Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sweet Iced Tea

Iced tea is one of the simplest and most delicious drinks you can make, at any time during the year. It's tasty and thirst-quenching and mixes well with liquor (if you feel so inclined). When we make it, we'll fill several jars in one go so that we have it on hand for the next week. Yes, it only seems to last a short while before you have to make more. But really, don't you have 5 minutes to spare?

The three smaller jars are our 1L mason jars, the extra large one is 2L and fits two pots of tea


1 L of water
1 1/2 tsp tea leaves or 3 tea bags
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice


Brew the tea as you normally would. I usually brew teas for 3 minutes maximum (unless it's herbal, in which case leave it as long as you like) and usually a little less if the tea is prone to bitter, such as white and green teas. Use fairly hot water for black tea, herbal, mate and rooibos, around 98° C. If you have a thermometer, you can use it now, but if not, just wait a minute after the kettle boils before pouring the tea in. For green and white tea, wait several minutes, until the water cools to around 74° C, and perhaps brew it for a little less than 3 minutes. About 1 L of water fits in a large, 3 cup teapot, which in turn fits in a large mason jar, the kind that pasta sauce often comes in.

Pour the brewed tea into the jar you will be storing it in, then add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice. These measurements make a sweet-but-not-too-sweet iced tea, with a pleasant acidity. You can adjust the proportions to your taste.

Stir your concoction with a chopstick or other stirring utensil, then let it cool a bit.

Refrigerate until cool, which will take several hours. If you're in a rush, fill your glass with ice, then slowly pour the tea over it.

Drink up!

Japanese Sprouted Salad

       I've always enjoyed that mysterious orange dressing that you get at Japanese restaurants. I looked around trying to find some similar recipes, and out of the few I rounded up, I created this yummy salad. Quite a bit more complex than the average sushi restaurant green salad.  This salad uses some of my favourite vegetables and incorporates some lovely sprouts! I've listed below what vegetables I've used to make this particular bowl, but feel free to use whichever vegetables you want. As for the main green, a crunchy lettuce, such as iceberg, as bland as it may be, goes perfectly with this zesty sauce.


Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing, slightly more than you will need for one head of iceberg


  • 1 5-6" piece of ginger root, peeled 
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp white onion
  • 1 small clove of garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-3 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  1. Roughly chop the ginger root.
  2. Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor, start with only 1 Tbsp of water, and add more to thin out the dressing if desired. 
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. If you add too much water and want to make it a bit thicker, add some more ginger and tomato paste.
  5. Taste, add a bit of salt or more soy sauce if needed.
  6. Transfer dressing to a mason jar, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before serving.



  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut or ripped to size
  • Handful of washed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup fresh sprouts
  • 5 spears of asparagus, shaved or cut thinly
  • 1/4 cucumber, julienned
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly 
  • 1 medium carrot, shaved or julienned
  • 2-3 green onions, greens chopped

  • 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • toasted sesame seeds


The first two ingredients in this salad are the most important. The crunch of the iceberg and the fresh citrus notes of the cilantro are a must. As for the rest of the ingredients, feel free to take some creative liberty when dressing your salad. 
Combine first set of ingredients in a bowl and mix. 
Add the avocado before dressing/serving and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

This salad is perfect along side a stir fry, some home-made sushi or spring rolls. Yum!