Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Oh, friends… this dish tingled my tastebuds.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

I spotted a picture of grilled watermelon on Pinterest, as featured by my friends over at PopSugar Fitness. Since making the decision to grill avocados a few months back, I’ve become a little more curious about grilling the unexpected.

This dish blew me away…  Who knew that so much flavor could develop in just 8 minutes on the grill??  It also gave me an opportunity to use my fresh basil that I’ve been growing and to use fresh mint for the first time.  The end product is one that I will definitely be making again before the season ends…

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

1/2 thick slice of watermelon, quartered

3/4 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade-style

3/4 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

1/2 – 1 tsp. grated parmesan cheese

about 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat your grill to medium heat.

2.  Brush your watermelon on both sides with your favorite olive oil.  Note:  I used Kristos.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Place watermelon on the grill and turn after 3-4 minutes, or once grill marks have been created.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Remove from the grill to a cool plate.  Slice your herbs into ribbons.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Sprinkle herbs onto the watermelon, and using a microplane grater, grate the parmesan lightly onto the fruit.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, optional.  And, get ready to be wow’ed….

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

Per 2 triangles of watermelon serving:

CAL 113; CARB 12g; FAT 7g; PROT 1g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 3

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Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce

When my friend Laurel came into town last month, we went to Zengo to meet up.  A new-to-me recommendation made by her friend Zach, I fell in love with this hotspot pretty quickly… especially after Zach insisted we try the Shishito Peppers on the Happy Hour menu.

Zengo Denver | No Thanks to Cake

These tasty, sometimes spicy peppers are popping up all over menus all over town.  And, they’re delicious!!  To prepare them, chefs simply pan-fry or wok-fry them until they begin to blister, and then serve them with their choice of dipping sauces.  Easy peasy!!!

Now… here’s the catch with these peppers.  9 out of 10 of them are mild and tasty… and then that 1, 1 of 10 is fiery hot to the point of making me ask for milk in the restaurant.  WOW.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

It creates almost a fun challenge with the peppers… and makes them a great dish for entertaining.  You’ll not understand the HEAT associated with these guys… until you get lucky enough to pick the hot one…

After trying them at Zengo, I’ve wanted to have them again… they were THAT good; however, it wasn’t until I saw them at the local Farmers Market that I had a chance to make them at home!

This weekend after snagging the last basket, one of my fellow shoppers told me that they’ve bought them at Whole Foods.  Another option if you’re looking for these tasty Shishitos.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

I’m sharing today how I prepared them at home.  Cook time was roughly 7 minutes, but that included rinsing the peppers and whipping up the sauce and cooking them. Try these bad boys… and watch out for the hot one!

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

10 fresh shishito peppers

cooking spray

1 1/2 Tbsp. lowfat plain yogurt

1 – 1 ½ tsp. sriracha sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Mix your yogurt and sriracha in a small bowl.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Heat your pan to medium hot, coated with cooking spray.  Add your peppers, and cook about 5 minutes, turning about halfway through and when they start to “sing” from the heat.  Note:  You’ll want them to have bubbly blisters on them on both sides.  Turn accordingly, and cook until done.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Serve with the dipping sauce, and roll the dice to see how HOT yours will be.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

4.  To eat, pick the pepper up by the stem, and eat the entire pepper minus the stem.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

 Note:  In my first batch of peppers, all of them were mild.  I’m fully expecting to be fired up in the next round.

Per entire recipe serving:

CAL 61; CARB 53g; FAT 1g; PROT 3g; FIB 40g; WW Points Plus: 3

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Jenny Volumizing: Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

One of the great things about having a weight loss blog is that I get to hear from a lot of you!  Whether you are just getting started, on the Jenny Craig program, or just stopping by to say hello, your messages are ALWAYS appreciated!  Thank you so much for reading and for saying hello!

Every once in a while, I get a message from one of my Jenny friends with a new volumizing idea… and that’s exactly where the inspiration for today’s recipe came from!  Check out Lexie’s email below…

Email from Reader Lexie | No Thanks to Cake

I share her email, as it’s just another example of how inspiration goes BOTH WAYS!  Receiving a note like this is INCREDIBLY inspiring to me, and reminds me that this is not just my journey… we’re in this together!

So, thank you, Lexie, for saying hello, keeping this girl motivated, and giving me an amazing lunch to eat on Sunday, while staying fiercely on plan.  Check it out below…

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

I made a few variations to Lexie’s original recipe, but a few things remain the same:  you’ve got the spicy goodness of buffalo sauce, a little light ranch to cool it down, and a MUCH more filling version of the Jenny Craig Grilled Chicken Sandwich to enjoy!

Try my version or Lexie’s… either way, y’all are in for a treat!

Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

1 package Jenny Craig Grilled Chicken Sandwich entree

1/4 cup shredded lettuce (I used butter lettuce)

2 tsp. light ranch

1 Tbsp. buffalo sauce (I used Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic flavor)

2 cherry tomatoes, sliced

salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Prepare the chicken per the package instructions in the microwave.  Defrost the bun for 20 seconds, between a layer of paper towels.

2.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board and finely dice.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Place in a small bowl and toss with buffalo sauce.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

4.  In another small bowl, combine the lettuce and ranch.  Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Toast your bun on low in a toaster.

6.  Slice your tomatoes, and place them on your freshly toasted bun.  Top with salt and pepper, if desired.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Carefully add your chicken with a spoon.  Note:  This will make a voluminous sandwich, so stack carefully!

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Add the lettuce mixture to the top of the bun.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

9.  Build your sandwich and get ready to be wow’ed!  Note: I cut my sandwich into two pieces to make it easier to eat.  I also kept a napkin handy… which I totally needed!

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

 

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Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Last week, I got a HUGE shipment of avocados from the California Avocado Commission.  24 avocados… all for me!!!

California Avocados | No Thanks to Cake

You might remember that I won 2nd place in an avocado recipe contest earlier this year for my Grilled Avocado Caprese salad creation.  My winnings included this beautiful box of avocados and a $150 gift card to Williams-Sonoma.  OMG!!  Thanks to my friends at the California Avocado Commission… such a cool experience to participate in this contest, and so exciting to win one of the prizes!! 

Now, there was NO WAY I was going to be able to eat all these pretty, pretty avocados.  So, I gave about half of them away to friends and coworkers, made a bunch of new recipes using avocados (stay tuned), and used a Foodsaver to prepare and freeze several of them.  My first time freezing them!  I hope this works!

Food Saver | No Thanks to Cake

After perusing Pinterest, I found this recipe, and I knew that it would be a great way to use my yummy green avocados while complementing the other veggies I planned on eating for the week.  I love the idea of using avocado is dressings and dips as a base.  It’s thick, creamy and rich… and full of all sorts of healthy nutrients to allow for guiltless dipping!

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

And the FLAVOR… it just pops with fresh herby goodness!  I even plucked some fresh basil from my mini-herb garden / window box to include in the recipe. Such a treat to have fresh herbs on hand during the summer!

I enjoyed the dressing on salad, but my favorite way to eat it was as a dipping sauce for freshly steamed broccoli and oven roasted chicken.  So delish!  I’ll be making this again…

Green Goddess Dressing

Adapted from Home Cooking Memories

INGREDIENTS

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1 tsp. dried basil + a few leaves of fresh basil (if you have it available)

1 tsp. dried parsley

     1 tsp. minced garlic

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup water (may use less or more)

         Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Place all ingredients in the food processor. Process until very smooth, scraping down sides, if necessary.

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Season with salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Serve as a salad dressing, or as a dipping sauce to your favorite steamed veggies.

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

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