RSS Feed

Tag Archives: ginger

Guest Post: Herbal Teas

As you can probably tell by the extreme decrease in the frequency of our posts lately, we have been really busy! Between working and summer track, we are almost never home! We joke with people that we live out of our car, but to be perfectly honest, we’re not really kidding. Everywhere we go, we have a change of clothes, work clothes, running clothes, a million different pairs of shoes, lots of snacks, even over night stuff! We just never know where we’re going to be! 

Of course, we’d be lying if we said that it was all work and running keeping us away from the blog.  We’ve also been spending a lot of time having fun with friends, going to the beach, chilling on patios – you know, summer stuff. We haven’t been spending all that much time in the kitchen, really. Hence the lack of posts! So of course, we have happily been accepting guest posts. 🙂

Today’s post is from Elaine Rosales, who is currently researching herbs and their uses. Today, she’s here to talk about herbal teas. Take it away, Elaine!

————————————————————–

Have You Tried These Herbal Teas?

If you are looking for a calming and refreshing beverage that’s not only delicious but also soothing, then your best choice is tea. Next to water, tea is the most popular beverage on Earth. Health experts agree that drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking several glasses of water – maybe even better.

However, there is still a great deal of debate as to what tea is the most beneficial. Green tea and black tea, both from the Camellia sinensis plant, are the most recommended. However, there is growing research saying that herbal teas, such as ginger, jasmine, and tulsi tea, can also offer you immense benefits.

Herbal teas are a wonderful deviation from the usual Camellia sinensis teas you drink. Some have a mild floral flavor, like rose tea and lavender tea, while others are spicy and tangy, such as peppermint tea and licorice root tea.

There are also herbal teas that are native to certain places only, such saw palmetto tea. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), actually a palm rather than an herb, is found primarily in the southeast region of the United States. Florida Native American tribes, such as the Miccosukee and Seminole, considered it to be an important food source.

Saw palmetto tea is made from the saw palmetto berries, which are either dried or boiled to produce a soothing and unique-tasting tea.

You can buy herbal tea bags or loose leaf tins from supermarkets, but you should make them at home to fully appreciate them. Here are three easy herbal tea recipes you can try.

Soothing Ginger Tea

Ginger tea not only helps you detoxify, but also helps bolster your immune system. Here is a simple ginger tea recipe from The Healthy Advocate.

Ingredients:

  • Two tbsps. ginger, peeled and freshly grated
  • One cup of hot (almost boiling) water
  • One cup room temperature water
  • Almond milk or coconut milk (optional)
  • Stevia (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Pour hot water over the fresh ginger, and let it steep for 30 minutes. You can also steep it overnight for a stronger brew. Make sure the container is properly covered.
  2. Strain the ginger and add one cup of room temperature water. For a creamier brew, add coconut or almond milk. Sweeten with a small amount of stevia.

Sweet Hibiscus Tea

Made from the blossoms of the hibiscus plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa), hibiscus tea was the beverage of choice of the ancient Pharaohs in the ancient Nile Valley. This tea was also widely popular in various countries, such as China, Mexico, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. Hibiscus tea is known for its unique and slightly sweet flavor, and is even used in various ceremonies.

Here is a simple hibiscus tea recipe from Stef of The Cupcake Project.

Ingredients:

  • Two cups dried hibiscus flowers, rinsed
  • Eight cups of water
  • Raw honey or stevia

Procedure:

  1. Put four cups of water, honey, and the hibiscus flower in a large saucepan. Put it over a stove on high heat.
  2. When the mixture boils, cover and lower the heat. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from heat. Use a colander to strain out the hibiscus flowers.
  4. For a warm tea, dilute the tea with a few cups of cold water. If you want an ice-cold drink, let the tea cool to room temperature first. Add ice and chill in the freezer for several minutes before serving.

Tea is a delightful and refreshing beverage that you will surely love. Opt for this healthy drink instead of sugar-loaded and processed sodas and fruit drinks.

About the Author

Elaine Rosales loves reading Mercola health articles. She is currently researching different types of herbs and their many uses. Her recent report is about the uses of organic saw palmetto – as a delicious tea and beyond. 

———————————————

What a great, informative post Elaine! We hope that those of you who haven’t tried herbal teas now will, and those that have will drink them more often! We know we will be. 🙂

And we promise that we will continue to be posting throughout the summer, however we can’t promise they’ll be any more frequent than they have been – we’re having way too much fun!

