Reintroduction: Legumes

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So, SO happy to eat some legumes. Firstly, I am madly in love with soy sauce, and happened to luck into some albacore tuna for this week’s fish share. That was a no brainer! I was also thrilled to discover that the soy sauce I had at home was tamari, and therefore gluten free, and THEREFORE good to go on legume day. Woot!!

Even looking at that picture now is making me drool.

Was also jonesing for some lentils, and we had a few leftover in the part of the cupboard that I shoved everything non-whole30 compliant before we started. So I whipped up some red lentil soup, yum yum yum!

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Oh, legumes! How I’ve missed you.

Lastly, I’ve been cooking for a service called Umi.Kitchen. I knew this was legume night, so I scheduled one of my favorite meals that I haven’t been able to eat: Sweet and Sour Eggplant with Tomatoes and Chickpeas. You can get the recipe from an old post of mine.

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It’s way, way good. I was so psyched to eat it.

All in all, I viewed legume day as a success. I maybe was a little gassy at the end of the night, but otherwise felt just fine, and today am fine as well. Also, I generally don’t eat so many legumes all at the same time…and also I’ve definitely been gassy while on the Whole30, so who knows really if it was the legumes. Further testing, necessary. Got up this morning and felt strong and good, did my run, back on the plan. What a delicious day!! Next up: non-gluten grains. (!!!) Coming Thursday.

Sous Vide Scallops with a Grapefruit/Red Onion Salsa served with Collards and Bacon; Prosciutto and sage wrapped Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Salad; Hake and Sweet Potato Curry

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I know, I know, this took forever. So? I took a little break for the holiday. Sue me. Side note: Whole30 Thanksgiving was super successful. Blog post to come. Maybe in a few weeks. 😀 hahahahaha!

Anyhoo. Here’s these recipes.

Sous Vide Scallops with a Grapefruit/Red Onion Salsa served with Collards and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. scallops
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 ripe grapefruit, segmented
  • olive oil
  • ghee
  • 1 head collard greens, chopped
  • 4 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/2″ strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Set the sous vide to 123 F. (Alternately the scallops can be cooked in a skillet, 2 – 3 minutes per side. Set aside and skip ahead to step 3).
  2. Salt and pepper scallops and place in a bag. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over them and seal the bag. Place into the sous vide and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and dry the scallops.
  3. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of ghee to a skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add grapefruit and stir to incorporate. If you want the segments to remain intact be gentle…I messed them up and ended up with a relish-like substance…which was also yummers, (hey, it all tastes the same going down) but still. Reduce heat and continue cooking for another few minutes.
  4. Add the bacon to another skillet and cook through. Once it’s cooked, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and then add the collards. (Do not remove the bacon fat!!) Cook collards through for about 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Add the scallops to the pot with the grapefruit/red onion mixture and sear on each side, about 1 minute per side.
  6. Plate, and eat.

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Prosciutto and sage wrapped Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 14 oz. (or so) prosciutto slices
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
  • ghee
  • avocado or coconut oil
  • fresh sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Salad ingredients (I’ll let you create your own. I use Ume Vinegar generally to dress unless I feel like getting fancy)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. With a mandolin on the curvy setting, slice sweet potatoes to 1/2 inch slices. If you don’t have a mandolin, they just won’t be waffled.
  3. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and three or four tablespoons of avocado or coconut oil. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until browned to your liking, flipping once midway.
  4. Meanwhile, lay prosciutto slices on a cutting board and lay sage leaves on each. Place chicken, one fillet per slice, atop each. Salt and pepper each, then wrap the chicken in the prosciutto slices.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the prosciutto-wrapped chicken and cook 4 – 5 minutes on each side. Garnish with some chopped sage and serve with salad and sweet potatoes.

Hake and Sweet Potato Curry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. hake, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • ghee
  • coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee to a skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, add onion and cook until soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes to skillet. Salt and pepper the mixture, stir, and cook through until the tomatoes are fragrant and dark, about another 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the whole shebang to a blender. Blend at high speed until the mixture is smooth.
  4. In a deep, heavy pot like a dutch oven over high heat, add a tablespoon of ghee. Once melted, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomato and onion mixture and the can of coconut milk and stir. Bring to a boil and add the cumin, paprika and tumeric. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until potatoes a fork goes through one easily, about 10 or 15 minutes.
  5. Salt and pepper the fish, and then add it to the pot. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit for another 6 minutes. Top with cilantro and eat immediately.

