Monthly Archives: June 2014

Recipe ReDux: Lychee Jasmine Tea

June 2014’s theme is:

Floral Flavors: Nothing brightens up a dish like a real flower! Whether you live in the northern or the southern hemisphere, edible flowers can add flavor and aroma to salads, breads, spreads, desserts or dips. Make your recipe bloom with rose water, flowering herbs, floral teas, dried lavender blossoms or even fresh flowers like nasturtiums, violets, borage, squash, sunflowers or pretty much any blossom in a vegetable garden.

I’m gonna be honest–this month has not been kind to me, (thankfully not because of anything catastrophic). Although I entertained the lovely idea of going to the farmer’s market all month, I never did get the chance to make it out there. I’ve been pulling 16-17 hour-days in my basement study hovel. While there are breaks every now and then to commiserate/trade study notes with friends, eat meals, it’s been a pretty bleak experience that I very sincerely hope will pay off when I finally take this test.

Since I couldn’t find fresh flowers, I decided to try to come up with something that I already had all the ingredients for. Thus, this recipe is almost entirely composed of care package items from my parents, and is somewhat of a cross between iced tea and fruit-infused water.

I tend to associate longan with lychee, even though they’re definitely not the same thing. Both of these can usually be found in Asian markets (of which there are none within a 2-hour radius from where I am, hence why my ingredients came from a care package that my mom sent me last month).

  • Longan is a great source of vitamin C and iron.
  • Lychee is also a great source of vitamin C, as well as B vitamins, potassium and copper.
  • Couple both of those with jasmine green tea and you pretty much have an antioxidant bomb in this drink. :O Antioxidants help to protect you from free radical degradation/damage.

Lychee Jasmine Tea

Ingredients:
-2 jasmine green tea bags
-1/4 can lychee, pureed
-dried, seedless longan
-frozen fruit (mangoes, pineapples, strawberries), or ice
-sprig of fresh mint
(~1/2 gallon water)

Instructions:
1) Boil the water, add tea bags and cover for ~5 minutes. Let it cool completely before you put it in the fridge to chill. (Remove tea bags before doing so!)
2) Puree the lychee in a blender/food processor.
3) Pour lychee puree into a tall glass, then add the tea and water.
4) Top it off with the longan, frozen fruit (or ice) and a sprig of mint!

Notes:

  • I have a hot water dispenser, so I just fill a cup with water and stick the tea bags in. This is very much to taste, so you can add more water if you find it to be too strong! I don’t own a pitcher, which is why I went with the cup method.
  • Every can of lychee I’ve ever seen comes packed in syrup, so you can choose to drain that and sweeten it later with your choice of sweetener (or not at all), or reserve some of the liquid to pour into the tea! I drained about 3/4 of the can of liquid and left the rest in so that I could get the lychee to puree properly.
  • This actually only became an iced-tea/fruit-infused water hybrid because I couldn’t figure out how to get the ice dispenser to work (too high-tech for me, clearly; don’tjudgeme), so I decided to throw in chunks of frozen fruit instead! If you like your drinks super-chilled, I suggest you actually use ice. ;)

This is what the bag of dried longan will typically look like!


As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux Contest entries only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

Spill It, Sundays

I’m aware that it’s not actually Sunday yet, but I have another post reserved for tomorrow and this doesn’t actually have to be done on Sunday, soooo…

I’m joining in on Spill It, Sundays, which is a weekly linkup to get to know more about different food/fitness/healthy lifestyle bloggers outside of those aforementioned parameters. Arman is a fellow Recipe ReDuxer, and you can find out more about Spill It, Sundays over here!

98% of the pictures on my phone are reserved for pictures of food (that I’ve made, others have made, etc…basically food that I’m eating), so I’m horrible with this whole selfie thing. I’m going to leave you instead with an adorable Toothless bank I found at Walmart. I want a pet dragon. I’m also including a disclaimer that most of the posts I write are written and scheduled into the future, so most of this was actually written halfway through the week. :x

The last….person you spoke to?

  • I pretty much live in my study room right now (see here for the fully mapped out picture of said study room), so I really only interact with my housemate (I really only see her on weekends because she’s always working and I’m always studying) and my friend Pixie, who studies in the room across the hall from me. We communicate by way of dry-erase markers on our respective windows, so as not to disturb each other’s study-progress.

I took a break over the weekend to study at home so I could tend to the billions of things I was cooking up to feed myself throughout the week, and this is what happened. :O

Mike has returned to the catacombs so he drew a pair of boobs on my window (…). When he angled himself in the right way, it’d look like they were on him. Pixie came by the morning after and transmuted them into amoeba-racers. I promise that we haven’t completely lost our minds, although we are getting close to that point.

