Dinner dates with girlfriends and wine are pretty much the best thing ever, especially when it’s warm outside and you can leave the windows open to the sunshine and cool breeze. Cooking and chatting over wine is an evening well spent if you ask me.

I’m really excited for this blog post for a couple of reasons, I get to share an amazing recipe with you and tell you about my friend Lauren. I had my first full on vegan meal last week with my friend and fellow blogger, Lauren Kron of So Fresh n So Green. Aside from being one of the sweetest people I know, Lauren is a vegan, gluten-free blogger dedicated to providing her readers with delicious recipes along with tips n’ tricks to help them look and feel their very best (no dieting or deprivation allowed). As soon as I heard the no dieting-deprivation allowed, I was sold.

Before heading over to Lauren’s I picked up a bouquet of fresh flowers from Pike Place Market and a bottle of Viognier wine…

Vegan Spring Quinoa & Asparagus Risotto

For our dinner Lauren made the most delicious vegan spring quinoa and asparagus risotto accompanied with a salad, keep reading to snag the recipe! As Lauren and I caught up over wine and dinner preparation, I’d say it took about an hour to have dinner on the table. This was an incredibly flavorful and filling meal that would be great to share with loved ones and friends.

Fresh asparagus

Yummy asparagus!


An appetizer of artichokes and the world’s most addictive aioli

Beautiful artichokes

A picture of my artichokes when I made this appetizer for a dinner party over the weekend

While Lauren was cooking our dinner she served this appetizer, artichokes and the world’s most addictive aioli. Whoa it was delicious, I had to stop myself from eating both artichokes all to myself. You can find the recipe for this delicious bit of bliss here. I made this appetizer over the weekend for a dinner party, aside from the time it takes to steam the artichokes this recipe was super easy to make. The recipe for the risotto is below, Lauren mentioned that she does most of her shopping at Whole Foods if you’re wanting to know where she picked up the ingredients for dinner.

Vegan Spring Quinoa & Asparagus Risotto

Serves 2-4

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (2 for asparagus and 2 for risotto)

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp fresh thyme

1 cup quinoa

1/2 cup white wine (any is fine)

1 lemon, juice squeezed

black pepper

1/4 tsp nutritional yeast

5 cups vegetable broth

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

Sprinkle of kite hill cheese

1. Pour vegetable broth into a pan and bring to a simmer. Grab a large pot and bring heat to medium high. Pour in olive oil and then add chopped onion. Saute for 5 minutes or so, until onion becomes cooked through and translucent. Then add in garlic, sea salt and thyme and saute another minute or two. Add your quinoa next and saute for an additional minute, until slightly toasted. Now it’s time to pour in the wine and squeeze your lemon juice in.

2. Stir constantly until quinoa has absorbed the liquid.

3. Add a cup of simmering veggie broth to the pan and cook, stirring as needed, until its absorbed. Continue adding broth in by 1 cup amounts,   stirring each time until the broth is absorbed.

4. While you’re stirring in more broth, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat asparagus in a small amount of olive oil (1 tbsp or less), 2 cloves minced garlic and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing half way through.

5. Once all 5 cups of veggie broth has been stirred in and absorbed, your quinoa should be fully cooked, creamy and soft. Take immediately off the hear and stir in the nutritional yeast and a bit more fresh thyme, along with fresh ground pepper to taste. Set aside to sit for 5 minutes or so.

6. Meanwhile chop roasted asparagus into bite sized pieces. Stir into risotto.

Serve topped with more fresh thyme and vegan Kite Hill Cheese (if available)

I left Lauren’s feeling so excited and inspired to try out a few more of her mouthwatering vegan recipes. Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and follow her on Instagram where’s she’s always posting pictures of the meals she’s making. If you have any questions about the recipe above feel free to tweet at Lauren or leave a comment below.