Monday, October 20, 2014

Breakfast Tacos

A family who cooks together enjoys spending time together. Brandon enjoys cooking and recently he made a recipe that he found on the Internet. He converted it to vegetarian and made a few other adjustments for his tastes. Yum, was it ever good! It's now on the 'family favorites' list. Brandon made this recipe twice last week and I'm sure he'll make it again soon!

Breakfast Tacos

Part 1
Flour Tortillas

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup warm water

Blend flour, salt, baking powder, and shortening together until the texture of coarse cornmeal. Slowly add water until dough is soft (more water may be needed, but don't use too much). Knead dough and then form into 8 -10 balls the size of golf balls. Set aside for 20 minutes with a damp cloth over the surface to keep from drying out.

Filling A

4 - 6 potatoes
olive oil

Peel potatoes and dice into cubes. Fry in olive oil in a hot skillet. Season to taste. Use medium-high heat, as the centers of the potato pieces need time to soften. High heat will brown edges before centers are done. Set aside when done.

Filling B

4 corn tortillas
olive oil

Dice four corn tortillas into squares. Fry in olive oil in a hot skillet. Set aside when browned.

Filling C

1 block extra-firm tofu, crumbled
1 sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped olives
2 oz. pimento peppers
1 Tbsp. chicken-style seasoning*
olive oil

*Bill's Best Chicknish or McKay's Chicken-Style Seasoning are both vegetarian

Crumble tofu into a small bowl. Add chicken-style seasoning and stir together. Set aside. In a hot skillet, heat olive oil and saute' onion. When soft, add crumbled tofu. Fry until browned. Add pimento peppers and black olives. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare the flour tortillas. Flatten each ball between hands and then use a rolling pin to form a thin cake. Bake on a hot, dry skillet. When the first side starts to bubble and brown, turn and brown the top-side.

Prepare breakfast tacos by placing a portion of the potato topping, the corn tortilla topping, and tofu topping in the center. Fold over and garnish as desired with cilantro, red pepper sauce, and olives.

*For gluten-free option, prepare as given, but omit the flour tortilla and use a corn tortilla as a replacement.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jo's Sabbath Rice

This recipe originally came from an online friend named Jo. She called it Jo's Sabbath Rice because it could be blended ahead of time and then cooked during church for potluck. It's truly delicious! When I make it, I don't stick to any rules, but add whatever I have on hand that I think would be good. I vary the types of nuts and seeds, add fresh herbs on hand, add chopped scallions, and sometimes add a chicken-style seasoning or broth for added flavor. This is a great recipe for holidays or for busy week-days at home.

Into a rice cooker place 1/3, 1/3/, 1/3 portions of wild rice, brown rice and white rice in whatever proportions you want to feed.

Add appropriate amount of water and cook according to rice cooker directions.

Assemble a container with any variation in amount of the following ingredients:

Pine Nuts or Walnuts
Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
Chopped Olives (Black or Green)
Finely chopped Mushrooms
Finely chopped small amount of colorful bell pepper (orange, yellow, red)
Green onions thinly sliced
Pumpkin seeds
Very small amount of chopped jalapeno pepper
olive oil, drizzled and stirred into mixture

When rice is done, mix all the ingredients in and fluff with a fork. Garnish with parsley and red pepper rings. Serve from rice cooker if desired.

Other ingredient ideas: shredded carrots or cabbage. 

Once cooked, stir in chopped parsley or cilantro, tomatoes, or peeled and diced cucumber.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Alma's Rainbow Compote

Alma's Rainbow Compote

1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. shredded orange peel
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 oranges, peeled and sliced crosswise
3 cups desired fruit

Combine honey, juice, orange peel, and cinnamon. Drizzle over orange slices in bowl. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.

Serve in pretty, individualized dishes.

*Raisins are also good in this!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Aunt Polly's Apple Cake

Aunt Polly's Apple Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix ingredients above together, beating for 3 minutes. In another bowl mix:

3 cups flour (sift 1 tsp. each of baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt). 

Fold flour into sugar & oil mixture with spatula. Then add:

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup coconut
3 cups apples, raw, diced.

