Side Dish With a Spicey Flare
Now that seasonal produce is beginning to appear in markets and groceriy stores, it's time to begin enjoying these yearly treats. Buying locally when possible will insure freshness, and flavor.
Combining certain fruits and vegatables is an interesting way to achieve a balanced diet, along with the taste variety we all seem to crave.
The watermelon is more than just a backyard, or summer picnic treat. According to the National Watermelon Promotional Board, the watermelon has heart healthy properties, because it is low in saturated fat. A study by the USDA, published in 2007, concerns itself with the heart healty benefits of the watermelon.
Watermelon increases free argine and citrulline, which are amino acids, that maintain cardiovascular health, by helping to maintain arteries, which leads to healthy blood flow, and hench, good heart health.
Watermelon and Toasted Jalapeno Pico de Gallo
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1Tablespoon finely chopped, seeded jalapeno, (substitute banana peppers for a milder taste)
3 Tablespoons finely chopped green onions or shallots
1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 Teaspoon soy sauce
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
Juice from 3 limes, or 2 small lemons, (juice from 1/2 grapefruit can also be used)
2 Cups watermelon, (small cubes or balls)
2 Cups smoked, grilled, or baked chicken, chopped or cubed, (substitute salmon if desired)
1 Cup roasted diced bell pepper
Chopped parsley to taste, up to 1 cup
Heat oil in iron, or heavy non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Saute jalapeno, green onions or shallots, and garlic until golden brown at edges.
Remove from heat.
Add soy sauce and cumin.
Place the above cooled mixture into serving bowl and toss with the citrus juice, watermelon, chicken, parsley, and roasted pepper.
Serve as a snack with chips and margaritas, or with melba toast and white tea.
This tasty concoction can also be served as a complimentary side dish to a Mexican themed dinner, as a healthy snack at a teen pool party, (sans alcohol), or any occasion when a little something different is desired. The flavor burst will add to any meal or snack, and the health benefits will be enjoyed by all.