Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | July 21, 2014

Honey Whiskey Roasted Pecans

One of my favorite Julia Child’s quotes is “I enjoy cooking with wine – sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.” So, I was all liquored up over this month’s spirited Recipe Redux theme: cooking with booze!

I try to always have a bottle of dry white wine in the fridge to add to sauces for pasta dishes. White wine, shallots, olive oil, lemon, reserved pasta water, and you’re done! 

When I saw the challenge this month to make a healthy spirited recipe, my mind automatically zeroed in on this bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey that Steve got for Christmas last year (along with the 5 other bottles of whiskey he got last year – can you guess what his drink of choice is?). Well, actually, first my mind went to something with Bloody Mary’s, but that’s pretty much always where my mind goes first when it comes to alcohol. :)

But the Honey Whiskey has such an interesting sweet flavor profile that I knew I had to use it. And how fitting that just last week, I tuned into a webinar hosted by Recipe Redux and Healthy Aperture and sponsored by the National Honey Board on…you guessed it! Honey! Honey has so many functional benefits – from preserving to emulsifying to acting as a antimicrobial! Marie Simmons, Author of the cookbook Taste of Honey, said that she likes to make a simple non-fat salad dressing with equal parts lemon juice and honey. Now doesn’t that sound refreshing!

One of my all-time favorite smells in the world (besides fresh basil) comes from street carts that are making roasted nuts. Cinnamon roasted almonds – seriously, nothing smells better. I wanted to try roasting nuts and home and fill my apartment with that sweet aroma.

Honey Whiskey Roasted Pecans | Peace, Love, and Food

 Honey Whiskey Roasted Pecans


Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups raw pecans

1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey (can substitute with any whiskey variety)

1/3 cup raw honey

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bring whiskey and honey to a boil. Add pecans and stir to coat. Let simmer for about 5 minutes and then remove from heat and drain liquid.

Transfer pecans to the baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, turning pecans over once halfway through baking time. Let cool to room temperature prior to serving.

Honey Whiskey Roasted Pecans | Peace, Love, and Food

 

Honey Whiskey Roasted Pecans | Peace, Love, and Food

 

Honey Whiskey Roasted Pecans | Peace, Love, and Food

Check out what other spirited recipes my fellow Recipe Reduxers are concocting this month by clicking the link below:

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | July 10, 2014

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots

Have you ever purchased a vegetable because it looked so gosh darn cute? Yes, I said cute in reference to vegetables. Is it obvious by now that I look at my produce with love and adoration? If it’s fresh, local, and sitting at my favorite farmer’s market, how can I not?

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

It’s kind of like how I sometimes purchase bottles of wine solely based on the label. Cool label? Must be good. Same with the baby carrots I recently picked up at the farmer’s market. They looked adorably tiny and all baby-like so I thought, these are cute. Must taste good.

Sometimes we overcomplicate our food purchasing decision making. I like to keep it simple.

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

So, the cute baby carrots were purchased and I decided to roast them for Steve and I and served them with salmon and brown rice. I simply roasted them in the oven with EVOO, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Steve LOVED them (and he’s not your biggest vegetable advocate). So, for baby carrots round two, I decided to add one extra ingredient to give it a little extra oomph.

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots

Serves four

Ingredients:

1 bunch baby carrots, greens removed and washed thoroughly (approximately 18 carrots)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss carrots with olive oil, cinnamon, curry powder, salt and pepper and transfer to the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Note: If baby carrots aren’t in season, you can substitute with bagged baby carrots or regular carrots.

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

Curry Roasted Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

Have you ever purchased a vegetable solely on its looks? What gems have you found lately at your farmer’s market?

& Congrats to the winners of the Welch’s Fruit Juice giveaway: Dawn, Rachel, Elis, and Jo-Ann! I’ll be in touch soon to coordinate mailing you your FREE Welch’s coupons.

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | July 3, 2014

Welch’s 100% Fruit Juice Giveaway!

