Lemon Mint Tea (Using a Whole Lemon)

A refreshing, anti-inflammatory tea - served hot or cold! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

This easy tea combines the gentle flavor of mint with the bright, fresh flavors of lemon. I drink a quart of this almost every day as it makes me feel more energized and keeps me hydrated. It’s also soothing to drink when sick. Add honey for sweetness or when you have a sore throat. Pour over ice to make a refreshing iced tea!

This definitely has a big lemon punch to it, so if you don’t enjoy flavors on the sour side, don’t steep as long.

I created this method of making tea when I was brainstorming ways to include lemon peel in my diet on a more regular basis. I’ve been working on adding more anti-inflammatory foods into my diet, and lemon peel caught my eye.

Extracts from lemon peel have been studied in a wide variety of applications. It’s been associated with having an anti-cancer effect. 1, 2, It has possible uses for helping with heartburn and cholesterol caused gallstones. 3 Orange peel extracts could help with inflammation as much as ibuprofen. 4 Low Doses of Citrus peel extracts (CPE) “most likely can be used for the treatment of the T cell-mediated liver injury as in autoimmune hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, and chronic viral hepatitis.” 5.

Note that many of these studies were done with animals, and are still in beginning stages of research. But so far there is a lot of exciting research showing many potential benefits. My tea is not going to be the same as the strong extracts used in the above studies, but I figure it can’t hurt!

All to say, citrus peels not only add a big oomph of flavor, but they could be helping our health. This recipe is just one easy way to first of all not waste the most flavorful part of the lemon –the peel. But it also is a gentle way to include some of the benefits of citrus peel in your diet.

Notes on ingredients and supplies:

  • I make my tea in this French Press . I leave the lid off while it steeps, so there is no plastic and heat interaction. You could easily do this in a small pot, but I like the convenience of using my French Press.
  • Use whatever favorite mint tea brand you like! We recently planted to several types of peppermint in pots on our porch so that we have fresh available to use in recipes like this. But you can also use bulk peppermint tea,
  • Buy the best lemons you can. I buy organic lemons. Conventional peels may (will) have pesticide residue or waxes. I believe that organic lemons can have some waxes too, but use beeswax based ones. Best case scenario would be getting lemons completely untreated!

A refreshing, anti-inflammatory tea - served hot or cold! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Lemon Mint Tea (Using the Whole Lemon)

PDF for Printing 

  • 1 lemon, organic, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 bags of peppermint tea, loose tea equivalent, or several sprigs of fresh

Place thinly sliced lemon and peppermint in French Press. Heat purified water to boiling point. Pour over lemon and peppermint tea filling to the band on the French Press. Let steep for 15-30 minutes – the longer you leave it, the stronger it will become.

Drink plain, with honey, and reheated, if desired. I enjoy mine not super hot, so it’s usually perfect after steeping about 20 minutes.

Research Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11142088
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7948106
3. 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18072821
4. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453014000056
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121996/

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Creamy Winter House Salad Dressing

This dairy-free salad dressing will help you enjoy dark greens all year long! The secret to it's wonderful taste? Two special ingredients.

This creamy dairy-free dressing has rich undertones from surprising ingredients that make it perfect for dressing salads during the cold winter months.

Lately I’ve been craving big green salads and I’ve been almost obsessed with making this dressing to go over it!

The backstory to this dressing was a beautiful bottle of salad dressing my in-laws gave me from a restaurant up in Canada. My husband and I liked it so much that we were very sad when the bottle was used up. I wanted to create something similar in taste, but their dressing had a long list of ingredients, so I wanted something simpler to make at home. I honed it on two of the ingredients – tahini paste (ground sesame seeds) and tamari (gluten-free soy sauce). It sounds like such a strange addition to salad dressing, and a strange combination too, but it works so well!

When combined with olive oil and vinegar, the tahini adds depth of flavor, richness, and creaminess to the dressing. The tamari adds a more complex saltiness than just salt alone, and a deep satisfying flavor.

These two ingredients appear to be the secret to dressing we enjoyed from Canada, as it does taste very similar, despite being so much simpler.

A word on ingredients:

  • This is a good Organic Tamari brand.
  • Don’t use toasted tahini paste. I’ve been using a wonderful organic tahini paste from Trader Jo’s. This Organic Sesame Paste  looks similar. In the past, some tahini brands have been hard to deal with because the paste had gotten very hard, making it difficult to work with, but this brand and Trader Jo’s shouldn’t be a problem.
  • I prefer raw apple cider vinegar. If you need a substitute, I’d try fresh lemon juice.

I make this in a wide mouth mason jar with a wide mouth plastic mason jar lid (nonreactive lid).

For another dairy-free yet creamy salad dressing, see this other favorite salad dressing that pairs balsamic vinegar and coconut milk. Also, check out my cookbook, Fresh: Nourishing Salads for all Seasons for practical, beautiful salads.

