Yesterday, being Easter Sunday and all, we deviated from traditional and went all out and prepared an *almost vegan family dinner – more on that in a later post. I included jicama in my menu for a couple of reasons; I wanted to kill a few birds with one stone as I posed the question a few weeks ago on my Facebook group “Cooking with Jacquie” to name some vegetables that some of you would like some inspiration with. The other reason being, that the menu I came up with for this plant-based dinner was “Spanishy” with maybe a little Mexican influence in there.
Jicama is a root vegetable and a staple in Mexican food, kind of a cross between an apple and a potato with a mild, fresh flavor with a lovely crunchy texture. Jicama is about 90% water, but packs a great punch when it comes to fibre (more than 6 grams per cup) and if you’re calorie counting, only 49 calories per cup. Add to that it is a source of calcium, potassium, vit C, A and beta-carotene.
In most cases, you are going to get the biggest band for your nutritional buck by eating your veggies and fruits raw, so here’s a really delicious way to prepare jicama.
1 jicama peeled and cut into match sticks
1 red pepper julienned
1/2 English cucumber finely diced
1/2 Serrano pepper cut into a fine mince (more if you like a little more heat)
1 small mango finely diced
2 Tbsp of red onion finely minced
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro chopped
2 Tbsp of blood orange infused olive oil *see notes below
Fresh squeezed lime juice (do this to your personal taste, I used 2 limes)
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Dash of cumin
You can definitely play around with this recipe, adding in any other veggies you might like, julienne carrots, some shredded cabbage are some possible suggestions. Since cilantro is a love it or hate it kind of thing, you can ditch it if you don’t care for it.
Word to the wise, be extremely cautious when working with any kind of hot peppers, the heat will linger on your fingers, I don’t use gloves when handling them but I know people do this, because if you happen to rub your eyes…Watch out!
So, simply put you are going to mix up all of this freshness together and your are ready to go. So easy and full of lovely, crunchy texture and flavor. I served mine on a bed or fresh baby arugula, because I love the peppery taste. I think watercress would be equally good and then you get even more of a nutritional boost!
*I used a blood orange infused olive oil as I just happened to have some in my pantry and the flavour paired really well with this. You can purchase oils like this at the “fancy – schmansy” oil and vinegar shops. If that’s too much trouble, I’d suggest a cold pressed avocado oil and add in a little fresh squeezed orange juice or a little bit of orange zest.
This isn’t going to make or break this recipe, it’s just fine without the fancy oil.
As always, eat your veggies, be BOLD, FEARLESS and leave some space for a little CREATIVITY!
And if you make this, I’d sure love to hear about it 🙂