Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lemon Salmon/Medley and... Chai Tea!

Cooking for five! Wow, I really haven't done much of this. When I think about preparing food for many people, I think of the gatherings my family had where there was always an abundance of food. And on the opposite end, I have cooked for myself (and Jerry) for many years, making dishes for one or two. It is different, and wonderful to create for others to enjoy.
On the weekend I found a beautiful piece of salmon. I bought it with the intent to freeze most of it for another day. But when I opened my fridge on Monday evening, I saw it there and thought about my four lovely ladies. Although salmon is considered a fatty fish, it contains omega 3-fatty acids which help prevent future illnesses, boosts brain function and keeps our moods balanced. While I am trying to eat more vegetables and have a lower carb diet, I am not eliminating carbohydrates. :) I hope that once in a while it is ok for everybody too. To compliment the fish I made a grain dish with broccoli, carrots and green squash.

Home Made Chai Tea
Oh, how I love chai tea!
I love it even more when I can make it for myself. My house smells wonderful and I feel beautiful.
I was inspired this past Christmas when I spent some time with Jerry's sister in Nigeria. The season is called Harmattan and it is dry and dusty. We both had a sore throat. Her solution was to boil a pot of ginger tea. It did wonders for both of us!

Here are the directions for making your own chai tea:
-Boil at least 2 1/2 cups of water (I often make a double batch though :)
-Peel and grate fresh ginger. Reduce the water to a simmer and add ginger.
-Add cinnamon bark, cloves, and cardamon. Remember to take the seeds out of the pods.
-(For variety, you could also add a few black peppercorn, nutmeg or a star anise.)
-Allow the flavors to combine. As the water reduces, the flavors enhance.
-Steep a tea bag, discarding before it turns bitter. You can choose green, black, or red (rooibos).
-When you are ready to drink it you can sweeten it with honey, sugar or a natural sweetener like Stevia. In addition you can add soy milk or half a squeezed lemon. For variety, try it cold by pouring it over crushed ice.

Health Benefits:
*ginger-promotes energy circulation and digestion, as well as a remedy for colds
*Cinnamon-boosts brain and controls blood sugar
*cloves-a natural antiseptic and aphrodisiac :)
*cardamon-stimulates mind and heart creating joy
*rooibos-soothing and full of anti-oxidants

And the combination is sweet and loving.