~twosaucysisters

Simple Sunday: Stir Fry

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve done a Simple Sunday post, but we’re back, and today we have quite possibly one of the easiest dinners you could make!

DSCN6107

Because in our opinion there is no simpler a meal than a stir-fry! But simple does not mean boring or bland- all you need is a few ingredients to give it a pop of flavour.

DSCN6108

All you need is one pan, a handful of veggies, a source of protein and a little seasoning and you’re in business, people!

DSCN6111

Ok, so you actually need two pans, one for the stir fry and one to cook your noodles or rice or whatever you decide to serve it over.  But the pot you cook your grain in hardly gets dirty at all so in our minds it doesn’t really count 🙂

So what went into our stir fry this time around?  Carrots, bok choy, onions, mushrooms and salmon. Only a few ingredients but we assure you our family ate it right up!

DSCN6106

We feel as though the stir-fry has been shoved under the rug.  Its a meal that many cooks turn there noses up at, one that is considered “too simple” or “commonplace”.  Stir-frys are under appreciated in our opinions, so today we’d like to give them the spotlight.  Let them take back the credit that is rightfully theirs.

So grab your frying pans and join us in a deliciously simple stir-fry-making extravaganza!

Simple Salmon Stir Fry

DSCN6108

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

450 g. salmon filets
1 tbsp olive, grape seed or coconut oil
ground black pepper
Garlic salt or powder
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches of bok choy
2 large carrots
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the salmon filets with black pepper and garlic salt or powder.  Place in the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  Put the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.  Remove the filets and set aside.

Add the minced garlic and diced onion to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onions soften and become translucent.  Julienne the carrots (aka- cut them into thin match-stick pieces) and add them to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Slice the bok choy and mushrooms and add them to the pan.  Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.  Add all other ingredients and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender yet still crisp.

Serves over rice or noodles, is desired.

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite veggies to put in a stir-fry?

Hummus Hiatus

It has been 33 days since we last posted a hummus recipe.  33 days!  We think that’s a record for us!  Some of you were probably starting to wonder if we were okay!

Well, you needn’t worry yourselves- we are just fine, and we’ve been eating plenty of hummus (we’ve just been going back to the basics lately- now there’s a throw-back for ya!)

But in case you were all starting to feel hummus-deprived, we are back after our hummus hiatus with another delicious rendition of our favourite dip the best food ever.

DSCN4942

This time around we looked Eastward for some inspiration and made a Curried Hummus!  We suppose that makes it more middle-eastward, but we won’t get too picky about details.

DSCN4950

But seriously, our hats go off to the people of the Middle East!  Boy do they know how to cook!  We don’t even know if they have a word for “bland” in their language, because they probably never use it- everything they make has a positively magical blend of spices that makes every single one of their dishes burst with flavour!

DSCN4952

And that is precisely what we were going for with this hummus- bold and spicy with enough flavour to send your taste buds into over-drive.

And you know what?

We think we nailed it 🙂

Curried Hummus

DSCN4943

Total Time: 10 min
Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or a high-powered blender and process until smooth.  Add up to 1/4 cup extra water if it is too thick.  (Tip- this hummus tastes even better the next day, so if you’re making it for a party, we recommend putting it together the day before)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like Middle-Eastern cuisine?

Bloggers and Bibles

One of our all-time favourite recipes we’ve ever made from another blogger is this:

parsnip puree

Roasted Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Puree.

This genius creation comes from Gina over at Running to the Kitchen.  If you have never been to her site before, you should make a point of paying her a visit ASAP.  Seriously, this women comes up with the most amazing meals and snacks, and she’s hilarious, too.  Even if you don’t like cooking, you’ll love her blog just for general reading!  She has a way of taking everyday situations and turning them into scenarios the likes of which you would find in a sitcom.

But we’ve gone a bit off track now, haven’t we?  We were talking about this parsnip puree!  It may look humble, but don’t let it’s outer appearance fool you- it is what food dreams are made of! (Hey now, hey now… ;))

Of course, after we made her recipe (with a few modifications- we don’t often have heavy cream lying around- cottage cheese and Greek yogurt to the rescue!) we decided it was about time we created our own version, but we decided to use the parsnip’s more well-known cousin… carrots!

