Dr. Manny's Notes: Latin Powerfood #7 - Cilantro

Cilantro accelerates the excretion of toxic metals from your body. Excess toxic metals in the body can create a breeding ground for viral infections, so using cilantro on a daily basis in your cooking is a very smart choice for staying healthy. All you need is a handful in a salad or a couple of tablespoons in a cooked dish to reap the benefits of this medicinal plant. This herb-and its cousin, parsley-is used throughout the Americas and is said to contain antibiotic properties.

Cilantro adds great flavor and a healthy kick to the classic Latin American dish, ceviche!

This refreshing lunchtime treat is chef Xiomara Ardolina's interpretation of a classic Peruvian-born dish, which can be found in many variations throughout the Americas. She likes to serve her ceviche in martini glasses, topped with fresh chunks of avocado. This particular recipe contains several Latin powerfoods_ chiles, cilantro, and avocado. It also has shrimp, limes, and tomatoes.

Here's what you will need:

2 jalapeno chiles 1 pound rock shrimp, peeled, devined, and cut into 1/4-inch dice 3/4 pound sea scallops (preferably diver) 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 large tomato, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped 1/2 cup red onion, chopped 1/4 cup canned tomato juice sugar to taste 1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped 1/2 avocado, peeled and seeded, quartered for garnish salt and pepper to taste

Roast jalapenos over a flame or in a pan until the skin blackens and blisters; place in a bag or sealed container. When peppers have cooled, remove the skin with a paper towel, do not rinse. Seed and chop them.

Combine the shrimp and scallops with the three citrus juices and marinate overnight. Taste for sweetness; add sugar as needed. Add the jalapeno, tomato, red onion, and tomato juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cilantro, and garnish with avocado just before serving.