tea

Image: notfrancois

You’ve probably already got cabinets filled with tea. What’s more comforting than a hot cup of Earl Grey or an antioxident-rich green tea on a cool fall evening, especially now that winter’s coming? But did you know that all of the flavor and nutritional benefits of tea can come through in cooking as well? On this Meatless Monday, consider some vegetarian recipes involving tea as a main ingredient.

quinoa

Image: steven jackson

Rooibos is the actual name for red tea. This beverage isn’t technically tea at all, but the infusion is often drunk as tea, especially in South Africa, where the plant is grown. The resulting liquid is a reddish color and is filled with flowery aromas. It has high levels of antioxidants and contains no caffeine, which makes it an excellent tea just before bed. It’s perfect in this rooibos quinoa with dried blueberries and coconut. It’s a delicious and healthy substitute for hot cereal in the morning or even as dessert in the evening.

prune

Image: ELaboureur

Another breakfast option is this California dried plums steeped in jasmine tea recipe. The plums soak up the floral aroma of the tea. Served over yogurt, this is a healthy and delicious breakfast option.

genmaicha

Image: trekkyandy

Genmaicha tea or brown rice tea is a Japanese tea that combines green tea and roasted brown rice. It’s used to crust tofu in this tea-crusted tofu over julienned vegetables with tea broth. Tea’s flavor is rarely used as such a main ingredient, but the relatively bland taste of the tofu allows the flavor and texture of this unique tea to shine!

green tea ice cream

Image: coolmikeol

As for dessert, what’s better than the classic green tea ice cream? You may have tried this treat before at Japanese restaurants, but making your own is another experience entirely. The flavor of the green tea can shine through, and, of course, all of the antioxident benefits make this a guilt-free sweet!