HOW TO MAKE: WATERMELON RICE KRISPIE TREATS!

March 30th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Image courtesy of YouTube.com/Yoyomax12

Image courtesy of YouTube.com/Yoyomax12

I’m not much of a baker, unless you consider making tiny, quarter-sized cookies in my daughter’s Easy-Bake Oven “baking.” My wife, on the other hand, is the baker in our family (I do a lot of the other cooking, though!). She loves to bake cakes, pies, tarts and tortes (don’t ask me the difference between tarts and tortes).

And, like the supporting husband I am, I sample every one of her creations with a smile and (mostly) honest feedback.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I found a pseudo-baking recipe that I could actually do without setting off the smoke alarm. The Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats above are so realistic, you might think you’re actually eating a slice of watermelon. The best part? It’s so easy that almost anyone can do it. I’m proof of that.

Check out the video below and the recipe in the video description to find out how to make your own Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats. And, yes, those seeds are chocolate chips which means, perhaps for the first time ever, you might want extra “seeds” in your watermelon.

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SAINT PATRICK’S DAY RECIPE: SUPER GREEN DETOX SMOOTHIE

March 17th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! That was my less-than-impressive Irish accent in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. March 17 is a day draped in green (including the beer), that honors the “Apostle of Ireland,” Saint Patrick, who is highly revered in Irish culture.

On that day, you might choose to put down that green beer and swap it for a nice, tall glass of this Super Green Detox Smoothie. (Want to take this drink to the next level? Hollow out your mini watermelon and make it into a smoothie bowl!)

What makes this smoothie so incredibly healthy is the combination of greens and a popular Korean chili paste called Gochujang. This savory and spicy Korean condiment is packed with a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C and carotene. It’s the perfect way to go green in the St. Patty’s Day spirit.

SUPER GREEN DETOX SMOOTHIE 

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

INGREDIENTS

3 cups watermelon cubes

¼ cup parsley

2 cups packed kale

2 teaspoons green tea powder

2 teaspoons gochujang paste (optional)

3 tablespoons pineapple juice concentrate

6 limes (juice from the fresh squeezed limes)

½ peeled and pitted avocado

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a blender, such as a Vitamix, with watermelon on the bottom. Start blending slowly until the watermelon is liquefied, then increase speed. Blend for one to two minutes.

NUTRITION

Serving size: 1 medium cup

Calories per serving: 160

Fat per serving: 5.5g

Saturated fat per serving: 1g

Fiber per serving: 4.6g

Protein per serving: 8% of daily serving

Carbs per serving: 61% of daily serving

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RECIPE: SKINNY FISH TACOS WITH WATERMELON AND RADISH SLAW

March 11th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

During my 2015 New Year’s resolution of trying new and different watermelon recipes, I learned a lot about my taste buds and my culinary preferences. As a former competitive eater, it’s no secret that I love to eat, but I’m a little picky when it comes to what I actually consumer during a “normal” meal.

Last year, I made a point to find recipes that I wouldn’t try otherwise. Like this one for Skinny Fish Tacos. These tacos taste so good, you will totally forget that they’re “skinny,” which often means that the best ingredients are missing or short-changed with low-fat options.

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

But there’s no short-changing with this recipe. The result is a taco that’s as good as any regular one, only these tacos are “skinny,” which means you can eat more than one without feeling guilty. Topped with a creamy watermelon and radish slaw, you won’t be able to resist them.

SKINNY FISH TACOS WITH WATERMELON AND RADISH SLAW

INGREDIENTS

1 pound tilapia

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 garlic clove, grated

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash salt and pepper (to taste)

FOR THE SLAW:

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 cup DANDY® Ready-to-Eat Radish Ministicks

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 cup seedless watermelon, diced small

Dash salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Place fish in a freezer bag with olive oil, 3 tablespoons lime juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Close bag and coat fish completely. Marinate for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Place fish on a broiler pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place fish under broiler for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes or until it easily flakes. Remove fish. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in oven, which has been turned off, to warm.

Meanwhile, add Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and lime juice to a bowl. Stir until combined. Add cabbage, radishes and cilantro. Toss lightly. Add watermelon and salt to taste. Toss lightly.

Remove tortillas from oven. Place pieces of fish on two tortillas. Top with slaw. Garnish with extra cilantro. Serve warm.

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RECIPE: STACKED JICAMA CHICKEN SALAD

February 22nd, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

With all my talk about a New Year’s resolution, I inspired my wife to start her own resolution for 2016. Although hers isn’t nearly as extreme as mine (she wants to get healthier, just like I do), I’ve pledged to help her stick to her goal all year long, starting with this healthy and delicious recipe for Stacked Jicama Chicken Salad.

