Sesame Chicken

If you ever want to get on your friends’ good sides, just make them food. When you have to borrow your friend’s craft room for a few hours, you should at least bring them a free meal.

Besides from that, this meal is easy enough to use for meal prep for the week. Plus, it stays good for a few days in the fridge. Normally this is made in a frying pan, but for convenience, I made this in the crock-pot. For easier cleanup, I always use a crock-pot liner before I start.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken Breast or Thigh
  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 2 tablespoon Sriracha or 1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 teaspoon Ginger, grated
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Water
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown Rice

Directions

  1. In a clean crock-pot, lay the chicken out evenly on the bottom of the crock-pot.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, sriracha/ red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and diced onion.
  3. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low or 2 ½ hours on high.
  5. Cut a piece of chicken to see if it’s done. If done, remove from the crock-pot and cut into pieces.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch, stirring until a paste forms.
  7. Add this paste to the crockpot sauce and stir until it thickens. Add the chicken back into the pot and to recoat it into the sauce.
  8. At this time, prepare two cups of brown rice. Fix according to the package and serve with the chicken.
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Cajun Sausage Pasta

As winter starts to fade and spring begins to bloom, I’m finishing off the last half of my second semester of college. This upcoming month, I have more deadlines than imaginable and have to prepare a presentation for a conference next week. Over spring break I spent ten days on the big island of Hawaii (pictures to come), and when I came back I was extremely jetlagged and busy with homework I put off. Somehow in my free three days before going back to school, I caught up on work and I cooked for my friends. They are never ones to decline a free meal, so they came over when I made this pasta dish.

What stands out for me in this recipe is the sauce that goes with this. It’s rich, yet not overbearing. Over the years, making pasta sauce has never been my thing. Either it comes out too chunky, or overly bitter when it needs to be savory.
Ingredient

  • 1 packaged Italian Sausage
  • ½ lb Penne Pasta ( half a 16 oz box)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
  • ½ Onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 cup Monterey Jack
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

 

  1. Start by cutting just the sausage into small pieces, and cook it according to the package in a small skillet with water. Once al dente, drain and set aside.

boiled.jpg2.) Now cook the penne pasta in a boiling pot of salted water. Again fix according to the box. I like to add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water so the pasta doesn’t stick together. When it’s cooked through, drain in the sink and set aside.

pasta

3.) In the same small skillet as before, add back in the cooked sausage. Add olive oil, cajun seasoning, and minced onion. Bring this to a medium-high heat, and allow this to cook for about five minutes or until the onions are cooked through. Once completed, remove from heat.

cooked4.) In a saucepan, melt some butter. Then add the garlic to that, and cook this on medium heat for two minutes. Stir frequently to make sure the garlic is coated with the butter. To this, whisk in the cream and lemon zest. Again, let this cook for two minutes to allow it to combine the ingredients. To thicken it up, add in some cheese.  

5.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in tomatoes and the sausage.

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6.) Then add the sausage and sauce to the pasta, and stir until the pasta is coated.

Turkey Meatballs

Recently, I’ve been cooking on the weekends so that I have a few meals on hand during the week. I can only eat at the dining hall on campus so many times before I get sick of it. Meatballs are easy to rewarm and go with anything. They can be eaten by themselves, on rice, or with pasta. Last weekend, I made them with spaghetti squash. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 yellow Onion, grated
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet or broiling pan with tin foil. Then lightly spray it with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, garlic powder, bread crumbs, parsley, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined.
3. Measure out the meatballs using a 2 tablespoon spoon. Then form the meatballs in a ball in your hands. Evenly space them out on the baking sheet.
4. Let them bake for 20 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, combine and stir together the honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. Brush this onto the meatballs when they are done.
6. Put the pan back in the oven, and turn the oven onto a low broiler for four minutes.

Chicken Parm

There are two types of people in the world. People who love chicken parmesan and people who hate it. Chicken parm can be broken down into three main ingredients: chicken, tomato sauce, and parmesan.