The last…sweet food you ate?

  • Sasha bought this super fancy Congo Vanilla Nib 65% dark chocolate for Pixie, who gave most of it to me because she didn’t want to eat all of it. :O

The last…savoury food you ate?

  • I made a tuna salad to put on my bagel this morning. Recipe will follow in a couple weeks…(I schedule everything into the future, haha.)

The last…blog you visited?

  • Mommy’s Getting Strong. She’s on my GGSA team and had a recipe for grilled chicken and mango avocado salsa that looks absolutely amazing. <3

The last…blog you commented on?

  • Suzlyfe! She’s hilarious and I love her posts (and food pictures <3)!

The last…recipe you tried out?

  • I’m half-assuming that this means trying out a recipe that someone else made…so that would be Sweet & Spicy Dijon-Encrusted Salmon! (Made by another fellow Recipe ReDuxer!) It’s been a while! I’ve been branching out and coming up with my own stuff from scratch lately (:O!!!)!

The last…item you pinned on Pinterest?

The last…TV show you watched?

  • I am hopelessly behind on all the TV shows in the world, except perhaps Game of Thrones, because my friends and I make it a point to clear out an hour on Sunday evenings to gather around for dinner/the show before we get back to our respective study hovels. It’s super srs bsns in that we don’t allow any conversation to take place while it’s playing, hahaha. I haven’t seen the season finale yet since one friend couldn’t be there last weekend, so we are waiting on him to watch it together! (Our “Leave No (Wo)Man behind policy.)

The last…trip you took?

  • I went home in early May for Mother’s Day and to reassure my family/friends that I was in fact still alive. It was awesome to be back, but in retrospect, I really should’ve just stayed here to study. :[

The last…time you spent money and on what?

Groceries! That’s about the only thing I ever spend money on anymore. :O It’s also the only thing (other than things required for school) that I allow myself to splurge on, because student loans suck. This was my grocery haul from last night!

  • 1 Simple Truth container of organic mint
  • 1 Simple Truth Organic 50/50 blend of spring mix/baby spinach
  • 1 10 oz. tub Fresh Selections Baby Spring Mix
  • 1 Fresh Selections Southwest Chopped Salad kit
  • 3 10-oz. containers fresh blueberries
  • 1 Homestead Creamery orange milk
  • 1 Bear Naked Cranberry Almond bar
  • 5 Yoplait Greek yogurts (Black Cherry, Tropical, Peach, Strawberry, Mixed Berry)
  • 3 Kroger Greek yogurt (Peach, Pomegranate, Mixed Berry)

All for $21! :D

fitness 5 on friday (round 3!)

My friend left this on my desk earlier last week and I just wanted to pass it along. :]

1. What is your favorite time of day to workout?

Despite not being a morning person in any way, shape or form (society just forces me to continually try to be one so I can get more done in a day :[ ), I love working out first thing in the morning. :] I usually have way more energy and feel a whole lot more alive for the rest of the day. It also prevents me from making up any kind of excuse to not go later on in the day.

2. What is your favorite Super Food?

Would salmon count? :D They’re rich in omega-3’s, which help to lower heart disease risk and are high in monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower your triglycerides. There’s also been suggested research that it may help with memory loss and reducing depression. I absolutely adore food, but if I had to narrow it down to just one type of food, salmon sashimi would be it. (Smoked salmon comes in as a close second though.) I miss being in a place where I could buy sashimi-grade salmon. *-*

3. What are some of your fitness goals?

These are my goals for this year! They’re mainly set on beating a couple records in powerlifting and achieving some sort of consistency/balance in my life in terms of dance, flexibility  + interval training.

4. What is your favorite vegetable?

I’m going to go with spinach, because I’m always down to eat some spinach–raw in smoothies/salads or cooked with stuff. Hooray for vitamins ACEK, iron and calcium!

5. What is something fitness or health-related that you’d like to work on?

I really need to work on drinking more water and not eating everything on sight.


If you’d like to join in on the linkup, answer the following questions and link up your post on Friday (it goes live at 7 a.m. EST!). (On social media, the hashtag will be #F5onF. :)

JVKom Chronicles

One-Pot Veggies & Brown Rice

I’ve been growing my one-pot recipe collection because of boards studying. This is a super, super versatile recipe, so have at it with the experimentation! Feel free to throw in an egg or two for protein. I didn’t only because they were back at my apartment, and we had a lot of grilled chicken, fish and steak to consume. :O

One-Pot Veggies & Brown Rice

Ingredients:
-2 cups brown rice
-1 bag frozen stir-fry vegetables
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 drizzle sesame oil

Instructions:
1) Wash rice and add into the rice cooker bowl.
2) Put all other ingredients into the pot. Feel free to throw in an egg or two for protein! Hit “start!”
3) Season with your choice of hot sauce.


