Watermelon & feta summer salad & canapés

It’s Friday whoop whoop and here in Edinburgh it’s looking like it’s going to be a nice day which is a welcome change from what was a rather rain filled week. So I'm going summer-tastic on the food today, it’s another two 2-4-1 with a watermelon and feta salad and watermelon canapés. Now I'm known as the Queen of the Canapé amongst my friends but strangely I don’t blog them, I guess I think it’s not really a meal of sorts so tend to stay away, but I made a few of these at the inaugural MC&L retreat last weekend and the odd combination of balsamic, fruit and cheese went down really, really well so I thought I'd include them in today's blog. I know guys it does sound odd, but honestly it really does work; they're just so fresh and delicious so crack on, make them and delight the taste buds of the people you feed.

About a year or so ago, I did a blog entitled ‘Who said eating clean isn’t glamorous?’ so if like me you're partial to a canapé then why not check that out right here: http://missioncleanlean.com/blog/2013/6/20/mocktails-canaps-who-says-eating-clean-isnt-glamorous

If you're not sold on the idea of adding fruit to a salad, then I think this is a good place to start because the juice from the watermelon acts like a dressing, the feta provides a nice salty taste while the pumpkin seeds give a wonderfully nutty filling crunch to each mouthful. “Pumpkin seeds nutty?” I hear you say. Yes they are you just need to toast them. When I first got into 'clean food' I bought some pumpkin seeds and after tasting them thought, ugh they taste like plastic and cardboard mixed together, I can only use these to top a soup -WRONG! By using a pan and dry frying them you bring out a wonderful flavour, plus the seeds expand and turn into a nutty type seed. Now I use them a lot in salads, flapjacks and the like. So on with today's dishes, which I learnt to make in Australia earlier this year during their summer.

Watermelon Salad 
I would serve this as a salad at a BBQ, a light lunch or as a summer starter.
To feed 1 you will need:

  1. 4 black olives - halved

  2. 1.5 tbsp pumpkin seeds - toasted

  3. 1/5 of a watermelon (size depending) rind removed, sliced or cubed

  4. 50g of feta - cubed

  5. Mixed dark green leaves e.g. rocket, spinach

1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan until they start to pop, it should take about 4 mins on a med heat. Allow them to cool.
2. Mix your chopped watermelon and leaves on the serving plate 
3. Sprinkle over the halved olives, feta and pumpkin seeds

Simple as that. You could add a little balsamic or some freshly milled black pepper but I like it just as it is. I made this for myself, so just double the quantity for an extra person, triple for a third and so on. Like almost all of my dishes it doesn’t have to be exact so it’s an easy one to get right.

Watermelon Canapés

You will need:

  1. Watermelon chunks

  2. Feta cubes

  3. Balsamic vinegar

  4. Mint leaves

1. Chop your watermelon into cubes. I find the easiest way to do that is to chop my whole water melon into quarters, then thick wedges then chop the wedges into chunks.

2. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on the cube. Be careful when you do this or you could end up with balsamic all over the plate so hold your finger over the top of the bottle so just a bit comes out. (If loads comes out then it’s not the end of the world, just transfer on to another plate and start again.)

3. Place a bit of feta on the top of the watermelon and then a bit of torn fresh mint leaf

Serve and enjoy! This combo while it sounds a little odd is really nice and I just love food that surprises my mouth. Plus the 23 ladies at last weekend’s retreat can’t be wrong!

For the eagle eyed amongst you, you'll notice I didn’t actually use feta today, that’s because (at home) I only eat organic dairy and they didn’t have any in the store, so I opted for a sheep's cheese which is basically the same thing. I was asked at the retreat why feta is clean and cheddar not, so leaving the processing and animal feeds out of it the short answer is this. Cow milk is designed for cows not humans, it’s make up is very different to human breast milk. Cows have four stomachs not one and so break it down differently to us with our one stomach. Feta is made from sheep's, or goats, milk. The fat particles in goat and sheep cheeses are close to the size of the milk found in human breast milk and therefore easier for us to digest than cow’s milk. These cheeses are also rich in calcium, vitamin B and Zinc. Plus whilst on the topic of health watermelon if full of vitamin E which is good for your skin, perfect when its summer and more of it is exposed. Leave the seeds in too as they are full of nutrition.

Love, laugh and smile lots this weekend because you are beautiful. 
Love & Light