Monday, June 18, 2012

Jicama, Chili, Lime and Cilantro Wedges - Delicious and Nutritious!

As you know I just arrived in San Diego a couple of days ago, am still waiting for the moving truck - filled mostly with boxes of my cookbooks - but also all of my cooking "stuff" so I decided to search the blogsphere to find a fun and fantastic summertime recipe to add to your al fresco meals!

Here's what I found . . . and it is delicious!  The jicama is cool, crisp and crunchy and the marinade is that perfect blend of tart citrus flavors and spicy chilies!  This is, indeed a fantastic side dish to try!

You can find my nutrition notes below the recipe.

Authentic Suburban Gourmet

Saturday, June 16, 2012

{ Chili & Lime Jicama Wedges }

After visiting Bocanova in Oakland on numerous occasions, there are several items from this Pan-American restaurant which sits along Jack London Square and the water. Typically when visiting, I will begin with several small plates including the Dungeness Crab Deviled Eggs with Chipotle Aioli, then the Fried Shishito Peppers and finishing with theJicama Wedges with Chili and Lime Juice.

On my “to do” list for months has been to duplicate the jicama wedges at home. These little delights are full of wonderful simple flavors and with the crunch of the jicama; it is the perfect summer snack or appetizer. The vinaigrette is merely lime juice, crushed peppers, olive oil, cilantro and salt. The recipe can serve as many or few as you would like. The dressing should be enough for 2 large jicamas. What could be simpler?

Chili & Lime Jicama Wedges

One Jicama (medium to large)

Slice the jicama in ¾ inch slices and then into wedges that are about ¾ inch thick. Be sure to cut off the outer skin of the jicama to expose only the white portion. Dress with the vinaigrette and garish with cilantro and season with a sprinkling of salt.


1 large dried chili pod with seeds, pulse in food processor until fine
3 T. Lime Juice
2 T. Olive oil
1 T. Cilantro, minced
¼ t. Salt

Add all of the ingredients to a jar and shake well. Let the vinaigrette sit for one hour to develop the flavors.

Note: You can purchase dried chili pods in the Hispanic section of your grocery store or at the local Hispanic market. Purchase the level of heat that best suits your tastes. 

Dr. P's Nutritional Notes:

One of the reasons I chose this recipe to share is because of it's fantastic nutritional benefits!  

Jicama is a low calorie, high fiber root veggie.  It tastes like a cross between an Asian pear and a water chestnut.  It's super crispy, slightly sweet and can be served either raw or cooked.  It's actually the fleshy root of a bean plant that grows in tropical and subtropical climates.  

It is a great source of inulin - and inulin is one of those soluble fibers that helps us maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut.  So if you've been faithfully making cultured fruit, nut and veggie juices, the addition of some jicama to your diet will further encourage those friendly bacteria to flourish!

In addition to inulin, jicama is also a good source of Vitamin C, folic acid and potassium.  These properties make it a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet.  But be sure to use them while they are still plump and fresh.  The longer jicama is stored the more starchy it becomes.

Limes are a nutritional powerhouse and their flavor makes a wonderful addition to lots of South-of-the-Border dishes!  They provide a bright citrus note while increasing the levels of immune boosting Vitamin C, as well as those flavonols I've mentioned before.  It seems that the flavonols in limes actually control cell cycles that cause them to either multiply or die.  This characteristic is especially important in the destruction of cancer and other mutated cells!

Chilies are another one of those foods I consider to be functional foods.  They are packed with nutrition - Vitamins C and A, they boost your immune system and your metabolism, they increase blood flow, stop bleeding, heal ulcers, can return heart rhythms to normal, are antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.  Adding some type of hot chilies to your regular diet has so many health benefits!

Olive Oil is a great fat to choose from for all blood types and is filled with heart healthy Vitamin E among other benefits.  Be sure to choose an olive oil that is cold pressed to ensure the quality of that Vitamin E.  I prefer organic oils and I generally have 2 or more types of olive oil to choose from.  Extra Virgin is fruitier and tastes more like olives, so it's perfect in salad dressings, where Virgin is more neutral in flavor and works great for many marinades, sauteing and even some baking.

Cilantro is one of the all time great detoxification herbs!  Cilantro is a known heavy metal chelator, so it is quite helpful in assisting your cells to escort heavy metals out of your tissues.  That being said, it must be organic or you run the risk of your cilantro bringing more heavy metals into your body!

Now you see why I chose this tasty and highly nutritious recipe to share with you!  I hope you enjoy it as an appetizer or side dish soon!

Dr. P  

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