Watermelon Lime Cocktail

Its feeling like summer is finally here!  As seasonal watermelon has started to pop up in grocery stores I thought I’d try my hand at making a beverage using it.  I’ve made a similar cocktail once before using whipped cream flavored vodka and seltzer water and magically it tasted like cotton candy.  Try it, I dare you!  This time around I thought I would use lime juice to keep it light and fresh.  My favorite thing to add is coconut rum but feel free to add (or exclude) whatever floats your boat. 

Keep this recipe as well as my Watermelon Salad with Mint Vinaigrette on hand as an alternative way to use up that watermelon this summer, besides devouring it plain of course. 

*Note: A delicious third method is to grill cubes of watermelon on skewers, along with pineapple and honeydew melon.  Just clean and lightly grease the grill with an oiled paper towel first!

Watermelon Lime Cocktail
Serves 2

2 cups watermelon, cubed
6 ice cubes
¼ cup limeade or lime juice
¼ cup water or lime seltzer water
1-2 oz vodka, tequila or rum (I used coconut rum)

Add watermelon, ice, limeade and water to blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add alcohol (optional) to glass and pour blended watermelon on top.  Garnish with watermelon slice or fresh mint.  Enjoy immediately. 


Cauliflower Pizza Crust

On a fun note, I've made cauliflower pizza crust twice now and the first time I followed a recipe that told me to bake the cauliflower on parchment paper then broil it once you put the toppings on.  THIS IS A TRAP.  I immediately had a small fire on my hands which left my pizza with "eau de campfire".  Parchment paper and broilers do not mix. You have been warned.
So anyways, making a pizza crust out of cauliflower may seem like a lot of work but it's not, and it is really delicious!  Basically, you grind the cauliflower, steam it, strain it and then bake it.  One small head of cauliflower makes a small-medium pizza that will serve two or three people.  It is a satisfying and filling way to sneak it a few more veggies into your life, especially when you are craving pizza.  


Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Recipe by Ali Caron RD
Serves 2-3

1 head of cauliflower
1 egg
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 tsp Herbs de Provence (or Italian seasoning)
Salt to taste
Favorite Pizza Toppings: sauce, cheese, veggies, pepperoni, pineapple, ground beef or turkey, bacon

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven.

Wash head of cauliflower and chop into 1 inch pieces. Place in food processor until it is ground into small pieces that resemble grated Parmesan cheese.  (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your food processor.  Remember to scrape down the sides so it is uniform.)

Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook in the microwave for 4 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes!

Once cooled, place cauliflower on a tea towel and squeeze out all of the excess water.  The more liquid you remove the better the pizza will be!

Place back into your bowl and combine with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Herbs de Provence, salt and egg. 

Spray one side of a piece of parchment paper with non-stick spray.  Pour cauliflower mixture onto parchment paper and using your hands, form pizza crust that is about ½ an inch thick.  Take pizza stone out of the oven, slide the parchment paper onto it and place back in oven for about 10 minutes.

Top pizza with your favorite toppings and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  (If you are using meat, use left-overs, pre-cooked meat or sauté on the stove top prior to adding it to the pizza.)

Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes before cutting so your slices stay intact.  Enjoy!


Shrimp and Mango Salad with Edamame

If you're looking for a bright, refreshing salad packed with protein look no further.  This salad goes from freezer to table in 15 minutes or less.  I always keep frozen shrimp, corn and edamame on hand to add to quesedillas, salads or as side dishes and frozen mango to add sweetness to my smoothies in the morning. 
I recently bought Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Cilantro Dressing and I am an addict.  I meant it, I am putting this on everything.  For this recipe, I cooked the shrimp in a little bit of the dressing to give it a boost of flavor and of course I topped the entire salad off with a little more.  I see a purchasing few more bottles of this in my near future. 

Shrimp and Mango Salad with Edamame
Serves 2

10-15 large frozen cooked shrimp
1/2 Tablespoon lime juice
Garlic powder to taste
Chili powder to taste
3 Tablespoons Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Cilantro Salad Dressing
2 cups mixed greens
1 cup edamame, thawed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup mango, cubed

Allow shrimp to thaw slightly then add to skillet over medium heat along with lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of cilantro dressing. Stirring occaisonally, cook for about 5-10 minutes or until heated completely through.
Add about 1 cup of greens to each serving bowl. Top each bowl with half of the shrimp, mango, edamame and corn. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of dressing on each dish and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 365 Calories, 8g Fat, 37g Carbohydrate, 39g Protein, 7g Fiber, 806mg Sodium, 329mg Potassium


Ginger Mint Julep

It's Kentucky Derby weekend!  Hope you all have your fancy hats and bourbon ready!  I'm typically not a huge bourbon fan but when paired with delicious flavors like ginger, mint and lime, it actually adds a nice complexity.  Enjoy this twist on a classic mint julep while cheering on your favorite horse or make it all summer long!

Ginger Mint Julep
Makes 2-3

24 ounces ginger beer
1/4 cup mint leaves plus extra for garnish
1 ounce bourbon per drink
1 lime

Directions: Finely chop or grind mint.  Pour ginger beer into metal pan.  Add in mint and stir.  Freeze for at least 3 to 6 hours.
Remove pan from freezer and break up ginger beer ice with a spoon and place 2-3 inch pieces in food processor.  Slowly at first, chop ice until almost uniform.  Spoon into serving glass.  Pour bourbon over the top.  Squeeze a wedge of lime on top. Garnish with slice of lime and mint leaves.