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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Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican-Spiced Croutons

I’ve been eating more Jenny food recently.  While I know it’s good for my waistline, it’s also super handy for my crazy summer schedule too.

I thought June was the busiest… but now, I’m seeing that it is just the whole darn summer.  Travel, vacation, work trips, projects… it’s all happening at once!  August will be calmer, right?

Regardless of the hectic nature of summer, I still make time to get a little creative in the kitchen.  When Darsie reached out to me a few weeks asking for suggestions for how to mix up the Jenny Craig Turkey Burger, I realize that I hadn’t spent much time experimenting with this dish… and decided to take a stab at some fun recipes using it!

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican-Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

For those of you on the Jenny Craig program – YES!  That is the turkey burger, but it’s in quite the disguise.  If you are looking to mix up your menu, this recipe is one to try!

Taco Salad with Mexican-Spiced Croutons

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

1 Jenny Craig Turkey Burger

1/4 red onion

1/4 bell pepper

2 tsp. taco seasoning

1 1/2 cup butter lettuce

1 tomato, seeded and diced

1/3 cucumber, quartered

2 Tbsp. salsa

1 Tbsp. light ranch (optional)

cooking spray

cumin + taco seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Cook bun in the microwave for 20 seconds to defrost.  Remove to a cutting board, and cut bread into crouton-sized pieces.  Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with cumin and taco seasoning.  Toss to coat.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Place on a cooking sheet and bake for 6 minutes until croutons are toasted.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Cook the turkey burger on a plate in the microwave for 70 seconds.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Place in a food processor and pulse to create a taco meat consistency.  Note: I chopped veggies in the processor too, thus the color variation you may see.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Sauté diced peppers and onions in a saute pan sprayed with cooking spray for 2 minutes.  Add meat and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Add taco seasoning and a sprinkle of cayenne to the meat mixture.  Add 2 Tbsp. of salsa.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Prepare a salad base with your favorite veggies on it.  For me, that was cucumbers, tomatoes, and orange bell pepper.

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

9.  Add meat, drizzle with light ranch.  Note:  If you prefer not to use the ranch, simply add a little extra salsa.  

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

10.  Add croutons, and enjoy!

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Taco Salad with Mexican Spiced Croutons | No Thanks to Cake

Related posts:

Grilled Avocado Caprese

I’m just about three weeks from attending my favorite conference of the year:  Fitbloggin!

Not only do I get to visit beautiful Savannah, Georgia for the first time, but I also get to see some of my FAVORITE people along the way.  So excited!!!

I was particularly excited to hear that one of our sponsors is… the California Avocado Commission!

California Avocado Commission | No Thanks to Cake

Not only will I get to hear all sorts of new information about the health benefits of avocados, but I have a feeling that (fingers crossed!) we’ll be eating some amazing avocado while we are there too!  YESSSSS!!!

And, if that weren’t enough, they’re also hosting an amazing “California Avocado Cutting-Edge Culinary Recipe Contest” for all of the attendees.  To participate, we had to create a unique recipe using this green goodness.  If you’ve read my blog, you know that this wasn’t a stretch for me… I’m a little bit of an avocado fanatic!

To come up with just the right recipe to enter, I got to experiment quite a bit with one of my favorite ingredients.  In the end this is the recipe I loved the most of those I tried… I hope you guys like it as much as I do!!!

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

This is the very first time I’ve ever grilled an avocado, and it certainly won’t be the last.  Being that summer is just around the corner and we’re all firing up our grills more frequently here in Colorado, why not add an avocado to your fire??

Not only does grilling add a beautiful color to the dish and those gorgeous grill marks, but it also contributes a smoky rich flavor to the avocado that is INCREDIBLE.  Paired with traditional italian flavors like tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella, this dish was the clear winner in my house.

Grilled Avocado Caprese

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

1 California Avocado, halved

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup boccochini (fresh mozzarella balls)

2 Tbsp. basil, sliced chiffonade-style

salt, to taste

balsamic reduction, drizzled

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat your grill pan to medium high heat.  While the pan warms, cut your avocado in half.  Pour a small amount of olive oil into a small bowl.  Lightly brush the exposed avocado with EVOO.  Note:  For extra flavor, you can also use a basil infused olive oil.  Also, I used my indoor grill so I could control the temperature, but you can also use your outdoor grill!

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Place the avocados face down on the grill pan for 1-2 minutes until beautiful grill marks appear.  Remove to a plate to cool. Note:  Depending upon the heat of your pan, the cooking time may vary.  

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

3.  To slice your basil, take a small stack of fresh leaves and roll lengthwise, creating a long tube.  Then, slice into ribbons.

Basil Chiffonade | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Place tomatoes, cheese, basil ribbons, and about 3/4 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl.  Mix to combine and add salt to taste.

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Pour tomato mixture over avocado halves.

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Drizzle with balsamic reduction.  Note:  You can find this at your local grocery store in the vinegar section.  While you can make your own, the pre-made version is incredibly handy and easy to use – - it tends to be my go-to!

IMG_3591

7.  Serve and enjoy!

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/2 recipe serving:

CAL 360; CARB 12g; FAT 32g; PROT 12g; FIB 6g; WW Points Plus:  10

Have you ever tried a grilled avocado??

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Orange-Marinated Beets

I know a few of you are on the fence when it comes to beets, but they’ve been one of my favorite foods since I was a kid.  As a wildly picky child, it’s amazing how many beets I ate.

My memories of beets are of being at restaurants with salad bars, and always choosing beets and ranch dressing… because it made my salad pink.  I remember warm pickled beets being part of my Grandma Rosie’s dinner table every time we sat down, and dribbling that red juice all over myself and the tablecloth ruining so many white things.

Fond food memories… as a picky child, you don’t always have many of these.  So, that makes my beet memories even more fond.  I like to think about how I loved beets more than how I sat for hours sitting at the dinner table alone, staring at a dinner that I absolutely wasn’t going to eat, until it was bedtime. Ohhhh, the fun of being a stubborn and picky kid! :)

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Today’s recipe is a super simple way to enjoy these bright magenta goodies in salad form.  One of the simplest recipes I’ve made in some time, it has huge flavor and I’ll be buying more ingredients to make it again this week!

Orange-Marinated Beets

Adapted from Picky Palate

Serves 3

INGREDIENTS

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

1 pkg. baby beets, steamed and peeled
2 medium-large oranges
1/2 Tbsp. grated red onion
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. orange zest

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Slice baby beets into 1/4 inch slices and place into a large mixing bowl.

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add juice of oranges, red onion, vinegar and orange zest. Stir, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

2.  To serve,  Place over your favorite greens for a dressing-less salad!  How great is that option!  The original recipe added goat cheese and pecans too, just to give you some additional ideas!  Note:  I’ve been buying my micro greens at Trader Joe’s.  LOVE this new ingredient!

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Orange Marinated Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Enjoy!

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If you love beets like I do, here are a few other recipes you might enjoy!

{Click the images to see the full recipe!}

Beet Avocado Arugula Salad | No Thanks to Cake

How to Roast Beets | No Thanks to Cake

Weight Watchers Borscht | No Thanks to Cake

Roasted Beet Sandwich with Greek Yogurt Aioli | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Maple-Mustard Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables | No Thanks to Cake

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