Tea-Infused Vodka + Six Inspired Cocktails

With summer right around the corner, the days of sipping sweet cocktails in the sun are soon upon us.  Now I love a delightful libation {or two} myself, but I am not a fan of the added sugar and empty calories that comes with imbibing.

Enter Tea-Infused Vodka.

spices and tea

So delightful and flavorful, you can, without question, slash that simple syrup, sip, and say, “ahhhhhhh.”

Tea-Infused Vodka

peach mint vodka

Here’s what you need to get started:
+ High quality Vodka {Costco-sized Skyy is what I used}, approx. 300 ml per Mason Jar.
+ 6 mason jars {buy here}
+ Loose leaf or bagged tea + add-ins.
+ 3 days of brewing time.
+ Fine mesh strainer.

Green Tea // Cucumber + Orange + Mint

loose leaf green tea

+ 1 Tbs loose leaf green tea
+ 1/3 cucumber, sliced
+ 1/2 orange peel
+ handful of mint leaves

 Cocktail Suggestion:  Cucumber Orange Spritzer – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup seltzer and a squeeze of lime, float a thin cucumber slice on top and garnish with an orange twist.

orange cucumber mint green tea



Chai Tea // Orange + Cinnamon + Vanilla Bean


+1 Tbs loose leaf Chai Tea
+ 1/2 orange peel
+ 2 cinnamon sticks
+ 1 vanilla bean pod

Cocktail Suggestion:  Hot Chai Tea Toddy – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka + 1 cup hot water with a squeeze of orange.


Black Tea // Habenero + Garlic

black tea garlic habenero

+ 1 Tbs loose leaf black tea
+ 3 small habenero peppers
+ 5 garlic cloves

Brew Time: 2-3 days, depending on how spicy you like it.

Cocktail Suggestion:  The Perfect Bloody Mary –  Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 3/4 cup V8, a dash of worcestershire, dash of hot sauce, squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a celery stalk and stuffed olives.

black tea garlic habenero


White Tea // Strawberry + Rhubarb + Vanilla + Mint

strawberry rhubarb vodka

+ 1 1/2 Tbs White Tea
+ 4 whole strawberries
+ 1/4 rhubarb stalk
+ 1 vanilla bean pod
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  The Strawberry Shortcake  – Serve 1 1/2 tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup vanilla seltzer.  Garnish with a sliced strawberry and mint.


strawberry rhubarb vodka


Lavender Tea // Lemon + Mint

lavender lemon mint vodka

+ 1 Tbs lavender tea
+ 1 Tbs loose garden lavender
+ 1 lemon rind
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  Lemon Lavender Spritzer – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon.  Garnish with a lemon twist and mint.


Peach and Ginger Tea // Peach Slices + Mint

peach mint tea

+ 1 peach oolong tea bag
+ 1 ginger tea bag
+ 1/2 peach, sliced
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  White Peach Sangria – In a large pitcher, add 1 cup tea-infused vodka + one bottle sweet white wine {Moscato or Reisling works great}, 1 sliced peach, 1 sliced apple, and 1/2 cup grapes, halved.  Let chill for at least 2 hours before adding 2 cups chilled seltzer water and serve.


infused vodka

peach  mint tea vodka


Did you know that vodka is just as good as a stress reliever as red wine?  Science proved it.

And did you know tea contains boat-loads of antioxidants?  If you hadn’t heard, antioxidants are those awesome compounds that fight against free-radicals that contribute to aging, cancer, and other chronic disease.

I’m not saying that drinking tea-infused vodka will help cure cancer, unclog your arteries, or make you look 10 years younger… but it will certainly taste refreshingly delicious, save you calories, and at the least, make for a fun summer afternoon!

Recipe ReDux InLinkz Link-Up


Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

know how hard it is to bake a gluten-free pizza crust.  Sticky, dense, or rock-hard… You might as well serve up melted cheese on a cardboard box.  Bleck.

But never fear, Polenta Pizza to the rescue!  Crisp, fiber-full, and just the right density.  I don’t even miss regular wheat pizza!


