Art of Tea

Organic Art of Tea
Breakfast/ Gluten Free/ Munchies/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bars

Hey there, how are you?  Whether you are a one or two person household or ten person household, mornings tend to be busy if you have work, school or other obligations.   Can Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bars be for breakfast?  Oh yes!  Are they healthy?  Yes!  Tell me more!

Primary ingredients

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bars are:

  • No baking
  • Easy prep… like 5 minutes! (Can you handle it?  I sure can!)
  • Stays together like, well, you know…peanut butter and chocolate 🙂
  • sweet and a bit salty
  • Superfood good for you…dark chocolate 🙂
  • Good for you oats
  • vegan, you betcha!
  • no refined sugar-  Yippee!
  • No flour, so yes,  gluten free
  • added protein and healthy omegas from hemp hearts
  • only 5 ingredients!

    Stir it a bit..

If you have a peanut allergy, use almond butter instead.   I used one of my favorite type of peanut butter spreads.  It is a combo of peanut butter and coconut from Earth Balance.  I love the flavor.  Any type of regular peanut butter or almond butter will work. If you’re peanut butter doesn’t have salt, add a coupe of pinches.    I’ve added good for us hemp hearts. Which are hulled hemp seeds, these have omega 6 and omega 3 with lots of protein.  A bit of natural maple syrup for sweetness was drizzled in too.

Cut the corners and it will fold in neatly

A bit of peanut butter will be melted with the dark chocolate, I used Guittard extra dark as it doesn’t have dairy.  Also, add in a touch of coconut oil…zip these in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and spread on top of the peanuty oat layer.

Smooth on the chocolate peanut layer

It’s so much healthier than a peanut butter cup and it can be breakfast or munchie anytime… like right’re mark get set go!

‘What are you currently eating for breakfast?


Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bars

Easy recipe for no bake vegan breakfast bar with peanut butter, dark chocolate and oats.  
Course Breakfast, Dessert, munchies, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword 5 ingredient vegan dark chocolate peanut butter bars, peanut butter chcolate bar recipe, vegan no bake breakfast bars with chocolate
Prep Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Servings 10 Bars


Peanut Oat Layer

  • 1 Cup Smooth peanut coconut butter spread Or peanut /almond butter, smooth
  • 1/3 Cup Pure maple syrup
  • 1 Cup Oats, gluten free
  • 2 Tablespoons Hemp hearts (Hulled hemp seeds)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Topping

  • 1/2 Cup Guittard extra dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut coconut butter spread Or peanut/almond butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Coconut oil


  1. Line 9x5x3 loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper, cut slits in 4-corners down to bottom edge of pan.  

  2. Put peanut butter spread and maple syrup in medium size microwaveable bowl.  Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds until thin and warm.

     Mix well, add oats and hemp hearts, stir to combine.

    Spread in bottom of parchment papered loaf pan, smooth with rubber spatula.  

Dark Chocolate Peanut Topping

  1. In smaller microwaveable bowl heat for 30 seconds on high, chocolate chips, rest of peanut butter spread and coconut oil.  Stir well to combine, as you stir the chocolate chips will finish melting.  Spread evenly over the peanut oat layer.

  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.  9 you may freeze for 20 minutes instead).  Lift the parchment paper filled bars up and out of the loaf pan.  Cut bars in 10 equal slices.  Keep refrigerated until ready to eat especially if room is warm.   Enjoy!   

Recipe Notes

If your peanut butter is salt-Free, add a couple of pinches of salt to the peanut oat mixture.








Desserts/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Vegan Fudge and Fudgsicles

Chocolate, chocolate!  and not just any ole chocolate but rich, deeply dark fudgy yummy richness.

Not to worry no stirring and cooking a long time over a hot stove, no candy thermometer either.   And yes, it is vegan!

Fudge is smooth

And there are fudgsicles too!  They dreamiest fudgsicles that will make you say oh, wow! I want more of those!  You only need to be a kid at heart to totally love them! The are so much better than supermarket fudgsicles.

I used bittersweet chocolate for the fudge and you know that there are some types of chocolate that don’t have dairy in them.  Read the labels and you will see 🙂 -if it says milkfat or sodium caseinate then yes it has dairy in it.

Adding walnuts-yummy!

I used Guittard bittersweet chocolate.   I think semisweet chocolate would be too sweet since there is the coconut sweetened condensed milk.

For the fudge, a pinch of salt really is marvelous and I added walnuts, as that is they way I like them… not necessary and of course there are oodles of other options such as:

  • crispy rice cereal for a bit of crunch,
  • add in  a couple pinches of cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for Mexican flare
  • peanuts and drizzle of peanut butter
  • coconut and pecans  (think german chocolate flavors)
  • Mint flavoring
  • orange zest + orange oil/flavoring

After the fudge has chilled,

See? this type of loaf pan

you can leave them out on your kitchen counter,  but if it is warm, they may melt a bit so leave them in your refrigerator and take them out 10-15 minutes before you want to serve them.   Ok, it’s all your’s now, to tell me what flavor options you come up with, for your fudge.

Want some? Yum!

With the fudgsicles, the kind of coconut sweetened condensed milk you use really does matter.

