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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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

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/

Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

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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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook up sausage and crumble it with your spatula as it browns.
  3. Slice jalapenos in half and remove ribs and seeds.
  4. 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.
  5. Scoop some of the sausage mixture into each sliced jalapeno.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup

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My husband and I recently returned from a dive trip to the Philippines. It was an amazing trip filled with great diving, good friends and TONS of delicious food and drink. That said when we returned home from a week of lush eating and drinking we needed to incorporate a healthy dose of vegetables into the week’s menu. It is not necessarily soup weather where we live at the moment but I could not pass this recipe up. As is my pattern, this is a super easy dish to throw together. Seriously, the most difficult part is prepping the veggies. This recipe will be ideal for brisk fall and brutal winter nights to warm up your core and fuel your body with nutrients. This recipe was adapted from Umami Girl who hosts a wonderful recipe blog.

Serves: 8

Time: 45m to 1h

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 (32 oz) cartons of vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz) can of white beans
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 16 oz package of gnocchi
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
  • crushed red pepper flakes to top

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-hot heat. Add the onion and celery. Saute until tender/crisp (about 5 minutes) then add the carrots and garlic and cook until garlic becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  2. Add the three cartons of vegetable broth and Italian seasoning. Bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn down the heat to create a simmer.
  3. Once simmering stir in the white beans and spinach. Once spinach begins to wilt add in one gnocchi and cook it until it pops up to the top. I do this in order to taste the broth. Taste your tester gnocchi with a healthy spoonful of broth and veggies. Add salt/pepper to your taste at this point. Once you have the broth up to your standards add in the rest of the gnocchi and cook until they pop up to the surface of the soup.
  4. Dish the soup and top with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Digital recipe card:

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup (1)