DIY Starbucks Berry Hibiscus Iced Tea

If you’re a fan of the Starbucks very berry hibiscus refresher, you’re going to love this much cheaper but equally delicious diy version thanks to tazo passion tea! The good thing about this flavor too is it adds a hint of citrus flavor you don’t usually find in the original refresher. Here’s how you can make your own batch:


  • 4 packets of Tazo Passion flavored Herbal Tea
  • Boiled water
  • Simple syrup / sugar
  • Water
  • Frozen mixed berries


  1. Allow the tea packets to steep for atleast 20 min in boiled hot water
  2. While the tea steeps you can prepare your simple syrup + icecubes.
  3. For your simple syrup, remember it’s 1 part water to 1 part sugar nicely boiled and stirred together till a syrup like consistensy. You can catch the recipe for this on my previous DIY starbucks post here.
  4. For the berry infused iced cubes its super simple: pour a portion of your tea mix into an icetray and top with some frozen berries mixed berries like blueberries and blackberries into each cube. Pop those in the freezer for atleast 3-4 hours. Using the actual tea mix for your icecubes will make sure your drink stays cool and at the same time doesn’t taste diluted as your icecubes melt over time! It also adds that berry flavor we’re looking for since the tea only covers the hibiscus component.
  5. Pour your steeped tea into a large pitcher and add your simple syrup till well dissolved. Place your iced tea mix into a refrigerator till well chilled (probably about atleast 3 hours to match the timing with your iced cubes) before serving.

And there you have it! Easy, simple, cheap, but amazingly refreshing diy starbucks berry hibiscus iced tea enjoyable all-year round! Trust me, you’ll thank me later. – S

All original very berry hibiscus recipie content belongs to Starbucks.Inc. This post is in no way affiliated with nor sponsored by Starbucks or Tazo.


Creamy Spinach & Pepper 2 Cheese Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Does anyone else get warm pasta cravings in winter? A perfect bite of melted cheese & spices to warm up your tummy on a cold day? Because this pasta dish is exactly that: traditional spices like oregano and thyme, 2 if not 3 cheeses thanks to the alfredo in a perfect blend for one hearty meal. Here’s how you can make your own batch for dinner tonight:


  • 1/2 cup mozarella cheese
  • 1 cup alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup table cream
  • 2 cups bowtie pasta
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 cup spinach, washed
  • 1 cup bell pepper, washed
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the bowtie pasta as per package instructions
  2. Meanwhile, you can grill your chicken breast using a grill pan. Remove any bones if needed or proceed straight to seasoning if using a boneless breast. Season with salt and pepper or any desired spices. Cook until the chicken browns with visible grill marks for about 6-7 min. Remove from heat once cooked and set aside.
  3. In large skillet, add a tbsp of oil and add your bell peppers, spinach, & spices. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables slightly brown.
  4. Add in the alfredo sauce, cheese, table cream & grounded pepper and bring to a low boil for 2-3 min.
  5. Add in your cooked pasta and blend well.
  6. Once blended remove from heat.
  7. Serve warm with your side of chicken and fav wine.

And there you have it! Once deliously wholesome creamy pasta dish. This eat is approved by yours truly- S.

Comfort & Soul: Vegan Mac & Cheese

Back to school means meal prep, & recently I’ve opened up to the idea of trying vegan meals. It’s a work in progress so one by one I’ve decided to try a few recipes here and there. Considering I’m new to the concept of veganism, I was blown away by this recipe of vegan mac & cheese, which seems to be a classic hit among many vegan recipes. I was mainly surprised how the sauce mimicks a classic cheese sauce. The same creamy consistency, same flavors that come from the seasoning, all in all it was an impressive first impression. This one pot recipe also makes it a great idea for meal prep on a weekend night, ready to pack & go for a busy week ahead. Here’s how you can make your own batch: 


  • 2 cups of mini shell pasta
  • 1/3 cup of skinned carrots
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 2 small red potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a lime, squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Boil pasta as per package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop carrots, potatos, & onions. 
  3. Using a mortar & pestol, grind the garlic cloves into a paste & set aside. 
  4. Boil carrots, potatos, & onions until tender. About 10 minutes should do.  
  5. Once boiled, transfer the vegetables into a blender. Add in garlic paste, coconut milk, cashews, & lime juice. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour sauce over cooked pasta. Add salt, black pepper, & cayenne to taste. Serve immediately. 

And there you have it! A healthy alternative to a comfort food classic, one vegetable serving closer to eating clean. The one pot aspect of the meal makes it both easy to prep and easy to clean up after on busy weekend/weekday nights. This meal is approved by yours truly – S. 

    Baked Lemon Garlic Salmon & Low Fat Cottage Cheese Rotini Salad

    Let’s start today’s dinner with a little nutrition lesson shall we?

