Chinese takeout is one of my favorite kitchen cheats, but with recipes like this, I can prepare the salty deliciousness myself. Yes, friends, this is another fakeout-takeout recipe. I will admit that Panda Express got me through my long Tuesdays on campus at Cal State Long Beach. I would arrive at 9am and my last class would end at 10pm. Truly, I owe my degree to Panda for fueling me through my last semester. Upon graduation, I needed to find a way to satisfy my Tuesday cravings. That is where the adventure for this recipe began. Before I knew it I was whipping it up myself! This recipe is fairly easy and features that super savory pepper sauce. If you don’t feel like fussing with fresh ginger, you can substitute it with ground ginger powder. However, I will advise that it’s very much worth fussing over the fresh stuff.
*Photo is an original belonging to me
**Recipe adapted from https://sweetcsdesigns.com/panda-express-black-pepper-chicken-copycat-recipe/
Friends, we have made it through the blistering summer. As we approach cooler nights I am inspired to cook a big pot of soup. If you’ve been following this recipe blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve not done a great job of posting consistently. This means I have about a year’s worth of goodies stashed away to get up on this site. The recipe you find here is one that has become a family favorite during my absence. It satisfies the craving for Chinese take-out while also packing in veggies. The added bonus for my family is that Perry, my husband, gets to take a few servings for lunch to warm and fuel him up after a long morning of diving in the chilly Pacific. This soup features the flavor you’d find in traditional eggrolls with a nice crunch from wonton toppers. Cut the sodium by using vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth and you’ve got yourself a hearty and healthy dinner option. Also, add any additional vegetables that appeal to you. Some ideas include mushrooms, bean sprouts, and even diced water chestnuts. Truly, you can tailor this soup to your taste.
Serves: 8-10 Time: 45 minutes
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 tbsp cooking oil, I prefer olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 6 cloves of garlic (you know me, I use an excess of garlic. If you are not a garlic fan cut this back to 3 cloves)
- 1 small green savoy cabbage, sliced into bite-sized strips
- 8-10 cups of vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tbsp ginger, ground
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Optional: wonton salad toppers (you’ll find these by the croutons at the grocery store), sriracha for heat
- In a large pot, cook the pork over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Once cooked, remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
- To the same pot, add the cooking oil and onion, sauteing for about 6 minutes.
- Add carrots and garlic, sauteing for an additional 2 minutes
- Add the cabbage, broth, ginger and cooked pork. Stir to combine.
- Continue to cook the soup until it starts to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the sesame oil before serving.
- Top with optional wonton strips and/or sriracha and enjoy!
*Photo is an original belonging to me.
**Recipe adapted from https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/egg-roll-soup/
This egg-free/not fried spin on Chiles Rellenos is perfect for summer grilling. These peppers have bold flavor with spicy chorizo, smoky corn, and creamy bubbling cheese. This recipe does take a considerable amount of prep as you must start with roasting the corn and peppers before cooking up the filling and then returning the stuffed peppers to the grill. Trust me when I say the extra steps are so worth it. This recipe pairs beautifully with chile-lime seasoned edamame.
Serves: 6 Time: approximately 45 minutes to an hour
- 2 ears of corn, husked
- 3 tsp olive oil, divided
- 6 large poblano peppers
- 1-ish cups of breadcrumbs
- 1 cup (8oz) of chorizo
- 1.5 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
- optional: cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream
- Heat grill to high and brush your corn and poblano peppers with 1 tsp of oil. Grill corn and poblanos until they begin to brown, turning occasionally. Continue roasting for about 10 minutes until the corn and poblanos are fairly blackened/browned. We are looking for scorch marks here, on the surface, not compete burning.
- Remove corn and poblanos from the grill, placing the poblanos in a bowl and covering them to steam.
- Cut the roasted corn from the cob and set it aside.
- Cook the chorizo in a large pan. Once cooked through add breadcrumbs until most of the excess oil is sopped up. Add the roasted corn and 1 cup of the Monterey jack cheese (reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese for topping).
- Return to the poblano peppers and peel the skin. This is the clear-ish bits that should be flaking off, not the actual green fleshy parts. Don’t look for perfection here just get as much off as you can. Slice each pepper and remove the ribs/seeds.
- Create foil pockets and place a pepper on each one.
- Fill each pepper with the chorizo and corn mixture. Top with a bit of extra monterey jack cheese (you should have 1/2 cup reserved). wrap each pepper up along the side but keep the top open so that your cheese isn’t pulled off.
- Place the peppers back on your grill for a few moments to get the cheese bubbly on top.
- Plate and enjoy!
*Photo is an origial belonging to me
**Recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine (July 2018, p. 86)
I do this thing where I scroll through pinterest and find a bunch of recipes that look AMAZING. That seems pretty normal, but I don’t stop there. I often cannot decide between recipes for the week’s menu so I take elements from a bunch of recipes and mash them together. That said, I took the heat and cheese from jalapeno popper recipe, and the sausage crumbles from a breakfast stuffed pepper recipe. Sometimes these recipe risks are epic fails, but other times they turn out so good that they make it to the blog. This is one of those times. These peppers are super savory and spicy, and the creamy cheese adds balance to bigger flavors. This is definitely going to be a frequent item on our dinner menu this summer.
Makes: 24 peppers Time: 30 minutes
- 12 large jalapenos
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook up sausage and crumble it with your spatula as it browns.
- Slice jalapenos in half and remove ribs and seeds.
- In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder and garlic powder. Once this mixture is combined well, fold in the cooked sausage.
- Scoop some of the sausage mixture into each sliced jalapeno.
- Set the filled jalapenos on a foil lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and peppers are tender.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
*Photo is an original belonging to me.