In the summer, summer, summertime, I especially enjoy breaking out of my plain ol’ water for hydration rut and shaking things up a bit (sometimes quite literally in fact). I drink sparkling water all year round (guess what’s on the Christmas list this year? Soda Stream, I’m looking at you) and tend to add a squeeze o’ lemon or lime, or lately the tops of strawberries for a spa-like refreshing beverage.

I also love adding splashes of lemonade, iced tea, or 100% juice to sparkling (or even still) water. I typically recommend limiting fruit juice consumption to no more than 4oz per day and pumping up the volume by diluting with water or sparkling/seltzer!

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Now, Welch’s is a fruit juice brand that I can stand behind. They do the research (more than a decade’s worth, in fact). They seek expertise from health experts like registered dietitians. And they’re based not too far from Boston, in Massachusetts. Wins all around.

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So what are the benefits of Welch’s, you ask? 100% Concord Grape Juice delivers antioxidants called polyphenols and has been shown to help support a healthy heart.

Welch’s 100% Grape Juice is made with Concord grapes, grown right here in North America by Welch’s co-operative of family farmers. The grapes are picked at their peak and pressed into juice within 8 hours of harvesting so that you get the best nutrient bang for your buck!

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They also recently launched a delicious line of juices called Farmer’s Pick made with unfiltered juice which gives the product more body and flavor.

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Want to ditch your hydration rut and join me in shaking things up this summer? We’re offering FOUR readers the chance to win FIVE  coupons for a FREE Welch’s 100% Juice or 100% Juice Blend (46 oz., 64 oz., 96 oz., 4-pack or 6-pack, any flavor).

To enter for your chance to win, leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite flavor of juice is!

You can enter additional times by:

1. Tweeting about the giveaway: “I just entered @karalydonRD #giveaway for 5 FREE coupons for @Welchs 100% fruit juice! http://wp.me/pL33i-Sw”

2. Following me on Pinterest.

3. Sharing the news of the giveaway on Pinterest with your followers. 

The giveaway will run through Thursday, 7/3 through Monday, 7/7 and I’ll pick a winner using random.org and announce the winner later in the week. 

Good luck!

Disclosure: The views in this post are my own. I was not compensated by Welch’s for this post, though they did provide me coupons for the giveaway.

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | July 1, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Shortcake

Have you ever had one of those recipes that makes you stop dead in your tracks and ask yourself “how have I been missing out on this my whole life?” I had one of those moments Sunday evening after an earlier afternoon trip to the Farmer’s Market. I was with my fellow RD friend Jessi and we were drooling over the sweetest fresh strawberries. We obviously had no other choice but to buy 2 quarts each.

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I told her I’d been wanting to make strawberry shortcake but was in the mood to put a slightly different spin on it. She gave me the “why would you want to change a good thing” schpeal followed by the “you could always roast the strawberries” suggestion. 

Roasting strawberries? I roast vegetables all the time but I was skeptical to place a delicious summer fruit in the oven to cook. It seemed counterintuitive to me. But my desire to shake things up was stronger so it was roast or bust. 

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Talk about a serious game changer. Roasting the strawberries made them so much more tender and their inherently sweet flavor more potent. I was so excited about this discovery that I immediately started texting friends and family, “roasting strawberries. game changer!” These made for the BEST strawberry shortcake of my life. I’m not sure I can ever go back to making them any other way. Roaster for life. 

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Shortcake

Makes 4 servings*

Ingredients:

for the strawberries and whipped cream

1 1/2 lbs strawberries, tops removed and slice in half

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp agave nectar syrup

1/2 pint heavy cream

4oz vanilla Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla

for the biscuits *(makes ~6 biscuits)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp cold, unsalted butter

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp low-fat milk

Directions:

For the biscuits:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse once to combine. Add cubed cold butter and pulse briefly until crumb-like peices are formed. 

