Posts Tagged ‘refreshing’

For the first time in my life, I am on the West Coast of Canada, enjoying the casual Vancouver life. I’ve been indulging in delicious seafood, and it reminded me of one of my favourite seafood salads.

This salad is the very essence of fresh – the cool cucumber and green melon accents the crab meat perfectly.  The mayonnaise dressing is lightened with lemon and dill, making the seafood shine.  This is one of my favourite salads to enjoy as it’s simultaneously light and refreshing, while filling.

I can’t take credit for this salad – that goes to my mom a few decades ago who had the brilliant idea of substituting imitation crab meat for chicken in a Silver Palate recipe.  It’s been a family favourite ever since, often the star during a picnic lunch. The salad keeps well undressed for a few days in the fridge – so if it’s just me enjoying it, I’ll dress individual portions as I eat them to help it hold. To make it a meal, serve with a crusty roll and enjoy!

Neptune Salad

Neptune Salad


1 lb imitation crab meat, flake style (usually blend of Alaska polluck and king crab)

2 cups honeydew melon balls

2 cups cucumber balls with skin

4 green onions, chopped

2 cups washed green or red seedless grapes, halved

½ cup chopped fresh dill

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon (optional)

Coarsely ground fresh pepper and salt, to taste


In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, and seasoning until thoroughly mixed.

Shred the imitation crab meat into bite-size pieces and place into a large bowl. Add the melon and cucumber balls, grapes, green onions, and dill. Fold the mayonnaise mixture into the salad. Adjust seasoning to taste.  Best served cold.

Bon appetit!

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With last week’s heat wave in Toronto, I thought I should share a recipe I happily discovered in Belize. Sorry it’s a week late, but then again, it might not be too late. In Belize, people know how to deal with extreme temperatures – at least 45 by day, and maybe a lucky 35 by night, for two weeks non-stop while I was there.

No one has A/C. But they do take an afternoon siesta in a shady hammock. They also eat really, really spicy food, and drink this most amazingly refreshing beverage: watermelon juice. In that heat, I found I couldn’t even think. I stayed in the shade, in front of a fan if I was lucky, and I drank glasses of this wonderful beverage one after the other. Somehow, I adapted well, and I learned to appreciate the new layout of my day, from 5am till 9am, then from 4pm till 10pm. The rest? Laying down, having a rest.

Watermelon juice

(3-4 pint-sized servings)


-1/2 a large, ripe watermelon
-2-3 ice cubes per person
-sugar to taste (only if watermelon is not sweet enough)
-1 cup water
(optional: add the juice of one lemon and 2 Tbsp sugar)


Taste watermelon to ensure it is ripe enough. Cut it up into cubes, and remove any large seeds. Place the watermelon, ice, and water in a blender (I like to do it in 2 batches, with half the water, ice, and half the melon). Purée until smooth, and serve in a tall glass.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!



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Friday morning I woke up bright and early for Canada Day.  My friend Kel and I had decided to take Parliament Hill by a storm, hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince William and Kate (or should I say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?) and enjoy eclectic Canadian music.  The sun was shining brightly, the hill was packed with 300,000 eager Canadians, and we survived “polar princess pop” (Nunavut singer diva) before the royals appeared. To top it off, inspired by my recent trip to Alberta, I bought a fabulous Canada Day cowboy hat to complete my Canada Day outfit.

Kel and I decided to take a break before heading out for the evening fireworks.  Arriving home, I was parched.   A patch of my mother’s ruby rhubarb caught my eye, and before I knew it, I was craving a rhubarb drink.  My good friend Patrick had tantalized me last summer with the thought of rhubarb spritzers, but I had never tried the drink myself.

I decided to keep it simple for this first attempt, essentially making a rhubarb syrup to be lightened by sparkling water.  It was light, refreshing, and absolutely Canadian – everything I wanted for a Canada Day drink. Next time, I might even jazz it up with a little mint, orange juice, and/or gin!

For all the Canadians, happy belated Canada Day 🙂

Everything one could possibly need for a Canada Day lazy afternoon - a cold rhubarb drink, Canada Day paraphernalia, and a breezy porch.

Rhubarb Spritzer

(makes about 6 highball drinks)


4 cups chopped rhubarb

4 cups water

2/3 cup liquid honey (I used Alberta clover honey)

Sparkling water

Pinch of salt


Stew the rhubarb, water, and honey over medium heat uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and slightly reduced.  Strain the rhubarb syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl (the leftover rhubarb pulp is delicious over vanilla ice cream or yoghurt!).  Chill until cold.   Covered the syrup lasts upwards of a week.

In a highball, mix one-quarter cup of rhubarb syrup with sparkling water.  Add more syrup if you prefer a stronger rhubarb taste. Enjoy!

– Catherine

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