3 No-Cook Dinners for When You Want to Turn off the Stove

It’s the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we’re hungry. Like, “can’t-think-straight” hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner’s Ready, her monthly column on weeknight wond…

It's the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we're hungry. Like, "can't-think-straight" hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner's Ready, her monthly column on weeknight wonders, she shares three simple, flavor-packed recipes that are connected by a single idea or ingredient. Stick with Emily, and you'll have a good dinner on the table in no time. Today, three summery meals that let us rev up the flavor but keep the temps down.


Every summer, I reach a point when I practically banish my sheet pans and skillets from my kitchen. Not that I don't love them (trust me, they’ll be in heavy use this fall for dinners like this and this!), but many days it’s just too hot and sticky to turn on my oven, stand over the stove, or even fire up the grill come dinnertime.

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Strawberry Watermelon Sorbet (5 Minutes)

While daydreaming about watermelon sorbet recently, I threw a few things in the blender hoping for an easier, quicker method, and the results were shockingly good. So good we went back for seconds…and thirds.
This near-instant sorbet is made wit…

Strawberry Watermelon Sorbet (5 Minutes)

While daydreaming about watermelon sorbet recently, I threw a few things in the blender hoping for an easier, quicker method, and the results were shockingly good. So good we went back for seconds…and thirds.

This near-instant sorbet is made with simple frozen fruit, like strawberry, watermelon, and banana, and dairy-free milk or coconut water. The texture is creamy, slightly icy, and refreshing, and the taste? It’s somehow reminiscent of cotton candy.

Strawberry Watermelon Sorbet (5 Minutes) from Minimalist Baker →

The Very Best Thing to Do With Your Watermelon Rinds

Shortly after I turned 20, my family moved from central Illinois to Southern California, swapping snow boots for sandals; we also traded in two apple trees for a grove of lemons, avocados, pomegranates, figs, and jujubes. A few years ago, I started my …

Shortly after I turned 20, my family moved from central Illinois to Southern California, swapping snow boots for sandals; we also traded in two apple trees for a grove of lemons, avocados, pomegranates, figs, and jujubes. A few years ago, I started my quest to grow heirloom vegetables, which frustrated and rewarded me in seemingly equal quantities—only a few hinona kabu turnips came up the first year, but the dan hobak (known as kabocha to most folks) immediately blanketed the backyard, flowering with dozens of sweet squashes-to-be.

My mother, who grew up on a farm in South Korea, was overjoyed that she could be outside all year round —even after she fell from the top of her fig tree and broke her little toe. “Look at all these figs I picked!” she exclaimed, sitting on the ground with her toe swelling up. “Make sure you take all the figs inside and wash them right away, or their juice will attract bugs,” she instructed my father when he deposited her on her bed, shaking his head and going to call the doctor.

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Watermelon Juice

If you’ve ever wondered how to make watermelon juice, you’re in good company because we didn’t realize how easy it was until a few years back when playing with this watermelon cocktail.
You literally just scoop ripe, juicy watermelon into a blender, b…

Watermelon Juice

If you’ve ever wondered how to make watermelon juice, you’re in good company because we didn’t realize how easy it was until a few years back when playing with this watermelon cocktail.

You literally just scoop ripe, juicy watermelon into a blender, blend, and serve! Now, there are a few tricks to the trade, which we’ll be sharing in this post. So without further ado, let us show you how it’s done!

How to Make Watermelon Juice

It’s really as simple as adding to a blender and blending it up!

Watermelon Juice from Minimalist Baker →

Ginger Watermelon Italian Ice

Italian ice is the perfect way to cool down on hot summer days. This Ginger Watermelon Italian Ice recipe is refreshing and pleasantly gingery. The End of Summer Every August, the same things happens.

Ginger Watermelon Italian Ice
Italian ice is the perfect way to cool down on hot summer days. This Ginger Watermelon Italian Ice recipe is refreshing and pleasantly gingery. The End of Summer Every August, the same things happens.

Grilled Watermelon Halloumi Skewers with Minted Basil Oil.