Fudgesicle Ingredients

  I tried it with a couple of different kinds and I found that Natures Charm sweetened condensed milk worked wonderful but some of the others made the fudgsicles icy.  So if you you do use other brands, you will need to add a bit of cornstarch or guar gum to reduce the iciness. I’ve noted that in the recipe.  I buy Nature’s Charm at Sprouts Market.  These are really fudgy and have a nice smooth texture.

Sooo good!

Ok, love to know which of the above recipes you try, please let me know ok?


Vegan Fudge and Fudgsicles

Easy recipe for Vegan fudge using coconut sweetened condensed milk which makes the fudge smooth and marvelous!  And an easy recipe for Vegan Fudgsicles that you will want to make repeatedly!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan chocolate recipe, vegan easy fudge recipe, vegan fudge using coconut sweetened condensed milk, vegan fudgsicle recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 15 pieces fudge


  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate I used Guittard as it is non-dairy)
  • 1 tablespoon cacoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Sweetened coconut condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup (optional) walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Put chocolate, cacoa and sweetened coconut condensed milk in microwaveable bowl.  Heat just until melted, approximately 1 minute.  Stir well, mix in walnuts or other optional add-ins.  Put fudge in 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 size loaf pan.  smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour until it is firm.   Slice in small 1-1/2 " square size pieces.  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

other add-ins instead of walnuts:

  • 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal for a bit of crunch,
  • add in a couple pinches of cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for Mexican flare
  • 1/2 peanuts and drizzle 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut and 1/3 cup pecans  (think german chocolate flavors)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mint flavoring
  • orange zest  (1 orange)+ 1/2 teaspoon orange oil/flavoring

Fudgesicle Recipe:

1-1/2 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

2 TBS  teaspoon unsweetened Cacoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 Cup Nature's Charm Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk*

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: put 1/2 cup  of the almond milk in microwaveable large glass measuring cup  or a medium bowl in microwave, heat for 30 seconds until milk is very warm.  Whisk in the cacoa powder until well blended.  

Add in rest of the almond milk, the coconut sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.  Stir to combine.  Pour into six popsicle molds.  Freeze until firm approximately 4 hours.  May need to run popsicles under warm water to remove the outer container.  Enjoy!  

**if you can't find Nature's Charm Coconut sweetened condensed milk, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch to fudgsicle mixture, stir well to combine then pour into popsicle molds.  Enjoy!



Desserts/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Mango Ice cream

Let’s go to the tropics!  Ocean breezes (I could really do with that about now), you pick the island and pick a few lush mangos, pineapples and papayas.   

This recipe uses just mangos, right now in my market they are inexpensive, smell fabulous and are full of lush sweetness.  

These plus a lime!

Now I really hesitated giving you this recipe not because its yummy oh, yes it is super delicious! And very easy!  But, because it does have some sugar in it and it is best to minimize our intake of sugar.  But sometimes you want dessert that is cold, quick and fabulous right?

Have you tried coconut sweetened condensed milk?  Now, I can tell you I don’t go around buying sweetened condensed milk of any type with the intent of licking it from a spoon-  mucky yew, too sweet for one thing for me.  But coconut sweetened condensed milk (yes its vegan) is tempting to lick and lick from a spoon!  Also I learned by testing and more testing that brands do matter for this.  

If at all possible use brand Natures Charm.  It is available here on Amazon, I get it at Sprouts Market. 

I tried a couple of other brands (because I was thinking of you and other recipes) and some of the other brands and even organic higher cost ones the ice cream was icy…


Blend it up and ready to freeze!   

So, let me tell you how surprised to find that this coconut condensed milk is dreamy yummy. Yes, it still has sugar in it so I’m not going to eat loads of it…but it sure has been fun to play around with it!    

What I like about using coconut sweetened condensed milk for ice cream is:

  • No ice cream freezer is necessary
  • It keeps the ice cream wonderful ice cream consistency
  • It adds really yummy flavor

Just whiz up mango with some coconut sweetened condensed milk, add squeeze of lime juice and freeze in your freezer, no need for an ice cream maker. 

You don’t have to use parchment paper..its ready to freeze! 

Let the freezer do its magic… and  ahhhh the texture is amazing!  It does not get hard or crunchy!  I tested it 4 hours, a day later and 2 weeks later to make sure it would not get crunchy, yipeee!  It stayed soft just how you want your ice cream to be!

See the cute little lime zest?  This zester is totally worth the price.  I have had mine for years, and it is so sturdy it will never fall apart.   (affiliate link )

Mango Ice cream-so yummy!

I used just half a jar of coconut condensed milk and 1 large mango.  I did that because I wanted to test out the recipe and wanted to do some other recipe testing with the coconut condensed milk.  I used a brand from Sprouts Market, but there are other brands that other grocery stores have.  Of course you can make your own coconut condensed milk too.  Feel free to use frozen mango chunks instead of mango and you can easily double the recipe and use your whole can of coconut condensed milk.

So what did I make with the other half of coconut condensed milk?   I made fudgsicles and fudge!  They both turned out marvelous! In fact the fudgsicles were so much better than store bought fudgsicles and its vegan!   Those recipes will be along in the next couple of days for you,

I really hope this easy recipe inspired you to create some of your own ice creams.  Which is your favorite vegan ice cream recipe?   Share it with us please?


