Best Laid Plans

We had another Romanian recipe planned for today. Only it didn’t turn out very well. In fact, it didn’t turn out at all. You know how that goes sometimes, you have everything all laid out – your plans for the day, the recipe, the ingredients and then somehow time sneaks up on you, you’re in a rush, the recipe goes completely haywire and all you have are some prep pictures and no finished result. This is when I take a deep breath and am reminded of that old saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”

But that’s life isn’t it…it’s gunna throw stuff at us. It’s full of uncertainty, and sometimes it’s okay to just throw your hands-up and move on. Now even though we pushed this recipe aside for today, we do plan on trying it again. You could say that it’s become a personal challenge of sorts. I will figure this one out! Until then, we thought we’d share this simple Watermelon-Ginger Salad that we whipped up to go with Mr. N’s birthday meal a few weeks ago. It’s simple, it’s fresh, is a great summer side, and most importantly it’s no fail!

The recipe came about because I knew we needed a side for the sesame chicken. I wanted it to represent Asian flavors and I had a ton of produce sitting in the fridge that needed to be used. So I started with the biggest thing in the fridge – the watermelon. I cubed the melon from about four slices.

Then I turned to the greens. We had a green tomato left over from our North Carolina adventure, some cilantro, scallions and an English cucumber. I sliced and chopped each of these and tossed them in with the watermelon cubes.

Finally I gathered some seasonings and dressings including fresh, minced ginger, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and a bit of sugar.

I tossed everything together in a bowl and seasoned it with a bit of sea salt.

Next I threw it in the refrigerator to chill and marinate for about an hour.

So all told, if I didn’t have to shoot the pics, this would have taken probably about 10 to 15 minutes. Basically all you have to do is chop, toss and chill. Now came the interesting part…

You see Mike hates cucumbers (I’m not sure how anyone can hate a cucumber…dislike, sure. But hate?), and Mr. N vehemently hates watermelon. In fact, the other day he told me that watermelon is worse than beets. Now honestly if he were forced to choose which he would rather eat, my money is still on the watermelon. He really hates beets.

So how did it go over? Well, Miss A wasn’t in a particularly hungry mood on this evening, but she said she liked it and gave it 3 spoons. I thought it was fresh, went well with the meal and would likely be good with some pita or tortilla chips too. (Or maybe wonton crisps!) It also got 3 spoons from me.

As for the boys, well Mike ate it and said that this wasn’t a bad way to eat cucumber at all. He thought it was pretty good and ended up giving the salad 3 spoons. Mr. N also didn’t gag or protest. He ate a bit of his salad and said that the watermelon didn’t taste so bad. He also never realized there was tomato in there (which he also usually complains about)! He didn’t enjoy the salad as much as the rest of us, but he did find it acceptable enough to not complain, making it a 2 spoon dish for him.

So if you find yourself, as I often do, unable to plan much of anything with the crazy schedule of summer…perhaps it’s time to toss all plans aside and enjoy the ride. And if you don’t feel like cooking…this dish hardly counts as such. Now I promise, I will figure this other recipe out before we’re done with Romania! Have a great rest of the weekend.

Print this recipe: Watermelon-Ginger Salad

34 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    So far I haven’t made any salad using water melon. This good looking salad will be definitely tried in my house!


  2. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    As a busy working mom and blogger, it’s inevitable that the best laid plans will venture off the path now and again Kristy. The salad looks nice and refreshing — perfect for summer. Here’s hoping things are back on track next time. (I’m off track myself after the holiday weekend….several days behind in my commenting!)


  3. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    I’m so impressed with the birthday dinner you put together for Mr N. The Asian chicken was inspiring enough – and now this lovely side! I love all of the refreshing and tasty (in my view ;-)) ingredients in this salad… and the ginger is just gorgeous here! I can completely relate to the unravelling of plans and time getting ahead of you… occupational hazards of a blogger/mom/wife/worker/sister/daughter…. ;-).


  4. Just A Smidgen says:

    Ahhh yes, the best laid plans indeed. I wonder if this is an “end of the school year” malaise that is going around? I think the antidote would be this wonderful and refreshing salad.. it sounds like a winner for the summer months! xo


  5. Three Well Beings says:

    This sounds really wonderful, Kristy. I could eat this as a main dish, quite frankly. If I added in a little feta or a few garbanzos…it would be a complete dish! I need recipes like that that can be pulled together quickly! Sorry your original dish didn’t come out, as I know that represents a big loss of time, but it’s nice to see your flexibility in action! Debra


  6. Courtney says:

    You know I love an honest blogger – and so I love the start of this post (though I do wish it’d gone better for you). I have no doubt, though, that next time you will totally rock the dish. And this substitute salad looks SO refreshing and easy. πŸ™‚


  7. sallybr says:

    John said it all, next time all the hard work will be done, you snap a photo of the finished dish, and voila’! Post ready!

    I loved the salad, though – cucumbers are great, pickled, raw, sliced thin, sliced thick, diced, grated, just give them to me! πŸ˜‰


  8. Eva Taylor says:

    I love this dish, Kristy! It has the right flavour combo for my taste! Cucumber AND watermelon! We’re in Wisconsin right now and there is cucumber and watermelon in the fridge! Thanks for the idea!


  9. ChgoJohn says:

    This has happened to us all. Look on the bright side, Kristy. When you do make it again, you won’t jave to worry about taking any more prep pictures. You can actually assemble the dish like we all used to do before we became bloggers. Imagine that!


  10. Vi says:

    This salad looks wonderful! I definitely want to try it. Curious though, who could hate watermelon? This is coming from someone who also loves beets haha.


  11. Charles says:

    Reminds me of a delicious salsa – I can’t believe Mr. N hates watermelon though… for shame. It’s so good, and I agree – I totally reckon he’d choose watermelon over beets any day, haha! Poor old beets. They don’t seem to get much love in your house, at least not from you or him πŸ™‚

    Love the look of the salad – and I love cucumber, tomato, watermelon… I’d be all over this πŸ™‚


  12. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Oh you should see how many recipes I have prep pictures and no final pictures! and I know how it feels!
    I love watermelon but I still can’t see it in a salad, that being said, I really trust your taste in recipes and I will give this a try very soon and I’ll let you know how it goes


  13. Dawn says:

    I completely understand what you are saying about time sneaking up on you…my husband doesn’t like cucumbers either, but I can’t get enough of them! This salad looks delicious, especially on a really hot day (which we have not experienced this year yet…)


  14. A_Boleyn says:

    Green leafy salads are about as much as I can handle and tomatoes and cucumbers (except as matchsticks in sushi, pickles are yucky too) are a big no-no, so these types of dishes don’t usually get a lot of response from me except to praise the chef for the healthy aspects and the colour of the result. πŸ™‚

    I’m very curious as to which Romanian dish failed for you. I hope I can wait til next week.

    The only Romanian dish I have made recently is some mitiei (skinless Romanian sausages) on the bbq and I didn’t even season the ground meat but bought it from the city market. They refuse to reveal the seasoning mixture (they’re cruel that way) so I have to keep coming back for my fix several times a year.


    • Charles says:

      lol πŸ˜€ How can you hate cucumbers though? They have like zero taste… they’re just like eating crunchy water. Does that mean you hate tzatziki too? That stuff’s amazing!


      • ChefDad says:

        Tzatziki has exactly one purpose, which it is essential for: balancing raw onions on gyros. No other reason than that, so many better sauces to pick from.


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