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add milk. Form the dough into a round shape.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface until 1-in thick. Cut dough into rounds using a 3-in. cookie or biscuit cutter. Place biscuits onto baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

For the strawberries and whipped cream:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar and agave.

Pour strawberry mixture onto baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes, turning over every 10-15 minutes. Let cool and transfer to refrigerator. 

In the meantime, make the whipped cream by using an immersion blender or electric mixer to whip the heavy cream and vanilla in a medium bowl until stiff peaks begin to form. Gently fold in the Greek yogurt. 

Top your biscuits with the strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.

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Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | June 26, 2014

Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto

This week, I found myself at the farmer’s market, not once, but twice! Like, in the matter of two days. I seriously can’t help myself though. If you’ve ever been to a farmer’s market, hopefully you can relate to the pure joy I feel while casually strolling through. They just make me feel so gosh darn elated! If you have never been, get goin’! Check out my top reasons for eating locally here and find your closest farmer’s market here. 

I love seeing the dirt on the fresh produce, chatting with the friendly local farmers, and trying new foods! I’m always spotting produce that I’ve never cooked with before. The year we had a CSA it was produce like kohlrabi, watercress, and pea shoots that made their debut in my kitchen. This past Tuesday, a couple new things caught my eye.

Like these freakin’ adorable baby carrots. How could I resist?

Farmer's Market Baby Carrots | Peace, Love, and Food

 And these wild and crazy garlic scapes! Detected a slight resemblance to myself when I roll out of bed first thing in the morning.

Farmer's Market garlic scapes | Peace, Love, and Food

 I’ve also been looking for an excuse to use the basil from our fire-escape garden (yes, this is city living at its finest for ya).

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Plus, I snagged some tomatoes and fresh mozzarella from my first farmer’s market stop this week so I decided to put it all together in one delicious appetizer.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto | Peace, Love, and Food

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 bunch garlic scapes, flowers and tough ends removed

1 cup fresh basil, packed

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 large tomatoes, sliced

8oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Directions:

In a food processor, add garlic scapes, basil, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil and pulse to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Alternate tomato and mozzarella slices to create towers and top off with a dollop of the pesto. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the towers.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto | Peace, Love, and Food

 

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto | Peace, Love, and Food

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | June 19, 2014

Thai Farm Cooking School and Recipe for Papaya Salad

While in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand), I had the pleasure of taking a Thai cooking class at Thai Farm Cooking School. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip! The cooking class took place on an organic farm where they source all of the produce and herbs that we used in our dishes. We started the day off by getting a tour of the farm and talking about all the different staples for Thai cooking.

Like thai basil…

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lemongrass…

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galanagal (thai ginger) and tumeric…

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After touring the farm, we got down to business in the kitchen.

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And made, hands down, the best Thai food I had the ENTIRE trip.

Tom Yam Soup

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Vegetable and Cashew Stir Fry

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Tofu Pad Thai

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Pumpkin in Coconut Milk

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We started the meal off with some papaya salad that they made for us ahead of time. You can read me raving about papaya salad here. And enjoy the recipe for papaya salad below! 

Papaya Salad

Recipe courtesy of Thai Farm Cooking School

Ingredients

1 cup shredded green papaya*

1-2 Thai hot chili peppers

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp sugar

1/3 cup chopped long beans

1 tomato, cut into 6 pieces

2 tbsp peanuts

1 tbsp fish or soya sauce

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

In a mortar and pestle, mash garlic, long beans and chilies until crushed into pieces. Then add lemon juice, sugar, fish sauce, tomato, salt, and mix together. Finally add papaya and mix together well with a pestle and a spoon. Serve cold with fresh cabbage, lettuce, or morning glory.

*Green papaya can be substituted for cucumber, green apple, cabbage, or carrots.

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Have you ever taken a cooking class while traveling?

And in case you missed my other posts in the Thailand/Cambodia travel series, check them out below!