Mango Vegan Ice Cream

An easy no machine mango ice cream recipe that is vegan and it has smooth texture. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword mango no churn ice cream, mango vegan ice cream recipe, vegan no churn ice cream recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 1 large mango peeled and cut up or use frozen chunks 2/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lime, use zest for final decoration, juice


  1. Put all ingredients except lime zest in food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into small loaf pan, freeze until firm about 4 hours.  Scoop out with ice cream scoop, garnish with lime zest.  Enjoy!  

Recipe Notes

There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price if you decide to purchase any of the products, but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

Having a Zester is wonderful, especially if you like citrus.  

For this recipe I used my thicker zester that I can make long curls.  

You can also use this one, a microplaner, but it will give you short curls.  

Anti-inflammatory/ Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free/ Salads/ Vegan/ vegetables/ Vegetarian

Raw Asparagus Radish Salad

Salad in a white bowl with two seeded breadsticks on the bowl.

The great thing about hot, hot weather is thinking outside the usual cooking ideas with veggies that you would usually steam.

Which vegetable am I talking about? You guessed it!  Oh, the title gave it away?   Teeeheee!

At the farmer’s Market this week, there was pencil thin asparagus (yum!), radishes, scallions, baby lettuces and blackberries.

asparagus, radishes, blackberries and scallions on a wooden slats

What will it be??

Would you combine all of those together?  I didn’t know when I grabbed them that I would either.  It just worked out that way.   And the flavors work marvelously together.

  • Savory (asparagus),
  • peppery (radishes and green onion),
  • sweet (blackberries) and
  • salty (pistachios)
  • along with baby soft lettuces

    raw asparagus salad with blackberries, radishes on a bed of lettuce in a white bowl.

    Raw Asparagus Radish Salad

It makes for a winning combination!  And we haven’t even gotten to the the vinaigrette!

Easy Mustard Vinaigrette

You can eat asparagus raw, pencil thin is going to be the easiest and fastest way.   Cut the pencil thin asparagus in small diagonal pieces

pencil thin asparagus on a cutting board being cut on the diagonal

See? cut on diagonal small pieces

and as you are cutting it notice when the knife has to work a bit harder.  For my asparagus this was about half way down the asparagus.  Use the  bottom half of the asparagus in a recipe that you will steam, stir-fry or grill with other veggies.

Cut the radishes and scallion on the diagonal, like this.

Sliced up and ready to go!

Add them to your salad, sprinkle on the blackberries and pistachios.

raw asparagus salad with radishes, blackberries on a bed of lettuce.

Pistachios add protein and salt to your salad.

If you don’t like pistachios raw pumpkin seeds would be delicious.

Pull out the vinaigrette ingredients put those in a little canning jar, shake, shake shake,

Shake it up!

pour, toss your salad and eat!

Isn’t it pretty?  When our food is colorful it is more pleasurable to eat, don’t you agree?

Raw asparagus Salad works well to put in a jar and eat it later, if you do that don’t add the baby lettuce until you’re ready to eat.

Did you get to the farmer’s market?  What did you pick-up?  I’d love to know, the comments are that tiny blip on the upper right hand corner of your screen just start typing & it’ll work:)

PSSST did you know that July 16 is Amazon Prime Day?  For prime members it means amazing great deals (well at least we hope so..but only of things you actually need) and if you are not a prime member you can start a free prime trial during this time.

Want to save this recipe for later?  Save to Pinterest oh, and you can follow me there too!


Raw Asparagus Radish Salad

Raw asparagus radish salad with pistachios and blackberries blended with a mustard vinaigrette that takes 10 minutes to make and it is fabulous to eat!

Course 10 minute dinner, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword asparagus recipes, aw asparagus salad, salad with radishes, vegan salad recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 1-1/4 cups organic baby greens
  • 8.5 ounces pencil thin asparagus, cut on diagonal small pieces -top half of asparagus) (3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup radishes, cut on diagonal (3 large radishes)
  • 2 scallions, cut on diagonal, white and lighter part of green portion 1/4 cup total
  • 1/3 cup fresh organic blackberries (fresh blueberries would be good too)
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, salted

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons garlic red wine vinegar Or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos or light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 pinches celery seed (or celery salt)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon pure cane sugar or other sweetener


  1. 1. Put salad ingredients in a bowl in order as listed above.

    raw asparagus salad with radishes, blackberries on a bed of lettuce.


  1. Put all vinaigrette ingredients in small jar with a tight fitting lid, shake a few times to emulsify.  Pour over salad.


Recipe Notes

Cut the pencil thin asparagus in small diagonal pieces.  As you are cutting it towards the lower half portion, notice when the knife has to work a bit harder.  Use the lower half for another recipe. 

 Use the  lower half of the asparagus in a recipe that you will steam, stir-fry or roast with other veggies.


Anti-inflammatory/ Breakfast/ Drinks/ Gluten Free/ Low Carb/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Chocolate Protein Smoothie

Chocolate smoothie in a glass with chocolate syrup drizzled on top with a red and white paper straw beside the glass.

Do you love chocolate like I love chocolate?  Did you know July 7th is National Chocolate Day?  That is enough excuse for me!  As you know dark chocolate is good for us and when you pair it with pea protein for your morning smoothie, you are in for perfection!

carton of chocolate almond milk, container of protein powder, cocoa powder, espresso powder and an avocado on a marble counter

What do these look like? A very yummy smoothie that is good for you!

