RECIPES & STORIES
"It's the Simple things in Life"
Makes 4 servings
I first tried this tea when I was a teenager, living in Toronto, Canada, and fell absolutely in love with it. A friend’s dad who grew up in Morocco made it for us one day to accompany a delicious lunch of herbed couscous and grilled veggies and it remained with me forever.
Fresh mint leaf is what makes this tea so incredibly special. The caffeinated green tea offers boldness while the mint leaf effusion refreshes the palette and the honey hints of sweetness. For a decaffeinated version, simply use either decaf green tea, or just the mint leaf tea.
4 cups of water
1 green tea bag*
½ cup of loosely packed fresh mint leaves (spearmint or peppermint)*
4 tablespoons honey (or to taste)*
Boil 4 cups of water.
Place the green tea, fresh mint leaves and honey together into a serving teapot. Pour the hot water into the serving teapot and allow the ingredients to steep for 5 minutes. After steeping, carefully remove the tea bag (or loose leaf infuser). Pour your freshly made Moroccan Mint Tea into teacups. You can use a strainer to prevent the fresh mint leaves from pouring into the teacups if you prefer it.
To make an iced version of this tea, simply brew all the ingredients with only 2 cups of boiled water, remove the green tea bag (or loose leaf infuser) after 5 minutes, and pour over 2 cups of ice cubes. Chill in the fridge before serving.
It sounds simple because it is!
Using tea bags is a wonderful convenience, but once you’ve enjoyed this quick, sweet, soothing, aromatic and refreshing fresh mint tea, you won’t believe the difference… and you may even prefer it!
Spearmint has a milder, sometimes sweeter essence, and peppermint has more bite due to the presence of menthol. Both are delicious, but if you are aromatically or pallette sensitive to one or the other just know they offer different sensations on the tongue and through the body. When serving this tea with a spicy meal your best bet is to go with spearmint leaves.
Like mint, different honeys have significantly different tastes. The taste depends on what flowers the bees gathered pollen from. Some varieties include wildflower, clover, orange blossom and many more. Do you have a preference? Whichever flavor of honey you enjoy I encourage you to buy organic, locally and ethically sourced kind to protect our healthy bee populations.
*If you utilize a loose leaf tea infuser in this recipe, replace 1 tea bag = 1Tbs. loose leaf
Servings: 2 ½ cups
My daughter is obsessed with Princesses… and when I was looking to create a Vitamin C rich smoothie for her one day, to boost her immune system, we came up with this version together. I asked her what she wanted to name in and she chose “Sleeping Beauty”. This Princess sure gets enough sleep and I imagine would have perfectly glowing skin because of it. Well now we can drink this Vitamin C rich drink in Sleeping Beauty’s honor and it will not only keep the common cold away, but also smooth out our complexion.
A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher levels of Vitamin C intake were associated with a lower likelihood of wrinkles, dry skin and a more youthful appearance.
Citrus fruit and kale are a match made in heaven… no really. The Vitamin C rich oranges, camu camu berries and strawberries help with the absorption of the plethora of Calcium found in Kale. Dr. Christine Horner in her spectacular book “Radiant Health Ageless Beauty” reveals that one single cup of kale holds more Calcium than a glass of milk.
Juice of 2 freshly squeezed oranges (1- 1 ½ cups)
½ cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of loosely packed kale
1 cup of ice
1 teaspoon Camu Camu Powder
Combine all the ingredients in a powerful blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. And that’s it. Simple as that. Enjoy!
I like to get as much nutrients from food as possible. This recipe uses Camu Camu Powder, made from the wild berries of the same name that grow in the Amazon. This berry is world famous for being the food source with the highest levels of Vitamin C in the world.
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
This recipe was inspired by a salad I love to order when I am visiting Toronto. You will find it on the menu at Il Gato Nero or “Gato” as the locals lovingly call it. This family-owned restaurant has been around for almost two decades and they serve the most delicious coffee, salads and pizza. During the height of summer, the Gato patio is a wonderful place to hang out and catch a soccer match. At night, the spot transforms into a happening bar and most mornings you can catch local actors, directors and writers enjoying their lattes and brain storming their next creative masterpiece. When I was filming the feature Dawn of the Dead I would always drop by Gato to grab my morning latte to enjoy during my long drive to the film set.
Peppery arugula leaves topped with balsamic-infused mushrooms and Parmesan cheese is pure heaven. The mushrooms are so good that you can double the recipe and serve them as an appetizer or a side.
6 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into ¼ inch strips
6 tablespoons of grape seed oil (divided)
2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of almond flour or breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
7 ounces or 6 cups of tightly packed arugula leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Wipe the mushrooms cleaning using a dry napkin and remove the stems. In a large heavy skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil on high heat. Drop in the sliced mushrooms and, using tongs, flip them around gently until they release water and wilt. About 10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and season with a teaspoon of salt about 5 minutes into cooking. Continue cooking on high heat and stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes the water will evaporate and the mushrooms will be a rich amber brown.
Turn off the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar, followed by the almond flour or breadcrumbs.
Make the dressing for the salad by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
Assemble the arugula leaves on a wide, shallow platter. Drizzle the dressing over the leaves. Gently place the warm mushrooms evenly on top of the bed of arugula leaves and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Serve right away.
Makes: 4 Servings
This herbal tisane is very soothing and even has a light sensation of romance about it. From the gorgeous color, to its assortment of flavor profiles—floral, citrusy and sweet—it entices all the senses. The chamomile, which has many healing properties, offers relaxation. Also just that little hint of lavender makes the French countryside come to mind. Once you get your hands on edible lavender flowers, which last forever as a little goes a long way, the remainder of this recipe uses readily available ingredients. The end product is a gorgeously delicious tisane that you can make at home at a fraction of the cost of gourmet teas.
The delightful and funny thing I have discovered is that both my kids love to drink this tea cold. It makes for a desirable substitute to sugary fruit juice.
4 cups of water
1 chamomile tea bag
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon of edible lavender flowers
honey to taste (about 3 tablespoons)
Place all the ingredients into a teapot and pour in 4 cups of boiling water. Let the tea and lavender flowers steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and pour the tea into teacups using a strainer (to separate the lavender flowers).
A tea cozy is wonderful at keeping tea warm for long periods of time, so I highly recommend getting one.
To make an iced version of this tisane, simply brew all the ingredients in 2 cups of boiled water, remove the teabag after 5 minutes and then add 2 cups of ice cubes. Chill in the fridge before serving.