Tomato and Watermelon Salad | BeLiteWeight | Weight Loss ServicesOne of the challenges for any weight loss surgery patient is finding healthy alternatives to eat at picnics, potlucks & camping, especially on holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Last Sunday, JoAnne and Jamie made this salad for a luncheon. We found it easy to eat and very tasty, which is not always an easy feat after having Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass surgery, some Lap Band patients struggle with eating traditional lettuce based salads. Instead of eating the mayo laden potato or macaroni salads so common at BBQ's why not try this alternative? (It's also probably safer than having an unrefrigerated mayo based dish anyway.)

The recipe is from a cookbook authored by restaurantur, Zov Karamardian, from Tustin, California and we highly recommend BOTH of her cookbooks because we find the recipes easy to follow & prepare, and are delicious!  This recipe came from her newest book: Simply Zov – Rustic classics with a Mediterranean twist. (We forgot to put the Feta cheese on our version but it would be good with it also.) Give it a try… We think you'll like it just as much as we do!

Recipe from Simply Zov, Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist by Zov Karamardian Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese Servings: serves 6 as a sidePrep Time: 15


Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salad 1 small cucumber, peeled 1/2 small red onion 3 heirloom tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cut into bite-size chunks 3 1/2 cups peeled seeded bite-size watermelon chunks 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size chunks 7 ounces French feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note) 1 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced


MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk the vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well. Set aside. MAKE THE SALAD: Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut the cucumber halves crosswise into thin half-moon slices. Using a mandoline, cut the onion into 1-inch-long paper-thin slices. Toss the sliced cucumber, onion, tomatoes, watermelon, bell pepper, cheese and mint in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Serve immediately. Do-Ahead Tip: The vinaigrette can be made up to 1 week ahead. Store it in a tightly-sealed jar and refrigerate. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature until the olive oil liquefies, about 20 minutes, before shaking to blend. Cooks Note: Feta is traditionally a Greek sheep’s milk cheese, but I prefer the French variety for its mid and creamy taste. Always store tomatoes at room temperature; place them in a decorative basket in your kitchen.  Refrigeration can make them pulpy and dull their flavor.  Do not cut or slice the tomatoes too far ahead of time or they will oxidize and turn acidic.