This dairy-free salad dressing will help you enjoy dark greens all year long! The secret to it's wonderful taste? Two special ingredients.

Creamy Winter House Dressing

PDF file to print recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce, if not gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup of raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions: 

In a quart-sized mason jar (or container of choice), use a fork to combine the tahini paste and tamari, until smooth. Add the vinegar, and stir until smooth. Add the olive oil and stir again until combined. Put on the lid to the jar, tightly, and then shake to completely combine.

Serve right away, or keep refrigerated. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, and then shake to recombine ingredients, if refrigerated. (I keep my dressing in the door so that it won’t harden quite as much as when I put it in the back of my fridge).

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“Busy Day” Asian Veggie Noodle Soup (Gluten & Grain-Free Options)

Busy Day Asian Veggie Noodle Soup - AnAppetiteForJoy.com

By Natalia Gill from An Appetite For Joy

This asian-inspired broth is rich, savory, and loaded with perfectly cooked veggies and gluten-free rice noodles (or grain-free kelp noodles). The best part? It comes together in a flash! And it’s high on nutrition, particularly if you have homemade broth on hand.

I typically use chicken broth I have in the freezer, made in one of two ways – either a budget-friendly bone broth or a time-saving gelatin rich drumstick broth.

I’ve always looked for ways to spend less time cooking without sacrificing nutrition. But now, simple cooking is a must since earlier in the summer, we got a big surprise that our family is expanding! I’m on a mission to get my meal rotation pared down to simple meals, many of them using the slow-cooker or prepped ahead in the freezer (Check out Kimi’s great list of gluten-free freezer meals!)

My favorite simple meal is chicken soup and all the quick variations that can be made with it – from enchilada to Thai red curry to this Asian veggie noodle. I notice that my kids eat this variation with more gusto than plain chicken noodle, so I make it often.

I omitted the chicken this time for a lighter, veggie-focused soup. But feel free to add a few boneless, skinless thighs in at the beginning of cooking. When they are done, take them out, shred them and add back into the soup.

ADDITIONAL SIMPLE MEALS ON MY ROTATION:

Busy Day Asian Veggie Noodle Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Serves: Serves 6-8
 
This Asian inspired veggie noodle soup is so comforting and full of flavor, but requires very little time and effort! See the recipe notes for additional shortcuts or ways to further enhance it.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces thin rice or 24 ounces kelp noodles (kelp noodles are hydrated in the package and weigh more), freshly prepared according to package instructions and set aside in individual serving bowls
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cups snow peas (ends removed, halved)
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (less if full sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the broth to a simmer and add the diced carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the snow peas and tamari. Simmer another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the broccoli florets and scallions. Simmer until the broccoli and carrots are fork tender but still have life in them.
  4. Stir in the sesame oil and, if using, fish sauce. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Add salt and pepper if needed.)
  5. Add the soup to the individual bowls you have set aside with the noodles. Enjoy!
Notes
When you have less time: Swap out the snow peas for frozen peas and put them in with the broccoli (step 3). Buy pre-chopped broccoli florets (Trader Joe's sells a bag of organic ones).

When you have more time: Add 2 cloves of crushed or minced garlic, a small knob of fresh peeled ginger (removed at the end), and/or 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the soup with the carrots (step 1).

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Salt Roasted Turkey with Herbs and Garlic (AIP-friendly)

salt-roasted-turkey-dry-brine

Salt roasted turkey is also sometimes called “dry-brining, ” and it gives you moist turkey meat and crisp skin and beautiful flavor. Plus, I love that this method is so simple!

You will mix kosher salt with dried herbs, lemon and orange zest, and garlic and gently massage into the turkey. Left to saturate overnight, the turkey ends up being well flavored as well as moist, and the turkey skin is browned nicely and crisp. What more can you ask for?

Wet Brine Vs. Dry Brine

The first turkey I made that I felt was a big success was a wet brine. It was plump, flavorful, and was finally a turkey that didn’t dry out. The biggest disadvantages we saw were the following.
1: It’s a bit of a pain to do, and you either need a giant stock pot or a brining bag.
2: The skin doesn’t get as browned and crisp as other methods because it never drys out as much.
3: It does dilute the turkey flavor. Harsher critics of the method say it waters it down. I still like wet brining turkeys, but I have to say that dry brining may be my new favorite.

Benefits of dry brining

1. Dry brining will give you beautiful turkey skin that is very delicious.
2. It’s incredibly easy to do, and you don’t need a brining bag.
3. While wet brining can dilute, dry brining concentrates flavors.
4. Dry brining creates its own brine as it draws moisture out of the bird, which the salt then melts into, and then the salty brine reabsorbs into the turkey.