DSCN4814

Not that we don’t absolutely LOVE parsnips (they just so happen to be one of our all-time favourite vegetables- partially thanks to Gina!!) but we just thought that the bright orange hue from the carrots might be kind of fun 🙂

DSCN4829

So we knew we wanted to use carrots, but as for what else we wanted to add to it?  That was a little tougher to decide.  So we’re going to let you in on a little secret here.  What do we do when we are stumped for flavour combination ideas?  We consult the Flavour Bible.

flavour Bible

This book is every cooks best friend! When your creativity well is running dry, this book will give you a million-and-one ideas for flavour pairings for every food you can possibly think of!

DSCN4818

After reading through the seemingly endless list of flavours and foods that go with carrots (who knew there were so many!?!) we finally decided on ginger.  It made sense, since we just so happened to have a knob of fresh ginger sitting in our fridge 🙂

DSCN4824

Then of course we hummed and hawed for a little while longer trying to decide what else we should put in this puree, because for some reason we always seem to think that just having one flavour add-in isn’t enough.  But we honestly couldn’t think of anything else to add, so we just left it as it was.  And you know what? It turned out to be just right.  Sometimes, simplicity is best!

DSCN4828

So now you’re probably thinking “well this is great- you’ve given me a bowl of orange mush- now what?”.  The simple answer to that is eat it!  If you’re starting to get tired of mashed potatoes, this is a great substitution.  Pair it with some grilled chicken (or tofu!) and a salad, maybe a warm piece of crusty bread and you’ve got yourself the makings of a fantastic meal 🙂

Carrot and Ginger Puree

DSCN4824

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1.5-2 cups

Ingredients:

2 large carrots
1 c. chickpeas
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp Cottage Cheese
2 tbsp-1/4 c. milk of choice (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Peel the carrots and cut into chunks.  Place them in a microwave-safe bowl with about 2 tbsp of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until carrots are very soft.  (you could also steam the carrots on the stove top, we just went with the microwave because it’s quicker!) Add carrots (including the water), chickpeas, ginger, garlic, yogurt and cottage cheese to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth.  While the motor is running, add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until it reaches the texture/thickness you desire.  Add the salt and pepper, and continue blending until everything is fully incorporated, adjusting the seasonings to your taste.

~twosaucysisters

What do you do when you are stuck for flavour ideas?

Cross-Cultural Dipping

Today, we’re bringing you the last of the three hummus recipes that we told you about in last week’s What I Ate Wednesday post.  (We’d like to point out that we’re actually getting to all three of them before this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, so koodos to us! :))

So let’s do a quick recap.  First, we made Spinach hummus:

DSCN3965

And that recipe turned out so well, that we decided to try our hand at Roasted Garlic Hummus:

DSCN4020

But here’s the thing.  No matter how often we eat hummus, or even how much we eat in one sitting, we never get tired of it, and we never truly satisfy our craving for it.  So after we had made (and devoured) both of these delicious creations, we knew we just couldn’t stop there.

But there was one problem.  We had completely run out of tahini!  Tragic, we know.  But with our hummus craving reaching an all-time high, and only getting stronger, we had to get creative.

Enter peanut butter.  (is there anything peanut butter can’t fix?)

DSCN4039

Of course, we weren’t going to try to make a traditional hummus with peanut butter.  It’s distinct flavour deserved something a little more exciting than that!

So we open the fridge and realize: we have limes, we have ginger.  this could be good.

DSCN4051

And what did we end up with?  Thai peanut-ginger hummus.

Oh yeah.

We have to say, out of the three hummus recipes that we made last week, this one was our favourite.  It was so unique and full of flavour- We suppose you could call it a middle-eastern-Asian fusion.  (is that a thing?  We don’t know, but it should be!)

DSCN4048

If you’re tired of traditional hummus flavours, you should definitely  try this stuff!  (We also can’t be friends, but that’s something else altogether ;))

We have since bought a new jar of tahini, so we’ll probably be back in the near future with some new hummus recipes, but not without making a few more batches of this stuff, first! 🙂

Happy dipping!

Thai Peanut-Ginger Hummus

DSCN4039

Time: 10 min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas (~1 can drained and rinsed)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. peanut butter (we used all-natural, but use what you have!)
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
pepper, to taste
water (up to a 1/4 c, if needed)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor (except for water) and blend until smooth.  Gradually add water if you would like your hummus to be smoother.

~twosaucysisters

What is the most interesting hummus flavour you have tried?