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African Nectar Quinoa

October 8th, 2012 by admin
African Nectar Quinoa is full of fall flavors.

Two weeks ago, Chef Vinita Jacinto began to open up our minds to the flavor possibilities of tea recipes. Her first dish, Earl Grey Rice Pudding, got a lot of attention and rightly so. It was simple to make and tremendously flavorful. This week she’s offering up another simple, compelling fall dish: African Nectar Quinoa.

Chef Jacinto introduces her latest recipe:

Chef Vinita Chopra Jacinto“Quinoa is an incredible addition to any pantry. It is very nutritious, versatile, and excellent for those trying to eat a more plant based diet. I love this salad because it is so easy, and you can create it to the flavor profile of your choice (see notes below). The African Nectar highlights the earthiness and nuttiness of the red quinoa.”
–Chef Vinita Jacinto

African Nectar Quinoa

African Nectar Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa, rinsed and drained – 1 cup
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Organic African Nectar – 3 tea pouches
  • Large plum (diced) – 1
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Lime – 1
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Place quinoa, water and tea bags in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer about 14-16 minutes. Cover pot and let sit for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and fluff the grain with a fork. Cool at least 15 minutes
  4. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Notes:

  • Can be served warm, room temperature, or slightly chilled.
  • You can use other oils, including walnut, flax, and grapeseed.
  • Instead of using plums, feel free to add apples, raisins, or any other seasonal salad additions.
  • Customize the flavor by adding various herbs.
  • Makes a great side dish.

Recipe makes 3- 4 servings

About Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah) is a food that has been cultivated in the Andes since at least 3000 BCE. Millions of native inhabitants have revered it as sacred and referred to this staple food as the “mother grain.” But quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant and technically not a grain. It contains more high quality protein than any grain and is gluten free.

About Chef Vinita Jacinto

Vinita Chopra Jacinto has been involved in the food industry for over three decades. She has extensive experience in culinary education, hotel management and nonprofit services. Vinita has been a culinary educator in San Francisco for over a decade, teaching classes that focus around sustainable and health conscious cuisine.

She has worked at the Le Cordon Bleu School – California Culinary Academy for several years and was the Manager and Lead Instructor of CHEFS, a program dedicated to fighting homelessness through employment in the food services industry. Vinita graduated with her degree in Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition from The Institute of Hotel Management in Mumbai, India. Her areas of culinary focus include vegan and vegetarian cuisine, Indian regional cuisines, Ayurveda and Macrobiotic, Tea Cuisine, sustainable food and nutritional cooking. In addition to her love for all things food, Vinita is a certified Yoga instructor. She has a passion for tea, spices, local food movements, and incorporating old food wisdom into the new generation. “Passion with Compassion” is her food and teaching philosophy.

New to the blogosphere, Vinita posts recipes and culinary musings at spicewhisperer.wordpress.com.

Beyond Green Tea Ice Cream

September 12th, 2012 by admin
Earl Grey Rice Pudding is a sweet and creamy treat.

At Mighty Leaf, one of our favorite things is when an inspired chef incorporates the natural flavors of tea into a wonderful new dish. That sort of creativity expands our understanding of tea and its many tastes and aromas. And it gives us something exciting to add to our culinary repertoire–if only we can figure out how to make it!

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce a partnership with Chef Vinita Jacinto! Together we’ll publish a series of stunning tea-based recipes right here on our blog. Every two weeks, Chef Jacinto will share a new way to take one of your favorite Mighty Leaf teas and turn it into a new mealtime treat.

Here’s Chef Jacinto’s introduction to our first scrumptious recipe:

 

Chef Vinita Chopra Jacinto“Namaste tea fans,

I’m thrilled to be a part of this amazing community of tea, food, flavor and fun! No more thinking of tea as just a beverage. And definitely no more green tea ice cream! We are going to open our minds and our hearts to tea as a spice in our lives. It’s a healthier cooking option: big on health and big on flavor!

