“Chill Out” Watermelon, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Ah, the brink of Summer – it’s almost here, can you feel it? Warm days, relaxing evenings spent on the patio and a bevy of delicious, fresh Farmers Market fare. While Autumn is my favorite season thanks to Halloween, sweater weather and root-veggie laden comfort foods, you really can’t beat Summer with its amazing produce. When the days get hot, what can help you chill out better than the cool flavors of watermelon and cucumber, the sweet tang of sun-ripened tomatoes? This recipe was born from the desire to capture Summer in a bowl. Plus it’s healthy and easy to make when it’s just too darned hot to hang out in the kitchen – especially if you do like I do and get your quinoa cooked up in advanced and cooled overnight in the refrigerator.

“Chill Out” Watermelon, Cucumber & Tomato Salad
5 cups (28 oz) diced Watermelon
12 oz Cherry Tomatoes, halved
2 cups Cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 cups Quinoa, cooked and chilled
5 oz Baby Lettuces (or salad greens of your choice)
1 block Extra Firm Tofu, pressed (see note) and diced into small cubes
1/4 cup Mint leaves, chopped

Dressing:
4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tsp Bee Free Honee (or other vegan honey substitute)
1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl or layer on serving dish. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad, toss and chill out!

“Chill Out” Watermelon, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Note on tofu pressing: If you have never pressed tofu, don’t worry – it is easy. Drain the tofu then wrap in a few layers of paper towel. I place the tofu on one cutting board (or plate, cookie sheet or other flat surface). Place a second cutting board or other strong flat surface on top. Set heavy objects – canned beans work great for this, as do big cookbooks – on top. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, pressing the excess water out. Once the tofu is pressed, you can dice it.

Nutritional Information*
Servings: 4
Calories: 338; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0g; Sodium: 84mg; Total Carbohydrate: 47g; Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 25g; Protein: 16g

*Nutritional information based on recipe as written with designated ingredients, calculated using MyFitnessPal recipe calculator.

_____________________________________________

WEEK THREE CHECK-IN
Weight:
208.2 (2 pounds lost this week, 6.8 pounds lost total)

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