Broiled Sardines with Stewed Tomatoes and Eggplant

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Ingredients:

  • About a pound of gutted, head on sardines
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • a handful of thyme
  • 1 large eggplant, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ghee or olive oil
  • fresh mint for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Arrange eggplant slices on a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and fold foil over itself, sealing the edges to create a package. Set aside and allow to steam for 15 minutes or so.
  4. Turn oven up to broil.
  5. Meanwhile, add ghee or oil to a large heavy pot, melt and bring to a shimmer.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, until tomatoes darken in color and cook down quite a bit.
  7. Add eggplant to the tomatoes along with the molasses. Cover and stew for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. While the mixture is stewing, wrap a slice of lemon around a couple of thyme sprigs and stuff inside a sardine. Repeat with all the sardines.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet over a high flame. Once the skillet is hot, add sardines and transfer to broiler. Broil 6 – 8 minutes until nicely browned.
  10. Transfer everything to platters; garnish the tomatoes and eggplant with fresh mint and squeeze fresh lemon and sprinkle fresh thyme over sardines.
  11. Eat immediately.

Whole 30: Day 17

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Behold, the red pear. So beautiful, and so tasty, all at the same time. Seriously, how pretty is that pear?

Anyway, I ate fruit for breakfast. A pear (that very pear) and an orange.

Lunch was leftover hake, chard and potatoes. A full recycled meal.

Had a half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt as an afternoon snack.

For dinner I got more creative. It must be autumn, because I’m all about the stuffed gourd these days. Today’s gourd of choice: the acorn squash. I thought it worked a little better than the kobocha cause it’s smaller, and made for a more individual serving size. However…kobocha squash is so fantastic tasting I really don’t mind sharing a half. Anyway I totally improvised this dinner based on what I had in the house. And it was outstandingly delicious. I can’t wait to eat more of it for lunch.

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Chicken, Tomato and Onion stuffed Acorn Squash:

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 giant heirloom tomato, or 3 regular tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • cooking fat
  • olive oil
  • guar gum
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425.
  2. Cut squashes in half and seed them. Place on a baking sheet with tin foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Place baking sheet in the oven and let roast for 40 – 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add a bit of cooking fats to a skillet; once it’s warm add the chicken pieces and cook through, about 8 – 10 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  5. Add a bit more cooking fat to the same skillet. Once warm, add onions and cook until soft, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  6. Add tomato to the skillet and cook down. If needed, take 1/4 tsp. of guar gum and dissolve it in a small amount of water. Add to the tomato/onion mixture to thicken it up a bit.
  7. Return chicken to skillet and add thyme. Continue cooking for approximately 5 more minutes, to incorporate the flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the squash halves, and eat immediately.

P.S. Acorn squash skin can and should be eaten! Not only is it very healthy, it gets all crispy and tastes great.

Whole 30: Day 15

Man, this project is taking forever. I can’t say I won’t be happy when it’s finally time to move on to my next project.

The thing is, though…I’m feeling really good. Like, really really good. So, the project continues. Also, what’s the point in getting this far along if you aren’t going to get the answers that you’re looking for? So, pressing on.

This morning we had an early morning work thing at our local food coop. Yes, the infamous Park Slope Food Coop. So, we decided to grab some apples and jerky and make that breakfast.

Of course, the best part of working at the food coop is shopping at the food coop afterwards. I thought I did really particularly well this time around.

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Out of this, came an inspired and simple lunch:

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Made up some tuna salad, plopped it on a bed of salad greens, threw on some cherry tomatoes and splashed some Ume vinegar on the greens. Delicious.