What makes this smoothie amazing?

  • It’s vegan
  • it has minimal sugar (and there’s options for just using natural sweetener)
  • it fills you up for hours because of the healthy fat of avocado, PS- if you don’t like the taste of avocado – you won’t taste it in this smoothie.
  • it tastes so so yummy!

    Chocolate smoothie in a glass with chocolate syrup drizzled on top with a red and white paper straw beside the glass.

    Chocolate Protein Smoothie-oh yum!

You can use vanilla pea protein powder like I did or your own favorite protein powder.  Vanilla pea protein powder at Trader Joes is my standby. It has minimal sweetener and since stevia has a very bitter aftertaste to me, I avoid anything with it.   Also, if you don’t like using protein powder, use raw almonds and or hemp seeds and you have a totally natural  smoothie.

Avocado’s are amazing but if you have large ones as I do in my local farmer’s market, you might only want to put in half of an avocado, and you’re thinking it always goes brown and yucky.

person cutting an avocado with a plastic spatula

This is how to cut an avocado so it stays green

Shhh here’s a secret… use a plastic spatula to cut the avocado and it won’t get dark. I love these little spatulas!  Refrigerate half of it?  Ok, use the empty shell of the avocado half to cover the unused half, refrigerate it and it will be bright green tomorrow:)

cover the avocado with empty shell and store in refrigerator

An avocado is ripe when you can barely press on the avocado, if you are not ready to eat it yet, refrigerate the whole avocado and it will stay just that level of ripeness for several days.

You can add in a bit of instant espresso powder to the smoothie as it gives added depth of chocolate flavor, or leave it out, no worries.

almost ready to drink!, espresso and cacoa in cup-dissolved

The cacao powder, yes it is unsweetened and dark chocolate – this is a nice option as it gives added chocolate flavor. It is important to first dissolve it and the espresso powder in a small amount of hot water.

Whiz it up in your blender and presto it’s ready!  I love the Ninja blender system because it is powerful without a hefty price tag and it comes with individual blender containers so if you want to- you can drink it out of that container.  However, making your drink beautiful is fabulous way of taking care of yourself, don’t you agree?

a person pouring a thick chocolate smoothie into a glass

Are you hungry?

Treat yourself today to Chocolate Protein Smoothie.

What is your favorite smoothie?


Chocolate Protein Smoothie

An Easy, healthy protein chocolate smoothie with avocado that is dairy free and so yummy!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword avocado chocolate smoothie recipe, vegan chocolate smoothie recipe,
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1 teaspoon cacoa powder, dark
  • 1 teaspoon (optional) instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup chocolate Almond Milk option-use unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Pea Protein Powder
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2-4 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup optional frozen organic raspberries


  1. Put cacao powder and instant espresso powder in small cup with hot water.  Stir to mix well. 

  2. Put all ingredients including above cacoa mixture in blender, blend on high to mix well.  


    a person pouring a thick chocolate smoothie into a glass

Recipe Notes

Optional Ideas:

Instead of pea protein powder add 1/4 cup raw almonds and/ or hemp hearts (shelled seeds). 

If using unsweetened plain almond milk instead of chocolate almond milk,  Add total 1 tablespoon cacao powder  (mix in hot water first) and use 3-4 dates, (pitts removed) for sweetness.   Other optional sweeteners: Monkfruit or Cassava syrup. 

Tip: Use thin bladed plastic/silicone spatula to cut avocado, if using just 1/2 of avocado, keep the empty half rind of the avocado to cover the unused half, refrigerate and use within 1-2 days.  It will stay green this way. 🙂

Desserts/ Gluten Free/ Munchies/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Patriotic Popsicles

There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price if you decide to purchase any of the products, but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

Have  you made popsicles for you kids, grandkids and you tried them and they were really hard, sort of like biting into a frozen rock?  I’ve had that experience too.  Now, I know you can add a bit of alcohol and that will keep them from freezing so hard,  but obviously that is not going to work for little kids.

That’s about it, your ingredients, what is in that jar?

So research and testing and more testing is what I have been doing to give you popsicles that don’t break your teeth and something that can work for all age groups.

Ta da!  Let me introduce you to guar gum.

See? It’s Guar Gum the magic for awesome popsicles!

I’m sure you have seen it listed in all sorts of ingredients. What is it?  It is made by milling the seeds of legumes or grains. It is natural.  And what does it do?

  •   It is used to stabilize and thicken products like coconut or almond milk, yogurts
  • it is used frequently in gluten free baking to give that chew factor that you would get with regular bread consistency.
  •  It is used meal replacement or weight loss supplements because it absorbs water and so they think it makes you feel full.
  • Its also used in non food items for stabilizing hand creams, etc.

    Raspberry layer is in

You only need a small amount of it for what we are making.    It prevents the popsicles from being rock hard.  Where to get it?  I got mine in a bin at one of my favorite grocery stores, Winco.   Whole Foods probably carries it and anywhere there are a lot of gluten free flours. Bob’s Red Mill brand carries it.   And of course Amazon prime has it and you can get it here too!

Yogurt layer is in and now adding guar gum to blueberry layer


You can choose flavors for 4th of July, like I did, but any combination will work out great.  Organic frozen berries make these come together quick since the berries are already cold.