My new favorite meal is watermelon halloumi skewers! If you think watermelon and feta is a good combo, just WAIT until your try watermelon and halloumi! Oh my goodness – it’s wonderful. And yes, I could totally eat this as a meal. Now Eddie? He might look at me like I have ten heads. It’s […]

The post Grilled Watermelon Halloumi Skewers with Minted Basil Oil. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

My new favorite meal is watermelon halloumi skewers!

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

If you think watermelon and feta is a good combo, just WAIT until your try watermelon and halloumi!

Oh my goodness – it’s wonderful. And yes, I could totally eat this as a meal. Now Eddie? He might look at me like I have ten heads.

watermelon halloumi skewers ready for the grill

It’s been a very watermelony week around here. On instagram, I shared one of my favorite watermelon salads – a savory wedge salad. It has blue cheese and orange zest and tomatoes and it’s deeeelish. 

It’s just so darn out hot right now that it’s like my body NEEDS all the watermelon to keep my hydrated. The kids love, it’s refreshing and delicious and you pretty much can’t go wrong.

Especially when you skewer it with CHEESE.

fresh basil leaves

Last summer I made these grilled vegetable and halloumi skewers regularly. They were a staple! I figured let’s try it with fruit and it turned out fantastic. 

Now, I’ve grilled watermelon before. With cheese too. Years ago I also made these grilled watermelon caprese salads. The combo of savory, smoky grilled watermelon with the caprese vibe is incredible.

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers right off the grill

And these skewers sort of remind me of that. We grill the halloumi and watermelon together – I like to do one piece of halloumi for every three or even four pieces of watermelon. The halloumi is so rich that you don’t need much. A little goes a long way.

And all that you need to flavor these skewers? A little olive oil, salt and pepper.

That’s it. 

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

But! We also make a mint basil oil. Last year I also made this basil oil all the time – it’s delicious on pasta, on vegetables, drizzled on salads – everything. 

So I decided to throw a few mint leaves into the bunch. Again, they are an ingredient that makes everything taste super fresh.

The oil is a little high maintenance, but worth it. Store it in the fridge and serve it with summer lunches and dinner! 

drizzling mint basil oil on grilled watermelon halloumi skewers

Sure, this whole plate is a little mix of things that I’ve made before, in a whole new way. These are really fun to make on the weekend or a nice change to make for a dinner side dish. Especially if you have something else to throw on the grill. 

They can feed a group too – if you have a few people over for dinner, I usually make one skewer per person. You can also slide everything off the skewer into a salad bowl!

Super versatile and fun too. Let it be fancy summer.

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

Watermelon Halloumi Skewers

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Watermelon Halloumi Skewers

These grilled watermelon halloumi skewers are loaded with savory, slightly sweet flavor and drizzle with a fresh mint and basil oil. Delish!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 1-inch cubed watermelon
  • 1 8-ounce block halloumi cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for drizzling or spraying
  • a few fresh mint and basil leaves for skewering

minted basil oil

  • 1 cup tightly packed sweet basil leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high. I like to keep mine around 400 degrees F.
  • Skewer the watermelon and halloumi. I like to do about 3 pieces of watermelon to every 1 piece of halloumi. The halloumi is rich enough that you don’t need a lot! Spritz or brush the watermelon skewers with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the skewers on the grill (you can use a grill pan if you wish! But directly on the grates is fine too) and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, rotating the skewers, Once they cheese and melon is golden and caramely, it’s good to go!
  • Remove and drizzle the skewers with the mint basil oil. Garnish with a few chopped leaves.

minted basil oil

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil to blanch the basil and mint. Prepare a bowl of ice water next to it. Once boiling, add the basil to the pot and cook for 10 seconds. Remove it and immediately place it in the ice bath. Leave it in there for a few minutes to make sure it is cold, then remove it and squeeze excess liquid from the leaves. Chop the basil into pieces.
  • Place the basil in a high powered blender or food processor. Add the olive oil and salt and puree until the oil is smooth and green. It may be frothy, so let the oil sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain it through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the basil bits. Ues a spoon to push any oil through the sieve.
  • At this point you can use the oil right away or store it in the fridge for a week!

