By Michelle Nowicki, Nutritionist
Looking for a delicious way to leverage all that luscious fresh corn popping up in your garden or farmers’ market? Try this simple summer salad recipe that also features tasty feta cheese, avocado and plenty of spice.
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- 6 ears white corn, kernels cut off, ears discarded (or 2 small bags frozen white corn kernels)
- 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 avocado, cut into small pieces
- ½ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
Dressing: Combine vinegar, salt & pepper. Whisk in olive oil and
Cook corn kernels in boiling salted water for one minute. Drain and place
in a medium size bowl. While corn is still warm, add dressing and mix well. Toss in crumbled
feta cheese, avocado and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
Key Ingredient Benefits
Avocados: This fruit is loaded with nutrients including vitamins E, K, C and B. The fat content of avocados is significant, however it is the healthy type, oleic acid. Oleic acid improves fat metabolism and is the same monounsaturated fatty acid present in olive oil. Dubbed the alligator pear, avocados help to support the cardiovascular system and regulate blood sugar.
Cilantro: The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (in America, from the Spanish name for the plant). In parts of Europe, this herb has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, cilantro (coriander) has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.
Corn: Known scientifically as Zea mays, this moniker reflects its traditional name, maize, by which it was known to the Native Americans, as well as many other cultures throughout the world. Corn offers fiber and can be helpful in digestion. Additionally, it features health-supportive blood sugar and antioxidant benefits.
Cumin: It is probably not just for nutty, peppery flavor alone that cumin has made it into the stellar ranks of Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cooking. This ordinary looking seed is anything but ordinary when it comes to health benefits. Cumin is an excellent source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. It also benefits the digestive system and may have anti-carcinogenic properties.
Feta Cheese: A crumbly, salty cheese commonly used in Greek food, feta is rich in calcium, and a cup of feta provides three-fourth of the daily calcium requirement. Additionally, it contains high amounts of riboflavin, phosphorus and vitamin B12.
Olive Oil: This oil contains a variety of health-promoting polyphenols, in addition to the mono-unsaturated healthy fat, oleic acid. Both help support fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. Studies suggest a healthy combination of olive and fish oil (omega 3s) can work together in preventing inflammation.
Onions: Onions contain a number of flavonoids, one being quercetin (found in Juvenon’s Energy Formula). This nutrient has been demonstrated in studies to protect the liver, cool the fire of inflammation and has anti-cancer properties. Quercetin may help in weight control by reducing fat synthesis and increasing fat burning
Red Wine Vinegar: Like balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar is made from red grapes, which contain a bioflavonoid known as quercetin. This works as an anti-oxidant and operates with vitamin C to stimulate the immune system to fight infection, cancer and inflammation. Additionally, vinegar may help prevent heart disease, aid in digestion and be a good food for controlling diabetes.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a good source of the flavonoid antioxidant, lycopene. Studies have shown that lycopene may offer protection from skin damage and skin cancer. Another flavonoid abundant in tomatoes is Zeaxanthin, which helps prevent age related macular disease (ARMD). This fruit, which is often thought of as a vegetable, is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
Michelle Nowicki has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition, completed a dietetic internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and has a graduate degree from Yale University.