Join us on this amazing journey!!

The first recipe is a Tea Rice Pudding. We have used Earl Grey. The citrusy notes work really well and the depth of taste has been enhanced by using both the tea infusion and the powdered tea.”

Earl Grey Rice Pudding

Earl Grey Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice – ¾ cups, rinsed and soaked in water
  • Low fat milk – 5-6 cups
  • Sugar – ¾-1 cup
  • 5 Organic Earl Grey tea pouches

Method:

  1. Let rice soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Put rice, 5 cups of milk and 4 tea pouches in a pan and gently bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes making sure you stir frequently. Now squeeze the tea pouches and take them out. There should be a distinct tea fragrance and a hint of color.
  4. Continue to cook the rice and milk, stirring often. If the mixture is too thick add more milk.
  5. Take the one remaining tea pouch and cut it open. Powder the tea leaves in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.
  6. Check the rice pudding. It should be cooked down to a creamy consistency. Now add the sugar and cook some more.
  7. Here is the time when you customize it to your taste. Too thick? Add more milk and cook some more. Not sweet enough? Add more sugar to your liking.
  8. Add half of the powdered tea. Stir and taste. Want more Earl grey? Add all the tea powder. Stir and simmer a few minutes.
  9. Serve warm on a cold evening or chilled.
  10. Enjoy!!

Note:

  • you can add chopped nuts of choice
  • you can add golden raisins
  • you can use risotto rice {Arborio} and cook it risotto style
  • you can use dairy-free milk for a vegan version (almond milk, coconut milk)

Recipe makes 3- 4 servings

About Chef Vinita Jacinto

Vinita Chopra Jacinto has been involved in the food industry for over three decades. She has extensive experience in culinary education, hotel management and nonprofit services. Vinita has been a culinary educator in San Francisco for over a decade, teaching classes that focus around sustainable and health conscious cuisine.

She has worked at the Le Cordon Bleu School – California Culinary Academy for several years and was the Manager and Lead Instructor of CHEFS, a program dedicated to fighting homelessness through employment in the food services industry. Vinita graduated with her degree in Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition from The Institute of Hotel Management in Mumbai, India. Her areas of culinary focus include vegan and vegetarian cuisine, Indian regional cuisines, Ayurveda and Macrobiotic, Tea Cuisine, sustainable food and nutritional cooking. In addition to her love for all things food, Vinita is a certified Yoga instructor. She has a passion for tea, spices, local food movements, and incorporating old food wisdom into the new generation. “Passion with Compassion” is her food and teaching philosophy.

New to the blogosphere, Vinita posts recipes and culinary musings at spicewhisperer.wordpress.com.

New Tea Cocktails that Inspire the Spirit

November 12th, 2010 by admin

Making tea cocktails always provide an opportunity to explore the delicious flavors and nuances of tea blends and infusions. Pilar Gutierrez of Mighty Leaf recently spend some time with the master mixologist at Ozumo Restaurant in San Francisco whipping up some tea cocktails. Ozumo has developed and offers at their restaurant cocktails made with Mighty Leaf that include the Yuzu Mitsu with Organic Sencha Green Tea, the Twist Ginger with Ginger Twist and the Bourbon Nectar with Organic African Nectar.

You can find details on the recipes below. They are all easy and convenient to make. Enjoy!

Yuzu Mitsu

Ingredients
2 oz Mighty Leaf Organic Sencha Green Tea
1.5 oz. Ketel One Vodka
.5 oz. Green Tea Liqueur
Dash of Yuzu juice

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients and ice in a mixing tin and shake to combine. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Twisted Ginger

Ingredients:
2 oz. Mighty Leaf Ginger Twist Tea
1.5 oz. Sky Ginger Vodka
.25 oz. Simple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Preparation:
Fill a bucket glass with ice and build drink over it. Stir all ingredients lightly to combine and garnish with a slice of lemon and two small straws.

