Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'main dishes'

slow cooker vegetable stew

October 8th, 2014 · No Comments

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Forgive me if I sound a bit intense here.

BUT ZOMG THIS RECIPE IS SO FREAKING GOOD.

It really shouldn’t be.  This dish is basically nothing more than a few fresh veggies, a little butter, and some cheese.  No rare and expensive spices.  No fancy cooking techniques.  Just dump it all into the slow cooker, and come back in eight hours.

That’s literally it.

And yet… so good.  So easy, so simple, so delicious — and so mind-blowingly good. 

The slow cooker has become my best friend in the kitchen lately.  No matter how many times the baby cries or the dogs need to go outside or the phone rings — nothing burns.  It has single-handedly saved our family from starvation (or, at least, from take-out) many, many times in the last eight months. 

As a former vegetarian, this stew is light enough for lunch and hearty enough for dinner over brown rice.  But when I cooked it for a guest, I added panko-crusted chicken breast to serve over the top — based on this gem of a recipe.  Totally easy and completely delicious. 

PS — If you look back at the panko-chicken recipe, you’ll notice me spouting off advice about picky-eater kids… I’ll be taking my own advice in just a few months! 

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Slow Cooker Veggie Stew

INGREDIENTS
1 pound baby carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 bell peppers, diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup white wine
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine.  Cook on high heat for 8 hours.  Serve with additional parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

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Tags: food · main dishes

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

January 27th, 2014 · 9 Comments

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sugarlaws 3

Here’s the thing about our slow cooker:

We have owned it for YEARS.  I’m not sure if it was a present or just something I picked up one day, but we have a beautiful, fancy-schmancy one from All Clad, and we’ve had it for probably five years.

And up until a few months ago, do you know how many times I had used it?  Once.  (Conveniently documented on Sugarlaws, I used it to make beef chili back in 2009… during which I accidentally fed Chad a spoonful of straight cayenne pepper, oops!  He still brings it up.)

For a long time, I thought our slow cooker might go the way of the breadmaker — a bulky, essentially useless appliance that eventually we’ll either give away or toss when we run out of kitchen space.  But then a few months ago, I thought to myself: “Hey, these things are supposed to be really good for easy meals, and I’m about to have an infant on my hands in a few months, so anything that can make cooking dinner into a five-minute endeavor might be worth revisiting.”

And so I did.  This recipe is about the simplest, easiest thing ever — just a couple of ingredients, and you literally put them in a pot and check back in 5 hours. 

And when I did?  I went to lift a chicken breast out of the pot, and it literally fell apart on the fork.  Needless to say, a big grin spread across my face — this one was an instant success.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sugarlaws 2

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

INGREDIENTS

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
8 ounces barbeque sauce (I used Bulls Eye Original, because Chad is extremely picky about these things)
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sandwich rolls, split

DIRECTIONS

Place chicken in a slow cooker.  Mix together the barbecue sauce, italian dressing, brown sugar, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.  Cover, and cook 4 hours on your slow cooker’s “High” setting. 

When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred the breasts.  Spoon generously onto sandwich rolls (I also like to add a layer of extra bbq sauce to the rolls) and serve. 

Makes enough chicken for 6 sandwiches.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sugarlaws 1

Tags: food · main dishes

recipe: artichoke and spinach quinoa

May 24th, 2013 · 4 Comments

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A few weeks ago, Chad and I revamped our kitchen and eating habits — we’ve always eaten reasonably healthy, but we started to realize that we were consuming a LOT of junk food.  In New York, I’d usually stop by a grocery store once every few days, and there were always easy takeout options that we went to in a pinch.  In Houston, our routine is really different — we cook a lot more on a day-to-day basis, but since everything isn’t in walking distance of our house, we depend a lot on what we have on hand. 

Which… eventually became a lot of junk food.  We were caught in this cycle of me buying food, Chad not knowing what we had and grabbing less healthy options by default, and then I wouldn’t buy as many healthy options because we never ate them… big mess.  But a few weeks ago, we decided to make a major effort to be all-around healthier.

So I thought I’d share with you guys one of my new go-to recipes!  Quinoa is actually super easy to make — it only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s a whole grain that’s packed with fiber.  Pair it with some easy staples like artichokes and fresh baby spinach, and you have a quick, simple dish that’s perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner!

And, yes, I still totally cheat — there’s still ice cream in our freezer and I’ll kick and scream before giving up flavor-blasted goldfish (love them!).  But overall, these are good, healthy steps in the right direction!

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Artichoke and Spinach Quinoa

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Water

DIRECTIONS

Before cooking, rinse the quinoa thoroughly using a mesh strainer. 

Cook the quinoa according to package directions, but replace one cup of water with vegetable stock (so, if the package calls for 4 cups of water, use 1 cup of vegetable stock and 3 cups of water).  After the quinoa is cooked, stir in the artichokes, baby spinach, olive oil, garlic powder and lemon juice.  Leave the mixture on low heat, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes or until heated through.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

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Tags: food · main dishes · side dishes