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Daily Archives: May 21, 2012

Mojito Green Tea (Gluten Free Goodness)

One of the summer drinks that I really love, is a garden fresh mojito, mmmm! This concoction of mint, lime and rum is refreshing and crisp, perfect for summer weekends. Even without the alcohol, the flavors of lime and mint are wonderful together, and in this sun tea recipe, I also added a little Truvia for sweetness and green tea bags (gluten free) for a dose of anti-oxidants. On top of tasting delicious, the ingredients are good for you!

Lemon Balm is one of those fragrant herbs that I have had forever in my herb garden, probably because it’s one that mom always grows and uses herself. (She is to blame for my interest in herbs and healing!) According to the encyclopedia of spices, lemon balm has many medicinal uses such as helping relieving spasms in the digestive tract, relieving stress and tension (which can help with migraines), aiding in treatment of insomnia, as well as helping to fight cold and flu due to anti-viral properties. Nice benefits from a glass of iced tea!

Peppermint is also widely known to aid in relieving upset stomach, and can be beneficial for symptoms of IBS. Like lemon balm, the oil can help relieve stress (when used topically.)

While green tea is credited with aiding in a wide range of ailments from cancer and heart disease to dementia, it is unknown how much must be consumed to have these effects. WebMD states “Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. Grapes and berries, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants.”

Mojito Green Tea

I first gathered a handful of lemon balm leaves (on the left in the photo above) and mint leaves (on the right) from my herb garden. The smell is so fresh!

Next, using a mortar and pestle, I muddled the herbs along with the juice of 1/2 lime and 2 tsp of Truvia to release the oils and juices. Truvia has a granular texture like sugar (while being free of carbs), and the texture acts as an abrasive to help grind the herbs.

Next, pour the herbs and juice into a sun tea jug, and add the rest of the fresh lime juice (from 2 limes total), and 4 green tea bags (gluten free).

Fill the jug partway with water and set outside in the sun (where did my sun go for this pic??)… where the warmth will brew the tea over the course of a couple hours. The longer it steeps, the stronger it is likely to be.

When it’s reached the stage you like, remove and chill, serve over ice.

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Warm Veggie Salad with Grilled Chicken

If you are like me, you eat plenty of salads, right? I know we love our greens and the health benefits that come with them, but I also get in salad “ruts” sometimes where I know I should eat them, but I also know just how they will taste, and get a little bored with the concept.

This morning I didn’t feel like eggs or a smoothie for breakfast, and decided to have a salad instead, so I started looking through the fridge to see what I had on hand. I knew there was leftover orange ginger grilled chicken breast that I wanted to use, and of course greens. I also had fresh crimini mushrooms, which i love, but the problem is that I only like cooked mushrooms, not raw ones. Cooking the mushrooms led to this delicious and light warm salad… for a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and cheese and use coconut oil to saute veggies. Having a late breakfast in the backyard listening to the birds singing up a storm was a refreshing start to my day, but I don’t think I will be hungry at lunch time!

Warm Veggie Salad with Grilled Chicken

  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, cut up
  • 1 large leaf of napa cabbage
  • handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • handful of crimini musrooms, diced
  • butter or coconut oil to saute veggies
  • sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Saute carrot, celery and mushrooms in butter for a few minutes, cooking lightly and maintaining crispness. Add grilled chicken and warm through, remove from heat. Lay the napa down as a base for the salad, either whole for a wrap, or chopped. Add spinach over napa. Top with veggies and then cheese. Squeeze lime over the top and serve immediately.

 

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