Monthly Archives: April 2013

Honey Cashew Chicken

I think I might have found the perfect meal.  For someone who didn’t eat much Asian food as a kid, I have identified Asian flavors as being my favorite thing to make and eat.  When I have nothing else to eat, my go-to is either chicken, rice, pasta or veggies with some kind of soy sauce-rice-vinegar-sriracha sauce.  This Honey Cashew Chicken is exactly right up my alley.  A little bit of protein, a little bit of veggies, a little bit of carbs in a sweet, spicy and salty sauce – Yes!

Bite-sized pieces of chicken are tossed in a light coating of cornstarch and cooked in a hot skillet with canola and sesame oil.  Fresh broccoli, red pepper and edamame are added and stir-fried until perfectly crisp before being mixed with cashews and a perfect concoction of soy sauce, honey and sriracha.  Served with a side of brown rice or quinoa, this will be a meal I will make again and again.

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The ingredients:

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Combine chicken, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl; toss to coat.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola and sesame oils. Add chicken mixture, and sauté for 4 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Increase heat to high, and add broccoli, edamame, garlic, onion and red pepper.  Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is done, stirring frequently.  Stir in cashews.

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Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.   Add vinegar mixture to chicken mixture; toss to coat.

Serve with rice or quinoa.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Onion

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Sesame-Lime Chicken Salad

Something must be going wrong in the universe because I’ve been craving salad.  As in green leafy vegetables with other vegetables with a light dressing.  When, why and how did this happen?  I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore.  I’m specifically craving the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad from Panera Bread.  I could eat it morning, noon and night.  And there for a little while, I pretty much was.  I got a little embarrassed at my local Panera after my third night in a row there and hoped and prayed that different staff was working and didn’t recognize my loser self.  So I decided instead of spending money on this salad that I can’t get enough of, I might as well try to make my own.  This Sesame-Lime Chicken Salad comes pretty close.

Romaine lettuce, chicken, carrots and red pepper are mixed together with a light sesame-lime dressing.  Crispy Chinese noodles top the salad for crunch and toasted sesame seeds and cilantro are added for another layer of flavor.  Instead of a jalapeño pepper, I used a good old red pepper which I cut up and roasted in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  To add a little bit of heat and make it a little bit more like Panera’s salad, I threw some dashes of peanut sauce over the top too (my favorite is House of Tsang’s Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce).  Luckily this recipe makes one gigantic bowl of salad so I can eat it often without worrying that someone out there might be judging me.

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The ingredients:

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In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, chili, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the lettuce, carrots, and chicken and toss to combine.

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Serve the salad sprinkled with the sesame seeds, noodles, and cilantro.

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Additions:

  • Peanut sauce

Omissions:  none

Substitutions:

  • Red pepper

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Real Simple magazine

Double Chocolate-Mocha Muffins

I haven’t really been cooking as much as I want to, let alone doing much baking.  There are so many things to do, so many things I’m interested in, so many ideas, and so many plans on my mind.  It can sometimes seem a little overwhelming.  But then I remember than cooking calms my head and sometimes I forget just how easy baking can be.  I love the fact that most of the time, you can whip everything up in one bowl and once it’s in the oven, you get to leave it alone.  You can write, clean, do laundry, read a book, watch TV, anything you want.  Try doing that with a skillet of chicken and you’ll have your smoke alarm going off.  These Double Chocolate-Mocha Muffins are another one of those really easy recipes to whip together when you just have too many other things to do or think about.

Chocolate chips and cocoa are both added to this batter to make some really chocolate-y muffins and espresso powder or instant espresso is added to give it yet another layer of flavor making these perfect for breakfast, as a sweet addition to brunch, or even as a late night chocolate snack.  The recipe calls for chocolate chunks but I used mini-chips because I had them on hand so use any kind of chocolate you want.  I also substituted applesauce to lighten their calorie load and the end result was still a light, fluffy muffin.  Also consider replacing up to half of the flour with whole wheat flour.  These muffins puff up nicely, just the way you want a good muffin to and also freeze well.  Craving a little chocolate with your coffee?  Or a little coffee with your chocolate?  Just mix them together and make these muffins.

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The ingredients:

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Whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl.

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Whisk together eggs and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until blended, being careful to not overmix.

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Pour batter evenly into muffin pans lined with paper liners.

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Bake 18 to 20 minutes in a preheated  350°F oven.

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Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Mini-chocolate chips
  • Applesauce

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living magazine

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