Lemon, cucumber, mint water

Lemon, cucumber, mint waterHello, everyone! Just a quick post this week about my go to drink in the summer. I actually make different flavors of water throughout the year, but this particular one is a go to for those hot summer days. It refreshing and has a ton of health benefits, as well as aid in weight loss. Here are some of the benefits for each ingredient….

 

 

Lemons:

  • Lemons are good for the stomach. Lemon can help relieve digestive problems when mixed with hot water, including nausea, heartburn and parasites. By drinking lemon juice regularly, your stomach is assisted, to remove dirt more efficiently.
  • Lemon acts as a blood purifier and cleaning agents. Intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. Lemon juice also acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping the liver produce more bile. Routinely drinking lemon water opens the way to losing weight faster.
  • Lemons are filled with vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C can increase the body’s defenses – attack the flu virus. And potassium can help with brain and nerve function, and blood pressure control.

Cucumbers:

  • Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.
  • Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins
  • Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.
  • Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.
  • Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
  • Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

Mint:

  • Mint alleviates symptoms of indigestion in a few ways. It soothes the stomach; stimulates bile production and flow, which aids the digestion of fats; and increases the rate that food moves from the stomach to the small intestine.
  • According to recent research, some of the enzymes contained in the mint leaves can help fight cancer cells.
  • Mint leaves eliminate toxins from the body and when included in the diet on a regular basis, eliminates bacteria and fungus from the body.
Make it:

The ingredients are simple – water, lemon, cucumber, and mint. The amount you add is up to you. Leave the skin on the cucumber when adding to your water. Make sure to slice cucumber and lemons thinly, and keep in mind that mint is strong, so a few leaves can add a strong flavor.

It may take a few tries to make the perfect water that suits you and your taste, but once you find that perfect balance of flavors, you will find it easy to drink more than 1 glass at a time.

All of those benefits in a glass of refreshing water! So, instead of reaching for a soda or iced tea – reach for this refreshing drink. So, go ahead, drink up to good health!

Amazing Brownies (Sinner’s Brownies)

Sinner's Brownies

Sinner’s Brownies

Hi, everyone! I wanted to post a quick recipe for the most delicious brownies EVER! Well, at least in my opinion. I am not a cake like brownie person, and a lot of recipes I’ve used in the past have always disappointed (giving me a cake like rather than a fudgy brownie). I wanted a recipe that gave me decadent fudgy brownies. This recipe is it! Please note that these brownies are not for the faint of heart. This is not a healthy brownie recipe. This is the real deal. Yes, you can substitute with apple sauce, pumpkin, or splenda – but why?  These are the brownies you make when you want to be bad, really bad. These are sinner brownies…. oooh, I think I just named my brownies! So, go ahead and give into temptation, just this once. Make these bad boys as directed! You will thank me for it!

IMG_2625Ingredients:

1 cup butter melted
2  1/2 cup sugar (oh, boy – sugar!)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs (use large or extra large)
1  1/2 cup flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
 

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8×11 pan. This is the perfect size pan. It makes the brownies at just the right thickness.

Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla into a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.

In another bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, and salt. After dry ingredients are mixed slowly combine with egg mixture until blended.IMG_2629IMG_2631Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or chunks. Take spatula and begin to fold chips into batter. I do not mix right into the batter before I put into the pan because all the chocolate chips usually go right to the bottom. If you sprinkle on top and fold in, they distribute more evenly.IMG_2632Bake in preheated oven (350) for 35-40 minutes. Mine were perfect at 35 minutes. Keep in mind these are fudgy brownies. Don’t keep these in the oven longer than 40 minutes. Once removed from oven, let cool. Cut and serve. Extra yummy when served with vanilla ice cream on top! Enjoy!IMG_2641 IMG_2642

 

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

A few weeks ago I thought it would be fun to make shrimp tacos, instead of our usual traditional tacos. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me a traditional taco, but I am always one to try something new. Yes, I’ve had shrimp tacos at a restaurant, but to make them at home seemed more time consuming than slapping some ground beef in a skillet and browning it up.  But I have to say this was pretty fast, easy, and filled with amazing flavor! I even made my own sauce to put on the tacos! I know, I got pretty fancy!  Since I had decided to make my shrimp sweet and a little spicy (it’s not really that spicy for those who aren’t spicy fans), I made the sauce to compliment the shrimp. This sauce may not be something you will want to dip your finger in, or lick the bowl clean, and that’s because the mix of spices and lime give it a tart flavor (not too tart, but enough).  But when put on top of the tacos it brings everything together. It’s soooo good!  Hope you enjoy these tacos as much as me and my hubby did!

What you will need:

Shrimp (I purchased a bag of frozen salad shrimp)
Corn tortilla shells (the soft ones)
Red and Green cabbage (or just purchase a bag of cole slaw mix – That’s what I did, but prefer to buy fresh and chop it)
Shredded cheese of your choice (I used lite Mexican blend)
Chili Powder
Cumin
Paprika
Light brown sugar
Garlic clove
Coriander
Cayenne pepper
Honey
Cilantro
Mayo (I use light)
Avocado
Lime
To make the shrimp

In a baggie put the following ingredients: ( I halved the below ingredients because there are only 2 of us. The following measurements are for about a pound of shrimp, so adjust to your needs).

2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

Close and shake bag to mix ingredients – then add in shrimp and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Shake until coated, pouring into a skillet. Sauté until you see the marinade thicken and caramelize slightly.Sauted shrimp

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Garlic Shrimp Salad

Garlic Shrimp Salad

Garlic Shrimp Salad

Hi, loves! Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday! Here in Los Angeles it’s been a picture perfect weekend. Summer is calling and as the days are warming up I tend to want more salads and fresh fruit.  During the winter months I am a sucker for soups and homemade mac & cheese. Mmmmm….but I am definitely paying for those choices now! Thank God one piece bathing suits are on trend this season, so I can hide my little tummy and break out my bikini later in the season once I’ve eaten enough salad to trim down!

I have always enjoyed finding new ways to make a salad go from “eh” to “amazing!”  And although this technically isn’t a recipe I still hope you enjoy my spin on an otherwise hum drum salad! The end result is a delicious salad with a kick. The dressing I use has a spicy and sweet flavor. I feel it brings all the ingredients together nicely.

What you need:

Spinach leaves
Baby lettuce mix
shrimp (whatever size you choose)
crumbled feta cheese
cucumber
grape tomatoes
kalamata olives
avocado
jalapeno slices
Texas Garlic Toast
balsamic parmesan asiago dressing (Kraft anything dressing)
 

Sauté shrimp with a little olive oil and sprinkle shrimp with garlic powder, basil, and a little salt.  Sauté about 5 minutes. Set aside to coolSaute shrimp

While you are sautéing your shrimp put garlic toast into preheated oven (set at 425). I use garlic toast as croutons. Hubby and I tend to enjoy the texture and flavor better than a box or bag of store bought croutons. Bake these until crunchy – about 7 minutes (oven times may very). Once baked pull out of oven and set aside to cool. (I use one piece of toast on my salad, and my hubby prefers two). Garlic toast

Prepare salad with remaining ingredients (add or take away as you want). Top with shrimp, salad dressing, and cut up garlic toast. Enjoy!

garlic shrimp salad