Fold into mixture. Bake in a tub pan for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. When done, invert over a pop bottle to cool.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Crunchy Wheat Germ Sticks

Crunchy Wheat Germ Sticks

1 cup wheat germ, divided
1/2 cup unsifted flour
2 tsp. chopped chives
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1 egg
2 Tbsp. soymilk, divided

Combine 3/4 cup wheat germ, flour, chives, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add egg and 1 Tbspl milk. Stir well with fork. Pince off pieces of dough and roll into 3 1/2 inch long sticks. Brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. milk. Roll in remaining 1/4 cup wheat germ. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degrees oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 dozen sticks.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Rice Flour Brownies

(No gluten, wheat, or milk)

2 squares unsweetened chocolate (2 oz.) OR 3 Tbsp. cocoa
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup rice flour for chewy brownies; 1 cup rice flour for cake-like brownies
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate and shortening together over hot water (or use microwave oven) and cool. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla, and blend well. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture. Bake in a prepared 8-inch square baking pan for 30 - 35 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool slightly and cut into squares. 

Carob brownies: Melt 1/4 cup carob chips with shortening and substitute for chocolate.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Plain Cake and Variations

(No gluten, wheat, eggs, option for no milk)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup water (or milk or soymilk)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cup brown or white rice flour
3 Tbsp. potato starch flour
2 tsp. sweet rice flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease well in an 8-inch square pan or 9 muffin cups. Cream sugar and shortening together in mixing bowl. Add flavoring. Mix dry ingredients. Add flour alternately with water to sugar mixture. Beat at medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. 

Pour into a prepared pan. Bake cake 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; bake muffins (cupcakes) for 15 - 20 minutes. Makes 8-inch square pan or 9 cupcakes. 

Apple-Spice Cake

Substitute apple juice for water. Add to dry ingredients 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. ginger.

Banana Cake

Use 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium) and 1/2 cup water in place of 1 cup water.

Chocolate: Increase sugar to 2/3 cup. Cream 3 tbsp. cocoa with the sugar and shortening. Add 1/4 tsp. baking soda to flour mixture.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tofu Marinade

Tofu Marinade

1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin powder

Mix together until smooth and creamy. 

Slice extra-firm tofu into slices. Place in a low casserole dish and cover with marinade. Allow to sit for an hour or more. Then, brown each tofu slice in oil in skillet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lemon Verbena with Berries

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup packed lemon balm leaves (we used lemon verbena leaves instead)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup agave (any sweetener of choice will work)
  • 1 Meyer lemon with peeling left on
Mix all ingredients together in a Vitamix or strong blender until creamy and smooth. Once the appropriate texture is achieved, add lemon verbena leaves and blend only until they are broken up and blended briefly. I like to have some little green bits of verbena leaves seen in the mixture.

Chill mixture and process through an ice cream machine.

Refreshing! You may substitute berries that are available to you. This recipe also works well with lemon balm (substitute in equal amounts).

*For a dairy version of this frozen dessert, replace the water and cashews with your favorite ice cream recipe.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blueberry Scones with Orange Marmalade

I saved enough fresh blueberries from yesterday's picking to bake a batch of scones. They baked up beautifully with abundant, juicy, blue orbs in each one.

The recipe called for lemon zest, but I didn't have any lemons, so used lemon juice in the dough and baked them without zest. Then I decided that orange marmalade would be an appropriate sweet to go with the scones. The zest of the orange in the marmalade made up for the lack of zest in the scones. They paired perfectly.

Gluten free scones "act" a bit differently than regular ones. Because they don't contain gluten to trap the carbon dioxide gasses when the baking soda and baking powder do their job, I try to choose forms or shapes that are most likely to rise well without much handling. Sometimes I bake gluten free scones in one large mound that is flattened and then cut with a pizza cutter to make wedges. And at other times, like today, I prefer the drop biscuit approach. I was pleased with the lightness and flavor of these scones.

A simple black tea was selected to accompany the blueberry scones. My choice was Yorkshire Gold because it's full bodied without being overpowering. It's produced by Taylors of Harrogate, a company that was founded in 1886 in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. It is a blend of five varieties of tea grown in Assam, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. A review of this tea on Serious Eats reports that: 
  • Yorkshire Gold from Taylors of Harrogate is a "luxury blend" of second flush Assam and peak-season East African teas. This is a robust black tea that works well with milk, though given its silky smoothness that's certainly not required. There are hints of cedar and earth; this tea is slightly fruity but mostly savory, perfect for getting your eyes open in the morning.
Although this is a delightful tea with the addition of milk and sugar, I tend to prefer my tea "black" or "plain" so I can taste every undertone as it is, with just a tiny touch of stevia to sweeten.

