I love cilantro. The first time I remember eating and recognizing it as a new flavor for me was when my cousin made spring rolls as an appetizer for a holiday dinner. The cilantro was the flavor that really stood out to me and I immediately fell in love. The word I would use to describe it is "fresh." I only recently found out that not everyone likes cilantro, it can taste "soapy" to them. That's too bad. I also recently found out how good it is for you! It is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals. It is so low in calories, yet packs as many phyto-nutrients and more calorie-dense foods like nuts. Step aside spinach, you have met your match! Even better, don't let the spinach step aside, just add cilantro to your spinach salad!
Another green ingredient that I love is avocados. Did you know avocados are fruits? They grow on trees. Contrary to other fruits, they are not sweet. They are very mild and creamy. They are also different from your typical fruits because of their nutritional profile. They have a lot of the "good fat," the monounsaturated fat, that can help reduce cholesterol and help you feel full if you are watching your weight. They also have cancer-fighting compounds, potassium and folate. Another nutritional powerhouse!
There are many different ways to use avocados. Slice and add to your sandwiches. Make guacamole. Add to salads. Incidentally, avocados help increase lycopene absorption, which makes it a perfect accompaniment to tomatoes. Thus, the ingredients to my salad! I find the best way to cut these creamy green fruits is to slice them in half lengthwise, remove the pit, then "score" the inside, cutting just until you hit the skin. Then just scoop it out with a spoon. You can either dice or slice using this technique. Very easy!
So now that we've talked about these amazingly delicious and healthy ingredients, let's make something with them! Here is my recipe for a refreshing summer salad, perfect to serve with a spicy entree.
Corn Avocado Salad with Lime Dressing
(This is not a low-FODMAP recipe)
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup water
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 large tomato, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a medium saucepan, combine the frozen corn and water, season with salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer about 7 minutes, until corn is tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, Dijon, salt and pepper. Let the garlic hang out in the dressing until ready to use.
- After the corn is cooled, toss together the corn, tomato, avocado, green onions and cilantro. Pour in dressing and toss again. Chill until ready to serve.