    Think of our body as a home, and cells as bricks: they’re the foundation of almost every function our body does hereon after. However, even bricks need to be made somehow first before building something right? In the case of our cells, those are proteins. When you eat dietary proteins such as chicken or fish, these proteins are broken down in the body into essential amino acids. If you think proteins as bricks, you could say amino acids are the concrete used to make those bricks. These amino acids are then further broken down into ATP, aka useable energy for the body, aka your fuel for the day.

    When proteins are this important for your body and well being, it’s important to take care of your protein intake. There are many supplements out there today that offer alternatives for protein, such as protein powder or even amino acid pills, but I’m a strong believer that nothing beats the real deal of natural protein intake from food itself.

    As of such, Lemon Garlic Salmon is a perfect way to go to help reach your protein intake goal of the day. Salmon is a great source of protein with an added bonus of omega-3 fatty acids. The tangy taste of lemon garlic paired with a quick light cottage cheese pasta salad is the perfect flavor balance, and also a great way to incorporate some carbs & dairy into this meal. As we are aiming to make this a healthy recipe, we’ll be baking our salmon and using low fat cottage cheese. Here’s how to make your very own batch of this wholesome meal:



    • 1 pkg of frozen Salmon Filet
    • 1 Lemon
    • 3 Garlic Cloves
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • 1 sprig parsley


    1. Preheat your oven to 425º F. Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil and set aside.
    2. Dethaw your salmon filets. Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestol to crush your garlic cloves into a fine paste and set aside. Also during this time, slice 3/4 of your lemon, keeping aside 1/4 to use as juice for the marinade.
    3. Once the salmon has dethawed, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, some olive oil, and lemon juice. Spread the marinade onto the salmon filets and place them onto the baking tray. Garnish with the remaining lemon slices & chopped parsley.
    4. Bake for 10 minutes and serve warm.

      Pasta Salad


      • 2 cups Tricolored Rotini Pasta
      • 1 cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
      • 10 Cherry Tomatoes
      • 1 cup Celery, chopped
      • 1 cup Mayonnaise
      • 1 cup Red onion, chopped
      • 2 tbsp Red Whine Vinegar


      1. Cook and drain the tricolored pasta till al dente. After draining, mix in the red wine vinegar and allow to sit.
      2. Combine the cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chopped celery, grape tomatoes, & red onion by gently folding. It’s crucial not to harshley stir to allow a clean mix without any of the vegetables being crushed in the process.
      3. Refridgerate for atleast 1 hour and serve chilled.

            And there you have it! One wholesome, protein-packed, delicious meal! This healthy eat is approved by yours truly- S.

            Blueberry & Cardamom Infused Nicecream

            Kudos to whoever came up with the name nicecream. I mean seriously, there’s no better way (or simpler) to describe it.

            Nicecream, yet another hot topic in the world of social media and healthy eats. Who could complain though, everyone’s favourite summer treat made healthy & condensed into two simple steps?! I’m sure all about it.

            Since dessert is an easy course to experiment with, I decided to get creative on this recipe. Two of my favourites: cardamom and blueberry, fused into a fresh new flavor. The tang of the frozen blueberries combined with the pungent flavor of cardamom combine to create a refreshing new taste. An additional dash of condensed milk gives it that indulgent sweet flavor any dessert needs. Here’s how you can make your very own batch of Blueberry & Cardamom infused nicecream:


            • 2 frozen bananas
            • 1 cup frozen blueberries
            • 1 cup yogurt
            • 3-4 pods cardamom
            • 2 tsp condensed milk
            • Ice cubes if needed


            1. Break open your cardamom pods using a mort and pestol and scrape the seeds out into the blender.
            2. Blend the frozen bananas, blueberries, cardamom pod seeds, yogurt, and condensed milk for about 45 seconds until well mixed. The consistency should be thick and creamy, just like regular icecream! If the desired consistency is not obtained at first, add a 1/4 of cup of icecubes and blend once more. Serve immediately.

            And yes just like that you’re done! One batch of creamy yet light-as-air blueberry nicecream. Perfect for any hot day out in the sun or to be enjoyed at leisure. Since no additional sugars were added, you end up feeling half the guilt of regular icecream with the same great taste. Just be quick before it melts! This sweet dessert is approved by yours truly- S.

            Creamy Mango Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

            As a student, there’s only two battles you face on campus: 1) your grades of course and 2) eating healthy while you’re surrounded by fast food chains, or friends that are constantly eating out. That’s why, being at home is one of the easiest times for me to stay on track with eating healthy and clean. What better and more colorful way to do so than with a fresh Mango Pineapple smoothie bowl? Here’s how you can whip up your own batch: 


            • 1 Banana
            • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
            • 1/2 cup mango, frozen
            • 1/2 cup pineapple, frozen
            • Chia seeds
            • Flax seeds
            • granola oats
            • 3-4 strawberries, sliced


                    1. Blend your banana, greek yogurt, frozen mango, and frozen pineapple in a blender. It’s important that both the pineapple and mango are frozen, as the consistency we’re aiming for in a smoothie bowl is far more thick than a regular smoothie. Blending should take about 2-3 minutes. If the frozen fruits aren’t blending with ease, stop your blender every 20 seconds and use a spoon to stir the mixture inbetween pulses. 
                    2. Pour your smoothie mix into a serving bowl. Now here comes the fun part, topping time. With smoothie bowls the possibility of toppings are endless, but I personally decided to opt for chia seeds, flax seeds, granola oats, strawberry slices, and more mango slices. Chia and flax are both an excellent source of omega-3, so these toppings are sure to power boost your day and your metabolism!