Thailand-Inspired New Years Themes

Top 10 Things I Learned in Thailand (& Cambodia)

Cambodia Cuisine

Thailand Eats

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | June 12, 2014

Truffle Mushroom Eggs Benedict {Recipe Redux}

{Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.}

Truffle Mushroom Eggs Benedict | Peace, Love, and Food

As I mentioned in my last post, my girlfriends and I reunited in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend. And while we made time for reminiscing about our trip to Thailand together, we made eating and drinking our way through San Fran our main priority. As my yoga teacher said this morning, “like attracts like”, so it’s no wonder that my two friends are as big of foodies as I and that most of our conversations around the table revolved around our favorite foods. We even had a discussion around what our very last meal would be. Yep, we went there. And I went Italian. Gram, you can feel proud.

While eating our way around San Fran, we stopped for brunch at a place called Mission Beach Cafe (in the Mission neighborhood). My friend, Karen, who lives in SF now, was raving about this veg-friendly truffle Eggs Benedict she had at Mission a few weeks back. After the three of us talked about how much we love truffle and all of the foods we love to put truffle on, we decided that we too should experience all that is the truffle Eggs Benedict.

I’m a HUGE Eggs Benedict snob. It is by far my favorite brunch food and if we ever go out to brunch together, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be sopping up every last drop of hollandaise on my plate. When Karen said this was one of her favorite Eggs Benedict, I had to be the judge for myself. And boy, did it deliver! I’ve had a LOT of Eggs Benedict in my day and I really think this was the best I’ve ever had. A close contender would be the veggie Eggs Benedict at South End Buttery because they use the flakiest biscuits as a bed for the poached eggs. That and their hollandaise is the bomb dot com.

Usually, whenever I order Eggs Benedict, the veg version has spinach or tomato or if you get a really crazy place, maybe even avocado. But, I’ve never ordered a mushroom Benedict before my trip to SF. I loved the meaty texture of the mushrooms against the rest of the Benedict. You don’t miss the meat at all. When I read that the Mushroom Council was hosting a contest to showcase our love of mushrooms by sharing a recipe that blends mushrooms with a portion of meat or swaps out all of the meat protein, I knew what I had to use as my inspiration.

Truffle Mushroom Eggs Benedict | Peace, Love, and Food

Truffle Mushroom Eggs Benedict

Makes 4 servings*

Ingredients

for the biscuits (*makes 8-10 biscuits)

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 tbsp cold, unsalted butter

1/2 tsp salt

6oz 2% Plain Greek Yogurt

Approx. 3 tbsp coconut milk (see note in directions)

for the eggs benedict

2 tbsp olive oil

2 shallot, minced

2 portobello mushroom caps, rinsed and diced

3 cups spinach

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp thyme

8 large eggs

for the hollandaise 

6oz 2% Plain Greek Yogurt

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp truffle oil

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

For the biscuits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and butter until crumb-like pieces are formed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the yogurt. Add coconut milk, one tbsp at a time, until you can form the dough into a round shape, but before the dough gets too sticky.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface until 1-in thick. Cut dough into rounds using a 3-in. cookie or biscuit cutter. Place biscuits onto baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

For the Eggs Benedict and Hollandaise:

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add mushrooms and spinach and sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and spinach is wilted.

In the meantime, make the hollandaise by adding yogurt, egg yolks and lemon juice to a heat-resistant bowl. Set up a double broiler by filling a pot with 2 inches of water. Place the heat-resistant bowl on top of the pot so that it’s not touching the water. Bring water to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Whisk the hollandaise  continuously for roughly 10 minutes, until sauce thins and then thickens again. Once thickened, remove from heat and whisk in mustard and truffle oil. Add salt and white pepper.

In a medium or large pot of boiling water, poach eggs the traditional way or my preferred way, using my favorite tool – PoachPods! Poach eggs for a few minutes, until the white is no longer translucent and the yolk is still runny.

Assemble Eggs Benedict by layering the biscuit (sliced in half), mushroom mixture, eggs, and hollandaise.

