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Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad

0006_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logoAs you may know by now, although we grew up in a healthy household surrounded by fresh produce, the truth is we didn’t always have all kinds of produce throughout the year at our fingertips, as you’d likely expect.  In fact, there were only a few weeks during the year when we’d have some of our favorite fruits and veggies.  Yup, our mom was ahead of her time—buying local and “in season” before it was cool and trendy.  You could tell what season it was by opening our fridge. This meant that most of the year, we didn’t have some of our favorite fruits—like melons!  We’d wait all year for our favorite season—summer, which just happens to be when some of our favorite fruits are in season. As hard as it is to believe, some of our favorite recipes that we make today, we would have only had a few months of the year.  Recipes like our:

Watermelon Frosty,

Watermelon Snow Cone

Watermelon & Mint Detox Salad

Strawberry Milkshake

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And we can’t help but smile with our latest creation.  It’s the summer dish that we would have waited all year for—and we’re feeling a bit spoiled thinking that we may just keep eating it this one, even when it’s a bit out of season. 😉  When it’s too hot to turn on the stove and you’re looking for a thirst quenching, refreshing side dish (with an optional kick!), this salad with hydrating fruits and veggies and cooling culinary herbs is about to be your new bestie!

Added bonus: Phytonutrients found in cucumbers (cucurbitacins, lignans and flavonoids) may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers have a high water content and are a great source of fiber to help prevent constipation and the unsightly gut bulges that come with it.

Fun fact: Cucumbers are technically fruits!

Cantaloupes are a great skin beautifier thanks to being high in vitamin C (necessary for the formation of collagen, which keeps the skin pliable and elastic) and vitamin A helps to promote healthy cells and skin. Also since it’s gota high water content, 90 percent, it helps to hydrate the skin, making it appear moist and supple!

Fun tip: To find a great tasting cantaloupe, do a sniff test, if the melon smells delicious it’s sure to be tasty.

We visited the farmers market over the weekend and came across a variety of cucumbers (common salad/garden cucumber, white cucumber, lemon cucumber and Armenian cucumber) and decided why not try them all! You can certainly use just one type of cucumber and it can be any type.

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Just a word of warning, once you start you may not be able to eat just one serving!

You can also make a larger portion, by doubling the recipe, to eat the next day. The lime juice helps preserve the freshness overnight.

0004_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logoCrunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad

Makes 4, 1 Cup Servings

Serve this easy to make, juicy summer salad with a Mediterranean dish, falafel, grilled fish, fish tacos, grilled chicken or another lean protein.

 

Ingredients

2 cups cantaloupe, diced* (about ¼ medium cantaloupe seeded)

2 cups cucumber, diced* (roughly 2 medium cucumbers), peeled (optional).

1 tsp serrano pepper, (about ¼ small sized pepper) seeded and minced (optional)

1 – 1 ½ Tbsp lime juice,

4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade

Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Combine cantaloupe and cucumber in large bowl.
  1. Pour 1 Tbsp of lime juice over the melon/cucumber mix. Stir to coat the produce in the juice.
  1. Add a pinch of salt to taste to contrast to the sweetness.
  1. Add ½ tsp of the minced serrano pepper, andmix throughout. It can have quite a kick so add more to your liking. This can be omitted if you’re simply looking for a cool and thirst quenching salad without a kick.
  1. Top with slivers of fresh mint leaves.

* Diced pieces can be any size, we liked a small dice in order to get a variety of flavors in one bite!

**A note about the serrano pepper. The oils will linger on your hands, even after washing them. Be aware to not touch near your eyes especially after cutting. You may have to wash your hands a few times before it begins to fade. (I only noticed because I stuck my finger near my mouth while taking a bite of left over cantaloupe and my mouth started tingling! Long after I had finished cutting and washed my hands!)

 

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 47 Calories, 0 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 87 mg Sodium, 12 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 9 g Sugar, 1 g Protein  

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Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, diced* (about ¼ medium cantaloupe seeded)
  • 2 cups cucumber, diced* (roughly 2 medium cucumbers), peeled (optional).
  • 1 tsp serrano pepper, (about ¼ small sized pepper) seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp lime juice,
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine cantaloupe and cucumber in large bowl.
  2. Pour 1 Tbsp of lime juice over the melon/cucumber mix. Stir to coat the produce in the juice.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to taste to contrast to the sweetness.
  4. Add ½ tsp of the minced serrano pepper, andmix throughout. It can have quite a kick so add more to your liking. This can be omitted if you’re simply looking for a cool and thirst quenching salad without a kick.
  5. Top with slivers of fresh mint leaves.
Notes
*Diced pieces can be any size, we liked a small dice in order to get a variety of flavors in one bite! **A note about the serrano pepper. The oils will linger on your hands, even after washing them. Be aware to not touch near your eyes especially after cutting. You may have to wash your hands a few times before it begins to fade. (I only noticed because I stuck my finger near my mouth while taking a bite of left over cantaloupe and my mouth started tingling! Long after I had finished cutting and washed my hands!)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 47 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 87 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad

