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Quinoa with leeks, cranberries, and walnuts

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Here is a quick and easy side dish made with quinoa that looks great on a holiday table. The recipe is very flexible. If you don’t like cranberries, substitute dried cherries. Instead of walnuts, you could use almonds or any nuts you have on hand. The possibilities are endless!

I’ll be back before the end of the year with another tasty treat. Until then, wishing you all a happy and delicious holiday week ahead! ~Inge

Quinoa with leeks, cranberries, and walnuts
Adapted from an old issue of Cooking Light

 

2 cups veggie stock
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced leeks
½ cup sliced celery
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground sage
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Method:
1. Bring veggie stock and ¼ teaspoon salt to boil in saucepan. Add quinoa, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Let stand a few minutes off the heat; fluff with a fork.

2. Melt butter in large skillet. Add leek, celery, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and sage. Cook about 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Then, stir in the quinoa, cranberries, and walnuts. Cook until everything is heated through. Enjoy!

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holiday almond milk punch

Hello, readers! How has December been treating you? I’ve got twinkling lights strung around my living room windows, and I’m looking outside at several inches of snow on the ground. The season is officially here. A towel is spread out by the door for wet boots, the cat is hiding out under the down comforter all day, and big pots of soup are being made, eaten, and then made again. Ah, winter.

holiday milk punch

If you’re looking for a celebratory beverage for this holiday season, I’ve got a great one for you: almond milk punch. It’s delicious, easy to make, and very festive. Some folks make their milk punch with regular milk or even heavy cream, but I prefer to use almond milk. I think it makes for a tastier and lighter milk punch. I mixed up a pitcher of this milk punch at my family’s Christmas celebration last year and it was a hit. It also makes a great New Year’s Eve cocktail!

Cheers, everyone! ~Inge

Holiday Almond Milk Punch
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 ½ cups almond milk (We like to use a mixture of regular almond milk and Blue Diamond’s coconut almond milk)
¾ cup bourbon or whiskey (We like to use Maker’s Mark)
¼ – ½ cup powdered sugar (depends on how sweet your almond milk is)
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
Place all of the ingredients in a festive pitcher. Whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve in small glasses over ice. Garnish each glass with freshly grated nutmeg, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

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