I know I am not alone when I say that it is a huge annoyance when I click on a pinterest recipe only to receive a 20-page annotated essay. For the sake of everyone’s nerves I’ll keep this short. This enchilada recipe is incredibly simple, with few ingredients and no need for a ton of elbow grease. For me, this dish feels like “comforts of home.” You’ve got a thick flavorful sauce, stringy cheese, and a bit of protein wrapped up in a corn tortilla… What more can you ask for? I suggest that you make this at the start of the week and have left-over lunch or dinner for a few days (depending on the size of your family.). Credit goes to Kristyn from Lil Luna. It was her recipe that inspired me to cook these babies up!
Serves: 6 Time: 1 hour
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 7 oz can of diced green chile peppers
- 12 corn tortillas
- 28 oz can of green chile enchilada sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook and shred chicken
- In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, 1 cup of cheese, green chilies, and salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Spread about 1 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of your baking dish.
- Bring the rest of the enchilada sauce to a boil, remove from heat and dredge a tortilla for about 30 seconds.
- Spread a dollop of cream cheese down the center of the softened tortilla and top with about 1/4 cup of the chicken and cheese mixture. Fold the tortilla over and place it in your baking dish, seam side down.
- Continue step 6 with the remainder of your tortillas.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas in your baking dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
- Let cool, plate and enjoy!
This is only my second attempt at cauliflower pizza, and this recipe will become a weekend staple in my home. The crust is fairly light and crunchy, the veggie spread is savory, and the toppings were a perfect pairing. I’ve already started thinking about other topping combinations and think that next I’m going to try sun dried tomatoes, spinach and artichoke hearts. My stomach is growling simply at the thought of it! The recipe you’ll find below is for the crust and veggie spread. I use the veggie spread as a sauce of sorts so if you would rather have sauce, skip the veggie spread ingredients and directions. Finish it off with our favorite toppings, and you’ll have a delicious and healthy pizza! I got this recipe from a magazine put out by my local grocery store, Ralphs.
Serves: 8 slices Time: 1 hour Calories: 146/slice (this does not count toppings)
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1/2 cup of shredded pizza blend cheese
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- any toppings you would like for your pizza. We used sliced red onion, black olives and cilantro.
Ingredients for Veggie Spread:
- 2 tbsp cooking oil, I used canola
- 3 medium/large zucchinis, shredded
- 1 carton of grape tomatoes, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper
- If you have a food processor, pulse the florets of cauliflower until finely chopped.
- If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater to “rice” the cauliflower florets.
- Place the chopped/riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out moisture from the cauliflower with a clean towel. It will essentially make a ball of cauliflower.
- Transfer the “moisture-less” cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and stir in the pizza blend cheese, Parmesan, eggs, salt, onion powder and Italian seasoning.
- Spread this mixture onto your prepared baking sheet or pizza stone in a thin, 12-inch circle.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is firm and crisp at the edges.
- If you plan to use veggie spread instead of sauce, start preparing this while the crust is cooking (directions found below).
- Top with all your favorites and bake again until your toppings are melted and/or properly heated through.
Directions for Veggie Spread:
- Using a cheese grater, shred your zucchini.
- Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil over medium-high and add the shredded zucchini, stirring frequently.
- After about 3 minutes of cooking the zucchini add the sliced grape tomatoes. Note, the juices from the tomatoes will make a paste like spread with the zucchinis. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until tomatoes start to wilt.
- Add in the sliced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds until the fragrant.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and spread on your crust as if it was sauce after the first 30-minute bake.
- Top with your favorites and enjoy!
* Photo is an original belonging to me
*Recipe adapted from Ralphs
Every few months I get a hankering for breaded, fried, and saucy chicken nuggets. That’s really just a round about way of saying I am addicted to orange chicken. I finally tried recreating this recipe at home. While it can be a treat to order take-out, we live on a pretty tight budget. I also love experimenting with recipes I love, so it was a lot of fun to play with these ingredients. These morsels are perfectly tangy and sweet with a perfect crunch. The best part, these babies are oven baked! No hot oil is required for this recipe saving your skin from oil burns and arteries from clogging. You are all very welcome 🙂 I must give credit to Just a Taste whose original recipe was adapted to form this one.
Serves: 6 Time: 30 minutes Calories: 623/serving
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp cooking oil, I used canola
- 2-3 tbsp minced garlic (Refine this to your tastes. I love garlic so I went for 3)
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce.
- 1 (18oz) jar of orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, I used “lite” soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (Refine this to your tastes, we like spicy so I used 2. If you don’t like spice leave this ingredient out).
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Cut up chicken into bite size pieces
- In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken into the bowl and toss it to coat the chicken.
- Pour milk into a small bowl and the Panko crumbs to a large bowl or plate.
- Working one piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken in milk then roll it in the Panko breadcrumbs. Once coated in breadcrumbs place each piece onto the foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken for 10 minutes, flip them, then bake for an additional 10 minutes. (You’ll bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and nicely browned).
- While the chicken is baking, heat sesame and cooking oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and ginger stirring for a minute or two until fragrant and golden.
- Add the hoisin, marmalade, soy sauce and crushed pepper flakes to the garlic/ginger mixture. Stir frequently while cooking over low heat for about 5 minutes.
- If you are planning to have left overs, take only the chicken you plan to eat and dunk them in the sauce. Let the other chicken pieces cool and put them in an airtight container and then in the fridge. Store extra sauce in a separate container. When you plan to eat the left overs, bake the chicken at 450 degrees F in the oven and heat up the sauce. Baking the chicken will ensure that the breadcrumbs become crispy once more.
- If you are planning to eat all of the chicken pieces, put the chicken in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it. Turn over the chicken to make sure all pieces are coated.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!
*Photo is an original belonging to me
*Recipe adapted from Just a Taste