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

I mean, I also live for pink food.

The post Grilled Watermelon Halloumi Skewers with Minted Basil Oil. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

How to Cut a Watermelon

Summer is in FULL SWING and one of the most wonderful simple pleasures of summer is fresh cut watermelon. If you’re a little intimidated by how to even begin to cut into one of these things, I’ve got a quick tutorial for you! Here is a really quick step by step guide on how to […]

The post How to Cut a Watermelon appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Summer is in FULL SWING and one of the most wonderful simple pleasures of summer is fresh cut watermelon. If you’re a little intimidated by how to even begin to cut into one of these things, I’ve got a quick tutorial for you! Here is a really quick step by step guide on how to cut watermelon into classic wedges, or really easy-to-eat batons!

A watermelon cut into several different shape and sized pieces, a hand grabbing a wedge

 

While there are several methods for cutting watermelon, I’m showing you two different methods in this tutorial—classic wedges and batons. Wedges are a great hand-held way to eat watermelon, but batons are slightly smaller and easier to eat without getting juice all over your face (especially for little hands). ;) Also, once you have the watermelon cut into batons, it’s really easy to then cut the batons into cubes to use for salads.
You might also enjoy my tutorial, How to Cut and Freeze Pineapple!

How to Cut Watermelon Video

How to Cut Watermelon – Step by Step Photos

cut off end of watermelon

Cut off a thin slice from either the side or the end of the watermelon to create a flat, stable base. If you’re using a longer watermelon, cutting from the side will be easier so it’s not really tall once you stand it on the cut side.

Cut watermelon in half

Stand the watermelon on the flat cut side just created, then cut the watermelon in half down the center.

Cut watermelon half into slices

Lay one of the watermelon halves on the cutting board with the cut side down. Slice it in half down the center, then across the center cut into 1-inch thick slices.

A hand holding a watermelon wedge with the rest of the watermelon in the background

And now you have classic watermelon wedges! If you want to take it one step further…

Watermelon cut into batons, a hand holding one close to the camera

Turn the watermelon 90 degrees again and cut across the slices to creates squares. Each “square” will be the “handle” on an easy-to-eat watermelon baton!

A hand holding a watermelon wedge with one bite taken out

I hope you enjoy a relaxing, hot summer full of lots of juicy watermelon!

The post How to Cut a Watermelon appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Watermelon Sangria

Watermelon sangria has the best sweet flavor! A big pitcher made with this juicy fruit is perfect for summer entertaining. What’s better for a hot summer afternoon than a cool glass sangria? The music of the ice cubes clinking against the glass is refreshing in itself! Here’s a perfect fruity flavor for summer: watermelon sangria! While this flavor is not a traditional Spanish spin, it’s a deliciously sweet way to enjoy this summer fruit. This recipe made in the style of a traditional sangria: just sweet enough, with white wine, brandy, and of course: lots of watermelon! Ingredients for watermelon sangria Sangría is a traditional wine punch that originates from Spain. The classic version is red sangria, made with red wine and chopped fruit, and often orange juice or brandy. Spaniards also drink white sangria, a version made with white wine. This watermelon sangria is a spin on a white sangria that adds watermelon juice for a fruity spin. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe: Fruit: watermelon, green apple, and lime Sugar White wine Brandy or Grand Marnier Fresh mint How to make watermelon sangria (the Spanish way) This watermelon sangria as a spin on the traditional Spanish way to make white […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Watermelon sangria has the best sweet flavor! A big pitcher made with this juicy fruit is perfect for summer entertaining.

Watermelon sangria

What’s better for a hot summer afternoon than a cool glass sangria? The music of the ice cubes clinking against the glass is refreshing in itself! Here’s a perfect fruity flavor for summer: watermelon sangria! While this flavor is not a traditional Spanish spin, it’s a deliciously sweet way to enjoy this summer fruit. This recipe made in the style of a traditional sangria: just sweet enough, with white wine, brandy, and of course: lots of watermelon!