And, by the way, this recipe is proof that eating healthy can also taste amazing. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try this recipe. I did, and you can bet your last wedge I’ll be cooking it up a few more times in 2016.

If you’re not indigenous to Peru or Ecuador (I’m not, either), you may not be familiar with the jicama. Pronounced hee-ka-mah, this bean is common in subtropical, warm climates. It’s usually enjoyed in salads, fruit bars and soups. High in antioxidants and dietary fiber, the jicama is part of what makes this recipe so good and so nutritious.

STACKED JICAMA CHICKEN SALAD 2

INGREDIENTS

1 pound skinned, boned chicken breasts, shredded

1 cup instant brown rice

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup chutney

2 teaspoons curry

1/3 cup diced or sliced celery

2 tablespoons diced red onion

¼ cup raisins or craisins

2 2/3 cups thin strips of watermelon (no longer than 2 ½ inches)

1 cup thin strips of peeled jicama (no longer than 2 ½ inches, match-stick size)

4 tablespoons chopped cashews

1 handful shredded romaine lettuce

4 pint-sized, wide-mouth mason jars

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place chicken breasts in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, approximately 15 minutes, depending on thickness of meat. Remove from water and let cool. Dice.
  2. Cook rice according to directions on box. Refrigerate to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend mayonnaise, chutney and curry until thoroughly blended. Add chicken, celery, onion and raisins. Blend and refrigerate.
  4. Divide rice and chicken mixture into 4 equal batches. Starting with the rice, layer approximately ¼ cup of rice followed by 1/3 cup watermelon, ¼ cup jicama, 1/3 cup of chicken. Repeat and top with 1 tablespoon of chopped cashews and shredded romaine. Serve or screw a lid onto jar and refrigerate.

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RECIPE: WATERMELON AND CHOCOLATE FONDUE

February 11th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Next to my wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day is one of the most important days of the year for my wife and me. But since we’ve become parents, a date night that involves anything other than SpaghettiOs, diaper changes and Barbies has become a figment of our imaginations.

However, now that our daughter’s getting older, we’re able to send her for some grandma time while we catch up over dinner. Thanks to free babysitting, my wife and I will enjoy a nice Valentine’s Day dinner this weekend. Want to impress your valentine this year with something sweet, chocolatey and super simple to make? Try this recipe for Watermelon and Chocolate Fondue!

WATERMELON AND CHOCOLATE FONDUE

INGREDIENTS4

4 cups watermelon cut into 1” cubes

½ cup fat-free half & half + extra reserve

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon coriander

8 ounces dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cocoa powder)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wrap watermelon cubes in paper towels to soak up excess fluid. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring half & half and spices to almost a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let chocolate melt, then continue to stir until thoroughly blended and creamy. Adjust flavors.
  3. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and heat according to directions. (If fondue becomes too thick, stir in extra reserve half & half, one tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency.)
  4. Place watermelon cubes on a platter with fondue forks and skewers.

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FEATURED RECIPE: WATERMELON CRANBERRY-GLAZED PORK CHOPS

January 8th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

There are many reasons why I like the holidays, many of which revolve around the incredible amount of food that crosses my plate during the season. For me, there’s no better way to celebrate with my family and friends than by sharing a delicious, homemade meal.

The only bad part about all that holiday grub is figuring out what to do with it all. If you’re lucky, your family and friends will gladly take some of it off your hands. If not, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.

Got some leftover cranberry sauce? With a few additions, you could turn it into Watermelon Cranberry-Glazed Pork Chops.

WATERMELON CRANBERRY-GLAZED PORK CHOPS 

2INGREDIENTS (GLAZE)

  • 2 cups watermelon puree
  • 4 cups frozen or fresh cranberries (or use leftovers from your holiday dinners)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Dash of cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS (GLAZE)

Simmer ingredients for glaze together in a heavy saucepan for 20 minutes or until cranberries are tender, and sauce is thick.

INGREDIENTS (PORK CHOPS)

  • 8 pork chops
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • Watermelon Cranberry Glaze

INSTRUCTIONS (PORK CHOPS)

Place the pork in a large zipper lock bag with rest of the ingredients (except the glaze), and seal tightly. Allow to marinate for at least two hours or up to 12. Grill until cooked, and arrange on a warm platter. Pour the glaze over the chops, and serve immediately.

For more recipes like this, check out the “Recipes” page of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.

REMEMBER: All comments left on the blog this month are entered to win our January prize — the watermelon backpack — so comment as often as you’d like!

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MY FINAL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: WATERMELON GLAZED MEATBALLS

December 18th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

While most people celebrate the New Year with a toast, or by sending fireworks into the air while thinking about what the next year will bring, my wife and I have a different way of celebrating. Each year, we create a smorgasbord of goodies that we enjoy as we count down to midnight.

