Better Than Takeout Orange Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces (we used chicken tenderloins)
  • Canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (took about 3 oranges to get ½ cup of orange juice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water (we used cold water)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Hot cooked brown rice

Directions

  1. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl, leaving it off to the side for now. Take another shallow bowl and mix together in it the ½ cup cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg, turning to coat. Move the chicken into the cornstarch mixture, tossing to coat all over. Shake off any excess and place it on a plate for now.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Pour ¼-inch of canola oil into a skillet (we used a Dutch oven) and get the oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs, gently add a few pieces of chicken into the oil (you don’t want to crowd the skillet). Let the chicken cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally or until the chicken is fully cooked and the outside looks golden brown and crispy. Drain the chicken by putting them on a paper towel-lined plate. You can keep the cooked chicken warm by placing it in the oven while you’re cooking up the other batches and making the sauce.
  3. For the sauce, take a small saucepan out and pour one tablespoon of canola oil into it, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, add in the garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper, stirring now and then for 2 minutes. Add in the orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sweet chili sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Wait for the sauce to come to a simmer.
  4. While you’re waiting for the sauce to come to a simmer, take a small bowl and mix the tablespoon of cornstarch together with the 2 tablespoons of water, creating a slurry. Once the sauce is simmering, slowly whisk the slurry into it and continue to let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring now and then during that time (our sauce thickened up almost instantaneously). Take the saucepan off the heat and add the chicken to it, tossing the chicken so it’s fully coated in the sauce. Serve the chicken over rice, sprinkling the green on afterwards.

This recipe sounded so good I had to try it out even though I’d never ordered orange chicken from a takeout menu before. I’m happy I did because it was delicious ! There’s a nice tanginess to the sauce as well as a good level of heat that’s noticeable but doesn’t overpower everything else in the dish. If there’s one thing I’d do differently next time, it’d be making sure to eat this right away or only toss individual portions in the sauce because the crunch from the chicken starts to go away once it’s coated in the sauce. Besides that one easily fixed issue, I’d be happy to eat this again whenever I had a hankering for takeout !

This recipe came from Centennial Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Centennial Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Garlic Ginger Noodle Stir-Fry with Crispy Tofu & Sesame Seeds

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. whole-grain spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (we used 3* tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 14 oz. extra-firm organic tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into ¾-inch cubes (we drained and then pressed our tofu to get the water out)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cups sliced or quartered white mushrooms (we removed the stems and then sliced our mushrooms)
  • 2 cups trimmed and halved green beans
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges for garnish
  • Sauce
    • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed
    • 3 Tbsp. raw honey or coconut sugar (we used coconut sugar)
    • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp. peeled and minced ginger
    • 1 tsp. chile-garlic sauce (such as sambal oelek) (we used sambal oelek)
    • ½ tsp. sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
    • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper (we used fresh ground black pepper)
    • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons water (we couldn’t find arrowroot so we used an equal amount of cornstarch)

Directions

  1. Look at the box the spaghetti came in for directions on how to cook it and follow those directions.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, make up the sauce: Take a large bowl out and add the broth and sugar to it, whisking it until the sugar’s dissolved. Now add in the following ingredients, stirring to combine: soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, chile-garlic sauce, sesame oil and the black pepper. Leave the sauce off to the side for now.
  3. Take a large skillet and pour one tablespoon of the olive oil into it, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add half of the cubed tofu in and cook it for 5 minutes or until it’s crispy, turning the tofu frequently so all sides can get crispy. Place the crispy tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat the process with the second half of the tofu*.
  4. Using the same skillet that you used for the tofu, pour the other tablespoon of oil in, keeping the heat at medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the onion and carrot slices, letting it cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and green beans in, stirring frequently for 2 minutes**.
  5. Take the arrowroot mixture and stir it into the sauce to combine. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet, letting it get heated up. Let the sauce bubble and thicken for 1 to 2 minutes (as soon as we saw it bubbling we moved onto the next part). Add the noodles and tofu into the skillet, tossing to coat in the sauce. Divide the skillet mixture among 4 plates or bowls and garnish with the cilantro, lime wedges and sesame seeds.

*By the time we were done crisping the first half of tofu up, it seemed as if the tofu had absorbed all the oil so we added another tablespoon of oil in before crisping up the second half of the tofu.

**By the 2 minute mark for the mushrooms and green beans, all the vegetables still seemed really raw so we put a lid on the skillet and cooked it for about another 6 minutes, taking the lid off just long enough to stir occasionally during that time.

This recipe is going into our favorites if no other reason than for that sauce ! The sauce is delicious but that deliciousness gets muted somewhat once it’s tossed with all the other components. The lime juice and cilantro bring more great flavor to the dish though. If you make this a day before you plan on actually eating it, the dish kind of takes on a vegetable lo mein feel by sitting in the fridge overnight which was awesome !

This recipe came from Clean Eating magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Clean Eating.

Take care everybody !

Happy Belated National Taco Day !

