Steam-Sautéed Broccoli

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember last week in the asparagus with creamy orange sauce post how I went on and on about how I struggle with finding simple, healthy and tasty vegetable recipes? Well, I stumbled across another solution last week!

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Behold: steam-sautéed broccoli! I’m sure plenty of folks have been using this quick technique for years, but I am giddy with excitement over it.

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

The broccoli gets lightly sautéed in the pan, a small amount of flavorful liquid is added before putting the lid on, and the broccoli steams up right in the pan!

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used chicken broth for the liquid and that combined with the garlic infused oil you sauté the broccoli in made it so shockingly delicious.

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

I came across this quick recipe in a new cookbook I found at the library that is filled 100% with only vegetable recipes. It is chock-full of gorgeous color photos, which is essential for a quality cookbook perusal. The author almost didn’t include this recipe because it was just a way to cook broccoli that she had been doing for years and it is so simple she didn’t even really consider it a recipe. But her sister requested it’s inclusion and I am so happy she did. No more plain steamed broccoli in my house!

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small cloves or 1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, crowns cut into bite-sized florets and stalks peeled and diced, kept separately
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Place the oil and the garlic in a large skillet or pan then place over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the diced broccoli stalks to the pan and cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
  2. Add the broccoli florets to the pan and stir to combine the broccoli with the garlic oil. Cook the florets for 3 minutes, or until the broccoli turns bright green in color.
  3. Add the broth then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan. Let the broccoli steam for about 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is desired tenderness. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
Notes
If you prefer using only broccoli florets, simply omit the broccoli stalks.
Recipe slightly adapted from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have huge news to share with you today. Huge! Among my overflowing collection of cookbooks, this chicken cordon bleu recipe from Cook This, Not That! is my absolute favorite. There may certainly be recipes I have that I crave more or that are more awe-inducing (cue my large dessert cookbook category), but when you compare those to a delicious, healthy, looks-fancy-but-only-took-me-30-minutes dinner? Game over, chicken cordon bleu for the win.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Gooey melted cheese, savory ham, moist chicken, crunchy breadcrumb coating, and creamy honey mustard sauce all work together to create weeknight meal perfection.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

When you make this dish your family and friends will think, “Wow, such a fancy meal! Such technique! He/she really pulled out all the stops for me!” When what you actually did was secretly quite simple.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

First, you pounded out the boneless skinless chicken breasts until they were about ¼ inch thick. Think about that aggravating e-mail you got at work or that jerk that cut you off right before the stoplight and whack away with your meat mallet! If you want to save a little bit of time this step could be done the night before. Then layer two slices of ham and one slice of Swiss cheese on the cutlet.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Completely roll up the chicken from the short end. It’s okay if some cheese or ham is poking out. Then dredge the whole rolled chicken in flour, then beaten egg, then panko bread crumbs. This part sounds bizarre and complicated, but just make sure you hold the chicken roll tight and you’ll be just fine. Bake the breaded chicken roll for 18 minutes and you’re done!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Well as soon as you smother it in easy homemade honey mustard sauce… jeez Louise, pass me a fork!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chicken cordon bleu
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 thin slices deli ham
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
for the honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Directions
for the chicken cordon bleu
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside. Place the flour, egg and panko each in their own bowl and set aside.
  2. Place 1 chicken breast on a cutting board and cover the chicken with plastic wrap. Pound the chicken until ¼” thick with a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Repeat for the remaining 3 chicken breasts.
  3. Layer 2 slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each chicken cutlet. Working one at a time, carefully roll up the cutlet from short end to short end. It’s okay if some of the ham and cheese is sticking out. Holding on tight to the rolled up cutlet, dip it in the flour bowl until completely coated, making sure to get the ends as well. Then dip in the egg mixture to completely coat, make sure the excess egg drips off. Finally, completely coat the rolled chicken in the panko bowl. I usually use my other hand to help coat and press the panko onto the chicken. Place the breaded chicken seam side down on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the cutlets.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the breading is golden. Serve hot with the honey mustard sauce.
for the honey mustard
  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice and dijon mustard then adjust according to personal taste.
Notes
If you want the bottom of your chicken cordon bleu to be crispy as well, you can spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray then place on top of the baking sheet. I normally don’t do this, but I thought I would mention it.
Recipe slightly adapted from Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals.

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

These next couple weeks are all about simple weeknight recipes. Sometimes when I plan the meals for the week I have such large ambitions and enthusiasm. It’s a Sunday morning, I’m feeling well rested, and Matt and I are ready to head to the grocery store with nothing but a lazy day in front of us.

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Skip ahead to a regular weeknight. I was just at work for 9 hours, now I’m driving through traffic to pick Matt up at work and go home, we’re hungry, tired and that hour long multistep dish is so not happening. Sound familiar?

