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

Digital Recipe Card:

Recipe Cards

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza Canoe

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I could tip-toe around quarantine and COVID-19 talk but that would be unfair to those who have suffered, died, or faced the beast on the frontlines. This is a recipe blog, but I feel it is important to pay respect to all of the aforementioned groups. Thank you to all the essential workers. You keep our world moving forward. From the cashier who rings up my groceries, to my sister and all healthcare workers who are helping patients find comfort, the thousands of families in mourning, and those who are currently fighting the virus in their bodies. You are all in my thoughts and most importantly in my prayers.

This week the shelves at my grocery store had more to offer and we were able to pull this recipe together. Two of the biggest missing players were pre-made pizza dough and fresh garlic bulbs. This recipe describes how we made our own pizza dough, but you can skip this step if you would rather purchase the dough already made.

Serves: comfortably serves 5-6.   Time: 2h 27m if making your own dough; 1h 15m if using premade dough

Ingredients for Pizza Dough:

  • 4 cups flour, plus more for rolling

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups water, approximately 110 degrees F

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

Ingredients for Pizza canoe:

  • You can make your own pizza dough or you can purchase 1 lb. of ready-made pizza dough. Divide the dough in half.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) bag of shredded pizza cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Marinara sauce to serve

Directions for pizza dough (Takes about 1hr 15min):

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in a bowl and combine.
  2. Add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball.
  3. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
  4. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Directions for pizza dough (Takes about 45min):

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss your bell peppers with 2 tsp of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the peppers in your oven for about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven and place them back into the bowl you seasoned them in. Cover the bowl for about 15 minutes.
  4. Once cooled peel as much of the skin off each pepper as you can,  remove the stem, ribs, and seeds. Slice each pepper into thin strips. Set aside.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the spinach and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Cook, stirring until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  7. Roll out the first half of the pizza dough on a floured work surface. Form the dough into an oval shape, about 12-inches long by 7-inches wide.
  8. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the dough, leaving about 2 inches around the edges. Next, sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on top. Add half of the roasted pepper strips on top followed by another 1/4 of the cheese. Next, add the rest of the spinach mixture followed by 1/4 of the cheese, then add the rest of the roasted peppers, and the last of the cheese.
  9. Roll out the second half of the pizza dough on a floured work surface. Make the dimensions as close to the other dough as possible. Drape this over top of the pizza and press together the edges of the top dough with the bottom dough.
  10. Use a sharp knife and cut 3 or 4,  slices into the top of the pizza canoe to serve as air vents.
  11. Brush the top of the canoe with the remaining olive oil.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving with your favorite marinara sauce
  13. Plate, serve, and enjoy!!

Digital Recipe Card:

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup (2)

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

*Recipe adapted from Food Network and Grab a Plate

Wendy’s style chili

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Oh baby, Wendy’s chili is something that holds childhood memories. My best childhood friend, Misty, had a family vacation spot down the shore. Every summer her poppy would load us up in the car and drive us to the shore. On the way, we would stop at Wendy’s as we neared our destination. We always got chicken nuggets and chili. This chili took me back to those days so vividly I even remembered the one trip that we made her amazing poppy play Britney Spears’  “baby one more time” album on repeat. This is not necessarily the quickest recipe to whip up, but it is incredibly easy. The most difficult part was chopping up the fresh veggies. Truly, it is mainly dumping in cans of saucy goodness and stirring occasionally over the course of 2 hours. This recipe made SO much that we were honestly eating it for a week. Make this chili for a crowd!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 30 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 30 oz can of kidney beans, not drained
  • 30 oz can of pinto beans, not drained
  • 15 oz can od ranch style beans
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, de-seeded/de-veined and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • OPTIONAL: toppers like sour cream, cheddar cheese, cornbread, cilantro, avocado, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large pot brown the ground beef. Drain the fat.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring the pot to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 2 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  4. Dish into a deep bowl and serve with your favorite toppers.
  5. Enjoy!

Digital Recipe Card:Wendy's Style Chili

Photo is an original belonging to me. 

Greek Burgers

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We are one of those families that buys chicken and ground beef in bulk. My task each week is to find a chicken recipe a beef recipe and maybe a veggie recipe as an extra meal. I’ve found myself bogged down with meatloaf and meatball recipes on Pinterest. That’s all that seems to catch my eye as I am looking for recipes. When I came across this one I knew I had to give it a try. Man, am I glad I did! This recipe is fresh, flavorful and easy. I felt safe trying this burger recipe as it has all my favorite Mediterranean elements. How does one go wrong with sundried tomatoes, black olives, feta, and Tzatziki?!  You just don’t… I will admit that I ended up cooking these patties on the stove because my grill was out of propane. That said, I will be cooking these on the stovetop moving forward because I think that they do have the potential to crumble over the grates of a grill. I would also suggest using sandwich thins instead of traditional burger buns because these patties have such bold flavor that I felt the traditional bun muted more subtle flavors (i.e. tzatziki). In all, this recipe is a new family favorite and it will be a regular in my weekly recipe rotation.