Final blueberry layer- now for popsicle sticks and into the freezer!

These popsicles are so good, very little sweetener a great summer treat for sure.  You may want them for breakfast after all fruit and yogurt!  I used non-dairy coconut yogurt vanilla flavored.   I would suggest you use this type of yogurt or use coconut milk because the ice crystals tend to be smaller when using coconut milk product versus regular yogurt or cream in popsicles.  Need popsicle set? This one is similar to the one that I have.

Dimitri is so excited to eat the popsicles!

Raspberries and blueberries was a big hit with my grandson Dimitri, ok a big hit with me too! He was so excited to try them-can you tell?    Strawberries would be yummy too.  And to make it easy, I used my Ninja blender. What I love about his blender is that it is powerful workhorse and it has individual blender cups so that I can blend my morning smoothie or these popsicles in a small container.  When I blend my smoothie then I can drink it out of the blender cup, one less container to wash!

Mimi, I love them!

Because guar gum helps to gel food it is wonderful with any popsicles that you are doing different layers.  In between the layers put the popsicles in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  Just enough to jell so the next layer won’t seep down.  You want to be sure and not freeze for too long because you won’t be putting in the popsicle sticks until final layer is poured in the molds.

Then freeze for at least six hours and enjoy!   Now that you know the secret ingredient you can create all kinds of popsicles!

Can I have another one?

What are your favorite popsicles?

Sandwiches/ Side Dish/ Vegan option/ Vegetarian

Tomato Herb Tea Sandwiches for 4th of July

white bread sandwhiches with tomatoes and cream cheese that are cut out in shape of stars that

Hi There!

It is so good to see you!

For the pictures that you may already be browsing through you will see this is for 4th of July, yes, this recipe was created for the 4th of July.  What is it?  An easy no-cook 4th of July appetizer with tomatoes, vegan cream cheese and sourdough bread cut out in shape of stars.

It works great for 4th of July or anytime that you have ripe luscious heirloom tomatoes.

It all started with just a couple of Heirloom tomatoes

And since tomatoes are all about summer,  they are great to celebrate Independence Day.   But before we get into this super easy recipe, I’ve got a story for you.

My paternal grandfather was so loved by his kids, grandkids and great grandkids.  He loved people and all of life so much! He was artistic, he made gorgeous hand wood inlaid grandfather clocks, matching cedar chests and tables and this was after he retired! He had 6 kids and he made each of his kids and all us grandkids a grandfather clock with matching cedar chest!   He came to the United States from Latvia.  He was the only one of his family that was able to come and we believe his family decided he was the most likely to succeed, so they gathered their meager funds and he came.  Even though his birthday is June 21,  he always celebrated his birthday on the 4th of July.


Why? Because he loved the United States so much and the freedom that it stood for.  He loved fireworks and all things 4th of July.  So needless to say, my favorite holiday has always been 4th of July.

It’s too hot too cook and you have been invited to “bring alittle something” to the neighborhood or family 4th celebration.  Here ya go, no cooking and everyone will think it is so cute and it tastes so good too!

large star, press firmly into bread slice

There are options to this tea sandwich too.  Vegan or not, packed with protein using white beans or not here you go.  This doesn’t have to be cut into star shaped, it is a great light sandwich anytime tomatoes are in season.  What to do with the leftover pieces of bread?  Make breadcrumbs, croutons or use it to make a strata.  You can put the leftover pieces of bread in a freezer bag and store them away until you are ready to use them.

alittle shake of this and that and it is all seasoned!

Cream cheese, I used vegan cream cheese or ricotta would work excellent or for more protein whiz up some white beans, season whichever base you choose the same, sliced heirloom tomato, a bit of fresh basil and there you have it!

Tomato Herb Tea Sandwiches for 4th of July

The sandwiches are adorable as open faced sandwiches too, can’t you just see these all lined up on a platter?

I left the basil leaf whole in the sandwiches but you could also julienne them.  Dried basil, parsley and Tajin make up the only seasoning you will need in your cream cheese or white bean base.    Don’t have Tajin and what is it?  It is cayenne pepper, salt and lime seasoning that I really love using.  The lime in the seasoning adds a freshness to it.  If you don’t have Tajin sprinkle a dash of cayenne, kosher salt and if you have it zest of lime.

Don’t they look like sparklers this way?

Tomato Herb Tea Sandwiches tastes sooo good, I kept wanting to eat it while taking the pics and yes I did eat some as soon as the pics were done 🙂  That is always a very good sign, don’t you think so?

Want a bite? Yummy!

If you celebrate the 4th or any type of freedom day- how do you celebrate?  Do you have a favorite food item that goes along with the 4th?

Want to know how I got the flags to look like they were waving?  Rolled them gently and let them unfurl:)

Want to save this recipe for later?  Cool! Click on the pinterest red bar below and there ya go!

Tomato Herb Tea Sandwiches for 4th of July

Easy no cook 4tho of July appetizer with tomatoes, cream cheese and sourdough bread cut out in shape of stars.

