Introduction: Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad

About: I like to cook and I blog about it. I love to garden and everything about it. I like listening to NPR and watching cooking shows. I have two sons. The oldest I put in collage and he is a Medical Assistant.

Exposure to the sun may be one of the most important steps we can take in preventing heart disease and stroke so says a findings from research done at The University of Edinburgh. They discovered when sunlight touches your skin, nitric oxide is released into your bloodstream, and nitric oxide is a powerful blood pressure lowering compound (Medical News Today).

Not only sitting in the sun can you increase your nitric oxide levels, but also with a few natural supplements and foods like: watermelon. Why watermelon? Because of these 3 things:
1. Watermelon is rich is citrulline.
2. Citrulline is important in maintaining arginine levels.
3. Arginine is an essential precursor for nitric oxide production.
( Healthy Curiosity)

So in conclusion: Get out in the sun more and eat lot's of watermelon when in season, to protect your heart by balancing your blood pressure.

The following recipe is prepared by an Executive Chef at Tender Greens. A chain of restaurants throughout California.  

So here is what you will need to do in your home to prepare Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad.                                                                      

Step 1:

Here we have a large serving bowl of Tender Greens lettuce mix. Which includes arugula, spinach, red and green leaf lettuces. The original recipe calls for 1 cup of Tender Greens, but we used 4 cups.  

Step 2:

You will need a small ripe and sweet watermelon. Use 1/4 of the melon, chopping the fruit to desired size. Place chopped fruit into a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 3:

Here on the cutting board we have goat cheese (needed is 3.5 oz package) and hazelnuts, and we will use 1/8 cup of them chopped. The original recipe calls for 1 fennel bulb. But we could not find one so we replaced it with something similar and adds fantastic flavor to the salad. It is a anise, which will be shaved and set in ice water to crisp it up.

Also we will use only half the shallot, minced. That will go into the vinaigrette. 

Step 4:

Place some ice into a medium bowl and fill with cold water. Take the anise and cut the green stock off. With a peeler start to shave the white part of the anise and let the shavings fall into the ice water. Set the bowl aside. Chop the 1/8 cup of hazel nuts. We have a Progreso Chopper..very handy for chopping and mincing.

Step 5:

Now for the Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette.

Mince the one-half of shallot and place into a small jar. Dice 5 chives and spoon into the small jar. Slice into small stripes 5 basil  leaves and place them into the small jar. Set aside.

Step 6:

Along with 1/2 shallot, minced, 5 chive stems, finely chopped, 3 basil leaves, finely sliced... you will also need 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, ¾ cup olive oil and salt and pepper (to taste).

I bought orange clove honey. It has a full bodied flavor for sweeten things. Honey is natural and a good alternative to sugar. Also honey is full of digestive enzymes. Therefore never heat the honey in a microwave or on the stove top. Boil some water in a small pan, than remove from stove. Leaving the honey in the container, place it down into the hot water for 2 minutes or until runny. This will not kill the enzymes that are a benefit to your tummy.

Next pour in the honey and vinegar. Place the lid tightly on the jar and give it a swift shake. Open the jar and pour in the salt and pepper and place the lid on again and shake.

Step 7:

This is what the vinaigrette will look like. Looks great has a wonderful smell and the soft sweetness of the honey..yummy.

Next pour slowly the oil and return the lid back onto the jar and give it a 30 to 40 second shack to mix things up. 

Step 8:

In a large bowl gently toss tender greens, crisp anise, and chopped hazelnuts. Next add 2 tbsp. of the vinaigrette to the greens mixture and incorporate well.

Step 9:

Next plate the leafy greens mixture. Place cubed watermelon on salad mix. Crumble goat cheese on top.
Finish with drizzled vinaigrette around salad.

We also had a meat selection of baked breast of chicken (bone in and skinless).

Enjoy this nutritious and healthy for your heart salad while watermelon is in season. As for the goat cheese, it is a very healthy choice of cheese. Goat cheese has 7.21 g of fat, or 11 percent of the daily value for fat. It also has 5.88 g of protein, which is about 12 percent of the daily value for protein. The carbohydrate content in a serving of goat cheese is 0.47 g , or less than 1 percent of the daily value for carbohydrates.

A serving of goat cheese contains 11 percent of the daily value for calcium and 2 percent of the daily value for iron. It also has 103 mg of sodium, which is about 4 percent of the daily value for sodium (information source: Live Strong).

Find more health information and more great healthy meal ideas visit Savor the Food and Your Health.

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