Ingredients for watermelon sangria

Sangría is a traditional wine punch that originates from Spain. The classic version is red sangria, made with red wine and chopped fruit, and often orange juice or brandy. Spaniards also drink white sangria, a version made with white wine. This watermelon sangria is a spin on a white sangria that adds watermelon juice for a fruity spin. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Fruit: watermelon, green apple, and lime
  • Sugar
  • White wine
  • Brandy or Grand Marnier
  • Fresh mint
Watermelon sangria

How to make watermelon sangria (the Spanish way)

This watermelon sangria as a spin on the traditional Spanish way to make white sangria. The method is inspired by our favorite Spanish chef, Jose Andres. Chef Andres is from Spain and started many successful restaurants here in the US. The “Spanish” way to make sangria that Chef Jose recommends is this:

  • Macerate fruit for 20 minutes: Mix the sangria fruit with sugar and let it macerate or stand at room temperature and break down. This helps the fruit flavors permeate the wine even more.
  • Make the watermelon juice: Make watermelon juice in a blender.
  • Add liquids: Add white wine and brandy. Throw in some lime slices and mint.
  • Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours. This allows the flavors to meld and develop.
Watermelon sangria

Make ahead instructions

With this watermelon sangria, we don’t recommend making it more than 4 hours in advance. Why? Well, because the fruit is in the liquid, it starts to become soggy. The flavors also start to fade a bit. So, don’t plan to make this drink too far in advance! You can cut up the fruit and even make the watermelon juice beforehand. But don’t start the actual instructions until you’re no more than 4 hours away from serving time.

Don’t forget to eat the fruit!

Don’t let the fruit go to waste in this watermelon sangria! It’s nice to serve the fruit on skewers, so you can let your guests eat the remaining wine-soaked fruit after the meal. It’s a nice dessert or palate cleanser!

How to make watermelon sangria

Brandy vs Grand Marnier

Outside of the white wine in watermelon sangria, the other flavor is from brandy or Grand Marnier. Here are a few notes on the two types of liquor:

  • Brandy: Use whatever brandy you have on hand. Cognac is a fancy type of brandy if you have that available. You can also use Cognac for a Sidecar or French Connection.
  • Grand Marnier is a mix of brandy and orange liqueur: it gives it a little higher end vibe. You can also use it for a Cadillac Margarita.

More watermelon drinks

Love this vibrant pink summer fruit? There are lots of ways to use it. Here are some of top watermelon drinks to try:

Watermelon sangria

This watermelon sangria recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Watermelon sangria

Easy Watermelon Sangria


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Watermelon sangria has the best sweet flavor! A big pitcher made with this juicy fruit is perfect for summer entertaining.


Ingredients

  • 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon, divided
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 bottle dry white wine, chilled
  • 1/2 cup brandy or Grand Marnier
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, sliced into rounds

Instructions

  1. Chop the apple and watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped apples and 2 cups of the watermelon to the bottom of a large pitcher. Sprinkle them with sugar and stir gently. Let them stand for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  2. After 20 minutes, add the remaining 6 cups of watermelon to a blender and blend until juiced. Pour through a strainer into the pitcher. Add the the white wine and brandy, fresh mint and thinly sliced lime rounds. Stir and refrigerate for 1 hour, or as long as 4 hours. (Don’t go beyond 4 hours or the fruit texture starts to degrade.)
  3. Pour the watermelon sangria into ice-filled glasses. Add fruit to each glass, preferably on long skewers for easy snacking.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Chilled
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Watermelon sangria

More types of sangria to try

There are so many different types of sangria to try! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Rose Sangria Just a handful of ingredients and fruit make a light and fruity summer drink that everyone will be talking about.
  • Easy Peach Sangria Another white sangria, with a load of sweet fruit.
  • Frozen Sangria This icy version is wine-forward and just sweet enough, with a hint of citrus.
  • Apple Cider Sangria A fall-themed spin that pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

How to Pick a Watermelon That’s Juuust Ripe

Whether you’re munching on triangle-shaped slices straight from the fridge (or cooler) or blending up chunks for a refreshing slushy cocktail, watermelon is a summer classic.

