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Cilantro- Know Your Herbs and Spices

Cilantro Know Your Herbs and Spices

Cilantro is one of those herbs people feel passionate about; they either love or hate it. I use it occasionally, but honestly it is not on my must have list.

Cilantro, also called Chinese parsley and the leaves are actually fresh coriander. You find cilantro used mainly in Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cooking. This herb pairs well with acidic foods like tomatoes and lime and is the primary seasoning in salsas.
Cook with cilantro like any fresh herb and add it at the last minute to release its flavor. You can also use this herb chopped as a garnish like parsley for a stronger taste.
Because of its popularity, this herb is found year round in most groceries. Choose Cilantro that has bright green, firm leaves and no yellowing. Cilantro closely resembles flat leaf parsley, but has a distinctive odor.
If you don’t have access to it in your area, Cilantro is easy to grow in containers indoors.
Cilantro is high in antioxidants. It can also act as a diuretic so use it sparingly.

Here’s a simple salsa recipe that goes well with chicken or fish.


  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper, optional

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend the flavors before serving.

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Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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