Course Appetizer, sandwiches
Cuisine American
Keyword 4th of July appetizer, vegan tea sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 4 star shaped sandwiches


  • 8 slices sourdough bread, pre-sliced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, vegan or can also use ricotta see notes for using white beans instead
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: dried parsley, dried basil, Tajin* if you don't have Tajin use 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp sea salt, zest of 1 lime
  • 4 thick slices organic heirloom tomatoes (approximately 1-2 tomatoes)
  • 4+ leaves fresh basil (or julienne some fresh basil)


  1. Optional- using large star shaped cookie cutter cut out star shape from each slice of bread. Press firm to remove  outer edges of bread.  Set aside.

  2. Mix herbs and seasoning in cream cheese or ricotta, stir with fork or small spatula to combine.  

  3. Spread seasoned cream cheese onto each slice of cut out bread.  

    Add one tomato slice and one leaf of basil to half of the bread slices.  

    Put other bread slice on top of tomato halves.  

  4. Garnish with treat pick such as a flag.


    white bread sandwhiches with tomatoes and cream cheese that are cut out in shape of stars that

Recipe Notes

To use white beans instead of cream cheese,

Drain one can of white beans, using half the white beans,  put in food processor along with seasonings in recipe.  Pulse until puréed.  Use instead of cream cheese in this recipe.    

To make the flag picks look partially furled- roll them gently and let them unfurl.  



Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free/ Vegan option/ Vegetarian

Honey Walnut Tofu with Broccoli

There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price if you decide to purchase any of the products, but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

Once upon a time there were two young men that took their mother out to lunch.  The young men were handsome, warm and funny.  Yes, you guessed it, my sons!  Where they took me to eat was Mandalay Restaurant in San Francisco. Mandalay Restaurant is a Burmese restaurant that has been around 30+ years.  If your going to San Francisco it is on California Street.  Very popular with the locals and tourists.   It was one of Aaron and Evan’s favorite restaurants, it quickly became one of mine.

They introduced me to Walnut Broccoli Tofu with coconut rice.

What’s she making?

And (pssst my sons didn’t like tofu particularly) nor were they vegetarian but they knew great food!  That name Walnut Broccoli Tofu doesn’t do it justice but just wait.

Honey Walnut Tofu with Broccoli is:

spicy 🙂

yummy sweetness


and served with the coconut rice…it was amazing!  And yes, for a strictly vegan option -you can use brown rice syrup.

Kick up that flavor- these will do it!

It took a bit to figure out how to perfect the coconut rice and you can find that recipe here.  If you want to make it healthier, I made a coconut rice cauliflower version that is very yummy too.

Making tofu texture great, there is one key, that is pressing the water out of the tofu.

putting heavy item on top of the plate speeds up draining process.

It doesn’t take long, 10 minutes will take your firm tofu to such better texture by pressing it with  a plate and a bit of weight.  You will think you are eating a different creation for sure.  Oh and for this recipe we are using 1/2 block of tofu- what should you make with the rest of the block?- Summer Rolls of course they are soo so good and what a great lunch to take with you!  

Diced tofu and my favorite knife hanging out together

It doesn’t take long to create Honey Walnut tofu with Broccoli.  Using a fabulous sharp knife saves time and your hand from getting sore.

Your cast iron skillet is definitely your friend for this recipe.  I used orange and yellow bell peppers that I had on hand…Red bell peppers would be amazing or leave them out all together.

Cast iron skillet with colorful pepper, broccoli and tofu

Almost done, toss these a couple of times and …

While the tofu is draining, you can make the coconut rice (it only takes 20 minutes and most of that time is hands off).

Chop your pepper, put the sauce ingredients into a little bowl .  About the spice 🙂  The 2 teaspoons of shrirachi sauce in it does make it spicy.  If you like things milder just add 1 teaspoon, taste the sauce and add 1/2 teaspoon if it still is not quite spicy. enough.    See that garlic press?  I have had it for sooo many years dates back to before I had my cafe.  It is sturdy and great. You can get one here.

Its ready, our yummy sauce with my favorite garlic press

Brown the tofu, in your cast iron skillet, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet- you will want one.  Cast iron skillets are great because you need very little oil and you don’t have to worry about getting poisoned from flaking teflon skillet.  And they make them pre-seasoned too!

lightly browned tofu

toss in the veggies and walnuts, stir them to get browned and cooked a bit,

add in your sauce and you too can be eating it!  As I’m writing this I want to go downstairs and make some more -it is sooo good!

Honey Walnut Tofu with Broccoli in a white bowll

Honey Walnut Tofu with Broccoli-yummy yummy!  I will save you a bite 🙂


Have you eaten at Mandalay Restaurant before?  If so what is your favorite dish there?

Save this recipe for later by clicking on the Pinterest bar below and while your at it follow me on Pinterest too ok?  Enjoy!

Honey Walnut Tofu with Broccoli

Best recipe for honey glazed walnut tofu with broccoli with a hint of spiciness.

Course dinner
Cuisine Asian, burmese
Keyword how to make honey walnut broccoli with tofu, tofu with broccoli recipe, vegan tofu broccoli recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1/2 container Firm tofu


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Shrirachi sauce** see note
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown rice syrup* *vegan option
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger or 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced


  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 cups organic broccoli chunks
  • 1/2 cup red or orange bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place tofu in between 2 paper towels.  Place a plate and heavy object (like cup of water or a couple of books) on top of the flat plate. Leave for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove wet paper towels and cube tofu.  

