How to love cilantro

I have to confess. growing up I always affiliated with the anti-cilantro party, much to my mother’s disapproval. It wasn’t my fault, I was told, as some people are just born with the cilantro-tastes-like-soap gene.

But then one mysterious day about two years ago, my taste buds did a 180. I didn’t gag when a cilantro leaf made its way across my tongue. It was an unfamiliar flavor, for sure, but… did I like it?

Turns out from then on I was a convert, my ideals finally aligned with my mother’s, and she could wholeheartedly love me once again. A happily ever after for me and cilantro, but I still owe it to him to make up for all those lost years. So here’s what I do:

1. Attempt to grow it, and if the squirrels dig through your pot to steal every last seed (really, squirrels?), then resort to the grocery store or farmer’s market.

2. Make this cilantro-lime pesto.

3. Put it on everything.

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the bowl.

I think at least 80% of the meals I make for myself end up piled into a bowl. I like it that way – the different flavors and textures blend together in each bite, and the combinations of veggies, grains, proteins, herbs, sauces and spices are endless…

I’m also often cooking for one, so it’s a convenient way to control my portions and season it just the way I like it. Then I take a big spoon, collapse on my comfy couch, and savor every bite :)

My creations typically involve some kind of grain (quinoa, polenta, or brown rice), steamed or sautéed greens, sautéed or roasted seasonal veggies, and either beans, eggs, lentils, tofu, veggie sausage or chicken. Then comes the endless flavor combinations concocted of herbs, cheeses, spices, and sauces, which I change up every time. The bowl concept is great because I always end up with a well-balanced meal, and it makes for easy eating whether at home, on the go, or leftover for tomorrow’s lunch!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite quinoa bowls as of late: Continue reading