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Holliday Dish with Healthy Twist

Today’s article includes a recipe that uses an amazing little herb- cilantro.  Also called coriander, this strongly-scented green herb is almost always linked with salsa.

However, even if you don’t like Mexican food or want something with less “burn” and still want to liven up a holiday dish, this herb might be just what you need.

Cilantro has been widely studied ever many generations, and its healing powers are quite unique among other herbs in the garden.

It does share antioxidant properties with many other green leafy herbs, but what sets it apart (aside from the tangy, minty aroma) is that it’s widely used as a natural chelating agent.

Studies suggest that certain chemicals in the oils bind to heavy metals in the blood, and are carried away by the excretory system.  It is used in herbal medicine to heal people who are suffering from an elevated mercury ingestion.

It also has benefits for people who have problems with constipation, a common problem during the holidays.  Instead of acting in the way a fiber supplement does, it stimulates peristalsis in the intestines, waking them up, if you will.

However, because of its very strong aroma, some people are intimidated by this pretty green herb.  So today we have a lovely holiday recipe that is healthy and fun to prepare.  Especially if you want a break from having a traditional turkey at the holiday table.

Cornish Game Hens With Honey and Cilantro


4 game hens
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup locally produced honey
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
¼ cup lime juice
2 limes, cut in wedge quarters
one bunch organic cilantro
Garlic to taste
Sea salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix the olive oil, honey, teriyaki sauce and lime juice in a bowl. Pinch off about ¼ cup to ½ cup of fresh cilantro leaves (according to your own preference for taste), chop into small bits and toss into the honey/teriyaki mixture.  Add a pinch of the sea salt and a few shakes of the pepper.  Add the garlic (2 cloves minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder) and mix thoroughly.

Place chickens in a jumbo plastic bag and pour in liquid. Seal and let it marinate in the fridge for an hour. At the end of the hour, pull the hens from the marinade and put a wedge of lime and sprig of cilantro into the cavity of each hen.

Place hens into a heavy roasting dish or stone, pouring leftover marinade over the hens before covering with foil.

Bake, covered with foil at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove foil, baste with marinade/dripping mixture from the bottom of the pan, reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast for 30 more minutes. Baste every 10 minutes with juices from the pan until done.

Remove when the hens’ juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

Let them set for 10 minutes, covered in foil before serving.

Garnish with a very small amount of cilantro and the rest of the lime wedges. Serve with fresh steamed green beans, sautéed baby carrots, or healthy fresh vegetable of your choice.

I recommend a lovely shiraz to accompany this meal, as that way you have added reservatrol to your other antioxidant benefits, omega 3 fatty acids, lean protein and chelating flavorings.

My family loves this dish and I only do it at holiday time.  But the marinade can be used for any lean meat, tofu, fish or quinoa meal you prefer.  It’s even great on roasted shitake mushrooms.

The marriage of all the flavors really warms up the kitchen, and makes holiday gatherings delectable, especially as the garlic and cilantro start to mellow.  You might have a hard time keeping people out of the kitchen while you are working.

Tell us what you think. Do you have a faivorite Cilantro recipe? Please share below.

Warmest Holiday Regards,

Julissa Clay


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