  2. while tofu i draining, prep the other ingredients.  Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.  

  3.   Heat cast iron skillet on medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and add the cubed tofu.  After approximately 3 minutes when tofu is light brown, turn tofu over.   Turn tofu again to brown lightly.  Remove tofu from skillet, set aside on a small plate.  

  4. Put other tablespoon sesame oil in skillet, keep heat medium high, add broccoli chunks, bell peppers and walnuts. Add water.  Turn frequently, once broccoli and walnuts have browned in areas (approx. 2 minutes) add the sauce.  Stir to combine.  Add the tofu, toss all ingredients. Heat for another 30 seconds.  Enjoy! 

    Cast iron skillet with colorful pepper, broccoli and tofu

Recipe Notes


**The 2 teaspoons of Shrirachi sauce in it does make it spicy.  If you like things milder just add 1 teaspoon, taste the sauce and add 1/2 teaspoon if it still is not quite spicy.

For Vegan option use brown rice syrup or vegan honey nectar. 

Use garlic press- this one is fabulous to mince the garlic.

Cast Iron skillet is sooo great, you can even make soup in it (I've got recipes for this) or bake in it.  This one you don't even have to season it, it comes pre-seasoned!

Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free/ Salads/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Farmer’s Market Salad In a Jar

two canning jars with colorful vegetable salad in them with tortilla chips by the jars.
There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price if you decide to purchase any of the products, but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

What would you do with a farmer?    Oh ok 😉   …. This recipe is really what to do with  farmer’s market veggies but I could not resist!  This salad was created some years ago after getting some scrumptious veggies at the St. Helena Farmer’s Market.

colorful bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion and kale in a wooden bowl.

Healthy Recipe for vegan vegetable salad in a jar

It was mid- July and there was corn, fabulous tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers oh, the vegetables felt still warm from the gardens!  Add in a lime vinaigrette and it is so sweet and yummy!

I have been making this salad ever since and it is always a favorite.  You really don’t have to have exact measurements.

orange red and yellow bell pepper on a cutting board being cut with a knife.

Cut peppers in half then lay then down for stable cutting

I have kept it to be equal parts of tomatoes, peppers,  alittle less of corn and some  romaine lettuce or kale.   Romaine or kale works really good in this recipe because of its sturdiness. Keep the size of your veggies relatively the same.

diced peppers on a cutting board.

All chopped!

With that in mind it is perfect to put into jars and eat during the weekday a truly grab and go lunch.


The other glam factor with this salad is using different colors of heirloom tomatoes, red, yellow and orange and the same with the bell peppers, I always used red, yellow and orange.  Aren’t they gorgeous!   Use your very sharp knife, this is mine and I love love it!  It is super sharp and stays that way for years. 

For this salad, organic baby tomatoes were used but feel free to use an assortment of heirloom tomatoes.

If you cut your corn from the cob before microwaving it is much easier than trying to cut hot corn off the cob.  Of course frozen white corn works great too.

The lime vinaigrette is easy too.  Squeeze limes, bit of oil and sweetener, shake it up in a little jar.

colorful vegetable salad in a blue bowl.

Isn’t that beautiful!

If you do not have a farmer’s market by you, but you have a market such as Trader Joe’s you can find organic heirloom tomatoes, tricolored bell peppers there too.

There are several options that can make this a completely different salad, one is to add diced avocado and/or black beans.

blue bowl with vegetable chopped salad in it.

All mixed up, ready for jars or to eat.

Right before you are going to eat your salad, crunch up some tortilla chips.   Yum-m-m!   This salad is just as easy to make in a big batch and eat it for several days.   It would take you just as much time to make a tiny bit of the salad.   Tuck it away into jars and then its so easy to grab and go!

two canning jars with colorful vegetable salad in them with tortilla chips by the jars.

Farmer’s Market Salad In A Jar- see the avocado I added?

I’d love to hear how you like this salad and what variations you come up with.  Enjoy!

p.s save it for later on Pinterest- click on the bar below to save!

Farmer's Market Salad In a Jar

Healthy vegan salad with colorful bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes and corn with a lime vinaigrette.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Salad in a jar recipe, Vegan salad with summer vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 2 cups each


  • 1 large corn on cob, cut off the cob 1 cup total
  • 1/2 each organic red, yellow and orange bell pepper 1-1/2 cups approximately total diced peppers
  • 1-1/4 cups diced heirloom organic tomatoes or baby tomatoes use multiple colors of tomatoes for added beauty
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced small
  • 1 cup kale, remove middle stem, chop or romaine lettuce

other options: 1 avocado, diced; and/ or 1/2 cup black beans, drained

Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar/cassava syrup or monkfruit sweetener

Just prior to serving

  • 1/2 cup (optional) crushed tortilla chips


  1. Once corn cut from the cob; put the corn in microwaveable bowl; add 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook on high for 2 minutes.   Drain corn.

  2. In large bowl, put all the diced  and chopped veggies along with corn.  Stir to combine. 

    diced peppers on a cutting board.
  3. If desired add avocado and or black beans to salad.

