Art of Tea

Organic Art of Tea
Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free/ Sandwiches/ Vegan

Best Black Bean Burger

Settle in my friend,

Black bean burgers deserve our full attention!  Why?  When you create your own and they taste great, are easy to recreate time and again and they stick together so they are not falling apart when you are eating your burger, well that deserves a whole lot of attention!   And especially when it is vegan!

Why is this recipe different and you will want to only use this recipe?

Best Black Bean Burger that doesn’t fall apart!

  • It does stick together, without the traditional binders such as eggs, cheese or even flax eggs
  • it has great flavor,
  • you can make it gluten-free easily
  • it doesn’t require tons of ingredients
  • this recipe is great for 3 full black bean burgers or make little sliders and you can create 6-7 sliders or double the recipe for more burgers.

If that sounds a bit boastful, that you won’t need another black bean burger recipe… it’s not about me.. and I didn’t come up with the recipe.. there is a magazine I have followed for years -Cook’s Magazine.  I love Cook’s Magazine because they don’t just create a recipe and hope it turns out for you.  They focus on the science behind why a recipe does or doesn’t work.  So, that you know it’ll work time and again.

Cooks put out a Vegan for Everybody Cookbook and of course I was excited to get it!  I’ll share a few recipes with your from time to time from the cookbook.  

I changed a couple of things with the recipe, but what keeps it together stays the same.  So, let’s get started!

This recipe has a unique ingredient, tortilla chips, just a few, crushed really well, adds right amount of dry and fun flavor boost too.

Crush tortilla chips in ziploc bag, with your hands.

You can precook black beans (only 45 minutes) in your Instant Pot or used canned black beans.  Since we’re making a smaller batch just one can of black beans will do,  Wait!  Don’t pour out the liquid from your black beans, you’ll be using a bit of it, it’s very important to sticking the burger together.

What is it? yes flour and __?  You can use oat flour for gluten free version.

The other key is you don’t want your ingredients too wet either, so pat the beans dry in between paper towels.

Put black beans in between paper towels and tap, them with your hands to remove extra moisture

Some may ask are bean burgers good for you?  Oh yes! Let’s list a few reasons why black beans are good for you-

  • fiber
  •  loaded with plant protein, 15 gm for one cup, that is outstanding!
  • Magnesium, phosphorus and iron and that is just to list a few of their fabulous attributes.
  • Watching your fat intake?  They are very low in fat too.
  • flavor of black beans are wonderful, that is why they are so popular in latin cuisine and Cajun dishes.

See? just a little glisteny now that they have been dried with paper towel.

How do you make black bean burgers?

Of course it depends on your recipe.  Any ingredients that are raw such as peppers, onion (other than minced scallions) or mushrooms be sure to precook them first as this will help ensure that your burger stays together.

favorite knife and minced scallions, cilantro and garlic

The black beans need to be pulsed a few times in your food processor or smash with a fork.

Pulse beans a few times so they look coarsely ground like this..

Blend the ingredients together, pat them into burger or smaller sliders size and cook them on a lightly oiled cast iron skillet.

hand formed black bean burgers

A cast iron skillet isn’t necessary but it sure is great, because cast iron skillets can now be purchased pre-seasoned which makes them so easy to use.

Ahhh! sizzling in my favorite cast iron skillet


I’m partial to grilled pineapple on my burger along with heirloom tomato, homemade easy refrigerator pickled red onion and arugula (sounds like a lot doesn’t it?, so good tho!).  What is the white dressing on the burger??? ohhhh you would ask 🙂  It is Vegan white Queso sauce.  Yes, I’ll share the recipe with you.   You can put on your burger whatever you like, have a bit of fun with it, ok?

Really want to hear your comments about his recipe please, leave your comments in the little red blip in the right hand side of bottom of your phone.

Best Black Bean Burger with Wispy Onion Fries


Best Black Bean Burger

Easiest and best Vegan black bean burger recipe that doesn’t fall apart and it tastes great!