This was the perfect vehicle for my FODMAP “cautious” lactose challenge.  Bring on the cheese, baby!  {BTW, this girl tolerates milk products just fine!}

Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

Serves 4
Adapted from Living FODMAP Free

gluten free


  • 36 ounces (2 packages) pre-cooked polenta
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped {omit white part for Low FODMAP friendly}
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 C goat cheese
  • pepperoni (if desired)
  • 1/2 C spinach


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place one package polenta in Kitchen Aid Mixer, using whisk attachment to break apart.  Repeat with second package.  Add water, corn starch, gluten-free flour, and 1 Tbs green onion.  Mix until smooth and forms dough ball.  Add additional water by the tablespoon if necessary.
  3. Press dough out evenly on to a pizza pan and bake for 35 minutes {Or until cooked through. Test this by using a toothpick – if it’s cooked, the toothpick will come out clean}.
  4. Mix green onion and tomato sauce together.  Spread over cooked pizza shell.
  5. Add cheese, and other desired toppings, and place in oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until cheese turns golden brown.
  6. Remove and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.




This crust is to die for.  Crisp and light, not too dense.

I chose to add some green onions to my tomato sauce, because I wanted a little extra flavor.  I am still avoiding garlic and onion, so my tomato sauce contained the basics – tomato and basil.  I used Pomi, which took me forever and a day to find at the grocery store.  Next time you are at the grocery store, just try and find a pizza sauce without garlic and onion.  Practically impossible!


gluten free salad pizza recipe

And please don’t forget to add some veg to the pizza.  Let’s be civilized, here.

spinach pizza gluten free recipe

polenta pizza gluten free recipe

gluten free pizza slice

Ohhhh yes, yes, yes.  That’ll do!



Brown Sugar Pork Chops + Spicy Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

This is your last reminder!  If you haven’t done so already,

remember to update your RSS feeds and bookmarks to the new URL: StephanieRDN.com!

If you don’t update your feed reader to the new URL, you will no longer receive new post updates, and we wouldn’t want that!  Happy reading!


I never knew how much I loved pork, until I gave this recipe a whirl. Oh. my. god. Rich and juicy and full of flavor. Talk about a twist on traditional comfort food. Not to mention, pulled together in less than an hour. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

First things first. Wine.

sweet potatoes and wine

Pinot Noir, please.

Pinot Noir and Pork

Then chopping.

quartered sweet potatoes

Cube your sweet potatoes, place them in a gallon-sized freezer ziploc, add olive oil and spices, then toss.

basket of spices

One of the three baskets of spices in my kitchen. We love flavor.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, get started on your pork.

brown sugar pork

After the sweet potatoes have baked for 15 minutes, start searing your pork. Enjoy the delicious aroma of butter and brown sugar. Mmmmm…

brown sugar pork recipe

My mouth is watering. Time to get cooking!


Brown Sugar Pork Chops + Spicy Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

{Low FODMAP friendly}
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

brown sugar pork chop recipe


Brown Sugar Pork Chop

  • 2 pork loin chops, approx. 1″ thick each
  • 4 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Spicy Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • Dash of ground cayenne red pepper {more if you like the heat}


Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cube sweet potatoes.  Place in ziploc freezer bag and add olive oil and spices. Toss until well coated.
  3. Spread potatoes evenly on baking sheet and place in oven for 15 minutes.  Flip.  Bake for 15 more minutes until soft.
  4. If desired, drizzle with additional olive oil and toss to coat before serving.

Brown Sugar Pork Chops

  1. Season top and bottom of pork chops with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.  Let set 15 minutes while sweet potatoes bake.
  2. Heat frying pan on high heat.  Add butter to pan and melt.  Add pork chops, searing each side for 2-3 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium and cook through to an internal temp of 145 degrees {approx. 15 minutes total cook time}.
  3. Give pork chops 3 minutes to rest before digging in, and enjoy!


recipe pork chop sweet potato corn

The crisp, caramelized crust is out of this world, and contrasted with the tender inside – divine!