Truffle Mushroom Eggs Benedict | Peace, Love, and Food

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Truffle Mushroom Eggs Benedict | Peace, Love, and Food

Aside from their meaty-texture, I love mushrooms because they’re a good source of B vitamins and provide important nutrients like potassium, selenium and vitamin D! And for you meat lovers out there, they make a great low-calorie, low-fat substitute for meat. You can even use the “blendability” technique and swap out 1/2 the meat for 1/2 mushrooms. 

Blenda-what?? Check out The Mushroom Council’s Facebook page for the deets on their Swap it or Top it Contest and to learn more about the blendability technique. 

And be sure to see what other mushroom swaps and blends are happening this month by clicking on the link below! 

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | June 5, 2014

Thailand Eats

This picture pretty much sums up my excitement about the food in Thailand.

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It’s been a while since my trip to Thailand but I’m reminded of the smells (spicy) and tastes (extra spicy) of its cuisine regularly. Just last weekend, I visited my friends Lindsay and Karen (whom I traveled to Thailand with) in San Fran and we reminisced about our favorite dishes (papaya salad) over a plate of (well, obviously) papaya salad at a local Thai/Asian fusion restaurant. Oh, and in case you want to hear the word papaya salad one more time, the picture above is me digging into a (you guessed it) papaya salad made by your average street cart. Shredded green papaya, long beans, tomato, peanuts, fish sauce, and thai chili peppers make for a sweet, sour, and spicy dish. Some of the best food I had in Thailand was considered “street food”. Like the dinner we had at this place. Yep, that’s their kitchen.

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I was in coconut glory all around Thailand between the coconut milk, water, cream, curry, meat. You name the part. I ate it.

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Wanna take a wild guess what this machine (pictured above) is up to? Shredding coconut meat to make coconut milk! I’ve never seen so much coconut in one place at one time. I also put an end to my aversion for coconut water (having only tried Vita Coco prior) when I drank the water straight out of a coconut in Thailand. Made a world of a difference in terms of taste. Since returning home, I’ve found that Harmless Harvest (although pricey) tastes the most like the water straight outta da nut.

Coconut, a mainstream staple in Thailand for years now, has been making its way into products on store shelves here in the US over the last couple of years. Touted a trendy health food, coconut is best known for the kind of fat it contains (medium chain triglycerides or MCT) which are metabolized differently from other types of fats. This type has been shown to actually help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

I’ve been cooking more at home with coconut oil and using coconut milk and water in my smoothies. And if I could recreate this coconut ice cream with coconut meat out of the shell every day, I would.

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My diet in Thailand pretty much consisted of only fresh vegetables and fruit, tofu, and rice.

Like this fresh pineapple (literally the sweetest, most delicious pineapple I’ve had in my life).

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Given the abundance of fresh food, I didn’t miss much except for one of my American staples…peanut butter. So, when I came across this peanut butter and banana rotee (or thai pancake), I couldn’t resist. Deliciously indulgent, this satisfied my American craving for the rest of my stay.

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For my next (and final) post of the Thailand/Cambodia series, I’ll share with you a few Thai recipes and my experience attending a Thai cooking class!

Tell me, have you tried Thai food? What’s your favorite?  

And in case you missed my other Thailand/Cambodia posts, check them out below!

Thailand-Inspired New Years Themes

Top 10 Things I Learned in Thailand (& Cambodia)

Cambodia Cuisine

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | May 29, 2014

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Smoothie


I’m all about healthy foods with dessert names. Apple Pie Oatmeal, Chocolate Cherry Frosty, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Smoothie.

It makes healthy sound sexy. And let’s be real. Healthy can afford to bring sexy back. I’m a firm believer that healthy can and should be delicious and appealing, which is why I take the time every week to make delicious, nutritious recipes, take beautiful pictures, and share them with you here.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Smoothie | Peace, Love, and Food

With summer around the bend, I’ve also been making more smoothies and taking advantage of this quick and easy way to load up on my fruit + veggie intake.

