Do you ever wonder why some foods taste so good, while you find others to be true tastebud-turnoffs? Black licorice, cilantro and asparagus are just a few of the polarizing foods and flavors I’ve observed. Despite the role that tastes play in our health, The Washington Post recently reported, it out that scientists don’t know all the reasons for our love and hatred of certain foods.
Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia are among those investigating the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell and how these senses relate to human health. There’s good reason for this research: As Monell’s website states, “Some of our most serious and intractable health problems—obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease—are linked to what we eat and drink.”
In honor of those polarizing foods that make life interesting, this week’s recipe from Taste of Home features cilantro, peppers, chili powder and onion, the latter ingredient I omit – it’s my tastebud-turnoff.
Beef Fajita Salad
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3/4 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
- 1 medium green pepper, julienned
- 1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
- 1 medium onion, sliced and halved
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups torn mixed salad greens
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
- 2 tablespoons salsa
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lime juice, cilantro, garlic and chili powder; add beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 10 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, cook the peppers and onion in oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove and keep warm. Add beef with marinade to the skillet; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until meat is tender and mixture comes to a boil. Add beans and pepper mixture; heat through.
Divide the salad greens and tomato among four bowls; top each with 1-1/4 cups beef mixture, 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1-1/2 teaspoons salsa.
Nutritional analysis: 1 serving equals 291 calories, 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 50 mg. cholesterol, 291 mg. sodium, 34 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams fiber, 27 grams protein.