thoughts from a future registered dietitian

Cilantro

Cilantro

Hope everyone had an awesome Memorial Day! I love memorial day because it feels like the unofficial kick-off of summer. Usually there’s some family time, yard games and an attempt to grill out (weather dependent). The weather in Milwaukee yesterday was moody, but I’m just pretending it’s summer now that I’m on break. To celebrate this summertime feeling last night I threw an intimate fiesta-for-two (aka me and my boyfriend). And what’s a fiesta without cilantro – which happens to be the herb of this week!

Before I share what I discovered about cilantro, I want to review what you can expect from me on this blog. As a dietetic student, I’m required to focused on macronutrients, kcals, BMI, protein intake, etc in class. Although I’m happy to confirm I know how to properly calculate those numbers, I don’t advocate for using those figures to decide what to eat each and every meal (unless you’re on a specific prescribed diet, of course). Also, I am still a student and have lots to learn. This is simply my opportunity to share my findings with anyone else who’s interested in holistic healing and using more herbs + spices to enhance their meals! 🙂

Back to our focus for today – cilantro! Here’s why you should reach for this versatile herb the next time you’re making tacos (or anything, really!).

Sometimes called coriander, cilantro is technically the leafy part of the Coriandrum sativum plant. The coriander seeds have their own separate health benefits, so we’ll save that for another day. Cilantro not only adds a distinct flavor to meals, it also helps rid the body of heavy metals. Clinical evidence suggests that cilantro accelerates excretion of substances such as mercury, lead, and aluminum from body tissues. A natural detoxifier of sorts! Other research indicates additional effects might include improved digestion, antibacterial and antioxidant functions. To get your fill of cilantro, try my go-to lentil walnut taco recipe.

Lentil Walnut Taco Recipe
1 C. Lentils (cooked)
3/4 C. Walnuts
1 clove Garlic (minced)
1 1/2 t. Chili Powder
1 t. Cumin
1 t. Paprika
Sea Salt to taste
2 T. Chopped Cilantro
1 1/2 T. EVOO
Taco Shells
Avocado (optional)
Salsa (optional)

Directions:
Pulse lentils and walnuts in food processor (only 3-4 times will do the trick). Add garlic, seasonings and 1 T. cilantro. Mix with EVOO for desired texture. Warm over stove or in microwave. Place in shell and top with remaining cilantro, avocado and/or salsa.