I’ve been dying to get my hands on rhubarb this spring because it’s not one of my go-to vegetables but I love eating seasonally to support local farmers (and my wallet!) so I wanted to give it a shot.

Sweet strawberries (also seasonal this time of year) and tart rhubarb pair perfectly together so I whipped them up in this seasonal smoothie.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Smoothie 

Ingredients

1c frozen strawberries

1/2c chopped rhubarb

1/2c sliced frozen banana

Juice of 1/2 orange

1c coconut milk

Optional topping: nutty granola

Directions

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Top with your favorite nutty granola.

 

Cheers!
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Smoothie | Peace, Love, and Food

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Smoothie | Peace, Love, and Food

Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | May 21, 2014

Recipe Redux: Masala Chai Tea Scones with Vanilla Glaze

Hi, I’m Kara, and I’m a tea-aholic.

The majority of people I know have their morning ritual that involves brewing a fresh cup of coffee or espresso, or heading to the closest Starbucks for the roast of their choice.

Me? I take solace in the early hours of the day hearing that one-decimal-too-loud whistle from my tea kettle. Yes, it’s true – I’m the girl that invites you to catch-up over coffee but then orders tea.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that haunting aroma of coffee. It’s just never been too kind to my stomach, whereas tea, is gentler but I can still brew a strong cup to give me that caffeine perk I need in the morning to jumpstart my day.

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As an avid tea drinker, I’ve been excited to see articles stating that “tea is the new coffee” and research boasting its health benefits and antioxidant properties. With the increasing interest in functional food and beverages, it’s no surprise to me that antioxidant-packed tea is making its way into baked goods on bakery shelves and sauces, rubs, and marinades on restaurant menus.

As a huge fan of this loose-leaf trend, I was thrilled to see that this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was to embrace the bubbling up world of tea and to stir up some healthy tea-inspired dishes.

Every morning I sip from my mug filled with black tea (typically either English or Irish Breakfast) but an extra special treat to me is savoring a chai latte. Someone described the taste of chai to me once as “Christmas morning” and while I can’t exactly put into words what that means, I got it. There’s something oddly comforting and holiday-like about the spices that compose chai tea – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom.

My first (and most fond memory) of a chai latte was at the late breakfast/brunch spot in Buffalo called Solid Grounds (RIP my favorite brunch spot), and I remember they topped the extra large ceramic mug brimming with piping hot chai with fresh whipped cream and dusted it off with ground cinnamon to boot. There was nothing better than that chai latte in my opinion.

In memory of my first favorite tea experience, I decided to get back to my chai roots and bake masala chai tea scones.

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Masala Chai Tea Scones with Vanilla Glaze

Makes 8 scones

Ingredients

for the scones:

1/4c water

1 tbsp masala chai loose leaf tea

1 1/2c whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

5 tbsp unsalted butter

1 large egg

3 tbsp agave nectar

3/4c Plain 2% Greek Yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon, for dusting

1 tbsp raw turbinado sugar, for dusting

for the glaze:

1c confectioners sugar

1 tbsp 2% milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Boil water in small sauce pan. Remove from heat and add loose-leaf tea. Steep for at least 10 minutes, until cool. Strain.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor*, add flour, baking powder, salt, and butter, and pulse to combine (pieces of butter should be no larger than pea-size). Transfer to large bowl.

In a medium bowl, combine tea, egg, agave nectar, and vanilla. Mix together. Fold in yogurt and be careful not to over mix. Add wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine.

Turn dough onto floured surface and pat into a 1-in thick circle. Cut into 8 wedges. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle lightly over scones. Bake scones for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.

While scones are cooling, whisk together milk, confectioners sugar and vanilla to make glaze. Drizzle over cooled scones. 

*A blender or a fork can be used instead of a food processor.

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See what the other Reduxers have got brewing in their kitchens this month by clicking on the link below:

 

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