For dinner I went a little more complicated. I had some gorgeous monk fish, and my favorite thing to do with it is make it into a mustard curry. So, I did that. I got the recipe from Mermaid’s Garden, where we have a weekly fish share. It’s pretty terrific. I alter fish for what’s on hand and also sometimes will do okra instead of cauliflower or swap out jalapeño for whatever hot peppers I have. If I’m in the mood for spicy I’ll up the amount of those hot peppers, and if not I’ll keep it as written. Usually I like to eat it with naan…but since that’s out this time around I opted for slightly less spicy since there was no starch to help numb the spice. I thought it turned out perfect. Also! This is a recipe that seems intimidating: it is really not! Pretty simple as long as you have everything prepped and ready to go. And you need the curry leaves. That’s pretty much what makes the whole dish. Recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound firm fleshed fish fillet, cut into two inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onion
  • 4 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or 4 tablespoons of ghee)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 each dried arbol chile
  • 12 each  curry leaves
  • 1 tsp.garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine (I subbed this for extra chicken stock cause Whole 30)
  • 2 cups fish or chicken stock or 1 cup bottled clam juice mixed with 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. coriander Seed, toasted & ground
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp. allepo or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 cup okra or cauliflower, sliced in ½” pieces
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Warm a sauté pan over medium heat. Add half of the oil or ghee and the onions. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes dry out and darken in color, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a blender.
  2. Heat the remaining oil or ghee over medium heat in a deep heavy pan such as a dutch oven. Add the cloves and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and arbol chile and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and jalapeno to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the white wine (if using), tomato-onion puree and stock. Bring this to a low simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the coriander, tumeric, Allepo/cayenne pepper and mustard powder to the pan.
  5. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Add the okra or cauliflower to the pan and cover. One minute later add the fish. Re-cover the pan and increase the heat to high for two minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to sit covered for 6 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro.

I have made this a number of times and it is always outstandingly delicious.

Whole 30: Day 9

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Things are progressing smoothly. I’ve also been feeling really good, with a lot of energy, despite this cold that I’ve definitely been fighting from the season change. Another work day! But this time I had time to cook up a little breakfast (above) before I left home and just re-heated once I got to work. Also, that pear was delicious.

Lunch was leftover chicken tikka masala. I also brought in some salad greens and a whole tomato that I chopped up into the greens at lunchtime, and topped it with a little olive oil and some vinegar. Yum.

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All that was left was dinner. I had a steak prepped from my meat share, a 60 day aged Dominico steak. So, that was a no brainer. I also still have a bunch of potatoes so I decided to whip up a sort of potato nik. Super easy. Also something different and really yummy. And then I steamed some chard to make it all come together.

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For the potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • About 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • Cooking fats (I used beef tallow)

Preparation:

 

  • Grate potatoes and onion by hand or with grating disk of a food processor; drain in colander or strainer. Combine potatoes and onions in a large bowl with eggs, salt, pepper and almond flour.
  • Put a good chunk of cooking fat in a large, deep skillet, either nonstick or seasoned cast iron; turn heat to medium-high. When fat is melted and shimmering, put all the batter in pan, and smooth the top. Cook, adjusting heat so mixture sizzles but does not burn. Continue until bottom is nicely browned, at least 15 minutes.
  • To turn, slide cake out onto a large plate, cover with another large plate and invert. Add a little more fat to pan if necessary, and slide pancake back in, cooked side up. Cook 15 minutes or so longer, until nicely browned.

Yum.

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Whole 30: Day 1

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So, I think I ate PRETTY well for a day 1 on the Whole 30. Firstly, let me say that I was smart enough to cure some pork belly a week back, so that I was able to make it fully into bacon on day 1 — that’s right, sugar free bacon, and I know it’s sugar free cause I made it. It’s delicious, and now I plan to make 5lbs. worth and have it in the freezer. I also made a batch of almond butter, and a batch of almond milk. I have oils and pork lard for cooking, a bunch of butter to clarify (tonight!!) and have had hot sauce fermenting for the last 7 days, which will also get made tonight. I also have a fresh batch of homemade sprouts — which can now be thrown on anything.

Breakfast: Tomato and Poblano Pepper Frittata with Concord Grapes (pictured above)

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 poblano peppers, cut into slices
  • two large tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • pork lard or bacon fat

Preparation:

  1. Heat cooking fat over medium heat
  2. Crack and mix eggs with salt and pepper
  3. throw peppers, tomatoes and scallions into pan, and cook until fragrant and tomatoes have started releasing their juices.
  4. Add eggs to pan and swirl to distribute throughout the pan
  5. Cook until set. Slice into 4 slices and eat. Serves 2.