We were going to do a post yesterday for National Taco Day but our internet was giving us trouble. We hope everyone had a delicious taco and whenever you’re in the mood for some more, don’t be afraid to try out one of delicious recipes:

Spicy Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Slow-Cooker Smoky Chipotle Beef Tacos

Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos

Chicken Tomatillo Tacos

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Veggie Tacos

Chile & Coke Carnitas

BBQ Tomatillo Tacos

Pork Tacos with Pineapple-Serrano Salsa

Thai Chicken Tacos

Tex-Mex Beef Wraps

Ground Chicken & Chipotle Hard Shell Tacos

Shredded Chicken Tacos (Tinga De Pollo)

Habanero Beef Tacos

Take care everybody !

Hoisin-Glazed Tofu And Green Beans

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. refrigerated extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce (we used this recipe for hoisin sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional) (we used ½ tsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. green beans, trimmed and halved lengthwise, and/or snow pea pods, trimmed (we used green beans)
  • Hot cooked rice or rice noodles (we used brown rice)
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take your tofu and cut it lengthwise into four 1-inch slices. Place the slices between double layers of paper towels, weighing the tofu down (we placed a cutting board over the tofu and then placed enough books on it to press the tofu down) for 10 minutes*. Once the tofu is pressed, cut the slices into 1-inch cubes.
  2. While the tofu is being pressed, take a small mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring to combine: water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger and crushed red pepper.
  3. Take a 12-inch skillet and pour one tablespoon of the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add the tofu into the skillet in a single layer and leave it to cook (no stirring) for 4 to 5 minutes or until it starts to brown (we cooked ours for 4 minutes). Flip the tofu and let it cook without moving for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the tofu looks browned on all sides (it took less than 4 minutes for the other side to get browned). Take the tofu out of the skillet and place it on a plate for the time being.
  4. Pour the remaining oil into the skillet, tossing the garlic into the skillet once the oil’s hot. Stir the garlic around constantly for 30 seconds, adding the green beans in afterwards. Stir the mixture occasionally** for 4 minutes or until the green beans are nearly tender (4 minutes did the job for us). Add the tofu back into the skillet, pouring the sauce in afterwards. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring so the tofu and green beans get coated in the sauce. Serve immediately with the rice and lime wedges.

*We didn’t measure how long it took to get all the water pressed out of the tofu and we changed out the paper towels when they’d get too wet.

**We didn’t want the garlic to burn so we stirred the green bean and garlic mixture constantly.

Serves 4

We thought this dish tasted good straight from the skillet but it tasted even better once we squeezed some lime juice over it. We think the dish could be improved by doubling the sauce though. It’s just our preference, but we think the green beans would’ve been even better if they’d been halved across rather than lengthwise. Even though there’s a few little tweaks we’d make to this, this is something we’re definitely going to enjoy having again !

We got this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Better Homes & Gardens.

Take care everybody !

Roasted Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. small zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (we used Colavita extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. jarred minced garlic*
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt (we used table salt)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil, setting it off to the side for now. Take your zucchini and cut it lengthwise into quarters, cutting each piece now in half crosswise. Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl, adding in the oil and remaining ingredients afterwards. Toss the zucchini to coat and spread it out in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until they’re tender and look golden brown, flipping them over after 7 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

*Normally we always use fresh garlic but we were in a rush today so we followed the recipe and wouldn’t you know it worked !

This is quickly becoming a favorite dish of ours because it is ridiculously quick and easy to make ! The zucchini was tender but there were a few pieces that started to turn mushy so we’d recommend shaving a minute or two off the cooking time. We loved the flavor of this dish though, the Italian seasoning really comes through and there’s a nice level of heat in this as well. The olive oil practically gives the zucchini a buttery quality. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Colavita.

Take care everybody !

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 eggs (we used large eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour (we used all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup prepared marshmallow crème

Directions

  1. Move the racks in your oven so one is in the upper third and the other is in the bottom thirds, preheating the oven to 350 degrees afterwards. Take 2 baking sheets (we we lined ours with aluminum foil) and lightly grease them (we used nonstick cooking spray).
  2. Take a large mixing bowl and add to it the oil and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Now add in the pumpkin and eggs, mixing them in well using an electric hand mixer. Now stir in the vanilla extract. Add in the following ingredients, blending them thoroughly with the hand mixer after they’re all in the bowl: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  3. Drop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure there’s at least an inch worth of space between each one. Stick both sheets in the oven (we presume they wanted one sheet on the upper third and the other on the bottom third) and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies look like they’ve puffed up a little, are dry to the touch and are lightly browned around the edges (we went with 10 minutes). Take the cookies off the sheet and place them on cooling racks for 30 minutes or until they’ve cooled down completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Turn half of the cookies over and spread a teaspoon of marshmallow crème onto each cookie, topping those cookies with the other half that don’t have marshmallow on them.

Makes: 3 ½ dozen

Sorry we haven’t posted in a while. Between our close call with hurricane Florence and then Ghost and our cat Frankie passing away in such a short time frame, we just weren’t feeling up to posting. We’re in a better frame of mind now though and we’re getting back to posting recipe. It’s October 1st, so we thought “What better to make than something involving pumpkin?”. We tried this recipe out and it turned out to be a delicious little treat. You get a pumpkin pie taste from the cookie thanks to to the warm spices in it and the marshmallow crème helps it feel like a whoopie pie but the marshmallow doesn’t make it feel too sweet which is really nice. A great dessert for fall and especially the month of October !

We got this recipe from Allrecipes.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Allrecipes.

Take care everybody !