Spicy and sweet

Yesterday I was browsing the internet searching for a new recipe to eat for lunch. In the basis it is not hard to eat for the whole30 but I like to mix things up and try out new stuff too. So I was looking on the website of Michelle Tam from the fabulous site of Nomnompaleo. (If you don’t know her, time to have a peak)

Spicy watermelon salad

Watermelon salad with a kick

Of course I’ve had or made a watermelon salad before. I love eating it with a sprinkling of feta on top but never did I have a watermelon salad with spicy pumpkin seeds. So when I found the recipe on Michelle’s site I just had to try it. I knew I had a watermelon lying around still and so lunch was made in a heart beat.

Roasted pumpkin seeds (or pepitas)

What makes this salad special is the delicious roasted pumpkin seeds. They’re quite spicy but sooo good! Do make sure you sprinkle them on at the last minute because the moisture in the salad will make them soggy if you do it too early.

Spicy watermelon salad

Spicy watermelon salad

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Spicy pumpkin seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds or pepita’s
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1 medium lime

For the watermelon salad

  • 1/4 of a watermelon cleaned and cubed. Seedless is best here.
  • 1/4 cucumber in quarters
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium limes finely grated zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C (325˚F) Mix the pepita’s in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne and lime juice, Mix it well.
  • Take a baking tray and line with baking paper. Spread the pepitas out in a single layer and toast for 12 to 15 minutes in the oven.
  • Let them cool slightly while you make the rest of the salad. You need only a bit for this recipe so keep the rest to nibble on or spread over other dishes. I used them that same night on a poke bowl with chicken.
  • Combine the watermelon cubes, cucumber, olive oil, chili, salt, lime zest and juice in a bit bowl and mix it all up. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves and toasted pepitas. Serve immediately!


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist