Quick and Healthy… Fiesta Salad!

I am back to blogging and summer has begun! If you living in New England it has been a hot one! When the weather is smoldering I turn to quick and cool salads, like my Summer Fiesta Salad. This salad can be for my chicken lovers or my vegetarians and features on of my favorite herbs.

dphoto 4

Detox diets  have been all the rage lately. Although I am not sure how much a believe in detoxing, (my opinion and future post to come, as I am trying one now). I do believe food is our best medicine! This recipe features one of my favorite herbs, cilantroThis herb is very popular in detox diet world because it is thought to be effective for toxic metal cleansing. Cilantro is a great source of fiber, antioxidants and has been shown to lower that bad cholesterol – LDL. The herb gives any dishes a burst of fresh and light citrus flavor. Caution to cilantro newbeis, if you taste it for the first time and you think “Kerri you are nuts, this taste like soap”. You are a small percentage of the population who is a cilantrophobe, likely genetically predisposed to not like the taste of cilantro. Otherwise this is a great summer herb to add to salsas, fish tacos, and guacamole.

Summer time is a great time to incorporate herbs, whether used by the pinch or by the bunch, fresh herbs pull a recipe together by infusing the dish with freshness and flavor.

Summer Fiesta Salad

cphoto 1Ingredients: 1 -12 oz can black beans rinsed and drained; 1/2 medium red onion chopped; 1/2 English cucumber chopped; 1 red pepper chopped; 1/2 container of cherry tomatoes; bunch of cilantro (1.5 cups chopped); 2 tbsp olive oil; favorite dried herb rub-  Chef Paul Six Spice Magic Season Blend ; 3 chicken breast (to keep vegetarian skip this ingredient); juice from 1 lime; favorite salsa – Mrs. Renfro’s Peach Salsa; salad greens

Servings: 6, 1.5 cup servings

Step 1: if using chicken- pre heat the oven at 350 degrees. Rub chicken breast with olive oil and 2-3 tbsp of Chef Paul Six Spice Magic Season Blend. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If vegetarian skip this step. cphoto 2

Step 2: Chop red onion, cucumber, and red pepper. My favorite tool to use for this is an inexpensive mandolin I bought at Homegoods for $12.00. cphoto 3

Step 3: Cut red cherry tomatoes in 1/2 and add black beans to the vegetable mixture.

Step 4: Chop bunch of cilantro add to mixture. Add the fresh squeezed lime juice. If you want to keep this dish vegetarian, you can stop here. Serve over your favorite greens and add 2 tbsp of favorite salsa.   ephoto 1

Step 5: Allow chicken breast to sit and cool for 15 minutes. Dice into small chunks and add to vegetable mixture. ephoto 1 (3)

Step 6: Serve over favorite greens and add 2 tbsp Mrs. Renfro’s Peach Salsa. Enjoy!photo 3

My challenge for you is to take a risk and use herbs to spice up and make your dishes flavorful. 

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