This weekend I’m going over to a friend’s house. To make this a little easier to transport, I’m going to make it like a casserole.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken, breast or thighs
  • 28 Oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup Mozzarella, grated
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook the chicken either on the grill, stovetop, or oven until fully cooked. Roughly chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. On top of that, evenly spread on the tomato sauce.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Then sprinkle on top of the chicken. You don’t have to mix the two, but I did this so that the flavor is continuous throughout.
  5. On top, add the bread crumbs and Italian seasoning.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with noodles or by itself.

Chicken Fried Rice

I LOVE FRIED RICE! This week I attempted to make some at home for the first time. In theory, this should’ve been easy. But also in theory, a lot of things should be easy. I made a lot of this just to keep on hand for this week. I placed the rice into a smaller container so I can just reheat it in my dorm for an easy lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Rice
  • 1 pound Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 bag Frozen Peas and Carrots, thaws
  • 1 Small Onion, small dice
  • 2 Eggs, whisked
  • 2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

Directions

  1. To start, prepare the rice by following the instructions according to its package. For this recipe, I like to use brown rice that already measures out for me by cup.
  2. Now cook up about 1 lb of chicken breast, then dice them up.
  3. In a large skillet, melt down the butter with the garlic. Once that happens, fry the peas, carrots, and green onion in the butter. Then crack in the eggs and scramble it.
  4. Combine in the rice, chicken, and sesame oil. Cover the skillet with a lid, and let the flavors come together for five minutes on low.

Chicken & Garlic Soup

Living in the Midwest, the winter fluctuates day to day between below freezing and feeling like a nice spring day. Still, it’s a good time to curl up with comfort food and a good movie. If you read last week’s post about me talking about my all-time favorite films, you are already set for the movie part. I cooked up a soup that’s even impressed my mom and helped me get rid of all the leftover chicken in the fridge.

soupfull.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cups Shredded Chicken
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, minced
  • 2 Carrots, minced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, minced
  • ¼ Onion, minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt down the butter.
  2. Once this happens, add the shredded chicken and coat it using tongs.
  3. Now that the chicken is warming up, add in the garlic, carrots, celery, onion, and cream cheese. Let them melt down and blend together.
  4. Since the base of the soup is done, it’s time to add in the liquid. Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Allow this to sit and reach a boil. Once this happens reduce the heat to low. Let this simmer for 4 minutes.

Ranch Pork Chops

I’ve never been a super picky eater, but growing up I absolutely hated pork chops. It could be because my prepubescent taste buds hated pork. But let’s get real, I’ve always and will forever love bacon. Looking back now, it could have been just too salty, or I didn’t like how dense the meat was.

I found this article on Daily Mail that discussed that some people have a gene called OR7D4. This can alter the taste for pork for people who are carriers. I’m 99.9% sure I don’t have this gene, but I used to profoundly hate this cut of meat.

It wasn’t until some time in middle school before I even ate or tried one again. It turns out I actually liked it, and from there on I enjoyed having one every once and a while. This all changed a few years ago, when my dad bought enough pork chops to feed a small army. Seemingly, we ate pork chops once a week for like six months. At that point, I was sick of eating pork and I ingested enough salt for a saltwater tank.

Late one night last week when I was planning out recipes, I was craving a pork chop. Like who craves a pork chop? I was feeling brave enough to go outside when it was 20 degrees out, so I grilled these up on my BBQ. If you want to go the extra mile, marinate these all day.

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Ingredients

  • 4 boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Ranch Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat a grill or pan over medium heat.
  2. Coat the chops with olive oil and set them aside on a plate.
  3. In a small bowl, place the ranch powder, parsley, garlic powder, and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle on the ranch seasoning on top of the pork. Then flip them over to get both sides coated.
  5. Grill for 9 to 11 minutes. Make sure to cut one in half to see if it’s done.

Cranberry Meatballs

For the first time in years, I’m not hosting a huge Christmas get-together for all my friends. This year it’s going to be low key with a few girls over. Still, I am going to make a couple of snacky food for us to eat. Because I’m going with a holiday theme, I’m making a holiday version of party meatballs.

