We’ve been using a lot of different herbs in our kitchen to boost the flavor, color and nutrients in meals. Although you may not be used to cooking much with herbs like parsley and mint – cilantro may be an herb you know and love. After all, in Mexican and Southwestern cooking, cilantro shows up a lot in dishes made with beans, corn, tomatoes and salsas. However, cilantro is also common in many other cuisines, including Thai, Moroccan, Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek dishes.
In addition to using cilantro to flavor guacamole and salsas, I like to use this fresh and lemony herb to brighten the flavors of beans and grains; as a colorful addition to soups; and in sauces and vinaigrette’s.
Here’s a simple vinaigrette that is delicious served with different types of vegetable, grain or bean salads. It’s also wonderful to drizzle on roasted or grilled vegetables or on fish or chicken. Watch video to learn how to make this delicious vinaigrette or click on the link below for the complete recipe.
Cilantro is sometimes referred to as coriander leaf in recipes. Coriander seed is the seed of the cilantro plant. It tastes a little like the leaves of the plant, and has a mild, fruity, flavor. Like most herbs and spices, the phytochemicals in coriander have powerful antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects in our bodies. Many traditional Mediterranean meals are filled with dishes that pop with the flavors of cilantro, coriander and lots of other herbs and spices – which is one of the main reasons why Mediterranean diets are so healthy!
Coriander seed is wonderful in dishes that also feature cilantro, so we are going to use it to make a lentil salad that is just bursting with flavor and nutrition.
Lentils come in a variety of sizes and colors, and range in flavor from mild and slightly sweet, like these red lentils, to very earthy, as in the brown variety. Lentils are a staple food for people all over the world for good reason; they are easy and economical to eat and grow and, like beans, are packed with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and other nutrients like potassium, iron and magnesium. To view demonstration of lentil salad, click on the video above or for the complete recipe click down below.
This is delicious, flavorful food that is so good for you. There is just no reason for healthy food to be bland or boring. Quite the opposite – healthy food can, and should, burst with flavor and make you want to do a little happy dance when you eat it! So I hope you enjoy these recipes, and explore on your own with different ways to incorporate more fresh herbs and spices in your meals. Until next time have some fun cooking in your kitchen!
We’ll see you soon!
Download the Cilantro Goes Well with These Foods: cilantro-goes-well-with-these-foods
Download the Orange-Cumin-Cilantro Vinaigrette Recipe:orange-cumin-cilantro-vinaigrette
Download the Lentil and Peppers Salad Recipe: lentil-and-peppers-salad
Download the Grilled Salsa Verde Recipe: grilled-salsa-verde