TERIYAKI NOODLES & ZOODLES

TWO VERSIONS OF AN EASY TERIYAKI DISH

My boy loves him some asian food, but to avoid going to get Hy-Vee Chinese every week I have started to implement some dishes into our weekly plan. This dish is a quick 30 minute fix up and easy to turn a little bit healthier by swapping out the noodles for zoodles!

Start with zucchini and turn them into zoodles - I either use my kitchen aid attachment or this hand held little guy. Both work like a charm. 

Now time for the sauce...

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy saucE , 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed, 1 tb minced garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, 2 tablespoons honey + h20 + Corn starch slurry 

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy saucE , 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed, 1 tb minced garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, 2 tablespoons honey + h20 + Corn starch slurry 

Add some steamed broccoli, cooked soba noodles, and shredded chicken - top with sesame noodles andddd DONE!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package of soba noodles and/or 3 zucchinis
  • 1-2 lbs chicken (depending on your preference - I precook and shred)
  • 3 cups steamed broccoli
  • 1 ts sesame seeds

SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

  1. If using zoodles - pre zoodle the zucchini
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water and set aside for later
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and 1 cup water then bring to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture until thickened.
  4. Add in cooked chicken and steamed broccoli
  5. Stir in soba noodles (or zoodles) until cooked
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds

Asian Sesame Chicken Oodles

SOBA NOODLES ARE MY FAVORITE. 

There's something about soba noodles that make me want to curl up in a ball on the couch, with a glass of wine, and a heaping bowl of Asian flavored goodness. One major reason may be that stir fry was my go-to in college, and of course the noodles were the main show. This was usually paired with a few glasses of wine, and a piece of carrot cake...I mean it WAS college. 

Anyways, I came across this recipe from Pinch of Yum and decided to go with it. I was super hesitant because every time I try to make Asian/Japanese inspired food, I feel like the flavors don't quite match up...there's always something missing. Thankfully that was not the case with this sauce, it is delicious. I actually ended up whipping up some more at the end to make it extra saucy. 

The best part is you can really do whatever you want with this dish - I think versatile meals have become a staple for me. They are easy to change up so you can repeat them without getting boring and the best part, I can make something Ethan likes that I want to eat as well. With this dish, I added in carrots, cucumbers, edamame, and all of the zoodles for my bowl. 

What you're gonna need: 

Sesame Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (I use a fresh paste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Other Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 cucumber shredded (can swap for other veggies, too)
  • 3 large carrots shredded
  • 1 bag edamame

What you need to do: 

  1. Mix together all ingredients for the sauce, except sesame seeds & red pepper flakes. You can either process this in a food processer or just mix well until combined. Stir in sesame seeds & red pepper flakes
  2. Cook the chicken, when almost finished pour in 1/3 of the sauce
  3. Remove chicken & shred
  4. Place the chicken back in the pan, add soba noodles, sauce, cucumbers, carrots, and edamame
  5. Top with extra sesame seeds & red pepper flakes

Notes:
* I loath shredding chicken, it just bothers me - I don't know why. I am half tempted to make the chicken in the crockpot and then continue, we will see. 
* I add in zoodles to my bowl and top with this goodness - I mean I'm all about the volume

Date nights with Chrissy

I am obsessed with Chrissy Teigen.

Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way, we can continue. I received the Cravings cook book for my birthday in March and although I have cracked it open a few times I hadn't given it a chance in the kitchen yet...until now. I knocked out three recipes in one week. 

First up - Chipotle Honey Chicken

First things first - make the chipotle sauce.  

  1. 1/2 can chipotle chiles in adobo
  2. 1 1/2 cups of bbq sauce
  3. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup whiskey (always wise to sample to make sure it's still good)
  5. 5 cloves garlic
  6. Juice of 1 lime

Mix up everything in a food processor - she called for more chiles and garlic, but I put less in for E & I's spicy sensitive mouths. Toss the 2 lbs of chicken thighs in it and marinade for 2 hours to overnight. 

The Steps
-Preheat oven to 375
-Place marinated chicken on a baking sheet with foil
-Bake for about 20 minutes
-Take out and top with more sauce & honey and cook until chicken is cooked through

Second Up - Zucchini Fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • zucchini
  • Panko
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Eggs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Slice zucchini thinly
  3. Whisk 2 eggs together in a bowl, in a separate bowl mix together panko & parmesan cheese
  4. Dip the zucchini in eggs and then panko mixture
  5. Place on baking sheet (I lined with foil and the cooling rack)
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes

For convenience, I sliced mine in circles - they crisp up pretty quickly so make sure to keep your eye on them! For the sauce, I opted for a concoction of greek yogurt, cilantro and lemon juice. 

Different night/same cook book - Fish Tacos

The prep -

  1. Tilapia seasoned with garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder
  2. Sliced avocado
  3. Sliced limes
  4. Diced tomatoes
  5. Slaw
  6. Special Sauce*
  7. Corn Tortillas

Instead of Chrissy's green pepper sauce, I went for an avocado cream sauce (avocado, greek yogurt, lime, cilantro, seasoning all blended up). 