Bourbon Nectar

Ingredients:
2 oz. Mighty Leaf Organic African Nectar Tea
1.5 oz. Bulliet Bourbon
.25 oz. Simple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake to combine. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Green Tea Ice Cream Sound Good?

Bliss DakeAugust 3rd, 2010 by Bliss Dake

Green tea ice cream is one of my favorites. Before I worked for Mighty Leaf, I always wondered how they made it so green and tasty. Matcha, a green tea powder made from ground Japanese premium green tea leaves, is the wonder ingredient. Rich in taste and flavor, Matcha is a versatile ingredient that can be used to make beverages like lattes, frappes and ice cream.  Some chefs  (more…)

Salute Spring with a Lemon Tea Drop

Bliss DakeApril 7th, 2010 by Bliss Dake

Spring evokes freshness, the scent of flower blossoms, the end of winter and for some spring break. If you are looking to escape to the tropics without ever leaving the comforts of home, I invite you to mix up a Lemon Tea Drop, Mighty Leaf’s spin on the popular Lemon Drop cocktail. Using tea in cocktails is a great way to infuse more traditional drinks with new flavors including green tea and fruited herbals. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think. Cheers and happy steeping! (more…)

Holiday Cooking with Tea

Annelies ZijderveldDecember 8th, 2009 by Annelies Zijderveld
Ginger Bread Cake

The holiday season can be a flurry of frenetic energy.  Family arrives from out of town and needs to be entertained and fed.  Parties begin filling the calendar with ink.  Spice up the table this holiday season with tea-infused recipes.  Chef Vinita Jacinto brings together tea with fall and winter ingredients to whet the appetite and not break the bank.  Try the Green Apple and Walnut Salad with Rainforest Maté dressing paired with your favorite stuffing recipe.  Enjoy the Bombay Chai Brined Turkey with your favorite cranberry sauce or chutney.  (more…)

The Mighty Mar-Tea-Nez Cocktail

Shawn RefouaJuly 29th, 2009 by Shawn Refoua
final-marteanez-shot

To most bar goers now, the martini is generic for vodka served up in a cocktail glass, or maybe even some flavored vodka concoction like a chocolotini or Appletini. But that’s not how the martini got its start. In the late 19th century up until at least the 1960s, the martini was a gin drink. (more…)

Green Tea Treats for Summer

Bliss DakeJuly 13th, 2009 by Bliss Dake
green-tea-ice-cream

Ever wonder how green tea ice cream is made or the green tea latte you had at Starbucks?  Matcha is the key ingredient, a tea powder made from premium green tea unique to Japan.  Essential to the celebrated Japanese green tea ceremony, Matcha is well- known for its health benefits and rich, intense taste.  Versatile enough for any season, this tea powder is ideal in summer for making green tea ice cream, iced tea lattes and green tea smoothies. (more…)

Sangria Tea Recipes for Summer

Bliss DakeJune 30th, 2009 by Bliss Dake
sangriaredtea

Sweet summer is here with bountiful heat.  Iced tea is always perfect for chilling out.  But we also invite you to explore other ways of incorporating tea into summer thirst quenchers.  A renaissance is occurring in the culinary world where tea is showing up for summer in unexpected places like on restaurant menus in cocktails or food .  We decided to put a spin on sangria for summer and developed a  Sangria Tea Collection with a variety of recipes to please any palate. (more…)

A Tea Adventure at the Makaibari Tea Estate

Chef Vinita JacintoJune 18th, 2009 by Chef Vinita Jacinto
Tea in the mist

Hello tea lovers!  I am back from my trip to India and boy, what a trip it was!  While visiting my family, I planned a visit to Makaibari Tea Estate, which is situated in the Darjeeling hills of northeastern India.  Since 1859, Makaibari has produced noteworthy teas while conserving the rainforest in which it is located and reflecting the wonderful soul of the local community. (more…)