Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cilantro Garlic Marinade/Dressing

Marinades are a great way to add flavor to meat or veggies.  If I’m stumped on what to make for dinner I fall back on a marinade.  They are easy to make and perfect for busy nights because you do the work ahead of time. 
The grocery stores are full of bottled marinades but I’m sure you can guess how I feel about those.  Yuck!  Here’s an example of the ingredients in an “herb and lemon juice” marinade.

Why is high fructose corn syrup the second ingredient?  Why is it in a marinade at all? Modified Food Starch is also listed.  Modified Food Starch is a highly processed thickener used in many processed foods.  I don’t need that in my marinade either. I opt out of the highly processed and sugar filled marinades from the grocery store and make something fresh! 
I like to make my own with a couple easy ingredients.  They are simple to pull together and you can be as creative as you want with them!  This marinade was based on a big bag of limes I just bought and the huge bunch of cilantro I picked up at the local organic farm this weekend.  The result was so full of fresh flavor- something you won’t find in a bottle.  It also makes a great salad dressing!

Cilantro Garlic Marinade and Dressing

1 cup fresh packed cilantro
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender.

Blend on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Turn blender to low and add oil.
Blend until oil is incorporated with other ingredients.

To use as a marinade coat chicken or veggies and allow to sit for 1-3 hours.
For a dressing simply pour on your favorite salad fixin's

I marinated both the veggies and chicken and grilled everything up.

The kids wanted to put the chicken in lettuce wraps.  Who am I to say no?

I added a little drizzle of extra dressing inside- so good!

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