Give your dish, drink or dessert a squeeze of fresh lime for an added sense of freshness and a pop of tartness. Limes grow on trees in warm climates. Similar to lemons, limes are a citrus fruit with a low pH; this means limes are very acidic, making them an influential cooking ingredient.
There are many varieties of limes, including the Tahiti lime and the Key lime. Tahiti limes are bright green, shaped like a lemon, and are generally the lime found year-round in the grocery store. Key limes are famous for their pie-making flavors. They’re smaller, more round in shape, more yellow-green and more tart than the Tahiti lime. When searching for limes, avoid those that are shriveled or significantly discolored. Limes may be stored at room temperature for seven days, but will last several weeks if stored in the refrigerator.
Limes are high in vitamin C and pair well with berries, watermelon, plums, ginger, coconut, cilantro, jicama, cabbage, fish and chicken. Squeeze a lime directly over foods, since there are no seeds to worry about. Try fresh lime juice on grilled corn, steak or chicken fajitas or in a fruit smoothie. One whole lime is approximately one tablespoon of lime juice. While bottled lime juice may be substituted for fresh, many chefs will tell you, that fresh tastes best!
Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice (Printable PDF)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
2 teaspoons lime zest
3 Tablespoons (about 3 small limes) fresh lime juice
1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups instant brown rice
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Preheat grill to medium heat. In a small dish, combine spices. Rub oil over chicken and rub spice mixture on both sides. Grill until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Meanwhile, pour broth in medium saucepan. Add rice. Bring to a boil; stir, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until water is absorbed, then fluff. Stir in garlic, onions, green chilies, lime zest, juice, and black beans. Serve rice with grilled chicken and top with chopped cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 470 calories, 9 grams fat, 210 milligrams sodium, 58 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, 38 grams protein