FOOD - Carve a Despicable Me Minion out of...
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Jul 04, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

FOOD - Carve a Despicable Me Minion out of watermelon or enjoy a gluten-free almond flatbread with cashew cream

Compiled by Lisa Day

Despicable Me Minion
Have fun with your kids and make this cute minion character out of watermelon.
1 small-medium round seedless yellow watermelon (if you can’t find a yellow watermelon, use a normal red one and pretend he has a sunburn)
kitchen and paring knife
cutting board
green dry erase marker
channel knife and Exacto knife
Round circle cutter or small cup to use to make a circle

Wash the watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
On a cutting board, place the watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from the stem end, being careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind. This will provide a sturdy base.
Use the dry erase marker to form a lopsided circle around the watermelon, this will form the minions coveralls. Draw two arm holes.
Using a paring knife make a shallow cut.
Outline the skull template using the dry erase marker.
Use a channel knife to trim away the outline of the skull you made with the template. Once the outline is made, use a paring knife to trim away 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch space next to your outline, being careful to leave a few places, like the lower bones attached to the watermelon so the entire skull does not come completely away from the carving.
(If you do cut all the way around, use toothpicks to secure the skull back to the watermelon in several places).
Carefully use the Exacto knife to trim away extra green skin so that there is white trim showing all the way around your skull so it is more defined.
Decorate with a black licorice disk attached with a toothpick or straight pin, tuck in a piece from a bandana or a hoop earring and add flameless candles to light up your carving.
Place on a tray and add watermelon balls to serve.
~ Recipe courtesy of
Creamy barbecue potato salad with crispy red onions
This rich, creamy, hearty, and fresh potato salad screams summer. It can be served either warm or cold and is a great side to any mains. It is filling and a definite crowd pleaser, especially for any vegetarians.

1 each, sweet potato, yellow-fleshed and purple or red potato (each about 1/2 lb)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup 35 per cent whipping cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp each, chopped fresh parsley and thyme leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
Crispy red onions
1 red onion, peeled
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil, about
1 green onion, chopped
Heat oven to 400 F.
Place potatoes horizontally on cutting board and slice vertically into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush with 1 tbsp olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a single layer on non-stick baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes. Remove sweet potatoes to a plate. Return baking sheet (with remaining potato slices) to oven; continue baking for five minutes or until just tender.
Heat barbecue to medium-high heat. Brush potatoes with remaining olive oil. Grill on greased grill for three to four minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Cool.
Meanwhile, in a large cold bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form; stir in mayonnaise. In a small bowl, combine dill, mustard, lemon zest, sugar, parsley, thyme, cayenne, and garlic; fold into cream mixture. Stir in potatoes; toss gently to coat. Serve room temperature or refrigerate to chill.

Crispy red onions: Slice onion in half and cut into fine slices. In a bowl, toss onion with flour; shake off excess. In a large skillet, add enough oil to coat the entire skillet and heat on medium heat. Add onion and cook in batches until golden, adding more oil if necessary. Remove to paper towels.
On serving plates divide potato salad, top with crispy onions and green onion.
Cooking tip: For extra flavor, fibre and colour, leave the potato skins on. Just remember to wash, scrub and dry the potatoes.
~ Recipe courtesy of Chef Devan Rajkumar

Almond flatbread with cashew cream
There is no need to buy in to the myth that healthy food has to take hours to prepare and taste awful. It’s simply not true.

Almond flatbread
1 cup almonds, ground
1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
juice from 1 lime
4 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup water

Cashew cream
1/2 cup raw split cashews
1/4 cup water
1 banana
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cocoa powder

Heat oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl add the ground almonds, flour, baking soda, sea salt, vanilla, and maple syrup.
In a small bowl add the chia seeds and water. Let it sit for two minutes.
Add the chia mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Best to use your hands.
Pour batter onto a baking dish lined with parchment paper and spread evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes. Let it cool for one hour, and then cut into 12 squares.

Cashew cream
Soak the cashews for two hours prior to blending.
Add the cashews, water, maple syrup, banana and cocoa powder to a blender and blend until creamy.
Add the desired amount of cashew cream to flatbread squares. A great option is to add berries and/or granola.
~ Recipe created by Sandra Sampson of and courtesy of

Gruyère cheese and caramelized onion naan panini
Chef Hemant Bhagwani delivers a blended dish that combines the creamy, nutty and earthy flavours of Swiss Gruyère cheese paired with hints of cinnamon, cardamom and Thai chili.

Caramelized chili-onion jam
2 white onions, sliced
2 cardamom pods
1/4-inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes (or two Thai green chili, finely chopped)
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Pinch black pepper (optional)    

12 slices Gruyère cheese
4 Flat Oven Bakery plain naan, halved (two packages)
8 slices double smoked thick-cut bacon (optional)
2 beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced

Saute onions, cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaf in a non-stick pan with oil and butter until the onions are light brown in colour. Add chili flakes or green chili and sauté for another three minutes, then add brown sugar, salt and pepper and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool, then remove cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

Divide the Gruyère cheese evenly on four of the naan bread halves, with three slices on each. Spread the chili-onion jam on top of the cheese, then layer on bacon (if using) and tomato slices. Top with remaining naan halves to close sandwiches.
Cook sandwiches in a large non-stick pan or on a griddle until they are lightly browned on both sides. Finish by transferring to a panini grill and cooking until naan is crisp and golden, and cheese is hot and melted. Serve with spicy tomato ketchup or mint chutney.

Tip: This versatile recipe can easily be cut in half to make two sandwiches, or multiplied as needed to serve larger groups.

Tofu edamame falafel pita
Japanese flavours collide with the essence of Arabic cuisine in this blended dish from Chef Hemant Bhagwani, which combines tofu, edamame, hummus and falafel. Topped with tahini and wrapped in a delightful Kalamata olive pita, this dish is a flavour adventure the whole family will enjoy.

Makes 2 pita sandwiches
200 g (7 oz) firm tofu, pressed and drained
Pinch each salt and pepper
2 Flat Oven Bakery Kalamata olive soft pitas
6 tbsp (prepared hummus
4 large prepared falafel balls
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium-sized jalapeno, finely chopped
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
4 tbsp prepared tahini dip
2 tbsp mild barbecue sauce or hot Sriracha sauce

Cut tofu into one-inch cubes. In a non-stick pan, roast tofu with salt and pepper, until warm and light brown in colour. Set aside.
In a large non-stick pan, warm pitas on both sides then remove from heat. Spread half of the hummus on each pita, then top with warm falafel balls, flattening them slightly.

Top with tofu, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, edamame, tahini dip and barbecue or Sriracha sauce. Fold pita and serve.
~ Recipes courtesy of

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