Watermelon Salad with Mint Leaves

Today I am re-posting one of my first posts ever….. Why I love Paula Deen.   I am thinking of her because she is in the news this week even more than ever.  She was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.  As with anyone who is in the “limelight” there are always lovers and there are haters.  I happen to be a Paula Deen lover.

Do I love all her recipes? Of course not!  For me, it was about so much more. I love Paula and her story.  It is hard for me not to give complete respect to a woman who has risen above the odds like she did. I respect Paula for her vision and the fact that her boys were always at the center of her drive.  She inspired many of us to spend more time Around the Family Table.

There is no Sugar Coating the fact that many of her recipes were not  “ahem”…Healthy.  But there were many that were healthy as in this Recipe that Paula wanted to serve to the President.

Reality is that we all have choices to make every day.  I hope that Paula inspires us to make better choices and live healthier lives.

Here is my original Post:

Paula has always been an inspiration to me…. When most Celebrity Chefs are asked what they would cook for the White House, it goes something like this:

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, escargot. Blah, blah, blah, blah, truffle oil. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah foie gras….Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah Blanquette de Veau….blah, blah, blah, blah!

When I saw your response in Parade Magazine, all I could think is…. This is why I love her so!   No blah, blah, blah,….just straight up Good Home Cooking!

Who else has the courage to lick their fingers as they are cooking on Food Network?  Your love and passion for what you do comes through with every recipe!  Every home cook knows that it’s impossible to cook a meal without a little taste.  How else are we supposed to know if  it’s good?

“I know the president loves hot wings,” Paula said, “so I would do some with pepper-jelly glaze, watermelon salad to cut the heat, and buttered french toast.”  And for dessert? “Lemon meringue pie!”

Not only are you living proof that the American Dream does exist, you’re living proof that with love for our families and lots of hard work, we will all achieve our dreams!

One of the best days for this foodie was the day that out of 1000’s of followers on Twitter, you decided to follow ME!

Thank you for the inspiration to follow my Dreams!

I love your watermelon salad recipe…. it’s so refreshing and so easy:


Watermelon Salad with Mint Leaves

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

6 servings


  • 1 (5-pound) watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs


Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.

In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.

To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.





  1. says

    She does have quite an inspiring story. I always considered her recipes to be a mix of comfort food and food porn. So long as you can enjoy her personality and the show for what it is, entertainment, I don’t see the big deal. No one should be surprised what she cooks in unhealthy. Moderation is key, and if you cook her recipe once in awhile, no harm in that. I wish her continued success and luck.

  2. says

    Well written! I agree with- the above comments – everything in moderation. Paula Deen is a brand – did she ever tote that all her recipes were the healthiest? Correct me if I am wrong – but I doubt it. If it tastes good eat it! There’s been a lot of critical press about her but there are a lot of other chefs out there that make unhealthy things – I make healthy dishes for a living but every once in a while I love having chip wagon fries (chips) too! I’d be lying if I said I ate healthy 100% of the time. A lot of Paula Deen’s dishes are unhealthy but there are others that are healthy too – pick and choose people – choice are just that choices – no one says make all the bad ones – the haters out there need to take some responsibility for themselves and realize that just because a double cream pie is posted – doesn’t mean its good for you – sometimes – food is just plain good! I heart Paula Deen :)

  3. says

    I admire Paula Deen’s story, and yes, most of her recipes are super unhealthy. It’s no surprise that she has health problems (remember Paul Prudomme???), but unfortunately many home cooks in the U.S. do not care about eating healthy. I just wish Deen came forward with her health problems, instead of waiting years to talk about it. Now, how long will it take before Ina announces her health problems?!

  4. says

    I adore Paula. So sorry to hear she has Diabetes, but if she loses weight, she will probably lose the disease. She’s always been the one Food Network ‘cook’ (not chef) who seems real to me. I do love this watermelon salad recipe. We vary it up a bit and it’s great all summer.

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