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*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://www.savorytooth.com/greek-burgers/

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/

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

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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!

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe adapted from Lil Luna

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper
  2. If you have a food processor, pulse the florets of cauliflower until finely chopped.
  3. If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater to “rice” the cauliflower florets.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread this mixture onto your prepared baking sheet or pizza stone in a thin, 12-inch circle.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is firm and crisp at the edges.
  8. If you plan to use veggie spread instead of sauce, start preparing this while the crust is cooking (directions found below).
  9. Top with all your favorites and bake again until your toppings are melted and/or properly heated through.

Directions for Veggie Spread:

  1. Using a cheese grater, shred your zucchini.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil over medium-high and add the shredded zucchini, stirring frequently.
  3. 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.
  4. Add in the sliced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds until the fragrant.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove from heat and spread on your crust as if it was sauce after the first 30-minute bake.
  7. Top with your favorites and enjoy!

* Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Ralphs

 

 

 

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

 

Baked Garlic Honey Pork Chops

 

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I won’t lie, pork chops scare me. You walk a fine line between nice tender meat or a dry jerky like patty. Every once in a while Perry will ask for something other than beef or chicken. He will suggest I try my hand at pork. Since he doesn’t ask for it too often I oblige. This is only one of two pork chop recipes on this blog right now. I hope to diversify my catalogue of recipes, and this is a delightfully delicious start! These chops are tangy, sweet and savory. The combination of flavors is fabulous and I’m willing to bet that you’ll be lapping up the sauce with with whatever side you pair these chops up with. I have to give credit to the blog who inspired me to try this recipe. If you like these chops check out other tasty recipes on Mama Hen’s Kitchen.

Serves: 4      Time: 40-50 minutes       Calories: 186/pork chop

Ingredients:

  • (4) 1 inch thick boneless pork chops (size matters here, friends. Otherwise you may end up with dry chops)
  • Salt and pepper to season the chops
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used canola)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • (Optional) If you like spice throw in some red chili flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Brown the pork chops (about 3 minutes per side).
  4. Set the pork chops in a baking dish.
  5. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Be sure that the honey is well combined.
  6. Brush this mixture over the pork chops on both sides. Pour the remaining sauce all over the pork.
  7. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the internal temperature reaches your favored tenderness. This is approximately 30-40 minutes. For your reference Medium-Rare (145F-150F), Medium (150F-155F), Medium-Well (155F-160F), Well (160F).
  8. Bathe these babies with sauce before serving, and plate with your favorite sides!
  9. Enjoy 🙂

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

*Recipe is adapted from Mama Hen’s Kitchen

Tex Mex Potato Chowder

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To celebrate the start of “-ber month season,” I bring you this wonderfully hearty potato chowder recipe. This has become a fall time favorite as it is easy to throw together on busy school nights, and it is packed with flavor that lasts a couple of meals. This recipe is great as is, but I think that there are so many things you can add to customize the taste. The next time I make this I may add some jalapenos or maybe a serrano to heat things up.  I bet a topping of queso fresco and/or seasoned tortilla strips would set this chowder off as well. I’ve also considered adding extra broth and thickening it up with some Masa flour to enhance the dish with a “tortilla-esque” flavor. The possibilities are endless. I was inspired to give this dish a try by Aunt Bee’s Recipes which is a great recipe blog that I recommend checking out. Aunt Bee’s recipe (found through the above link) offers a slow cooker version of this recipe. If you are interested in making this in a slow cooker her recipe is the way to go. Keep in mind that her ingredients and directions will be slightly different from mine.

TIME: approx. 45 minutes

SERVES: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 (10oz) can of rotel tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15.25oz) can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28oz) bag of potatoes O’Brien, frozen not thawed
  • 2 (32 oz) cartons of chicken broth
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 8 oz bar of cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, reserve a few sprigs to top when you dish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat oil over medium flame. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and minced garlic. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Stir in taco seasoning, cumin, and chili powder until the beef mixture is well coated. Next, add rotel tomatoes, black beans, corn, potatoes, chicken broth and milk.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
  4. Simmer while covered for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in softened cream cheese and fresh cilantro.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Dish topping with the reserved cilantro and enjoy!

Digital recipe card:

Tex Mex Potato Chowder (1)

*Photo and recipe card are originals belonging to me