A Couple More Thoughts on Dry brining

Be aware that this is a well-salted bird. We dislike meats that are under-salted, so this was a wonderful method for us. However, if you like dishes barely or lightly salted, this isn’t the method for you. A few people will rinse the turkey before cooking to cut down on saltiness, but this will make your turkey skin wet, cut down on the flavor a bit, and isn’t considered a safe practice unless you sterilize well afterward.

Dry Brining Method

  • Start with a fresh turkey, not a frozen and defrosted one (most frozen turkey’s have already been injected with a salty mixture)
  • Mix kosher salt with whatever extra flavors you’d like – dried or fresh herbs, citrus zest, garlic.
  • Rub all over turkey (back and front) and sprinkle in the turkey cavity.
  • Cover, and refrigerate for 12-18 hours. Uncover for the last couple of hours to allow the skin to start drying out for extra crispy skin.
  • Stuff turkey, and baste with melted butter or avocado oil.
  • Roast according to directions, and serve!

Things you’ll need:

  • You can use regular kosher salt, but I used and recommend this unrefined kosher salt that hasn’t been bleached or processed but still has the natural minerals in it.
  • I got a great stainless steel turkey pan from Ikea a couple of years ago. If you aren’t ready to fork over a couple hundred, there are more frugal ones to be had.
  • A meat thermometer
  • A zester or fine grater

I picked out the smallest turkey I could find (about 10 ½ pounds) for the above picture (I was just making it for our small family). The dry brine works for 10-13 pound turkey. (For a ten pounder, you don’t have to use quite all of the salt mixture) For a 14- 15 pound turkey, use a 1/3 a cup of kosher salt and heaping measurements of flavor proponents. For a twenty pound turkey, double the mixture.

Salt Roasted Turkey with Herbs and Garlic

PDF File for Recipe Printing

Recipe for dry salt brine for turkey

Dry Brine Recipe

Take note that you can widely change this recipe up as long as you keep the salt the same. The salt will permeate furthest, the herbs and garlic will flavor just the skin and first layer of the meat.

Ingredients: 

  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons each of dried thyme and oregano (or 2 tablespoons each of fresh)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed through a garlic press of finely minced
  • Zest from 1 large lemon
  • Zest from 1 large orange

Other possible additions or substitutions: ground pepper (not AIP), rubbed sage, basil, rosemary

Directions:

  1. Mix in a small bowl. Save lemon and orange for stuffing the turkey.

Dry Brined turkey creates moist turkey meat and crisp , beautiful turkey skin. Plus, it's so beautiful!

Preparing the Turkey.

Ingredient:

1 10-14 pound fresh turkey (I used organic, a free range organic would be even better), Notice notes above and below for bigger turkeys

Directions:

  1. Remove any gizzards and the neck bone (check both sides of the turkey). Set aside for broth making (or put in the freezer for later use). Remove metal or plastic insert that holds turkey legs. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Sprinkle about two tablespoons of the salt mixture inside the turkey cavity, and then rub the rest of the mixture on the turkey, front and back (you can also gently push some under the skin of the turkey).
  3. Place turkey on rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and cover with plastic wrap. Or place in a brining bag and place on sheet.
  4. Refrigerate for 12-18 hours. Remove plastic wrap or brining bag for the last couple of hours to dry out skin, if desired.

Preparing Turkey To Roast

(Simply double all of the below ingredients if using a large turkey)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ -1/2 cup of melted butter or avocado oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • The lemon and orange leftover from the dry brine
  • 3 cups of water

Directions:

  1. Place oven rack at lowest position and pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. If not already, place turkey, breast side up, in middle of roasting pan on roasting rack. Slice the leftover orange and lemon, and stuff them, along with the sliced onion, into the turkey.
  3. Gently tie legs together (confession – I couldn’t find my kitchen twine when I was testing this recipe, and it still turned out okay) by crossing the legs and then tying. Drizzle liberally with melted butter or avocado oil. Pour water underneath the roasting rack in the turkey pan.
  4. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. Turn down heat to 325F and cook until a meat thermometer gets to 165F when stuck in the thickest part of the turkey thigh and the juices run clear. You may want to turn the turkey pan around half way through the cooking time. (Basting unnecessary) . Cover with foil if the skin is getting too dark.
  5. Approximate total cooking time: 8-12 pounds, 2 ¾ -3 hours; 12-14 pounds – 3 to 3 ¾ hours; 14 -18 pounds, 3 ¾ to 4 ¼; 18-20 pounds, 4 ¼ – 4 ½ hours; 20-24 pounds, 4 ½ -5 hours.
  6. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil to keep warm, and let rest for about 15-30 minutes. (This gives you time to make the gravy). Carve and serve.

P.S. I’m planning on walking you through making a gravy with the drippings, but in case I don’t get to it, you need to dilute the drippings significantly as they will be very salty before turning it into gravy.

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