My wife creates a variety of snacks for this occasion, usually the kind of things you’d see at a football-watching party. Wings, dips, assorted cheeses and meats, and some sort of veggie platter that I usually avoid.

This year, I’m pitching in by whipping up these Watermelon Glazed Meatballs for an appetizer. Since it’s a new addition to our New Year’s feast, I created a test batch this past weekend, and they made the cut as part of the starting line-up on December 31.

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WATERMELON GLAZED MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

24-36 frozen prepared mini meatballs

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce

1 cup watermelon puree*

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium high heat or electric skillet set on 325°F. Saute the mini meatballs until browned and hot. Reduce heat to low. Mix together the barbecue sauce and watermelon puree. Pour over the meatballs and simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot.

*To make the watermelon puree, remove seeds from fresh watermelon and cut into large chunks. Place in a blender and process until smooth and well pureed.

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WHAT SHOULD MY 2016 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION BE?

December 11th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

Well, I did it. My New Year’s resolution at the beginning of this year was to prepare more meals using watermelon and I achieved my goal. From Sweet & Sour Watermelon Chicken in January to Cheesecake with Watermelon and Blueberry Sauce in March (my personal favorite this year) to Watermelon Pizza in August.

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It’s the first time I’ve ever kept a resolution — yes, I’ve got one last dish coming up next week — and that includes the time in college when I resolved to “take more naps.” (Naps, it seems, are harder to take than you might think, especially when you live in a noisy dorm with an even noisier roommate.)

As watermelon-related resolutions go, it was definitely my most successful attempt. The list of contenders includes my 2014 resolution to compete in a watermelon eating contest, my woeful attempt in 2013 to grow my own watermelon, and my 2012 resolution about competing in a seed-spitting contest.

And so, with 2016 just a few short weeks away, I’ve turned my attention to what next year’s watermelon resolution might be. I’ve got a few ideas, but I’m definitely interested in your suggestions. Leave a comment with which watermelon feat you think I should attempt in 2016 and I’ll add it to my growing list of resolutions to consider!

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FEATURED RECIPE: WATERMELON-GLAZED SWEET POTATOES

December 4th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

I know I’m not the only one who tries not to overstuff myself at holiday get-togethers but inevitably does. I just can’t help myself. By the time that I get all that tasty, gravy-smothered goodness on one plate, I’m already thinking about what I’ll feast on the second time around, and I just can’t say no when my Great Aunt Joyce offers a slice of pie or two…or three.

Eating healthy during the holiday season IS possible, and I’m going to prove it to you with this recipe for Watermelon Glazed Sweet Potatoes. With a boost of flavor, this recipe doesn’t skimp on the nutritional value; the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A and fiber while the watermelon provides lycopene, which is essential for healthy skin.

WATERMELON GLAZED SWEET POTATOES

INGREDIENTS1

1 bottle of cooking spray

1 cup watermelon juice

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons rum extract

dash salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a low-flat baking dish (11” x 8” is fine) with cooking spray. Set aside.

Bring watermelon juice to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup. Remove from heat. Add butter and sugar and stir until melted and thoroughly blended. Add rum extract and salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Peel if desired, although not necessary. Cut into large fries, approximately 4” x 1”. Toss with watermelon glaze and pour into the baking dish. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until softened, but still firm. Toss with glaze several times during the baking process. Remove from the oven. Toss again to coat potatoes with remaining glaze.

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A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: WATERMELON CRANBERRY SAUCE

November 20th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

Eleven months into 2015 and I’m still chugging away at my New Year’s resolution of creating more dishes with watermelon! Being only one month away from completing my goal has me thinking about next year’s goal. If you have any ideas, leave a comment below.

It’s been quite a year of fresh, new watermelon-inspired recipes, but the last two will be geared toward the holidays. With just six days left until Thanksgiving, everything has finally come together at my house in terms of planning, prepping and priming.

This year, my wife committed to preparing at least three dishes with watermelon for our Thanksgiving dinner, including this one for watermelon cranberry sauce. (I whipped it up yesterday to test out the recipe before the big day.) Make this to accompany your turkey, or just grab a spoon and dig in!

WATERMELON CRANBERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTSBoulder-Canyon-Canyon-Cut-Chips-Logo

4 cups fresh cranberries

½ cup organic sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 lemon (juice squeezed from the lemon)

1 lemon (zest from the lemon)

½ cup maple syrup

dash cinnamon

2 cups minced watermelon

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat cranberries, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest in a 3-quart saucepan over medium low heat until it simmers. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the maple syrup and cinnamon to the pan. Simmer another few minutes. Remove from heat to rest for 10 minutes. Stir in watermelon and serve warm or chill and serve cold.

For a video showing step-by-step instructions from the National Watermelon Promotion Board, click here.

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