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Posts Tagged ‘cilantro’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

We all love to eat delicious summer foods when the weather takes a turn for the warmer. Picnics become more frequent, drinking cold fruity drinks on a daily basis becomes normal, and we’re always looking for some new food to spice up our lives. Well folks, I think I’ve found it.

Forget your store-bought salsas. Although Santa Barbara brand salsa is quite good (and my favorite store-bought brand), it can’t live up to the recipe I’ve just stumbled upon. Here’s the best home-made recipe for mango salsa I’ve ever tasted…

Ingredients:

  • 2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or however more you want to add to make it more spicy)

Add it all together, and you’ve got mango salsa! It is very important that you use fresh ingredients in this. It makes for a much better taste. While I admit that I did use a can of pineapple tidbits, everything else was fresh and the cilantro was from my garden. This salsa is great because it offers so many flavors…you bite into it and at first get the mango, then pineapple, then a burst of ginger, onion, and cilantro, and it leaves you with a spicy taste in your mouth.

Here’s a bit of what I was just munching on. It tastes great on a blue tortilla chip!

Oh, but one more thing…if you think you need to double the recipe to get enough to last you, you don’t! That’s what I did and now I have enough to feed a small army. Who wants some??

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Now that warmer weather is finally starting to show itself, you may be thinking that you might want to spend more time outside. Perhaps the spring season invites you to go for a jog or a walk, all around good exercise techniques.

With your mind on exercising, you should also be thinking about healthier foods to start eating, if you haven’t been doing so already. Chicken can provide an excellent source of healthy vitamins and minerals for your body, as well as vegetables that you may way to cook with it. For my next recipe, I give you spicy mexican skillet chicken.

This recipe is simple and it fills you up without letting your exercise and healthy eating go by the wayside.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on your spicy preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn (if you don’t have corn, don’t sweat it. I used bell peppers in mine.)
  • 1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa
  • chopped fresh cilantro, if desired (HIGHLY recommended)
  • red chile slices, if desired (once again, depending on your spicy preference)

Step 1: Remove fat from chicken. Mix chili powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of chicken breast halves.

Step 2: Heat oil in 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Step 3: Stir in beans, corn and salsa. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until veggies are hot. Sprinkle with cilantro and chile slices.

It’s worth it to go the extra step and add the cilantro to the top. This herb really makes the dish. Also, consider using a fruit based salsa for this dish. I used chunky mango peach salsa and the flavors really added a little something extra to the overall taste. This makes 4 servings.

Nutrition info (per serving): 290 calories, 8g fat, 70mg cholesterol, 550mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 32g protein.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Does this Southwest Black Bean Salad look great? Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Does this Southwest Black Bean Salad look great? Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Scanning my cookbooks for something tasty I could make in abundance and take for lunch, I came across a recipe for this Southwest Black Bean Salad. It comes from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook and boy, is it zesty and delicious.

It calls for one jalapeno pepper. I used one that I grew in my container garden. (Apartments leave little space for real gardens.) It was definitely zippy, but if you are a real fan of spicy things, I would recommend using two jalapenos. That way, you’ll get a little more bang in your salad.

Ingredients:

  • One 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, then toss. Let stand, covered, until the flavors are blended, at least 1 hour.

Step 2: There is no step 2. It’s that easy!

This recipe would go great at a bbq or similar function. You’ll have all the guests on your invite list asking you for more when it disappears! In that case, of course, you might want to double the ingredients.

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