I chose this teacup because it was blue. It seemed so appropriate for the blueberry theme. It is called Saxony, by Royal Doulton. It is one of my everyday favorites.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones

Makes 8 - 10

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used 1 cup garbanzo/fava flour and 1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour blend OR all-purpose flour).
  • 1 packet stevia powder (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 Tbsp. Smart Balance margarine
  • 1 egg OR 1 egg substitute {flax seed gel}
  • 2/3 cup soymilk
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 generous cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add margarine and cut in with a pastry blender until the size of small peas. Add vanilla, egg, lemon juice, and soymilk. Stir gently with a fork until dough is moist and blended. Gently stir in blueberries.

Form scones by spoonful and place onto a baking stone. Push stray blueberries into dough so none are left out.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool on the baking stone. Serve with margarine or butter and orange marmalade. Also delicious with lemon curd.

Of course, at the end of every good photo shoot comes the pleasure of sitting down at a pretty table setting to enjoy what's set out to eat and a nice, hot cup of tea. Today I had a little helper. She's such a polite little thing. She was curious, but asked permission with her eyes before attempting to share. Her nose is long, though, and she has a pretty keen sniffer. I gave Sudo a few crumbs which she appreciated and enjoyed. I discovered, though, that she prefers plain blueberries to scones. She's such a dear.

Whipped Coconut Milk with Bourbon Vanilla Rooibos and Blueberries

Crepes are a favorite family food. And since the family is altogether for Father's Day, it's only natural that crepes are on the menu. Although the menu sounds fairly traditional, it wasn't without its unique variations. 

I keep a can of coconut milk in the fridge door. It's chilled through and ready to be made into coconut milk whipped topping at a moments notice. It's easy enough. Simply open the can, spoon the mixture into a bowl, and whip with an electric mixer {Kitchen Aid} until creamy. I happen to like the little globs of coconut fat solids, so I don't whip it until it is completely creamy, but you can if you try this yourself and would prefer it. I added a 1/2 tsp. of stevia for sweetness and some of our homemade vanilla.

Pear sauce is another simple filling for crepes and could be used for filling or topping. Our family enjoys this even more than applesauce. We use home canned Bartlett pears and put them in a blender {pears and juice} and blend until creamy. Tasty!

U-picks at the blueberry patch down the road start this week, so I need to use up as many of our frozen berries as possible to make room for a new batch. Usually I heat the frozen blueberries in a kettle with water and stevia or with fresh apple juice. 

This time I decided to try something different, so went to my tea cupboard to find something that I thought would be flavorful with the blueberries. I chose a tisane of bourbon vanilla* rooibos that I steeped and then added to the bluebeerries. They were sweetened with 1 tsp. of stevia and thickened with a cornstarch slurry.

Homemade crepes {gluten free} filled with pear sauce and rolled. Then topped with warm blueberry sauce and coconut milk whipped cream {it melts into the warm blueberries upon contact of cold with warm}. Delicious and just right for Father's Day! 

The china is Royal Doulton Carolyn from the Romance series. 

*From Wikipedia: 

  • Bourbon vanilla or Bourbon-Madagascar vanilla, produced from V. planifolia plants introduced from the Americas, is the term used for vanilla from Indian Ocean islands such as Madagascar, the Comoros, and Reunion, formerly the Île Bourbon. It is also used to describe the distinctive vanilla flavor derived from V. planifolia grown successfully in tropical countries such as India.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Alma's Broccoli & Pea Salad

2 cups broccoli, fresh, cut into small pieces (Cuisinart/curved blade)
2 cups frozen peas
2 - 3 stalks celery, diced fine (Cuisinart/squared blade)
1/2 cup almonds, chopped and roasted in skillet (or oven)
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup Vegenaise

Mix all ingredients together after preparing/chopping. Stir until mixed. Serve and enjoy! 

