AVOCADO, GREEN PEPPER AND TOMATO SALAD, from Martha Stewart
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 small garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 firm, ripe avocado, halved and pitted
1/2 bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and cayenne. Season with salt.
2. Scoop out flesh from avocado halves, reserving shells, and chop. Transfer to a bowl and add bell pepper, tomatoes, scallion, and chopped cilantro.
3. Drizzle with dressing and season with salt. Gently stir to combine. Spoon mixture into reserved shells. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves and serve immediately.
Per serving: 424 calories, 34.63 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 31.25 g carbohydrates, 6.6 g protein, 16.36 g fiber
EASY SPINACH AND PEPPER SALAD, from Twopeasandtheirpod.com
Red onion, sliced
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, if desired
Add fresh spinach to a salad bowl or plate. Top spinach with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, and feta cheese. Toss. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top of the spinach salad. Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Serve.
SUMMER PEPPER SALAD, from All Recipes
2 peppers, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large bowl, mix the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, feta cheese, and olive oil. Chill at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
Most people either love or hate cilantro. Scientists have found that the haters often possess a specific gene that it is associated with smell and taste—I’m pretty sure I have that gene. Usually, when a recipe (like the tagine below), calls for cilantro, I automatically substitute parsley. But here are some ways to use this strong-flavored herb. It’s packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants, so if you like it, you’ll benefit by using it often. ‘
Ideas from the Kripalu blog (http://kripalu.org/blog/thrive/2012/04/06/cilantro-10-ways-to-use-the-superfood-2/)
- Add cilantro into a stir-fry, toward the end of cooking to maintain the fresh flavor and oils that can stimulate digestion and minimize gastric distress.
- Chop and toss into some of the fresh herb into guacamole.
- Dab it. Essential oil of cilantro can be used topically to minimize skin inflammation. To use, add a small amount (a couple of drops) to your favorite cold sesame oil or almond oil for a light, soothing massage.
- Throw a handful into a smoothie. The oils in cilantro have powerful antimicrobial benefits. Add in its antioxidant profile, and cilantro is a detoxification superfood.
- Stew a coconut curry. There’s nothing like a warming, ginger-cilantro curry to nourish and soothe.
- Chop it like salad and eat a whole bunch! John Bagnulo recommends eating cilantro in higher amounts (tasty with chopped peanuts, mango, and crisp green lettuce) to boost gastrointestinal processes.
- Season your dishes. Cilantro Mint Chutney (below) is a staple in the Kripalu Dining Hall and goes well with many dishes, such as rice biryani, mixed vegetables, or quinoa and beans. See recipe below.
- Finish sesame noodles with fresh, chopped peanuts and cilantro.
- Garnish. A friend recently taught me to cook Brussels sprouts by roasting them in the oven for ten minutes, then searing them in a pan at a high heat to lightly blacken, then adding a dash of soy sauce, garlic, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. This is a show stopper! I served these for Thanksgiving and everyone fought for the last of the sprouts.
- Add cilantro to a fresh-pressed juice for a cooling effect
CILANTRO MINT CHUTNEY
Makes 1½ cups.
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
¼ cup mint, chopped
3 shoots green onion
¼ teaspoon jalapeno or more (to taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Make sure to rinse your cilantro well before chopping. Then combine everything in a food processor and pulse to combine.
SPICY CILANTRO-PEANUT SLAW
1/2 large head green cabbage, very finely chopped
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (use at least 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or more)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 T agave nectar, honey, sugar, Splenda, or Stevia in the Raw granulated (Use Stevia or Splenda for Phase One version)
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce (or less, or this can be left out for a less spicy version)
1/4 cup canola or peanut oil
Cut cabbage head in half and save half for another salad. Remove core from the half you’re using, then cut cabbage into very thin slices (less than 1/4 inch) and turn cutting board the other direction and cut again to chop into very small pieces. Thinly slice green onions, chop cilantro, and chop peanuts.
In a bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together rice vinegar, sweetener of your choice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha sauce if using. Use a whisk to mix in oil until dressing is well-combined.
In large plastic or glass bowl, gently combine chopped cabbage, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro. Add dressing a little at a time, until salad seems as wet as you’d like it. (You may not need all the dressing.) Add chopped peanuts, and stir a few times until peanuts are mixed in. Taste salad for seasoning, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired. Serve immediately.
