Arugula Salad with Nectarines, Tomatoes, Avocado and Toasted Almonds


Summer Salad by Madeline Lu

What's your favorite summer salad? This arugula salad with nectarines, tomatoes, avocado and toasted almonds is my current favorite. It uses in-season produce, such as nectarine and tomato, which are super juicy and sweet at moment. The salad is fresh, light, yet satisfying. It is a perfect lunch or dinner for the hot summer days like these. 

Serve 1-2

What you'll need:

  • 3 oz baby arugula
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Flake sea salt, to taste (I love sea salt flakes from Jacobsen Salt Co.)
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 large firm but ripe nectarines, cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp toasted almond flakes

How it's made:

Add baby arugula, tomatoes, avocado into the mixing bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, pepper and sea salt. Toss everything together till well combined. Sprinkle the toasted almond flakes over and serve. 

Summer Iced Tea Three Ways with Pure Leaf


Summer Iced Tea - by Madeline Lu - @lumadeline

* This post was created in partnership with Pure Leaf

Summer has never tasted so good! One of the best ways to beat the summer heat and stay cool is drinking some iced tea (maybe also air conditioning). I chose to partner with Pure Leaf Home Brewed Teas for this post to show you some of our favorite infused iced tea recipes because they are simply one of the best tea makers on this planet. What impressed me is their drive to bring the best teas in the world to their customers, no matter if it is Assam tea in India, Highland tea from Kenya, or Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka. What's more is their care regarding the sustainability of tea making as well as protecting our planet.

I used three different flavors of Pure Leaf's new Home Brewed Iced Tea in the following recipes, Iced Green Tea with Citrus Flavor, Iced Black Tea with Peach Flavor and Iced Classic Black Tea. I found the amount of flavor in these teas are simply perfect. It is fragrant, but not overwhelming, exactly how I like it. For the first two recipes, I only used fresh fruits to add additional colors and taste to the iced tea since they are already blended with flavors, but for the classic black tea, I decided to add my own raspberry syrup to give a twist. Check out the recipes below and let me know what you think.


PS: Pure Leaf has just opened a new Tea House in New York (down in SoHo!), where their tea mixologists will brew some artisanal Pure Leaf teas and craft some exotic specialty creations. But it is only for a limited time, so check it out before it closes on September 24th.

Pure leaf Iced Tea Three Ways - by Madeline Lu @lumadeline
Pure leaf Iced Tea Three Ways - by Madeline Lu @lumadeline
Pure Leaf Iced Green Tea with Citrus Flavor - by Madeline Lu - @lumadeline

Citrus Lover

Make 4 glasses

What you'll need:

How it's made:

  1. Boil water and brew tea letting it steep 2 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags and let it cool for 10-15 mins.
  3. When cooled, add sliced lemon, orange, lime, peppermint, and syrup. Let it sit for about 10 mins before serving.
  4. Add ice cubes and serve.

ย 

Pure Leaf Iced Black Tea with Peach Flavor - by Madeline Lu - @lumadeline

Peachy Dream

Make 4 glasses

What you'll need:

How it's made:

  1. Boil water and brew tea letting steep 3 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags and let it cool for 10-15 mins.
  3. When cooled, add sliced sliced peach, blueberry, peppermint, and syrup. Let it sit for about 10 mins before serving.
  4. Add ice cubes and serve.
Pure Leaf Iced Classic Black Tea - by Madeline Lu - @lumadeline

English Classic with Raspberry Twist

Make 4 glasses

What you'll need:

  • 4 pyramid tea bags of Pure Leaf Iced Classic Black Tea
  • 5 cup of water
  • 1 cup of raspberry
  • 3/4 cup of maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1 /4 cup of blueberries (optional)
  • 2-3 stalks of peppermint
  • 2 cup of ice cubes

How it's made:

  1. Boil water and brew tea letting steep 4 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags and let it cool for 10-15 mins.
  3. Make raspberry syrup: bring 3/4 cup of raspberry, 3/4 cup of syrup, and 1 cup of water to boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, let it simmer for 5 mins. Crush raspberry as you stir. Turn off heat cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain syrup through a fine strainer to remove fruit pieces. Set the raspberry syrup aside.
  4. When cooled, add raspberry syrup, remaining raspberries, blueberries (optional), peppermint, and syrup. Let it sit for about 10 mins before serving.
  5. Add ice cubes and serve.        
Pure leaf Iced Tea Three Ways - by Madeline Lu @lumadeline
Pure leaf Iced Tea Three Ways - by Madeline Lu @lumadeline
Pure leaf Iced Tea Three Ways - by Madeline Lu @lumadeline
Pure leaf Iced Tea Three Ways - by Madeline Lu @lumadeline

Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle


Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu - @lumadeline

If I ask you what you think of soy sauce and ice-cream combo, you probably think I am crazy. Soy sauce is a vital component of Asian cuisines. It may sound very surprising, but soy sauce does work wonders in desserts. Soy sauce is traditionally made with soybean, wheat (but you can get gluten free version, too) water and salt, which is then fermented and aged. Its unique flavors are developed during this ferment process. It is said that all the five basic flavors, sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, can be found in soy sauce, which why it goes so well with so many different kinds of food. 

The reason why soy sauce and ice-cream can match so well is due to their strong contrast of flavors. When two or more different flavors are combined together, it helps to amplify a specific flavor of a dish. You might be familiar with adding salt during baking, which helps to bring out the sweet taste. Or rub lime with papaya to enhance the flavor of the fruit. The same works with soy sauce and ice-cream. Its savory taste of soy sauce can make your ice-cream taste richer and sweeter. In this recipe, I added the soy sauce into the dark chocolate sauce to maximize its flavor. In fact, you can barely taste the soy sauce in the final drizzle, but the rich, creamy, bitter and sweet dark chocolate sauce. 

The ice-cream base in this recipe is a non-dairy one. I have been experiencing different type of vegan ice-cream recently and am really loving them. They are very creamy and have this nutty and earthy flavor because of the planted-based milks. I also replaced sugar with a healthier option of maple syrup. To make the recipe, I used the Electrolux Masterpiece Immersion Blender * to blend up the ingredients. I really love using a hand blender as it is easy, light, powerful, flexible and super easy to wash (many parts of this immersion blender are dishwasher safe). 

Electrolux Masterpiece Immersion Blender - by Madeline Lu

So again, I am asking you, will you add soy sauce to your sweet dishes? You won't believe how good it tastes! 

Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu
Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu
Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu

What you'll need:

Vegan Ice-cream Base:

  • 150 g Strawberry
  • 180 g of cashew pieces
  • 150 ml maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 500 ml organic soy milk or any other plant-based milk

Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle

  • 175 g dark chocolate (> 70% cocoa)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Additional topping: toasted almond flakes. 

How it's made:

  1. Blend everything together for about 5 mins until it is creamy. 
  2. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine for 15 mins. Take the mixture out of the ice-cream machine and put into a freezer box. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  3. If you don't have an ice-cream machine, you can simply freeze the mixture for 4-6 hours. Take them out, let it rest a bit to unfreeze, then blend again before eating.
  4. To make the dark chocolate drizzle: in a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium. Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the saucepan and add 1 cup of dark chocolate to melt. Stir constantly. Then add maple syrup, soy sauce and coconut oil. Stir until well combined and desired consistency achieved. 
  5. Serve the ice-cream scoops with the dark chocolate soy sauce drizzle and toasted almond flakes.
Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu
Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu
Vegan Strawberry Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Drizzle - by Madeline Lu