I came across a bunch of “Would you rather?” questions over at Daily Moves & Grooves, and liked them a lot, so I’m transporting em’ here! :P I can completely see how answering these in a vlog would have been a better idea, but me + filming = not a good idea, at all, so BAM! Mass of text it is!

  • Speak another language or get a higher degree? Since I’m already working on my 4th degree right now, I think speaking another language would be awesome. Preferably Spanish, because then mayhaps California will want me back!
  • Have a beautiful singing voice or be a fantastic dancer? This is a difficult one, as two of my pipe dreams happen to be (a) singer and (b) cirque du soleil performer. I may actually have to go with fantastic dancer right now, because it encompasses several of my hobbies, as opposed to just one. (That and the fact that I’ve been told that I have a beautiful singing voice. I just lack the ability to project. :x )
  • Be a CEO of a huge company or run your own small business? Run my own small business! I feel like it’d be easier to accomplish my goals while still holding onto my values and morals.
  • Fly like a bird or teleport? Teleportation, hands down! I’d start a delivery company so I could earn enough to pay off my student loans, be able to go anywhere in the world for food…
  • Eat only sweet food or only salty food for the rest of your life? Sweet. I’m not a fan of super-salty things.
  • Do yoga or lift weights? I like them both, but…lifting weights! I want to set some state records.
  • Be a SUPER fast runner be SUPER strong? Super strong! Then I could beat some national records. >_>
  • Have 8 kids or no kids? Ahahahaha. No kids is what I want by default, so I’m most definitely sticking with that.
  • Have a small, older home with character or design a big brand new home? I want an awesome kitchen and a dance studio + fruit trees and a vegetable/herb garden in my future house. Does the “character” in the smaller older home mean that? :]
  • Watch the Today Show or Good Morning America? (I don’t think I’ve ever watched either…) I’m gonna arbitrarily pick the Today Show.
  • Watch only sports or watch only BRAVO? So…I live under a rock and had no idea what BRAVO was, so I looked it up. Based on the fact that it seems to include something-something-housewives, I’m gonna go with sports, even though I give absolutely no shits about/never watch sports (other than gymnastics).
  • Cook a romantic dinner at home or go to the nicest restaurant in town? Dinner at home! I think cooking with hypothetical romantic-partner-person would be more fun (and would also save a bunch of money).
  • Drink beer or wine? I think I am lacking in acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, so I’m gonna go with neither. If I absolutely have to choose one, I will go with whatever my company happens to want, haha.
  • Eat cookies or eat cake? Cookies because they usually don’t come with frosting. :O
  • Have only brothers or have only sisters? Brothers! That’s basically how I was raised and it was pretty awesome. I can’t really imagine having a sister.
  • Go to Africa or Asia? Most definitely Asia.
  • Eat sweet potato fries or regular fries? Sweet potato fries!
  • Own an SUV or a sports car? Mmm…for practicality purposes, possibly an SUV. But gas-guzzling! :[ Augh!
  • Have a personal chef or a personal trainer? A personal chef who’d divulge their recipes to me. I am my own personal trainer. :O
  • Sleep for 9 hours every night but no coffee, or sleep for 6 hours a night and have coffee? I sleep for 5-6 hours a night without coffee. I need more hours in a day.
  • Read a book or watch a movie? Mmm, at present, watch a movie.
  • Live on the east coast or west coast? I miss California. West!
  • Have your toenails painted or your fingernails painted? Toes! I hate feet and since I play piano, I can’t really let my fingernails grow much anyway.
  • Go to the beach or the mountains? Beach! I live in the mountains right now and it still feels weird to be landlocked.

If you’d like, join in and answer some/all of these in a post or the comments! :]

While we’re on the subject of link-ups and such, go check out Delicious Dish Tuesday over at Eat Drink & Be Mary!

Eat Drink & Be Mary

Tropical Acai Bowl

My mom took advantage of the cold of winter to send me unsweetened Sambazon Acai smoothie packs, so they wouldn’t melt en route! I’m makin’ use of em’ now! :D The blackberries are still somewhat frozen, hence the frosted-over look, haha.

Tropical Acai Bowl

 

Ingredients:
-1 Sambazon unsweetened acai smoothie pack
-1/4 cup coconut water (or enough to blend)
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, blackberries
-1 tsp sweetened coconut flakes
-1/4 cup KIND Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Clusters granola

Instructions:
1) Divide frozen fruit in half and blend 1/2 with acai smoothie pack + coconut water until it reaches a sorbet-like consistency.
2) Pour into a bowl and top with fruit, coconut flakes and granola.