                          And there you have it! One healthy, refreshing mango pineapple smoothie bowl. Not only are these a great breakfast, but also serve as a healthy treat for the perfect “cheat meal”. This healthy eat is approved by yours truly – S.

                          Passport to Asia: Pad Thai & Honey Lemon chicken

                          On today’s adventure, we’ll be taking a trip once again to the Asian continent to be exploring two of my favourite international dishes: Pad Thai & Honey Lemon chicken. 

                          Pad thai is a popular fast food item here in North America thanks to fast food franchises like Thai express, but its origins are actually from Thailand as a popular street food. Honey Lemon chicken on the other hand is more of an american take on the traditional Chinease recipe for Lemon Chicken. 

                          Both are super simple recipes as they require very few ingrediants, and are both cooking utensil efficient! Since it is afterall summer, nothing spells the season better than a color splash of veggies from the savory pad thai combined with the sweetness of the honey lemon chicken. Here’s how you can whip up your own batch: 

                          Pad Thai


                          • 1/2 cup red cabbage
                          • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper , 1/2 a red bell pepper
                          • 5-6 spears asparagus
                          • A sprig of coriander
                          • A handful of sesame seeds
                          • 1 pkg of rice noodles
                          • 1 carrot

                          For sauce: 

                          • 1/4 cup sesame oil
                          • 2 tbsp peanut butter
                          • 1/3 cup soya sauce
                          • 1 tsp ginger, grated


                            1. Blend together all the ingrediants required for the pad thai sauce using a blender until smooth and set aside for later use.
                            2. Next step is to chop up your vegetables: your red cabbage & bell peppers shouls both be julienned. Chop up your asparagus, and using a grater, shred your carrot.
                            3. For enhancing the flavor of the vegetables, slightly cook the cabbage, asparagus and peppers in a medium sized pan, providing a slightly smoked taste that really contributes to the overal savory taste of the pad thai.
                            4. Now for your rice noodles, boil the noodles for 4-5 min or as per package instructions. Becareful not to overcook the noodles as they will become sticky. Immediately transfer to a serving dish.
                            5. Add the vegatables and lightly toss together. Add the pad thai sauce and fold together till combined. Top with some roasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander for garnish.

                              Honey Lemon Chicken


                              • 4-5 chicken breasts
                              • 2 tbsp honey
                              • 1 lemon, squeezed
                              • 1 tsp oregano
                              • 1 tsp salt


                              1. Mix all ingrediants for your marinade sauce and set aside. Add a pinch of salt to your chicken before cooking. Keep the skin on, this will contribute to the overall crisp of the finished chicken.
                              2. Set your oven to 450 degrees and broil the chicken on both sides for 15 min each.
                              3. Once broiled, take half of your marinade sauce and brush over the chicken. Bake the chicken once more until a crisp golden brown colour. 
                              4. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the oven and dress with the remainder of the honey lemon sauce. Garnish as per taste and serve warm. 

                              And there you have it! Two perfect asian flare summer recipes that’s perfect for any lunch or dinner occasion, pleasing to the tummy as it is to the eyes. These recipes are summer approved by yours truly- S. 

                              Acai for the Soul


                              Mornings are not always bright and early for the most of us. Especially with a busy schedule with work or school at hand. Infact, when I made my first homemade acai bowl, it was neither a sunny day nor early. Rather, it was a pale winter afternoon, so this colorful treat was more of a well deserved brunch after a busy week.

                              This popular breakfast item has taken social media by a storm, and can be quite pricey at local joints. That’s what makes these bowls even more enjoyable when made free of cost at home. The beauty of smoothie/acai bowls is that you personalize it with any fruit meaning plenty of variety in the nutrients this breakfast gives off. The key is a thick creamy smoothie base attained from frozen fruits. Not only is this a breakfast item, but can be enjoyed at any time of day to satisfy that sweettooth free of guilt.

                              • 1/4 cup mixed berries
                              • 1/4 cup acai berries
                              • 1 banana
                              • 1 kiwi
                              • 1 cup granola oats
                              • 1/4 cup greek yogurt


                              1. Blend acai berries with greek yogurt. Ensure the fruits are still frozen, this will make your smoothie bowl thicker in consistency than a normal smoothie. Pour into any desired bowl.
                              2. Slice remaining mixed berries and fruits, and arrange accordingly ontop of the smoothie. Top with mixed granola oats

                              Sweet tip: for added sweetness that’s natural, top with shredded coconut or add a drizzle of honey!