollow when you knock on it. Also be sure it is dense- heavy for its relative size. But for this recipe, you only need 3lbs. 

   

Serves 2, as an appetizer 

Ingredients: 

1 3lb seedless watermelon, in bite-sized cubes

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, loosely chopped

1 tbs white jasmine rice

For the vinegrette:

2 tbs lime juice 

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp jalape√Īo, cleaned and finely chopped

1/4 cup rice vinegar 

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp hoisin sauce

Method of preparation: 

Place watermelon and mint in a bowl. Set aside. 

In a small pan, toast rice over medium-low heat, until golden brown, ~10 minutes, stirring constantly. Place in food processor and pulse it until fine but not powdered. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegrette ingridients. Pour over watermelon and mint, and toss. 

Wait 5-10 minutes for the watermelon to marinate. Pour out liquid, if desired.

When ready to serve, sprinkle with ground rice. 

  

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Roasted Indian Cauliflower

~Part 2 of 2: Birthday Edition!~

As you guys know, I love Indian food. I also happen to love cauliflower. So, it was only a matter of time before I found a way to merge them. And I have to say, I am quite happy with the results!

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The mix of turmeric, which has tons of health benefits, vegetable masala, and chicken masala (just the spice) perfectly accents the cauliflower. My all-time favorite spice to use is vegetable masala though. It compliments anything and everything!

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This dish is perfect for those cooler summer days, when the oven won’t heat up the house too much. I made this for lunch, deciding to spoil myself, casting aside my usual sandwich. You can make this for dinner or lunch though, either would work!

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The reason I use quinoa is because… well, I usually don’t have rice in the cupboard. ¬†But, quinoa is much more healthy, and has¬†a bit more protein than rice does, so I use it as a substitute. It can be pretty boring on its own, without spices or boiled in a broth. So, I used various spices (the same ones from my¬†chickpea curry dish) to give it some flavor.

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Now, here is the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 whole small cauliflower

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 tsp. masala (I used 2 tsp. vegetable, and 1 tsp. chicken)

1/4 tsp. turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup of quinoa

3 cups water

1/8 tsp. of each- cumin seeds, ground cloves, vegetable masala, turmeric, and coriander powder

Preparation:

Break the cauliflower into medium to small florets then toss them in the olive oil and spices. Spread them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes. While they are roasting, boil the water on the stove, then add the quinoa and spices. Boil them until all of the water is absorbed and stir to prevent burning. When everything is done, serve the quinoa and the cauliflower together, and enjoy!