Corn tortillas - if you're usually not a fan for their flakiness then heat up the tortillas on a skillet for a few seconds each side. Not only gives them a little char but also toughens them up for all the goodness you want to put inside. 

Overall, my nights with Chrissy were a success - all that was missing was her! 

Creamy Chicken Ricotta

Back at it again with the pasta

Is anybody else still struggling through the time change? The major upside is our office closes at 4 now, so after work I'm able to hit up the gym, run a few errands, make dinner and it's only 7:30 AND it's still light out. Anyways, I've had this ricotta in the fridge that I need to use so pasta was an easy answer. Ethan had just gotten a great deal on chicken from Lucky's  and who couldn't use a little extra protein in their lives - so I decided to throw that in too. 

Side note - look how huge that chicken breast is! 

I have a habit of adding spinach, tomatoes, garlic & onions to pretty much anything I can. I would add mushrooms (my all time favorite) but Ethan absolutely despises them, he even hates the smell when they hit the pan. 

This was a breeze of a recipe, I was powering through everything so quickly that I forgot to stop and take pictures. I know I know, I'm still learning so give me a break here. Essentially just cook up your chicken, sautée your garlic and onions, while all of that is happening cook your pasta. I used mostaciolli, but you could really use anything you have in your pantry. add your tomatoes, then pasta, then spinach until it all comes together.

At this point, you have a few options. 

  1. Add some parmesan cheese & olive oil for an easy good to go
  2. Toss into a bowl & dollop with ricotta mixture 
  3. Blend the ricotta mixture & some pasta water for a creamy pasta
  4. All of the above

I went with option #4. this dish couldn't be easier. I've learned pasta water is a real life savor...especially when your boyfriend is running a late for dinner and you need to freshen it up a bit. but seriously, always keep a little pasta water when you are draining your noodles, you can always add it in when everything starts to get too dry & it helps incorporate the ricotta throughout the whole dish. 

Ingredients

  • 1-2 TB Olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (salt & peppered)
  • 3-5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups of spinach (or a few handfuls)
  • Pasta of your choosing
  • Grated parmesan
  • Ricotta mixture
    -light ricotta
    -parmesan cheese
    -seasonings (S&P, garlic powder, rosemary)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Dice onion, mince garlic, cube chicken (go ahead and chop of your tomatoes to get all the knife work out of the way)
  2. Add olive oil to a pan and turn to medium heat, once hot add chicken and start cooking through
  3. Add onions & garlic, at this time get your water boiling and cook your pasta
  4. Cook chicken, onions & garlic until fragrant (make sure chicken is fully cooked) and add tomatoes until they soften
  5. Drain your pasta (make sure to save some pasta water!) and add to the pan with spinach
  6. At this point you can start getting a little creative - I added grated parmesan, some pasta water, as well as my ricotta mixture until creamy
  7. Put in a bowl and dollop some more ricotta!

Serve with some garlic Bread or a glass of wine...I opted for a glass of vino (or two).

Source: sliceslicebaby.net/dinners/creamyricottach...

Stuffed Chicken

Shocker, another chicken dinner stuffed with some cheese and other random things. I finally got a meat tenderizer so it's a little easier to pound the meat down and can give my poor rolling pin a rest. 

After you've tenderized your meat, fill with spinach & mozzarella balls. Unlike the Chicken Cordon Bleu, you will fold these in half instead of rolling them. With this, toothpicks are a must in my opinion. 

Place stuffed chicken on some form of non-stick pan (or foil with non stick spray). Place in the oven at 450 for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken). 

Serve on top of a salad (left) or with pasta & garlic bread (right). Enjoyy! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts (for simplicity sake, I bought pre-season chicken)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Mozzarella ball
  • Optional: salad, pasta, or garlic bread

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Flatten chicken breast down to 1/2 inch with meat tenderizer
  3. Stuff chicken with fresh baby spinach and chunks of mozzarella ball
  4. Fold chicken in half and secure with toothpicks
  5. Spray cookie sheet/line with foil and place in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu-ish

Chicken is a huge staple in my dinners, I would say its 80% of the time whats for dinner. This is partially because it is super versatile and will adapt to any flavor you want to give it. It's also really healthy and easy to quick...and most importantly it's not red meat - which I am still too much of a wuss to tackle. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu has become a twice a month (if not more) go to meal, only mix up is some mozz for the swiss. 

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 thin slices of ham
  • Mozzarella (feel free to sub in for any of your
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or plain with some seasonings)
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees & spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Beat the chicken to about 1/2 inch thickness
  3. Lay down the slice of ham and cheese and roll up
  4. Whisk together egg and milk in medium bowl
  5. Mix together the breadcrumbs & parmesan with salt & pepper in medium bowl
  6. Dip chicken rolls in the egg wash and then in the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Place chicken on the baking sheet seam side down* and bake for 20-25 minutes

*Make sure to place these seam side down to minimize the gooeyness escaping. Keep some toothpicks handy to secure the chicken!

Serve up with some roasted veggies and maybe a piece of garlic bread... or four. (You can be nice and take out the toothpicks OR you can let them fend for themselves.)