And let’s compare nutrition facts:

  • 3 oz Pork Chop – 137 calories, 4 grams fat, 65 mg cholesterol
  • 3 oz Chicken Breast – 140 calories, 3 grams fat, 72 mg cholesterol

Pork isn’t so scary, right?

And how ’bout the sweet potatoes?  Bursting with antioxidants Vitamin A and C to help support a healthy immune system, keep your eyes bright, and your skin glowing.

Now that’s what I call a meal!

recipe healthy pork chops and sweet potatoes



Almond Quinoa & Oat Waffles with Blueberry Drizzle

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I’m still in weekend mode as I am still off from work today.  Monday = the new Sunday for this girl.  When I first started my job at the hospital I thought I would hate my new “weekend,” but being off Monday does have it’s perks.  I’m able to make appointments, get in great workouts, meal prep, and run errands without having to fight the hustle of the weekend crowd.  It also makes the traditional Sunday Funday mimosa brunch a little less guilt-inducing knowing that I have the next day off. 😉

Speaking of which, Jaime and I went back to Luna Red yesterday from Sunday brunch to get our fix.  Jaime loves the chicken and quinoa waffles, and I love that he loves such a awesome whole grain version of his favorite food.  So in attempt to satisfy the craving, I decided to make my own version the recipe.  And to my delight, these turned out {in my humble opinion} EVEN BETTER than Luna Red’s!  Full of texture, fiber, protein, and flavor. Mmmmm. Gimme.  And instead of the savory fried chicken-scrambled egg-topping route, I went with a luscious blueberry drizzle.  But to be honest, you don’t even need syrup for these waffles.  They are that good.


Almond Quinoa & Oat Waffles with Blueberry Drizzle

Prep time: 30 min {less if you have quinoa pre-preped}
Cook Time: 10 mins
Makes 4 waffles.

gluten free


Almond Oat & Quinoa Waffle 

  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C rolled oats
  • 3/4 C gluten-free all purpose flour {regular will work too}
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 C water

Blueberry Drizzle

  • 1 C frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 C real maple syrup


For Waffles:

  1. Add cooked quinoa, rolled oats, gluten-free flour {I used Bob’s Red Mill}, salt, and cinnamon to a large bowel.  Mix until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, add eggs, vegetable oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.  Whisk together.
  3. Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir to combine.  Add up to 1/4 C water to thin batter.  Add additional 1 Tbs if needed.
  4. Heat waffle maker and spray with cooking oil.  Add batter according to waffle maker instructions and cook.

For Drizzle:

  1. Add frozen blueberries and syrup to a small sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer for approx. 2 minutes.  Pour over waffles.


gluten free

Gahhhhh, I die. SO good.

gluten free

I decided to use my Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Pupose flour to go completely wheat free this morning.  Luna Red’s, however, is not gluten-free.

Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

Rolled oats, quinoa, and gluten-free flour.  Plus a side of fresh-brewed coffee and sunshine.

Making Waffles

Organic eggs, please.

Organic Eggs

gluten free

Now, isn’t that pretty?

Gluten Free Waffles

They are a hearty waffle with great texture.

gluten-free baking

Tons of staying power!


And the sweet, sweet syrup.  Mmmm.


Hope you enjoy!

Have a great week!


Chile Chicken Tacos + Cabbage Lime Salsa

It’s no secret that I love Mexican food.  I mean, what’s not to love about rice, beans, and hello, cheese?  So when I picked out this recipe, I hastily looked at the picture and said to myself, “yep, that’ll do.”  I know, I’m very thorough. 😉  Little did I know just how incredible and FLAVORFUL would this dish be.

green onions

This cabbage lime salsa tastes JUST like the salsa they serve with the chips at the little Mexican restaurant in my home town.  {Hey Mom and Dad, you MUST make this! You’re welcome.}

Recipe comin’ atcha!


Chile Chicken Tacos + Cabbage Lime Salsa

Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 8 tacos.


