Kudos to the Cucumber!

Tis the season for cucumbers and other vine vegetables. Living in South Texas, vine vegetables grow in abundance because of the intense heat. This summer I had a bumper crop of vegetables - especially cucumbers. In an attempt to use all of the cucumbers,  I've been experimenting with recipes and adding cucumbers to everything. One of my favorite concoctions is "pepino" pico de gallo.

Traditional pico de gallo made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and serrano pepper is not only festive and delicious but also very healthy. The tomatoes are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the body from some types of cancer and also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, and iron. The onions can lower the risk for stomach cancer, improve breathing, fight bacteria and improve cholesterol while the cilantro and serrano peppers both contain antioxidants. So by itself, pico de gallo is always a healthy choice.

My twist to the traditional pico de gallo is to add not only cucumbers but also green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers.

The cucumbers are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and anti-cancer properties. They are cool and refreshing and best of all, have only 16 calories per one cup serving!

So, when you are in the mood for something, different, healthy, and delicious, try the following recipe:

  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup cilantro chopped (or more to taste!)
  • 2 -3  serrano peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime
  • salt to taste
  • Mix all ingredients, refrigerate before serving. This can be used as a relish on almost anything, or serve with baked corn chips.