2015-08-28 / Columns

Cooking on Purpose

Beat the heat with some cool melon
By Connie Wendell Special to the Leader

What could be nicer on a steamy hot day than a cool, refreshing slice of melon?

We’ve certainly had some hot days lately and melons have been flying off the shelves in grocery stores. That’s because they have a high water content and not only taste delicious, they help to keep us hydrated.

Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are the most common melons. Any one of those choices taste great all alone or with some yogurt or ice cream.

I have included some recipes that takes it just a bit further. Each recipe calls for melon and is quick and easy to prepare. You don’t even turn your oven on.

How’s that for keeping cool?

Watermelon pie

This pie is pretty as a picture and just as tasty. It’s so easy to make. You’ll make it more than once in the summer.

1 (3 ounce) package watermelon flavored gelatin; ¼ cup water; 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed; 2 cups watermelon, cubed; and 1 (9 inch) prepared Graham cracker crust.

Mix the watermelon gelatin and water. Fold gelatin mixture into the dessert topping.

Add cut watermelon and mix gently. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust. Cool in refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Serves eight.

Three-melon smoothie

This is so refreshing on a hot summer day.

2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed; 1 cup honeydew melon, cubed; 1 cup cantaloupe melon, cubed; ½ cup ice cubes; and ½ cup lemon-lime juice.

Place watermelon, honeydew; cantaloupe, and ice in a blender.

Pour in the lemon-lime juice and puree until smooth.

Chicken and melon salad

This salad is great for a hot summer day when you’re feeding a crowd. It will soon become a favorite.

1 honeydew melon; 6 cups cubed, cooked chicken; 2 cups chopped celery; 2 cups seedless grapes; 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts; ½ cup sour cream; ½ cup plain yogurt; 1½ teaspoons curry powder; and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut melon in half and remove seeds. With a melon baller, scoop out melon balls; place in a large salad bowl. Add chicken, celery, grapes and water chestnuts to melon.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream, yogurt and curry powder. Gently stir into salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 10.

Cold melon salsa

This salsa has a great blend of flavors. Use it as a dip with taco chips or with fish or meat.

3 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced; ½ honeydew melon, peeled and finely diced; 1 cantaloupe, peeled and finely diced; 1 cup minced Red Onion; ½ Jalapeño Pepper, minced; ½ cup chopped, fresh cilantro; 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice; ½ cup finely chopped almonds; ½ teaspoon salt; and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice.

In a large serving bowl, stir together the tomatoes, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, red onion, jalapeño and cilantro.

Stir in the orange juice, almonds, salt and lime juice. Refrigerate at least four hours before serving for the best flavor.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and until next time, keep cool.

Connie Wendell can be reached at conniewendell27@gmail.com.

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