Chile Chicken

  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • A healthy shake of the following:
    • Chile pepper
    • Chile pepper flakes
    • Garlic powder
    • Cumin
    • Paprika
    • Black pepper
    • Sea salt
  • Cooking spray

Avocado Cream Sauce

  • 1/8 tsp lime rind
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 C 0% plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs fat-free milk
  • 1/2 avocado

Cabbage Lime Salsa

  • 2 C angel hair cabbage slaw
  • 1/2 C sliced green onion
  • 1/4 C chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tbs lime juice


  1. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  Place chicken in a large ziploc bag or cover with plastic wrap, and pound chicken with a mallet (or can or jar) to approximately 1/4″ thick. Add chicken to skillet and sprinkle generously with spices.  Heat pan on high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. In a blender or food processor, add ingredients for Avocado Cream Sauce and blend until smooth.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, add ingredients for Cabbage Lime Salsa and toss.
  4. Heat corn tortillas in skillet, top with chicken, cabbage salsa, and avocado sauce, and your choice of hot sauce (I used Cholula Chili Lime).  Gobble down!




Ginger-Peach and Strawberry Green Smoothie

With the weather warming up here in California (82 and sunny today!), hot oatmeal is just not on the top of my breakfast list these days.

Enter my recent obsession:




I’m all about starting my day with a nutrient-packed punch.  Hello, Vitamin A and C, plus a boatload of skin-clearing-cancer-fighting antioxidants.  Bring it to me!

Ginger-Peach and Strawberry Green Smoothie

{gluten-free, vegetarian}


Prep Time: 2 minutes
Serves: 1


  • 1 Tbs minced ginger root
  • 1 C frozen peaches
  • 3-4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 C baby spinach
  • Optional: 1 scoop protein powder


  1. Add all ingredients into blender (I use a NutriBullet) and puree until smooth.


Easy as that!

I’ve been adding a scoop of protein powder lately for extra hunger-busting staying power.


Yum. Can’t beat it.  Hello, summertime!


On an unrelated note, CONGRATULATIONS to all those who matched last night!  I am SO happy and proud of all of you!

And if you didn’t happen to match this round, try, try again!  Take this next year as an opportunity to gain experience and build your resume.  You can do it!

Have a wonderful week!


Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad

I love parties.

I love planning parties.

I love making food to eat at parties.

I love eating food other people made at parties.

I love food and parties.

I mean, who doesn’t?  Unless you’re an introvert.  But even then, you still probably like food.

So bring this to your next party.  I just did. {Happy Birthday Anouk!!}

Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad

{Gluten-Free, Vegetarian}


Prep Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Serves: 4 entree-sized salads, or 8 sides


  • 8 small beets {or 4 large}
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 bunches dinosaur kale
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-dozen figs, quartered
  • 1 C ricotta
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Peel and cut beets into wedges.  Toss with 2 Tbs olive oil and salt to taste.  Place on a large baking sheet, and cook for 25 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Whisk together 2 Tbs honey and 2 Tbs olive oil.  Toss cooked beets in dressing.  Adding additional honey, salt, or pepper as desired.
  3. Turn oven to broil.  Remove stems of kale leaves.  In two batches, toss with 1 Tbs olive oil each, and salt and pepper.  Place one bunch in the oven for 5 minutes, or until edges become crispy and lightly charred.  Repeat with second bunch.  Chop roasted kale into bite sized pieces.
  4. Plate figs and honey glazed beets atop roasted kale.  Dollop on ricotta and serve!


I love this salad.  It is so simple.


The honey glaze for the beets could also be used as a salad dressing drizzle if desired.


But I think the ingredients speak for themselves.


A beautiful mix of color, texture, and taste.


I was nervous to bring kale AND beets to a party, but people ate it up!  {Maybe that’s a lovely California thing, or maybe it’s the fact that we played chubby bunny and stuffed ourselves silly with sugar – veggies to counteract the marshmallow high.}


Note:  If you are bringing this to a party, Do Not Mix.  It will turn the salad into pink mush! And you don’t want that.


Mmmm. Doesn’t that look good?

Bon Appetite!