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/

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/

 

 

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