What’s Trivia Salad you ask? I was going to share with you a basic, and for those of you non-veggie lovers probably boring, corn, bean and tomato salad recipe. But I thought I’d make today’s recipe post a little more fun and share with you some little known tips and bits of trivia that will make this salad more appealing; not just because of the awesome nutrition it provides but it just might make you look at these basic and common ingredients a little differently. You may have some of these ingredients growing in your yard right now. Otherwise, they are all widely available during the summer months.
Trivia Salad (Corn, Bean and Tomato Salad)
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the corn
1 large tomato cut cup
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium cucumber, diced
2 tb olive oil
juice of 1 lime (or about 2 tb)
1/2 c feta cheese (optional)
3 green onions, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients in a bowl and chill and serve.
Ok, now see why I had to add in some trivia bits? 🙂
Corn. An ear of corn is the flower of the plant and there is one piece of silk for each kernel of corn. Did you know that? I didn’t! Around 2500 BC, corn was spread from Mexico to North America as a crop and today, according to Wikipedia, corn is the most widely grown grain crop throughout the Americas with 332 million metric tons grown annually in the United States alone. Approximately 40% of the crop—130 million tons—is used for corn ethanol. And unfortunately, genetically modified corn made up 85% of the corn planted in the United States in 2009. Sad face. 🙁 So, it’s very important to buy organic whenever possible.
Cilantro – people either really love it or they hate it. Such a simple plant with a powerful flavor that is used in many different cultures including Asian cuisine, Latin American and Mexican. Cilantro is the Spanish word for Coriander, which is why you sometimes hear these two used interchangeably. It has been researched and found to lower lead toxicity and heavy metals in the body. It also has been shown to have antibacterial properties to ward against salmonella, so keep tossing it in your fresh salsas and salads!
Garbanzo beans, aka Chickpeas, are one of the earliest known cultivated legumes. They have been found in the middle east dating back to 7000 BC! I also found this little tidbit on Wikipedia: In 1793, ground-roast chickpeas were noted by a German writer as a substitute for coffee in Europe. In World War 1, they were grown for this use in some areas of Germany. They are still sometimes brewed instead of coffee. Fascinating! They are also a great source of protein and their easy flavor is versatile in recipes from hummus to smoothies and cakes.
Tomato – Here’s a crazy tidbit about one of the world’s most popular veggies. Firstly, it’s actually a fruit, not a vegetable. Then, there are some other things you should know about them. According to Wikipedia, the word “tomato” comes from the Spanish tomate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl (an ancient Aztec language) word, tomatl. And across the ocean in Europe, most Europeans in the 15th century thought that they were poisonous because at that time, they used pewter flatware which has lead in it and simple foods with high acidity would make the lead leech into the food and caused lead poisoning and other toxic illnesses. This didn’t really change until the 1800’s, so tomatoes were mostly eaten by the poor.
One last fun tip. Did you know that you can regrow a green onion? That’s right! You can buy them at the store, use the green portion and then stick the white bulb into either water or the ground and they will regenerate! Cool, right? A veggie that recycles itself!
I hope you enjoyed. Thanks to my buddy, Wikipedia for a lot of the info.