Honey Chicken Stir Fry

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This stir fry was a welcome break to the pasta and frozen pizza that has become our new norm during the quarantine. Fresh veggies are more abundant at the grocery store these days so it was a treat to get our hands on them. This stir fry is a great way to pack in the veggies. The sauce is so flavorful I even got my 5-year-old to eat some broccoli. That is no easy feat! I had some extra bell peppers in my crisper, and they turned out to be a delicious addition to this dish. I would honestly consider this a “clear out your crisper” recipe. If you’ve got some veggies you need to put to use throw them into this saucy stir fry. This recipe is adapted from Dinner at the Zoo

Serves: 4-5          Time: approx. 35 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 green bell peppers, washed and sliced into bite-sized chunks
  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 packet of stir fry flavoring (I usually find this in the Asian foods aisle at the store)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: cooked rice for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir frequently to keep from burning.
  3. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and set aside.
  4. To a different pan add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan in a single layer. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant.
  7. Put the veggies back over medium heat and add the cooked garlicky chicken.
  8. In a bowl whisk together the chicken broth, honey, and soy sauce.
  9. In another bowl mix the cornstarch with one tablespoon of cold water.
  10. Pour the honey sauce over the chicken and vegetables; cook for 30 seconds.
  11. Add the cornstarch to the chicken and veggies and bring the pan to a boil.
  12. Cook for 1 more minute or until the sauce thickens.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Dinner at the Zoo

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Black Pepper Chicken

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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.  Recipe For.png

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://sweetcsdesigns.com/panda-express-black-pepper-chicken-copycat-recipe/

Eggroll Soup

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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   

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. To the same pot, add the cooking oil and onion, sauteing for about 6 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and garlic, sauteing for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add the cabbage, broth, ginger and cooked pork. Stir to combine.
  5. Continue to cook the soup until it starts to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sesame oil before serving.
  7. 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/

 

 

Baked Orange Chicken

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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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cut up chicken into bite size pieces
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken into the bowl and toss it to coat the chicken.
  4. Pour milk into a small bowl and the Panko crumbs to a large bowl or plate.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Just a Taste

 

Wonton Soup – Fake Out Takeout

ImageIf you have not noticed I’ve developed a love affair with wonton wrappers. They are just so versatile and my husband seems really impressed every time I make dinner using them. This soup was delicious and certainly compares to our local Chinese Takeout spot. It might even be a little better because we used a spicy sesame oil giving the broth a nice little kick. Also keep in mind when buying the ingredients that you can get two batches out of the pork and wonton wrappers. We made this twice in a week cutting down on the grocery bill and leaving us with lots of delicious left overs. Original recipe was adopted from Martha Stewart. I did change the recipe a bit so if you are interested in seeing the original you can find it at http://www.marthastewart.com 


Serves: 4    Calories: 283 per 6 wontons in 1.5 cups of broth

Ingredients for Filling:

-1/2 cup of finely chopped Napa or Savory Cabbage

-1/2 tsp. salt

-1 lb. ground pork

-3 Scallions, finely chopped

-2 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (if you want more crunch don’t chop too fine but keep in mind your wontons will taste more gingery)

-1 tbsp. soy sauce (reduced sodium if you can)

-1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (we used a spicy sesame oil. Also this will be a little pricey but keep in mind you can make many tasty dishes on this site with sesame oil so consider it an investment)

Ingredients for Soup:

-24 square wonton wrappers (usually found in the gourmet or refrigerated organic and vegetarian sections of your grocery store next to the tofu.)

-2-14.5oz. cans of reduced sodium chicken broth.

-1 tsp of salt

-3 scallions, thinly sliced

– 3 tsp rice vinegar (like the sesame oil this is an investment to your kitchen if you like the recipes on this site)

-1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Directions:

1.) In a mixing bowl toss the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

2.)Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid.

3.)Return cabbage to bowl and add pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

4.)Mix together with a fork and refrigerate until ready to make wontons.

5.) In a large pot, combine broth, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil.

6.)Work with one wonton wrapper at a time. It is also smart to have a small glass of water by your side because you need to fold the wontons with moist fingers.

7.)Spoon 1 tsp. of filling into the middle of the wrapper. Wet the 4 edges of the wrapper with moist fingers. Fold the wrapper in half to make a triangle making sure all the ends meet and edges are aligned. Press the edges firmly to seal. Moisten one point on the longer edge of the triangle press it onto the opposite dry end of the longer edge. Repeat for the rest of your wontons.

8.) When broth is boiled add wontons one at a time.

9.) Return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.

10.) Simmer until wontons are just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in scallions, vinegar, and sesame oil. (trust me on the cook time… if you overcook it the wrappers will be slimy and gross… Lesson learned haha)

11.) Season with salt or a garlic chili sauce if you like and enjoy!

**Photo is an original taken by me

***Original recipe can be found at http://www.marthastewart.com