As registered dietitians, personal trainers, and veggie lovers, people automatically assume we live on salads. Umm, NO! Although we love a good salad, we certainly don’t live on them! In fact, we tend to eat a lot more of veggies that we’ve mixed right into our meals (like in our Veggie Frittata Bites, Veggie & Quinoa Stir-fry and our Turkey Fiesta Stir-fry then in the “salad” form. Plus we’re fans of a wide variety of foods, and include them in our diet—everything from all different types of produce, to whole grains, organic dairy foods, seafood, chicken, beans, nuts… and chocolate, just to name a few. 😉

 

That being said, we always encourage our clients to fill up on vegetables like salads before a meal (and we too do this whenever we can!).  When you do this before heading out to dinner, it’s easier to avoid attacking the basket of bread, oh yeah! 🙂 .  This is a great weight loss secret. Eating a salad or veggies before having your meal takes an edge of hunger and can greatly reduce calorie intake of your meal. Although the salad or veggies adds a few calories, you’ll typically end up eating significantly less of your main meal and saving many more calories than your veggie appetizer adds! Try filling up on a salad or veggies before your meal and see!

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Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad

This salad is sure to fill you up but is light enough to do it without leaving you feeling bloated; it’s perfect for an appetizer or as a side dish. Super easy to throw together, with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and chickpeas, your tummy will be thanking you!

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients

1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 large cucumber

1/2 avocado

¾ cup chickpeas

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1.      Slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and avocado, and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.

2.      Add the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper.

3.      Mix together then enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts per Serving

Calories:  128

Carbohydrates: 13.5 g

Fat: 8 g

Saturated Fat: 1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 0 g

Trans Fat: 0 g

Protein: 3 g

Sodium: 49 mg

Sugar: 2.5 g

Potassium: 250  mg

Fiber: 5 g

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 4 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber
  • ½ avocado
  • ¾ cup chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and avocado, and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
  2. Add the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix together then enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 128 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Unsaturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 13.5 Sugar: 2.5 g Sodium: 49 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 0 g

 

Skinny Cucumber Sandwiches

Hello Skinny Cucumber Sammies!  We mean, really, what’s better than a crunchy adorable sandwich for 50 calories –and that packs more protein than most yogurt?  Um, not much!  Our clients always ask us what to serve for guests or for ideas to eat for an easy snack (Blueberry Crunch High Protein Snack, The Best Weight Loss Snacks anyone?) that’s not their everyday humdrum one! So say hello to this super satisfying snack, lunch, appetizer, you name it!  And you can make these pups in minutes!  These really are so ideal that even bread lovers will say, who needs bread anyway? Well, at least not on this waistline friendly sandwich! Enjoy!

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Btw, as you likely know, we’re constantly trying to find easy ways to make getting delicious veggies easier.  That’s one of the main reasons we wrote our latest book The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure and created recipes like our Kale Recharge Smoothie, our Smoked Paprika Zucchini Chips, and our Zucchini Parmesan Rounds.  And now these! We can’t wait to hear what ya think!

 

Skinny Cucumber Sandwiches

Aka, your new bestie 😉  We love that you can pack these babes up and not worry about stale, soggy bread!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber (the wider, the better)

1 large ripe on the vine tomato

1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese

1 ounce low-fat cheese, sliced into two thick slices

fresh or dried basil, optional

 

Directions:

1. Slice the cucumber horizontally so that you make large round coins about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

2. Place four cucumber “coins” on a plate.  Top 2 of them with 1/4 cup cottage cheese and top two of them with 1/2 ounce cheese.  Top with a tomato and a sprinkle of basil and cover with a cucumber coin.

3.  Enjoy your cucumber sandwich!

Nutrition information per serving (using 1% cottage cheese): 50 Calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 9 g protein, 1 g fiber, 177 mg sodium

 

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Skinny Cucumber Sandwiches
 
Hello Skinny Cucumber Sammies! We mean, really, what's better than a crunchy adorable sandwich for 50 calories --and that packs more protein than most yogurt? Um, not much! So say hello to this super satisfying snack, lunch, appetizer, you name it! And you can make these pups in minutes! These really are so ideal that even bread lovers will say, who needs bread anyway? Well, at least not on this waistline friendly sandwich! Enjoy!
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large cucumber (the wider, the better)
  • 1 large ripe on the vine tomato
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 ounce low-fat cheese, sliced into two thick slices
  • fresh or dried basil, optional
Instructions
  1. :
  2. Slice the cucumber horizontally so that you make large round coins about ¼-1/2 inch thick.
  3. Place four cucumber "coins" on a plate. Top 2 of them with ¼ cup cottage cheese and top two of them with ½ ounce cheese. Top with a tomato and a sprinkle of basil and cover with a cucumber coin.
  4. Enjoy your cucumber sandwich!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 50 Fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 4 g Sodium: 177 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 9 g

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