Cuisine American
Keyword best black bean burger recipe, vegan burger recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3


  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and reserve the black bean liquid
  • 3 tablespoonsq reserved black bean liquid
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour use oat flour for gluten free option
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon (optional) Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup tortilla chips, 1/2 ounce
  • 1-2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 3 burger buns


  1. Put two layers of paper towels on counter, spread black beans over towels, place one paper towel on top of beans.  Pat to dry.  Let sit in paper towels while you are prepping rest of ingredients. 

  2. Whisk reserved black bean liquid and flour in medium size bowl until combined and smooth.  Stir in: cilantro, garlic, scallions, cumin, sriracha sauce and salt.  Stir with fork to blend.  

  3. Put tortilla chips in ziploc bag, crush with heel of hands to crush well.  Put crushed tortilla chips in bowl with seasonings, stir to combine. 

    Put black beans in food processor, pulse a few times until coarsely ground.

    Add black beans to bowl of seasonings, mix well.     Form burger patties with your hands approximately 3-1/2 inches in diameter.  If making sliders make then 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in 10-inch cast iron skillet; lay 3 patties in skillet and cook until crisp and browned approximately 3 minutes.  Gently flip burgers, add more oil if needed, cook other side for approximately 2-3 minutes.

  4. Serve with your choice of burger condiments and toasted buns.  Enjoy!

Dinner/Supper/ Salads/ Vegan

Peach Corn Charred Salad

Yes, this weekend heralds the end of summer at least the part of the world where I write from.  Another name for this salad could be, Sweet, Soppy end to Summer salad.    Why such a goofy name?

Peachy Corn Salad…ahhh Summer’s Finale

  • Sweet summer Peaches and for this salad juicy is great so the juice can ooze and sop into the
  •  crusty, craggy, chunky, charred bread.  (Wheee, now that was a lot of “c” words wasn’t it?)
  • Sweet also for end of summer fresh corn
  • toss peppery arugula and zippy red onion into the mix
  • drizzle a bit oil and vinegar and you are set!

Sweet peaches, just enough softness to let a bit of juice drizzle down your hand as you cut into it.   Peel to leave the peach naked or rinsed and the skin left on to keep the peach warm for the end of your summer meal.  I left the skin on, it is so beautiful, don’t you think so?

A little chop here and there and you’re ready to eat it!

Corn will be coming to a close in the gardens and farmers markets as well.  Just cut it off the cob before you cook it.

Let’s keep this salad super simple and celebrate the end of summer, I know part of me doesn’t want summer to end, but I do love autumn, how about you?

This salad is a take off of tomato bread salad only no tomatoes and here the sourdough chunks are tossed onto the grill or gas burner on the stove, to let the bread partially char and taste smoky.

big chunk of bread charring on my stove 🙂

Can you smell the charcoaled bits?  The smoky chunks gives nice extra heartiness to this salad.

See? gently charred

Toss the ingredients together, drizzle a bit of oil and rice vinegar on the salad or squeeze of lime and you are done!

Peachy Corn Charred Salad- Here have a bite!

What about you? What heralds the end of summer for you?  Do you like gliding into autumn?

Enjoy the Salad!  Want to save it for later?  Click on red bar below to save pic to Pinterest!

Peach Corn Charred Salad

End of Summer Sweet Peach and Corn Salad with charred rustic bread, arugula and an easy oil and vinegar drizzle.  

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Peach and Corn Salad, Peach bread salad recipe, Summer Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 corn cob, cut off cob, (3/4 cup approx)
  • 1 cup (approx) Sourdough bread, unsliced or thick slices
  • 2 med ripe organic peaches, washed, cubed 1-1/2 cups approx
  • 1 cup aurgula
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine


  • 2 tablespoons (or less) Avocado oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar or lime, squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (optional) Tajin Seasoning


  1. Put corn in microwaveable bowl with 2 tbs of water, cook on high in microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Drain water out.  

