Well HELLO August! Bringing us some pretty extreme heat and little to no rain here in Niagara, Ontario. I hate to say it but… I’m kind of over it!…. I mean I don’t want to sound picky but I just reallyyy dislike air-conditioning and with the steady daily temps being 30+ there is just absolutely NO WAY around it. (sigh).. SO.. Feeling too hot outside and freezing cold inside, my body is just not happy lately! And I don’t know about anyone else but with this heat brings some serious exhausting days, resulting in me hitting the sack terribly early day in and day out. That is, if I don’t get in a mid-day solid nap with my pooch 🙂
Thank Goodness for hydrating, fresh, in season, locally grown fruit! Like the aaaahhhh refreshing Watermelon! This large shelled green goddess illuminates the brightest shade of reddish-pink and the juiciest/slurpiest flesh which contains not only a crazy amount of water but high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. With a low amount of calories, and its refreshing quality and sweet taste I would say this fruit is pretty well guilt-free, and a perfect low maintenance dessert for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
Getting into more depth about the benefits of watermelon….. well lets just say I am not a nutritionist however with the wonderful world of todays technology I find myself constantly “googling” just about each and every ingredient I put into my recipes and of course into my body. Sometime’s I’ll admit it can be over-whelming, especially when the majority of these search results contain the words “is ___ healthy for you? Yes or No…” I try to focus in on the break down of the nutritional values instead as I truly believe that all of mother natures organically grown food is healthy for you in one way or another.
So today I have learned about the nutrient found in watermelon called lycopene. And how receiving the best lycopene benefits from watermelon you have to make sure you eat the melon when it is totally ripe. The reddish-pink colour in a ripe watermelon contains the highest amount of lycopene which results in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for your body, along with many others. So long story short, choose to hydrate and snack on this beautiful fruit for the duration of these steady hot/humid days of August!
Today’s inspiration was basically starring into my fridge and having little food to work with including some soaked/cooked brown lentils, watermelon, fresh mint leaves and some feta cheese. My original intentions were to cook up a lentil soup for the weekend however the thought of eating hot soup on one of the hottest weekends just wasn’t adding up…. thought reversed almost immediately to making a cold cucumber and mint gazpacho instead! —> Green Cucumber and Mint Gazpacho Soup
First, I got a small bowl and added 2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s http://www.traderjoes.com/ Lemon Infused Greek Olive Oil (obsessed!), with juice of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and some salt and pepper. Whisking that up and putting it aside to marinate.
Then I took my cooked lentil beans, chopped up about a quarter of a full sized watermelon, added in some fresh sprigs of mint leaves, and a few sprinkles of feta. Tossed in the homemade dressing adding a little more salt and pepper and some arugula to help soak up the dressing and add some peppery bite! and VOILA…… The simplest most delicious, hydrating summer salad there ever was! 🙂 Lasting a good 3-4 days in an air tight bowl in the fridge, this salad has me saying “thank goodness I didnt make that hot soup!”
HAPPY WEEKEND TO YOU ALL! XO
(gluten-free) (vegan) **without feta cheese**