The first time I had cilantro, it was in guacamole, and I loved it immediately! I couldn’t wait to start looking for more recipes to use it in. Yet, when I started talking to others about cilantro to my astonishment, some people just couldn’t stand it! “It taste like soap!” They said. Apparently, cilantro is a very controversial herb.
Well, as a fan of cilantro, who doesn’t think it taste like soap, I decided to plant some in my small container garden this year. I am very new to the whole gardening thing, so I bought starter plants. I put them in a week ago and they are already doing great! If all goes well I hope to let the flowers go to seed, and will try planting my own. Wish me luck! I am also growing basil, strawberries, bell peppers, and a tomato plant.
Fresh herbs are fantastic in salads. I essentially live on salads during the summer. I make one, eat it for lunch for a few days, then make another, eat it for lunch for a few days, and the cycle continues. Now, I’m not talking about your lettuce, carrots, ranch dressing kind of salad (although I like those too!). I am referring to salads that include some type of whole grain (pasta, rice, etc.), lots of veggies, and amazing dressings or vinaigrettes. Occasionally I just make them with veggies! Recently, I came across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs. It was perfect, it was a great excuse to use some of my cilantro.
I made a couple minor changes/additions. I pressed my garlic instead of smashing it, added extra tomato, used 1/2 of a seeded jalapeno instead of green chiles and at the recommendation of the author, added avocado. In my opinion, the avocado made the dish! With the near 90 degree days we have been having lately, this was such a great light lunch! I highly recommend you try it!
Nutritional Benefits to this Salad:
Whole Grains! Brown rice provides extra fiber and a little more protein vs the enriched white rice, 1/2 cup brown rice = 1 serving
Low Sodium! Making your own vinaigrette allows you to control the amount of salt added. Cilantro, lime and cumin give it great flavor!
Protein! Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are an excellent source of fiber and protein
Vitamins and Minerals! Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A and C and are a great source of potassium. Avocado’s contain Vitamin E, C, folate, iron and potassium.
Healthy Fats! Avocado’s are low in saturated fats, and high in the recommended mono- and poly- unsaturated fats
Fiber! The major ingredients in this salad are all a good source of fiber!