Whether you prefer to call it relish or salsa really doesn’t matter. All that matters is today’s mix of fresh ingredients is the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, pork or fish as a relish, or served atop baked tortilla chips or pita bread like salsa.
There is no better time than right now to enjoy zucchini. One of the best features about this summer vegetable is its low calorie content. Since it’s more than 95 percent water, it has just 19 calories per cup.
Zucchini provides a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium – all nutrients that appear beneficial in lowering the risk of high blood pressure.
If you don’t have a garden loaded with zucchini and will be purchasing it at the store, select those that are no more than six or seven inches long and one to two inches in diameter. The skin should be shiny and free of cuts, bruises and decay. Large zucchini can be slightly bitter and usually have very large seeds, tough rinds and stringy, coarse flesh. Store zucchini in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer and use within four to five days. Do not wash it until ready for use.
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We used frozen corn that was thawed in today’s recipe. Leftover grilled corn cut straight from the cob would be delicious as well. As a general rule, one ear of corn typically yields about ¾ cup of kernels.
Most varieties of corn are good sources of dietary fiber, the B vitamins thiamin and folate, and a handful of minerals, including potassium, iron and magnesium. Yellow corn has some vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
Darlene Zimmerman is a registered dietitian in Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute. For questions about today’s recipe, call 313-972-1920.
8 (about ⅓ cup per serving)
/ Prep time: 10 minutes
/ Total time:
1 ½ cups diced zucchini
¾ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup diced red bell pepper
⅓ cup diced celery
⅓ cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine zucchini, corn, red pepper, celery and onion in a bowl and set aside.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid combine vinegar, lemon juice, oil, garlic, basil, cumin, chili powder, thyme, salt and black pepper. Shake to combine, add to vegetables and toss to coat. Use as a relish accompaniment to grilled chicken, pork or fish, or serve as a salsa with baked tortilla chips.
Created and tested by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD, for Heart Smart®.
49 calories (55% from fat), 3 grams fat (0 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 6 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 127 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 mg calcium, 1 gram fiber. Food exchanges:
1 vegetable, ½ fat.