  2. If bread is whole loaf cut off a chunk of bread,  if thick slices -put each slice or chunk on gas stove turning bread with tongs to get all portions of bread lightly charred.  Or char it on grill or under broiler in oven.  Once charred either cut or tear bread in smaller chunks.  

  3. Put all salad ingredients in medium size bowl, drizzle oil over salad and drizzle bit vinegar. Sprinkle on optional Tajin seasoning.  Toss to coat.  Enjoy!

Dinner/Supper/ Munchies/ Vegan/ vegetables/ Vegetarian

Garlicky Tomato Bruschetta “Pan Con Tomato”

Now is the time to hop, run, slide or drive to your nearest farmer’s market to get end of the summer luscious tomatoes.  Of course, if you have your own garden, with loads of tomatoes breaking their branches; this recipe is for you.   Big ones, little ones, brandywine, zebra, stripey, black krim, and yellow brandywine to just name a few.

How’s that for luscious summer time flavors?

The list could go on and on of the types of heirloom tomatoes.

For this recipe it’s fun to use different sizes of tomatoes just cut and smish the baby heirloom tomatoes on top of the sliced larger tomatoes.   Garlic is the perfect partner with the summer tomatoes and for this recipe, I also coupled it with rustic kalamata olive bread.  Of course you can use any rustic sourdough bread too.

For most bruschetta (and yes this is a type of bruschetta 🙂 you have lots of chopping of this and that namely chop all those tomatoes and basil etc.  This is just a few slices of tomatoes,

Slice and you are almost done

mince the garlic, cut or tear a bit basil and toast the best rustic bread till crunchy!

What is so luscious and yummy about this recipe?

  • it is totally healthy
  • totally easy!
  • Garlic keeps colds at bay, good for blood pressure, and so delicious!
  • Heirloom tomatoes are so sweet right now 🙂
  • crunch from the very toasty bread

    All toasty! Can you smell the garlic?

  • sweetness from tomatoes
  • kick from garlic is all you will need to say ohhhhh yum! Let me go make some more of the very very garlicky tomato toasties

Do you have a toaster oven?  Sure is nice to have, for this recipe and so many small toasting, baking, heating up projects.  The minced garlic (yes, use your garlic press to make quick work of mincing the garlic… you can also slice the garlic) was smeared onto the the bread.

My favorite garlic press!

You place it in the toaster oven and toast till very toasty.  You could also use your oven broiler.

A lot of bruschetta the bread is cut thick, I like a bit thinner slices for this recipe.  Either way just get the bread nice and toasty so it has lots of crunch to it.  That way the juice of the tomatoes can ooze into the crunchy toast.

Very garlicky tomato Toasties

That’s about it!


Garlicky Tomato Bruschetta "Pan Con Tomato"

Heirloom tomato and garlic bruschetta that is so delicious and easy! 

Course 10 minute appetizer, 10 minute supper
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Garlicky tomato appetizer, heirloom tomato bruschetta, vegan summer appetizer
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 people, 2 slices each


  • 4 slices kalamata olive rustic bread sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled, minced or sliced thin
  • 2-3 organic heirloom tomatoes sliced in rounds
  • 2/3 cup organic baby heirloom tomatoes slice 1-2 times lengthwise
  • 8 leaves basil, torn or cut


  1. Drizzle the slices of bread with bit of olive oil.  Spread minced or thinly sliced garlic on bread.  Toast the bread using toast oven or broiler until toasty and golden brown.  

  2. Place large tomatoes on the garlicky toast, place baby sliced tomatoes on top of large tomato slices.  

    Scatter basil pieces on top of tomatoes.   Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I use different shapes and sizes of heirloom tomatoes, small tomatoes work great for this recipe that way you have different colors if you so desire.  

Products used in this recipe:

This is a fabulous garlic press, it has lasted me for years because it is heavy duty stainless steel.  It is easy to clean too!

Having a toast oven is marvelous especially if you are not cooking for a crowd.  You can put in just a small portion in your toaster oven to bake or heat something up.  It is great for bagels, toast with topping that you want to get hot like the garlic in this recipe.  

These are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price 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!
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.