Quinoa Salad

Dare I say it? Is summer officially here? With Memorial Day come and gone, I think it would be fair to say that spring is in the past and we are now on our way to beaches, tank tops, farmers markets and Summer Shandy! This past weekend held a few firsts for the season....first trip to the farmers market, first time playing bags in the backyard, first time wearing shorts (excluding while at the gym), and first time making this quinoa salad! A friend introduced this recipe to me a while back and it quickly became a favorite summer go-to. The fresh flavors, healthy ingredients, and deliciousness make it the perfect addition to any summer menu.

Quinoa Salad

As we move forward into the summer I am excited to announce that our breadth of content will be expanding! Since SMAK first began, I have tended to stick to the basics...stories and recipes. While this has been great, I have come to realize that there is so much more that I could write about that I have been steering clear of...cooking tips, restaurants, bars, cooking shows! 

"food isn't just something you eat - it's a lifestyle, an experience. come along on a journey as we talk a little culinary SMAK!"

SMAK's homepage says it all, yet I have missed so much! So from this point on, expect some of the same, recipes, stories, but expect the unexpected! New restaurants and bars opening in the city? You've got it! My favorite coffee shop down the street? You've got it! My take on the latest episode of MasterChef? Yup, that will be here too! 

Until next time (which may be sooner than you think)...happy eating! 

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups quinoa 3 bell peppers , chopped 1 red onion, chopped 1 can black beans 1 can corn 1 bunch cilantro, chopped 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered olive oil lime juice salt, to taste cumin, to taste


  1. Cook quinoa as directed on packaging.
  2. Chop ingredients as directed above. Mix quinoa, peppers, onion, black beans, corn, cilantro and cherry tomatoes in large bowl.
  3. Season with olive oil, lime juice, salt and cumin, to taste.
  4. Refrigerate and serve.


steamed cauliflower with lemon butter sauce

a little side dish to brighten your day...

steamed cauliflower

I made this quick and easy side dish to go with my hot smoked salmon that I recently posted. There were a lot of firsts in this meal and all were delectable as my 3-year old niece would say! Just thinking about it now is making my mouth water. That, and the fact that I am currently halfway through a six-day BluePrintCleanse. Holy moly am I struggling! I am limited to six juices a day and water. I think I can technically have some green tea, but I wanted to use this as an attempt to ween myself off caffeine. "How is it going?" you may be asking. Well, let's just say that it is quite possibly the most difficult test of willpower that I have ever endured. I want food...now.

There will be a complete breakdown of my six days on SMAK, no worries there!

And here I am, writing about food, watching the newest season of MasterChef, watching as my family enjoys food all around me - Chipotle, corn, chicken, pork chops, spicy sweet chili Doritos. I want it all. But for the next 3 days, I will leave that all to you wonderful people.

Until next time...happy eating! (Eat a little extra on my behalf!)

steamed cauliflower with lemon butter sauce

1 cauliflower head, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons butter 1 small lemon (juice and zest) 1 tablespoon chopped parsley salt, for steaming water

  1. Trim the cauliflower: remove leaves and leaf stalks. Turn head over and trim out the center fo the core, but not so much that the florets fall apart.
  2. Head about 2 inches salted water in the bottom of a steamer. Put whole head in the steamer basket and cook just until sharp knife can pierce it with a slight resistance, 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the head. Don't over cook; it will continue to cook from residual heat.
  3. While the cauliflower cooks, heat butter in a small saucepan until it just begins to brown. This will not take very long - watch closely so it doesn't burn. Zest the lemon, then cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Add to browned butter. Chop parsley and add to butter.
  4. When the cauliflower is done, remove to serving dish and spoon sauce over. Slice into quarters to serve.