Healthy, Vegan and Gluten Free July 4th Recipes featuring Sweet Leaf TeaYep, we’re already past the mid-point of 2010. It’s time to celebrate our country’s independence  with food, drinks and general out door summer shenanigans.  We can choose to go haywire or we can try to be as good as we can be by making smart food choices. Check out my 2008 & 2009 posts for some eco tips to enjoy your 4th as well as some healthy recipes to serve up this coming weekend.

Be sure to party smart but also, make sure you make the most of this summer holiday weekend!  This year, I’ve put together a list of recipes that incorporate some of my favorite Sweet Leaf Tea beverages.  Summer isn’t summer without some icy cold libations and Sweet Leaf Tea is a must have in your fridge as well as at summer festivities. Just to sip on or incorporate into your dishes, check out Sweet Leaf tea’s wide array of tasty, naturally sweetened (& unsweetened) teas & lemonades!

Sweet Leaf Lemon Ice Tea & Tarragon Tofu

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegan butter

Freshly ground black pepper
3 large packages of firm tofu (drained & cubed)
Juice and freshly grated zest from 3 lemons
1 cup Sweet Leaf Tea Original Iced tea with Lemon
1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon leaves
1/4 cup veggie broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tbsp Pine nuts
Lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the pan and heat until the butter is melted. Salt and pepper the tofu and add to the skillet. Quickly “brown” the tofu on both sides, then add the lemon juice, tea, and tarragon to the pan. Deglaze the pan with the liquid, removing any dried browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the tofu is browned and crisp on the outside but soft on the inside. Place the tofu on a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm while finishing the sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the veggie broth and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the skillet and simmer until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Return the tofu and any juices collected on the platter to the skillet and rewarm. Flip the tofu to coat evenly with the sauce before serving with optional lemon slices for a garnish. Serve with rice or lightly dressed pasta.

Crusty Sweet Leaf Sweet Tea Loaf

For bread making machines

¾ cup Sweet Leaf Original Sweet Tea
2 cups Unbleached flour (or combo of unbleached & whole wheat)
1 tsp Salt
1 ½ tsp Active dry yeast

Place ingredients in baking pan in listed order, and bake on European bread cycle. Try substituting oatmeal flour for up to 1/6 of the total amount for a lighter loaf.

Sweet Leaf Lemonade Cookies

1 cup vegan butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2  egg replacer
3 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces Sweet Leaf Lemondae
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, optional
granulated sugar

Cream butter and sugar until light; add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Sift together the sifted flour, baking soda; add to the creamed mixture, alternating with 1/2 cup of the lemonade. Stir in grated lemon peel. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake cookies at 400° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Brush hot cookies with remaining lemonade then sprinkle with a little granulated sugar. Remove cookies to racks.

Sweet Leaf Citrus Green Tea Quinoa Salad

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Sweet Leaf Citrus Green Tea
1 cup diced cucumber
½ cup mandarin oranges, halved
¼ cup almonds or sunflower seeds
2 green onions, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 drops sesame oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground corriander

Rinse quinoa under cold running water; drain. In saucepan, bring 2 cups tea to boil; stir in quinoa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tea is absorbed and quinoa is transparent; drain and let cool. In salad bowl, combine quinoa, cucumber, orange sections, almonds or sunflower seeds, onions and coriander. Dressing: In small bowl, mix lemon rind and juice, sesame oil, sugar, cumin and coriander; pour over salad and toss to mix. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Creamy Sweet Leaf Tea Lemon Lime Popsicles

1 1/4 cups soy milk
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup Sweet Leaf Lemon Lime Tea
Pinch of salt

Blend ingredients together, pour into popsicles molds and freeze. When frozen, enjoy!

Lemon Cake Sweet Leaf Tea ½ & ½ Lemonade & Ice Tea Glaze

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large lemon
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
2  egg substitute
2/3 cup soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz Sweet leaf Tea ½ & ½ Lemonade & Ice Tea
2 c. powdered sugar

Mix dry ingredients (except sugars). Finely grate lemon peel and stir it inches. Beat butter and brown sugar and add egg replacer. Add flour mixture and milk to margarine mixture. Add vanilla & poppy seeds. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°F. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Make glaze: With wire whisk blend powdered sugar into the lemonade. Invert cake onto a serving plate and drizzle with glaze until absorbed

Have a very happy & healthy 4th America!!


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