Side Dish Sunday is the perfect way to ease your way into eating healthier. We all can’t go cold turkey. Some of us need a little hand-holding and daily encouragement. If you resolved to eat healthier or test your principles with being a vegetarian, start by adding vegetarian or plant-based side dishes to your meals. Spend Sunday afternoons testing new flavors and ingredients. Invite friends and family over to share in the experience. Make it fun. Try something new. The more you play around with new recipes, the easier it will be to go the distance and embrace being a vegetarian. Who says you have to go to a fancy restaurant for an incredible culinary experience? For those of you who have already adopted the vegetarian lifestyle, Bon Appétit!
This week’s recipe is provided by Danielle Walker, author of Against All Grain. Danielle’s a mom, wife, and grain-free cook from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her recipes are entirely grain-free, and consequently gluten-free, free of refined sugars, and low to minimal dairy. Against All Grain is great for those that follow the Paleo, Primal, SCD, GAPS, and Gluten-Free lifestyles.
Watermelon Salad with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Candied Walnuts (serves 6)
- 6 pieces of watermelon, cut to 1 inch thickness
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup Spiced Candied Walnuts, roughly chopped
- Using a large biscuit cutter, or just great circle cutting knife skills!, cut the watermelon slices into round circles.
- Use a knife to trim off any parts that make the circle uneven so it sits flat on a plate.
- In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Arrange the watermelon circles on a plate, then top each with a small handful of the arugula mixture (roughly 1/3 cup each).
- Sprinkle each salad with goat cheese and the chopped walnuts, then drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the tops. Enjoy!
* If you’re serving to a larger crowd, or don’t want to take the time to cut the watermelon into rounds, you can use a melon baller to create cute balls or just simply cut the watermelon into chunks and pile it all into a salad bowl. I also doubled the amount of arugula and dressing so it would provide a little heartier portions.
Simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is The Vegetarian Aficionado™ – a purveyor of provocative and beautifully prepared vegetarian fare. Connect with her on Instagram at @vegetarianaficionado and check out her online magazine The Vegetarian Aficionado