Watermelon, Cucumber and Halloumi Salad

As a holistic nutritionist, it would be easy to assume that I eat a lot of salads.  But the reality is, that it depends on the time of the year and the weather outside.  While I eat a ton of vegetables year round, the idea of digging into a crisp cold salad when it is -40 outside doesn’t seem remotely appealing to me. It is during the warmer months that salads become a staple in my diet, and it would seem that I am not the only one that hones their salad making skills during the warmer months.  If your Instagram feed looks anything like mine, then you are probably being inundated with tons of pictures of salads on a daily basis, the most popular being watermelon and feta cheese salad.  While I consider watermelon and feta to be a delicious combination, lately have I wanted to kick things up a notch.  Enter Halloumi cheese.  For those of you that are not familiar with Halloumi, allow me to introduce you.  Halloumi is a Cypriot unripened brined cheese that is normally made from goat or sheep’s milk.  More recently, it is also made with cow’s milk so be sure to check the ingredients list if you have any difficulties with digesting cow’s milk.  Halloumi is often used as a protein replacement by vegetarians in a variety of dishes, but it’s salty delicious flavour makes it a popular cheese among many, regardless of whether they eat meat or follow a vegetarian diet.  Halloumi cheese with watermelon just makes sense to me – the salty and sweet flavours pair perfectly together in my opinion.  Adding cucumbers to the mix elevates the water content of the dish and helps to meld the stronger flavours of both the watermelon and the cheese together.

Watermelon and cucumbers are both hydrating nutritional powerhouses in their own rights.  Watermelon is a good source of Vitamin A, B6 and C, lycopene, antioxidants and minerals and is helpful in neutralizing cellular damage and cancer prevention.  Cucumbers are high in enzymes, B vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes along with minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.  The skin of a cucumber contains silica which is helpful in boosting your skin from within to help you achieve a glowing complexion.  When purchasing cucumbers, I strongly encourage you to purchase organic ones (if your budget allows) so that you can eat the skin without having to worry about any pesticide residue that may be left on the skin after cleaning it.

To call this a recipe would be comical.  Consider them loose guidelines on how to assemble a delicious, refreshing and simple summer salad.  Both cucumber and watermelon are great to eat when you are feeling a little bloated.  Skip the cheese if you want to up the anti-bloat factor of this meal.

Ingredients:

1 organic baby cucumber, chopped

1 cup of watermelon, chopped

2 thick slices of Halloumi cheese

1 tsp fresh mint, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Cracked black pepper

Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Fry the halloumi cheese until it is golden brown on both sides.  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumber and mint

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with black pepper

Top with Halloumi cheese

Enjoy!

IMG_0366The information provided in this blog post is solely for information purposes and not as a substitute for medical advice.

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS❤️

One Bowl Nutty Banana Breakfast Bars

I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast.  When I was younger it was the meal that I most frequently skipped, but I got older I began to learn the importance of having a good breakfast.  Having said that, there are still days that I don’t quite practice what I preach and fail to properly nourish myself for the day ahead.  I alway regret it when this happens, so I decided that I needed a recipe that was simple to make, doesn’t require a ton of complicated ingredients and tastes great.  These breakfast bars have become the perfect solution to my breakfast problem.

Filled with many of my favourite breakfast ingredients including crunchy almond butter, nuts and oats, these breakfast bars are a great and satiating snack regardless of the time of day.  High in protein and low in sugar, they have become my most recent breakfast obsession.  On the days when I am not rushing out the door, I like to enjoy these bars with fresh berries and some extra nut butter.  They are also great topped with yogurt and fresh fruit.

It is super easy to make substitutions to tailor these bars to your own personal taste, so consider the directions below loose guidelines to making simple breakfast bars that work for you. Substitute your favourite nut (or a combination of nuts) instead of the almonds and cashews that I used in the recipe below.  If you don’t have chocolate chunks on hand substitute them for raisins.

Ingredients:

1 medium banana, ripened

1 1/2 cups oats

1 egg

1/3 cup crunchy almond butter

1/2 cup organic chocolate chunks

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup chopped cashews

1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup (you can substitute raw honey if you prefer)

1 tbsp coconut oil

pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper

In a large bowl mash the peeled banana (try to get it as smooth as possible)

Stir in the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and egg – combine until all of the ingredients are well incorporated

Add the oats and mix well

Add the baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon

Fold in the nuts and the chocolate chunks

Pour the mixture into the baking pan, smoothing the mixture into an even layer

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges

Allow to completely cool before cutting into squares

Enjoy!

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You can store the squares in an air tight container for up to a week either at room temperature or in the fridge.

I hope that you have a wonderful day!  ❤️XXS