I’ve done a lot of food demonstrations over the years for all kinds of groups, but the number one repeated recipe is this easy-to-create, classic salad made with ingredients everyone loves and usually has on hand. I typically have done this with orzo pasta, but I switched to whole wheat Israeli couscous because I had some on hand, plus I like it’s slightly more firm texture and fun shape. I talk about Israeli couscous here. Serve as a main dish dinner on a hot summer day or as a delightful addition to a brunch menu.
Cantaloupe is so plentiful right now and the prices are slowly going down, at least for another month or two. Most people are aware of cantaloupe’s high content of vitamin C, but did you know that despite it’s pale orange color, cantaloupe is super high in vitamin A, even 30 times higher than the content of oranges? It’s still far behind the vitamin A content of carrots, however. Still with all that beautiful anti-oxidant goodness, no wonder a recent study showed that those who ate a lot of cantaloupe had lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, an all too common condition characterized by excess weight, waist circumference, high blood pressure, high blood fat and high blood sugar, indications of inflammation in the body. Cantaloupe grows all over the world, especially in the Mediterranean region, no surprise there. It belongs to the same family as cucumber, squash, gourds as well as the expected watermelon and honeydew. Have some cut up and waiting for you in your refrigerator . . . a true summer treat!
- Chicken, Melon and Grape Salad
- 1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
- 1/2 ripe cantaloupe, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of one medium orange
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews
- Cook couscous as directed on package. Drain, rinse briefly with warm water, then drain thoroughly and allow to cool.
- Combine chicken, cantaloupe, celery and grapes in a medium bowl. Add cooled couscous.
- Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, orange juice and salt; stir to blend. Fold into chicken mixture. Just before serving, add cashews.