VERY yummy! A good recipe for potlucks because it can be made ahead. Just add the almonds right before serving.

*Use more Vegenaise if you like more moisture.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Basil & Tea Truffles

The floral snowballs also remind me of real snowballs! The kind that are hard when they hit you and that melt when you try to bring them inside! And they remind me of the quintessential Hostess Snowball. Do you remember them? They were a concoction of chocolate cake covered in marshmallow and rolled in coconut. So tempting in the package at the store, but mother would never buy them {they are "just fluff" she'd say and "not good for growing kids"}. But how pretty they were! Instead we'd use the idea to make homemade truffles at home and sis and I would roll them in unsweetened, flaked coconut until they were as dense and pretty as the blossoms on the snowball tree!

And you can make some too! Here's a recipe I enjoy. Find the coconut and you can roll to your heart's content. The recipe even includes tea!

  • 2 cups soy creamer
  • 1/2 cup packed, fresh basil
  • 2 tea bags, Earl Grey tea
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb. chocolate, bittersweet, chopped
  • Crushed cookies (gluten-free if necessary), toasted chopped nuts, shredded coconut or cocoa powder, for rolling.

Bring the cream to a low simmer over medium heat. Then remove from heat and add tea bags and basil leaves. Steep for 15 minutes. Then strain mixture and discard the solids. Return the pan of infused cream to the heat and simmer for five more minutes. Then, stir in chocolate until melted and combined. 

Cover mixture and place in fridge. Cool completely (2 hours or overnight). 

When ready to create truffles, place the topping or toppings of your choice in bowls. Use a spoon to scoop by teaspoonful and make a rounded 1 inch ball. Then roll in one of the toppings listed above. Each truffle should be well coated. 

Store truffles in a covered container in the fridge until ready for use.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Chilled Strawberry Soup

May is the month of strawberries! 

The Urban Dictionary defines strawberry thus: 

(n) A delicious fruit and despite being called a "berry" it can be quite large. Strawberries typically are very tart and sweet. They are recognizable due to their red heart-like shape and its many visible seeds covering its outside.

The more proper definition can be found on It says this:


   [straw-ber-ee, -buh-ree] 
noun, plural straw·ber·ries.
the fruit of any stemless plant belonging to the genus Fragaria,  of the rose family, consisting of anenlarged fleshy receptacle bearing achenes on its exterior. See illus. under achene.
the plant itself.
before 1000; Middle English; Old English strēawberige.

No matter how you define it, the strawberry is a tasty morsel of delight! It can be used as a garnish, for dessert, and even as the first course for an afternoon tea party. 

Here's a recipe for {Cold Strawberry Soup} that looks so pretty in a clear glass bowl that contains it for tea time.

{Chilled Strawberry Soup}
  • Puree 2 pints of hulled strawberries, 1/4 peeled cucumber, 2 tablespoons parsley, and 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Remove from blender and gently stir in a pint of hulled and chopped strawberries, 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and salt to taste. Chill until very cold. Spoon into individual bowls and garnish with a strawberry rose and sliced green onions.

Simplest of Simple Waffles

Simplest of Simple Waffles

1 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

Preheat waffle iron. Using a blender, mix all ingredients together until very smooth. Pour batter into a prepared, hot waffle iron. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. The waffles should be golden brown and crispy. Serve with maple syrup and peanut butter or canned fruit. Also good with a frozen dessert like sherbet.

Serves: 1 or 2

Enjoy! Recipe may be doubled to serve more.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Black Bean Hummus

16 oz. black beans, cooked or canned
1 Tbsp. tahini
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
salt {and pepper}
1 tsp. cumin, ground

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Allow to bring to room temperature before serving.

Sharing My Favorite Recipes with You!

Health-Supportive Cooking

Welcome to my kitchen where recipes, cooking tips, and menu ideas are shared! Sit down at my table, sip a cup of tea, and smell the delicious aroma from my cozy kitchen! Join in friendly chat by using the comments feature on my blog to post your questions, comments, & favorite recipes. Let's discover together.

Occasionally a recipe may be shared that is not BOTH vegan and gluten free. All gluten free recipes are designated with a tag below the recipe post.

Yum! Let's get cooking!

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*Recipes and photos copyright@LaTeaDah 2005 - 2012