Cranberry Holiday Tea

This recipe comes from my mother’s cookbook. It’s one of the few things I can remember her making for the holidays. With 2 cups of sugar and orange juice, the cranberry tartness fades away in this warm smooth tea.

This original recipe gave me the inspiration for a mocktail version I posted over at The Bloom Blog, turning it into a sparkling cold drink. So be sure to pop over there and say hello.

Cranberry Holiday Tea | The Hip VegetarianCranberry Holiday Tea

1 quart Cranberries (3 12 oz. bags)
2 cups Sugar
2 quarts Water
2 cups Orange Juice (fresh)

3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 sticks, Cinnamon

Mix and boil cranberries, sugar and water until cranberries pop open. Strain cranberries from the juice and discard.

Add Orange Juice, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. Simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm.
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Pasta Asiago with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pasta Asiago with Spinich & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | @HipVegetarian

Pasta Asiago with Spinich & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | @HipVegetarian

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was slightly tired of left overs; so I pulled out a recipe I recently found in the San Antonio Express-News.  Their Taste section is the main reason I subscribe to the Sunday paper, and I have a stack of recipes that I want to try, to prove it.

I made the reduced-fat version of the recipe, which is listed here. I also added chicken strips from Morning Star to give it a protein boost.

Pasta Asiago with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Makes 6 servings

12 ounces whole-grain pasta
1 bag, Morningstar Chicken Strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup Vegetable broth, divided use
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (not oil-packed)
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach

Instructions: Boil pasta according to package directions; drain, set aside and keep warm.

Saute chicken strips in a nonstick skillet. Set aside.

In a separate skillet, add olive oil and the red onion. Sauté onion, using broth if necessary to prevent scorching, until soft. Add garlic.

Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth to dissolve. Add the rest of the broth to the dissolved cornstarch and pour the mixture into the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add half-and-half and return to a boil. Add Asiago cheese and stir. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

In a large bowl or pan, combine chicken or shrimp, pasta, sauce and spinach, and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted.

There is a nice tasty, original fattening version of this recipe at http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food/article/Reduced-Fat-Pasta-with-Spinach-Asiago-and-3982289.php#ixzz2EEn7Ukp7.