Lime Vinaigrette

  1. Put lime juice, oil, sweetener in small jar with a lid. Screw on lid, shake to emulsify.  Taste, should have sweet, tart flavor.  Pour over Farmer's Market Salad.  

    colorful vegetable salad in a blue bowl.
  2. Put salad into two -16 ounce size mason jars.  Refrigerate and use within three-four days. 

    Add crunched up tortilla chips right before serving, toss to combine.  Enjoy!

    two canning jars with colorful vegetable salad in them with tortilla chips by the jars.
Anti-inflammatory/ Desserts/ Vegan

Vegan No Bake Cheesecake In a Jar

two jars with layered cookie crumbs, raspberries vegan cheesecake and blueberries
There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price if you decide to purchase any of the products, but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

Hey there my friend,

This is a variation on my non-vegan No Bake Cheesecake in a Jar.  If you have not made cashew cream before, here is your chance! And as you can see I had 4th of July on my mind.  Do you want to save this for later?  Click on the pin bar and save it to Pinterest!

What does cashew cream taste like?

  • It is creamy
  • there is a hint of coconut from the bit of coconut cream that helps to keep it thick,
  • a hint of lemon to keep the color fresh and the flavor bright,
two jars with layered vegan cheesecakes with blueberries on top.

Vegan No Bake Cheesecake in a Jar

  • there is a dash -get it a dash like dash of wisdom:) of vanilla
  • and a hint of sweetener.

You do need to soak the cashews, it is best to soak them for 10-12 hours.   I find pouring boiling water over them, let it soak for at least a few hours, overnight is best.  Because you cannot puree a tiny bit of cashews, you will have extra cashew cream after making these two cheesecakes, or you can double up on the berries and make four cheesecakes.

single blender cup with cashew cream in it.

Just pureed cashew cream

And of course, you don’t have to use berries, other fruit works just marvelous.  Such as: tropical theme with mango slices and shaved coconut or sautéed pears and ginger… the list goes on! Did I get your creative juices started?

If you have a high speed blender the cashew cream will come out smoother.  But even with a high speed blender, you may still see a bit of graininess.

cashew cream in a small jar

cashew cream ready for layered cheesecakes- all chilled!

This is normal, the graininess is soft, so it isn’t like you are having hard bits when you eat it.   Once you puree the cream, if it seems too soft, put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up the coconut cream.

Want a faster vegan cheesecake?  Sure! Use vegan cream cheese and non dairy milk, you will need to use hand mixer to blend it quickly and you’re ready to layer the dessert!

2 jars with layed raspberries, blueberries, cream and cookie crumbs

No Bake Vegan Cream Cheesecake in a Jar

Graham cracker crumbs are vegan or purchase other vegan crunchy cookies  and crush them coarsely.   There you have it you are almost ready to dig into to your fabulous Vegan No Bake Cheesecake in a Jar!

Oh, your wondering what kind of cute jars I am using?  These are Weck canning jars, they are 7.4 ounces/ 219 ml in size just perfect for this dessert or you could use another style of jar that is around 8 ounces.

Love to hear the variations you create, please post a pic in the comments ok?


Vegan No Bake Cheesecake in a Jar

Vegan no bake cheesecake in a jar using cashew cream that is perfect for 4th of July or camping. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan 4th of july dessert recipe, vegan dessert in a jar recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 2


  • 3/4 cup taw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons heavy coconut cream (canned thick portion only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cassava syrup or sugar or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or other cookie
  • 1/2 cup organic raspberries+ 2 two extra berries for garnish
  • 2/3 cup organic blueberries
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons berry jam or cassava syrup or maple syrup 1/4 tsp water- use this to thin jam if using jam


  1. Cover raw cashews with water, soak overnight, to speed up faster, soak in hot/boiling water for several hours.   Drain and rinse the cashews. 

  2. Add presoaked, drained cashews to high speed blender along with coconut cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice and sweetener.  Blend on high until smooth.  If needed can add one tablespoon of water.   If you are going to pipe the cashew cream into the jars, refrigerate the cream for 30 minutes to 1 hour first to make it firmer.

Assembly of Layered Cheesecakes

  1. Put 2 tablespoons each of crushed cookies in the bottom of each 8 ounce jar. 

    2 Weck tulip jars with cookie crumbs and raspberries in the jars.
  2. Divide raspberries evenly between each jar- set 2 raspberries aside for garnish. Press the berries into the jars gently with a fork.

    Raspberries being pressed into a small glass jar with a fork.
  3. Reserve 1 teaspoon of cream mixture for garnish. Put 1/4 cup or more each cheesecake mixture into each jar either by using a piping bag or spooning it in.  

  4. Sprinkle the rest of the cookie crumbs in each jar evenly on top of cheesecake layer.

  5. Toss the blueberries with the thinned jam or other sweetener.

    Divide the glistening berries evenly over 2nd cookie crumb layer. 

    two jars with layered cookie crumbs, raspberries vegan cheesecake and blueberries
  6. Optional -Using star tip pipe cheesecake cream into each garnish raspberries. Enjoy!

    two jars with layered vegan cheesecakes with blueberries on top.

Recipe Notes

Other Vegan Option:

Instead of Cashew cream

Put 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, sweetener above, vanilla extract,(Omit the lemon juice) into a medium bowl, blend with hand mixer until smooth.  Follow rest of recipe - Use piping bag or spoon into jars, etc.   Enjoy!