Eat with grapes! Always a good idea.

Lunch: BLT Salad

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I was looking around at my ingredients (including my homemade bacon) and I was like, “Oooo, BLT’s!” And then I was like “Ooo, no BLT’s”. But then I thought, why not in salad form? And this delicious lunch was born. Does it really need a recipe? I don’t think so. The more colorful your tomatoes the prettier the salad will be. I dressed it with sea salt and umi vinegar. That’s it!

Dinner: Prepped Asian Shrimp Salad and Whole 30 Compliant Three Cup Chicken

I ate some of both. And there were ample leftovers to live in the fridge for the rest of the week.

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So, for this salad I basically just took the ingredients from a spring roll I’ve made in the past and made it into a salad. Then I can eat this on it’s own, or on top of greens to make a proper salad, wrapped in a lettuce cup, and so on.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. wild shrimp
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 large daikon radish
  • large handful of sprouts
  • coconut aminos

Preparation:

  1. Shred the carrots and daikon and marinade in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos.
  2. Cook the shrimp: I wok fried them in bacon fat.
  3. Mix it all up. Serve with “Peanut” Dipping Sauce

“Peanut” Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup coconut aminos
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 to 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation: 

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well
  2. Serve with Shrimp Salad, or dip veggies in it!

This seems like a lot for 1 day. So I’ll add the recipe for Three Cup Chicken (Whole 30 approved) for tomorrow.

Tomato Tart with Fresh Mozzarella and Anchovies

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Full disclosure: I love anchovies. And most stinky fish, to be honest. But I really like anchovies. Anyway, I’ve been getting a ton of tomatoes from my CSA and I took to the Times to figure out what to do with them. Yay, fresh tomatoes!!! Please don’t go away. Get the Times version here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups/250 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin oil, plus 2 tablespoons and a little more to grease the pan
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick and blotted
  • Ground black pepper
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • A few capers, optional
  • 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

Preparation:

  1. Make the dough: Put flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in 1/4 cup oil, egg and 1/4 cup cold water, then mix quickly with hands to make a soft dough. If dough seems dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form dough into a rough rectangle, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a flour-dusted surface, divide dough in half. Roll out one piece to a rectangle approximately 9 by 12 inches (reserve other piece for future use, or to make a second tart).
  3. Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic together in a small bowl. Put rolled dough on lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle surface of dough with garlic oil. Scatter onion slices over dough. Arrange tomato slices over dough in one layer without crowding, then season with salt and pepper. Top tomatoes with torn mozzarella slices in one layer. Tuck olives and capers here and there, if using. Drape top of tart with intermittently placed anchovy fillets.
  4. Bake for 6 minutes on bottom shelf of oven, then transfer to top shelf and bake for another 6 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool slightly, then cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Sweet & Sour Eggplant, Tomatoes and Chickpeas with a Side of Tomato, Watermelon Feta Salad

 

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This may well be my new favorite dish. It hails from NY Times Cooking, and you can find the original recipe here. I always change some things based on how I like it, but I like to source the original recipe when there was one. Eggplant is one of those vegetables, for me, that I’m still trying to figure out, and learn how I like it…because often, I don’t like it. Well, I’ve definitely learned at least one way. I actually licked the bowl when I was done with this. It tastes better the next day, and even better the day after that. It also takes a while to prepare, so don’t be afraid to make it while eating something else, and saving this overnight to soak in all the flavors. But most importantly, eat this.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, halved lengthwise then cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh mint

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and oil it with olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices on top. Salt lightly and brush with olive oil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until the eggplant is lightly browned and soft to the touch (the surface will be dry). Remove from the heat, and fold over the foil to make a packet around the eggplant slices. Allow them to soften and steam inside the foil for 15 minutes while you proceed with Step 2.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy lidded casserole or skillet. Add the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt to taste, sugar and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell very fragrant.
  3. Add the eggplant, molasses and chickpeas. Cover and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. The mixture should be thick and the eggplant should be very tender, melting into the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle on the parsley and/or mint, and serve. Alternately, allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Also featured is a tomato, watermelon, feta salad with fresh mint. Chop all ingredients, place in bowl, and drip on balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. Yum!