recipe: artichoke and spinach quinoa

May 24th, 2013 · 6 Comments


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!


Artichoke and Spinach Quinoa


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


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. 


Tags: food · main dishes · side dishes

roasted avocado slices

April 15th, 2013 · 12 Comments


Sometimes you guys just have to trust me.

Because right now, some of you are thinking, “I’ve never had avocado served warm.” 

But the thing is — you’ve been missing out.  Like, desparately.  Because roasted (or grilled) avocado is so incredibly delicious, you’re going to be shocked when you finally try it.

These taste almost like big thick-cut baked french fries, only a million times richer and creamier.  They’re absolutely delicious.  And super easy — go try it!


Roasted Avocado Slices


2 avocados, fairly firm
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Fleur de sel
Fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut each avocado into quarters, lengthwise, discarding stone and peel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously with garlic powder, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until the slices are a little golden at the edges.



Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes

recipe: sundried tomato quinoa salad

March 22nd, 2013 · 5 Comments


Hey, remember when Sugarlaws was a food blog? 

Ha ha, that was a joke.  Neither do I!  That was a long time ago!

The fact is, I’ve been so busy for the past year or two that cooking has really fallen to the wayside.  I have a few tried and true staples that I make for dinner during the week and, honestly, we order a fair amount of takeout.  I can’t help it — pizza is one of my favorite foods on this earth, and when I get home from a long day and still have 57 emails to respond to, the last thing I can think about is shopping for ingredients, making up a new recipe and cleaning everything up afterwards!  I’m hoping to carve out more time for some special dinners this year, as soon as my schedule lets up a little bit!

But every once in a while, usually on the weekends, I still get the urge to make something new and delicious.  This quinoa salad was a product of me wandering the aisles of our grocery store, trying to think of healthy ingredients that would all taste great together.  Feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts?  Maybe I can still cook after all.  (Yum.)


Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Quinoa Salad

2 cups quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
12 ounce can of artichoke hearts, packed in water
2 tbsp chives, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper


Cook quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the sundried tomatoes, feta, artichoke hearts, chives, olive oil and salt and pepper and stir together.  Serve at room temperature or warm. 


Tags: food · side dishes