Picking out just the right watermelon can be tricky since there aren’t many …

Whether you're munching on triangle-shaped slices straight from the fridge (or cooler) or blending up chunks for a refreshing slushy cocktail, watermelon is a summer classic.

Picking out just the right watermelon can be tricky since there aren't many external signifiers, and you can't just give it a squeeze to see if it's softened, like you would with other fruits. There are, however, a few things you can look out for and do to ensure you've got a melon that's ready to eat.

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Salted Mojito Watermelon Wedges.

The hottest days of the year are here and so are mojito watermelon wedges! Just in time!  I’m back with one more embarrassingly easy recipe for you before the 4th! I know we already discussed sheet pan s’mores, but if you haven’t soaked your watermelon wedges in mojito syrup yet, are you really living? No. […]

The post Salted Mojito Watermelon Wedges. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

The hottest days of the year are here and so are mojito watermelon wedges!

salted mojito watermelon wedges

Just in time! 

pouring mojito syrup on watermelon

I’m back with one more embarrassingly easy recipe for you before the 4th! I know we already discussed sheet pan s’mores, but if you haven’t soaked your watermelon wedges in mojito syrup yet, are you really living?

No. I think not.

And wait! Just and FYI that you don’t really NEED the rum for this recipe to be so refreshing and incredible. Leave it out if you don’t drink or want to make this for the kids. It’s still just as good because it’s loaded with fresh mint and lime! 

watermelon soaking in mojito syrup

Here’s how it goes down.

Slice your watermelon into triangles. Well, honestly? Slice the watermelon however you want! However is easiest for you. You could do cubes or even melon balls. I’m doing wedges because right now at this moment in my life I find them the cutest.

That is what 2020 has turned into… me deciding that watermelon wedges are cute. 

salted mojito watermelon wedges

You’re also going to make a quick mojito syrup. This is just water, lime juice, maybe rum, sugar, lime zest and fresh mint. All simmered together and then poured over the watermelon.

YES.

We’re going to soak the watermelon in the mojito syrup. Throw a sheet pan in the fridge and let the watermelon hang out in the syrup.

Honestly can’t even tell you right now how much I’d like to be a wedge of watermelon just relaxing on a platter of mojito syrup.

Sounds heavenly. 

I’ve seen people soak watermelon wedges in tequila before (I mean, OMG, yes please) so I figured the mojito flavor would be a huge winner. And it totally is!

These are SO good on a hot summer day. They are cold and fresh with hints of lime and mint. And easy! And cute. Of course. 

salted mojito watermelon wedges

Watermelon Mojito Wedges

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Watermelon Mojito Wedges

These mojito watermelon wedges are soaked in a fresh mint and lime syrup then sprinkled with flaked sea salt. They are so refreshing!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 to 16 wedges
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into wedges (12 to 16 wedges)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ¼ cup white rum, optional, leave out/replace with water to make kid friendly
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 big handful of fresh mint
  • 2 limes, zest freshly grated
  • flaked sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Cut the watermelon into wedges and place it on two baking sheets in a single layer.
  • Place the water, sugar, lime juice, rum, mint and the zest of 1 lime in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking so the sugar dissolves. Cook until just simmering then remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Pour the mixture evenly over the watermelon in the baking sheet. Move the watermelon wedges around so they are submerged in the syrup, then flip them.
  • Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. I like to flip the watermelon once while it’s in the fridge.
  • Remove the watermelon from the syrup and place it on a platter. Sprinkle on the remaining lime zest. Sprinkle on a bit of flaked salt and serve!
  • As a note, you can do this on an as-needed basis. Just use a few slices of watermelon and pour some of the syrup over top, storing the rest in the fridge until ready to use.

salted mojito watermelon wedges

Tastes like summmmmer.

The post Salted Mojito Watermelon Wedges. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.