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I absolutely love cooking, but most weeknights, dinner is just something I want to get done so I can get to work on my to-do list, read or just flop on the couch. Lately, one of my biggest dilemmas has been coming up with different, but still quick, ways to cook our veggies. Enter this asparagus with creamy orange sauce!

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and orange zest are combined to provide a bright and tangy complement to steamed asparagus stalks. The sauce adds a little something extra to the asparagus while adding only a minute more of cooking time.

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

So keep it simple, but exciting, this weeknight and jazz up your veggies!

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Asparagus with Creamy Orange Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound asparagus spears
  • 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • Pinch of paprika, ground cayenne pepper or chili powder depending on heat preference
  • Slices of oranges for serving, optional
Directions
  1. Snap off the woody stems of the asparagus and discard. Steam until crisp tender.
  2. Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, zest and ground spice in a small bowl. Spread over the cooked asparagus before serving. Serve with the sliced oranges if desired.
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you heard of avocado toast? This simple breakfast dish has been trending all over Pinterest and Instagram for the past year. It’s been blogged about, tweeted, favorited, snapped, and of course consumed like crazy. Even with the flurry of social media, I first heard of avocado toast at a work breakfast potluck last spring. Side note:  work breakfast potluck is the absolute best way to start a workday. Between all the bacon, waffles and egg casseroles, the person doling out slices of avocado toast seemed more than a little bizarre to me.

Avocado Toast  |  Lemon & Mocha

My love for avocado and my foodie curiosity led me to try some and wow. Just wow. Why had I never thought of this before? The crunchiness of the toast, the creaminess of the avocado, the slight tanginess of the teeniest bit of mayonnaise and the saltiness from the sea salt flakes… wow, oh wow. Those of you who have experienced avocado toast before are currently nodding your heads and walking to their kitchen to pop some bread in the toaster. Those of you who haven’t experienced this simple phenomena should take note and go do the same so you can add a new breakfast staple to your routine.

Avocado Toast  |  Lemon & Mocha

Avocado Toast
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 piece of whole wheat bread
  • 1 schmear of mayonnaise, roughly 2 teaspoons
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, or coarse sea salt
Directions
  1. Toast the bread. Spread a very thin layer of mayonnaise on the toast. Top with the sliced avocado and a very generous sprinkling of sea salt flakes.
 

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

It was negative 1 degrees when I woke up in Boston this morning. Negative 1! Oh, and the “feels like” with wind chill was negative 19 degrees. Sounds toasty right? With cold temperatures across most of the country and countless reminders from your Facebook friends about how cold it is I figured we could all use a pick-me-up.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

And what could bring a smile to your face better than a picture of decadent, gooey, chocolately brownies? Well, probably the actual brownies, but now you have the recipe for them!

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These brownies are nearly identical to the peanut butter crunch brownies I posted last month, but peanut butter is replaced with marshmallow. I had just finished baking the peanut butter crunch brownies when I spotted the big tub of marshmallow fluff in my baking cabinet and got inspired.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love the way the Special K cereal gives the brownies a nice crunchy topping.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, just to make sure we are keeping count, this is part four of the Lemon & Mocha brownie series. Expect the fifth, final and most outrageous installment next month just in time for Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, treat yourself to some marshmallow crunch chocolate brownies!

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies
 
Yield: 32 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 batch brownie batter, enough for a 9 x 13 pan
  • 1 ½ cup marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • 4 cups Special K, or similar cornflake cereal
  • 1¾ cup chocolate chips, semisweet or milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13” pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Put the Special K in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine the marshmallow fluff and corn syrup in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 30 second increments until the marshmallow mixture is smooth. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the Special K and carefully toss to fully coat.
  5. Evenly distribute ¾ of the marshmallow crunch mixture onto the brownie batter in the pan by dropping small clumps of the marshmallow crunch mixture right onto the batter. Pour on the other half of the brownie batter being sure to cover as much of the marshmallow crunch mixture as possible. It is okay if it doesn’t all get covered.
  6. Bake according to package directions. Be sure not to overbake as brownies will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. I usually pull mine out 3-5 minutes before the package’s minimum baking time.
  7. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, run a knife around the edges then evenly sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate chips on top before covering the pan with tin foil so the chocolate can melt.
  8. Meanwhile, place the remaining chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on half power then stir. Heat for 15 seconds on half power then stir. Continue until the chocolate is smooth.
  9. Remove the tin foil from the brownies and carefully spread the melty chocolate chips with a spatula in an even layer on top of the brownies. Top with the remaining marshmallow crunch mixture then drizzle with the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Cut and serve.
Notes
I highly recommend using 2 packages of Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix to make these.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.