½ cup sour cream
¾ cups chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp. lime juice (or lemon juice)
¼ tsp salt
Mix all ingredients; serve over potatoes, as salad dressing, or with salmon or other fish.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN TAGINE WITH TOMATOES AND HONEY
By Christine Benlafquih, About.com Guide
Cinnamon and honey are surprisingly delicious additions to this Moroccan tagine of chicken and tomatoes. The chicken is stewed until tender with lots of tomatoes, which reduce to a thick, sweet puree. A garnish of toasted sesame seeds and fried almonds add nutty contrast.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
1 chicken, whole or cut into pieces
6 or 7 tomatoes (approx. 3 lb.)
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, grated
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
small handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (golden unhulled if possible)
handful of toasted almonds
Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes. Place them in a heavy, wide pot along with the butter, grated onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Stir to mix, then add the chicken.
Cover and bring the chicken to a rapid simmer over medium heat. (Do not add water.) Continue cooking, covered, for about an hour or until the chicken is very tender. Turn the chicken occasionally while it cooks.
When the chicken is tender, carefully transfer it to a plate. Add the honey and ground cinnamon to the pot, and reduce the tomatoes to a thick, sweet puree. Stir frequently and adjust the heat to prevent the sauce from burning.
Return the chicken to the pot to reheat gently for five to ten minutes, turning the meat once or twice. Arrange the chicken on a platter and cover with the sauce. Garnish with the sesame seeds and fried almonds, and serve.
The currants in our fruit share are full of antioxidants and Vitamin C and they add a bright, tart zing wherever they’re used.. Here are some ways to use them:
CURRANT DRESSING: Simmer 1 cup currants with 2 tablespoons sugar or honey for about 5 minutes. Add lemon, ginger, allspice, or cinnamon to taste. Serve with meat, poultry, or fish. It’s also great, cooled, over ice cream.
CURRANTS AND GREENS: Put about 1/4 cup of currents in food processor with 2 tsp olive oil, 2 sprigs chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste. Puree; add sugar or honey until it’s as sweet as you like it. Serve over greens (such as sautéed chard or spinach); sprinkle with toasted almonds and crumbled blue, feta, or goat cheese.
PARFAIT: Layer currants with granola and yogurt. If it’s too tart for you, mix the currants with sugar or honey before you layer. Also nice with a layer of blueberries or strawberries. .
COOL CUCUMBER-CURRANT SOUP
1 ½ cups homemade or canned chicken or vegetable broth
4 green onions, sliced
2 cups chopped, seeded cucumbers
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 8-ounce container plain yogurt
1 cup currents, removed from stems and rinsed
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dill sprigs for garnish
Simmer broth and green onions for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly, then place in blender, with cucumber (save some for the end), dill. Puree until smooth, then add yogurt, currants, and honey and pulse a few times—yogurt should be combined, but currants just chopped roughly again. Taste and add salt and pepper. Chill, garnish with dill and reserved chopped cucumber; float a few currants on top.
FRUIT SALAD, FRUIT SHAKES, SMOOTHIES, AND ICE POPS: Add a few currants to salads or blend into shakes, and smoothies—increase the sugar in the dressing or shake. Freeze some of the shake or smoothie mixture in plastic ice-pop makers—leave a few whole currants.
BLUEBERRY/CURRANT SALSA: In a food processor, place ½ cup currants, ½ cup blueberries, 1 tbs sugar or honey, 1 tsp. chopped garlic or garlicscape, 1 tsp. minced ginger, 1 tbs of your favorite flavoring—vanilla, cognac, sherry, liquer. Pulse a few times, just until chopped roughly. If desired, add a tablespoon of finely chopped toasted nuts (almonds or pecans). Serve with greens, with strips of roasted chicken, with fish, or as a dip.
CURRANT-CRANBERRY SAUCE: Freeze about ½ cup of currents; remove stems, rinse, pack in a ziplock bag and tuck them into the freezer. Take them out on Thanksgiving and add them to your cranberry sauce—they add an extra layer of flavor and a reminder of summer.
RED CURRANT MUFFINS
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red currants
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture just until blended. Fold in currants.
2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.