Cilantro seems to be a love or hate type of herb. I personally love it and find it refreshing and delicious, though according to a study by Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, some people are genetically inclined to dislike it. In fact, some who have this predisposition have suggested it "smells like soap."
Cilantro is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean and has been used for at least 5000 years. The herb is also one of the first to be brought to the Americas from Europe, and today it is widely served in places such as the Southeast United States, China, Thailand, and Central and South America.
Here's a zesty recipe for Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro, courtesy of Epicurious.com. When you're finished preparing, wash up with Seventh Generation Mandarin Purifying Hand Wash for a refreshing citrus lift.
Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups chopped white onions
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup quinoa,* rinsed, drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional)
* A grain with a delicate flavor and a texture similar to that of couscous; available at natural foods stores and many supermarkets.
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Photo: You As A Machine