The Naturopathic Kitchen: Cilantro 101

We live in a fast-paced world with the convenience of ready-made, processed meals. However, with that convenience, can come a hefty price – our health. Meal choices are not only determined by hunger, they can be influenced heavily with a small dose of awareness. Some people are hesitant to step in to the kitchen because they were never taught the art of healthy cooking. We agree, it can be intimidating starting out, and this blog is intended to take away a little of the fear of the unknown.  Through The Naturopathic Kitchen series, we intend to help educate you on easy ways to incorporate natural foods into your diet. Each week we will highlight a food or herb and its related health benefits. In addition, stay tuned for helpful hints and a tasty recipe for you test out. Today, let’s take a closer look at a popular herb used around the world – cilantro.

Cilantro 101

Whether it’s in a fresh salsa, Thai food or an Indian curry, chances are you have probably had cilantro and weren’t even aware of it. If you were to try it on its own; well, that is a different story. Cilantro is a robust herb with a bittersweet citrusy flavor. Not only does it offer flavor to a wide variety of dishes, it is also known for its high antioxidant properties and high mineral content.

Where does cilantro come from? Where can I find it?

Cilantro originated in the Mediterranean and Western Asian regions, though “Chinese parsley” can be found around the world in many windowsill herb gardens. The plant is formally known as coriandrum sativum. The leafy greens are referred to as cilantro and the seeds are called coriander, each offering a wealth of health benefits and different flavors.

How does cilantro help my health?

Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant and a great source of vitamins and fiber. It contains a flavonoid called quercetin that has demonstrated antioxidant properties.

Let’s try it out with a delicious and nutritious recipe!

 

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Cabbage Slaw

This recipe was prepared with cod as fresh fish was in limited supply. For a more robust flavor, substitute wild, (not farm raised) red snapper or Mahi Mahi. Not a fan of tortillas? Enjoy this entrée on its own or on a bed of leafy greens.

INGREDIENTSThe Naturopathic Kitchen: Cilantro 101

  • 1 large fillet of fresh (not farm-raised) cod
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 t chipotle chili powder
  • 1 t oregano
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 8 radishes, julienned
  • 3 scallions, julienned
  • 1 avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 2 1/2c shredded Napa cabbage
  • 4 non-GMO corn tortillas

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Cabbage - from The Naturopathic KitchenDIRECTIONS

In a small bowl combine garlic, salt, cilantro, chili powder, oregano, lime zest and olive oil. Place fish in an oven-safe pan and brush half of the garlic mixture on each side of the fillet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping the fillet half way through. Remove from oven and discard any skin. Flake the fish into bite size pieces using two forks. Toss fish with remaining half of the garlic mixture, radishes, scallions, avocado and cabbage. Serve in tortillas. *hot sauce optional

Not sure about this recipe but still want to incorporate the benefits of cilantro into your diet?

Cilantro pairs well with a variety of dishes, especially in Asian or Latin American cuisine. Try adding the leafy greens to your protein, soups or salads for extra flavor without the added sodium.