One of my all-time favorite soup recipes is Chicken Tortilla Soup and with the late arrival of sunny and warmer temps I felt the need for something warming but not too heavy. While searching for a new version of the soup (my original intention) I came across this salad that sounded wonderful. Who can resist jicama! This delightful, crisp and slightly sweet veggie is one of the ingredients in this fresh salad that can be a side or a stand-alone main dish. This would be even more substantial as a main course with some cooked chicken added. Yum! Let me know what you think.
MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD WITH CILANTRO-LIME VINAIGRETTE courtesy of melskitchencafe.com
2-3 medium romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumbers
1 cup chopped jicama
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup cubed cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
1-2 diced avocados
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
4 T red wine vinegar
3 T honey
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Shake dressing ingredients in a jar or blender until well-combined. Pour over tossed salad ingredients. Enjoy!
Yogi Tea is a beautiful blend of spices, black tea and milk that warms the body and stimulates digestion. The taste is fabulous and much like the soothing taste of chai tea. It's easy to make one cup or a larger batch that you can store in the refrigerator. Making your own with these easy recipes has the added bonus of filling your home with it's wonderful aroma! Try this perfect winter tea.
Single Serving Yogi Tea
1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups of water
3 whole cloves
4 whole b;lack peppercorns
4 whole cardamom pods, split (use the side of a knife on the pods and gently pound a time or two)
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 - 1/4 in. thick slices of fresh ginger root (if the ginger root is organic then there is no need to peel it)
1/4 tsp black tea (one tea bag or you can use loose leaf, decaf or regular)
1/2 cup milk (more or less to taste- you can also use almond milk)
optional sweetener such as honey or *sucanat if desired
Boil the water and add all of the spices including the ginger root. Cover and boil about 20-25 minutes. Add the black tea and let sit for several minutes. Strain the whole mixture into a cup using a very fine strainer (I use a jelly bag strainer) and then add milk and sweetener to taste.
Large Batch Yogi Tea
2 quarts of water
15 whole cloves
20 whole black peppercorns
20 whole cardamom pods, split
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks (some brands are really robust!)
8 slices of ginger about 1/4 inches thick
1/2 to 3/4 tsp black tea (2-3 tea bags)
Milk, almond milk, coconut milk to taste
Sweetener such as honey or*sucanat to taste, if desired
Boil water and then add all of the spices including the ginger root. Boil for 20-30 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove from heat, add the black tea and steep while the mixture cools. Strain into a pitcher or container using a fine strainer. You can serve right away with milk and sweetener to taste or store in the refrigerator and reheat when you want and then add milk and sweetener.
*Sucanat is a natural sweetener that is unrefined, made from dehydrated cane juice and can replace white or brown sugar in cooking and baking.
Clockwise from top: cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, black tea bag and loose tea, fresh ginger, whole cloves, and whole peppercorns.
Turmeric has been known for ages to be beneficial in many ways. Some research shows that it helps with reducing symptoms of arthritis with it's anti-inflammatory properties, helps to kill off cancer cells, slows the aging process and many other benefits. Here is my favorite tea using the goodness of turmeric in this flavor-infused wholesome warm beverage. You can use freshly grated or dried spice turmeric. I love Simply Organic brand from Frontier Foods if you can find it. Pure cranberry adds a delicious tanginess and is so beneficial to drink for those of us prone to UTI's. if you don't love the tanginess of the tea you can sweeten it with local honey and add a boost of protection against seasonal allergies. I love knowing that I'm doing my body good while enjoying this delicious tea. Most of all, I love the taste!
1 cup hot water (not quite boiling)
Juice of 1/2 or less fresh, organic lemon
1 - 2 tsp Turmeric spice, dried or freshly grated
1 tsp or less , to taste, 100% Cranberry Juice Concentrate (I love Dynamic Health brand)
1/2 tsp local raw honey *optional
Remember to stir the turmeric as you drink your warm tea since it doesn't completely dissolve. Enjoy!
Several years ago I came across this natural all-purpose cleaning recipe and have used it faithfully ever since. I love how it works on all surfaces. With my microfiber cleaning cloth and this solution, cleaning is easy and I don't worry about harmful chemicals. Try it out!
Natural All-Purpose Cleaning Solution
Mix and pour into a spray bottle:
2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 dash blue dish washing liquid (such as Dawn)
Sometimes I add a touch of lemon oil and/or baking soda for tough to clean stuff and clean smell but then I don't use it on all surfaces. For example, if I add a drop of lemon oil I don't use the spray on my windows, and if I add baking soda then I won't use it to clean all of my wood surfaces because it may be too abrasive for some.
This solution is amazing for keeping stainless steel clean. My husband has drinking fountains at his office. Using this spray every so often eliminates the white hard water stains that can accumulate. I use it on literally all my surfaces; glass, countertops, wood.