Ingredients

  • 2 14-ounce packages Frozen Meatballs
  • 1 14-ounce can Whole Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 17-ounce bottle Barbecue Sauce of Choice
  • ¼ Cup Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 tablespoon Worcheshire Sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Cayenne

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan combine the can of cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce. You want this to smooth out a bit and just start to bubble.
  2. Then mix in mustard, garlic powder, onion, Worchestire sauce, and Cayenne.
  3. For easy cleanup, put a slow cooker liner in the crockpot. Then dump in the meatballs.
  4. Pour on the sauce on top of the frozen meatballs. Put on the lid, and place them on a low setting. If you want to speed this up, either warm up the meatballs first or put them at high speed.
  5. After the meatballs have been in there an hour, mix the meatballs in with the sauce. Every hour or so, stir the meatballs so that each one of them is covered.
  6. Three to four hours later, the meatballs are ready to be eaten.

Turkey Apple Cheddar Sandwich

One skill that I continually impress myself with is my ability to bake bread. While out at dinner with my roommate, I had this fantastic sandwich that I wanted to recreate. Though the bread takes a day to make, I think it’s worth it over store-bought bread. My bread recipe makes about 5 sandwiches.

Ingredients

Bread

  • 3 cups Self Rising Flour
  • 1 Packet Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries
  • ½ cup Walnuts, Chopped
  • 1 ⅓ cup Water

Slaw

  • 1 Gala Apple, chopped
  • 2 cup Original Cabbage Coleslaw Mix
  • 2 tablespoons Dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup Walnuts, chopped
  • ½  cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2  teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Honey

Sandwich

  • 1 pound Honey Roasted Turkey Deli Meat
  • 5 slices White Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 cups Arugula

Directions

  1. In a standing mixer, mix together the flour, yeast, salt, cranberries, walnuts, and water. Using a paddle attachment or bread hoke, mix this together on a medium setting for two minutes.
  2. While still in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap. Let this sit at room temperature for 12 hours. Since there are no dairy products in this, it is fine sitting out.
  3. Later, preheat the oven to 450*F . Line either a dutch oven, circle dish with a line, or an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl, and shape the dough into a ball. Place it into the pan and cover it. If you are using a cake pan, cover it with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid. Continue to bake it after that for an additional 15 minutes. Before making sandwiches with this, let it cool outside of the pan for an hour.
  5. In a medium-size bowl, mix with a spoon the chopped apple, cabbage slaw mix, cranberries, walnuts, greek yogurt, lemon juice, and honey.
  6. Slice the bread into roughly 1-inch slices. Lay on the turkey, cheddar cheese, the slaw, and arugula.

Chicken Cutlet Pasta

There are three things that I’ve never messed up while cooking: burgers, bread, and pasta. This week I wanted to test out a base tomato sauce that I found on Sorted Food’s YouTube channel. It was easy enough and made my kitchen smell like Italian food heaven.

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Basil
  • ¼ Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Rosemary
  • 2/3 Cup Mozzarella, shredded

Pasta

  • 2 Cups Dry Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Lbs Tomatoes
  • ½ Bulb Garlic
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • ⅔ White Wine
  • 2 Teaspoons Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil
  • ½ Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven for 400* F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and evenly place them skin side up on the tray. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Place the garlic on the sheet, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Before putting in the oven, pour the white wine on top of the tomatoes. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil. Then dump in the noodles and prepare them according to the package. Once they are cooked, drain the water and set on the side.
  4. Season the chicken thighs with the salt, pepper, basil, paprika, and rosemary. In a skillet, cook the chicken until they are cooked through. Then sprinkle on shredded mozzarella on top and let that melt.
  5. By the time this is done, the tomatoes should be roasted. Allow them to cool for five minutes outside of the oven. In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes until it’s a thin sauce. Pour this onto the noodles, and add the sugar, basil, and red pepper flakes to season. Stir and allow it to sit for 5 minutes on a low heat to combine all the flavors.
  6. Serve a serving of pasta with a seasoned chicken thigh on top.