Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Wednesday everyone! Can you believe we’re halfway through August? Ah, I shouldn’t have even brought it up! Where did the summer go? I bet if I look at my past summer posts I probably said the same thing, but it still shocks me every year. To cheer us all up I’m sharing these flavor-packed and crunchy Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce.

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I first made these, Matt and I were so hooked that I made them three weeks in row. That never happens! The egg rolls also got prettier each week as I had more practicing wrapping them. I also got a lot quicker at putting them together; it’s a lot more simple than you would think. I walk you through it in the directions, but if you get the Nasoya brand egg roll wrappers they have a diagram on the back of the package for how to wrap them up.

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

The ground turkey, corn and spinach filling for these Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls is packed with spices that give it a smoky taste. They aren’t spicy since I don’t like spicy foods, but you could certainly amp up the chili powder if you preferred. The can of diced green chiles is key because it adds depth of flavor and also liquid to keep the ground turkey extra moist. I usually grab a bunch every time I’m at Trader Joe’s. You can use pepper jack cheese if you want a little more heat or if you prefer them more mild like me than you could use shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Either way, they get baked for eight minutes on each side and when the egg rolls come out they are crispy, crunchy and ready to be dipped in my simple avocado dipping sauce. It’s basically a quick homemade guacamole that has been thinned out to make it a prime time egg roll dipping sauce.

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

We usually eat these Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls as a meal with a salad or some stir-fried snap peas, but they would also be so good as a party appetizer. If you’re going to make them as an appetizer you should definitely double the recipe because they will be gone fast!

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls with an Avocado Dipping Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the egg rolls
  • 8 ounces 93% lean ground turkey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic cove, minced
  • 1 can diced green chiles, about 4.25 ounces
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallions
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 12 egg roll wrappers, see note
  • ¾ cup shredded pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese
for the avocado dipping sauce
  • 1 avocado, cut open and pitted
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the egg rolls
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or coat with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray then heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and the salt and cook until it’s almost done browning, about 3 minutes. Break apart the ground turkey with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula as it cooks and browns. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic then cook until the onion and pepper is a little tender, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the can of green chiles, spinach, corn, cumin, smoked paprika and chili powder. Stir and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and let cool a little.
  3. Before filling the egg roll wrappers, make sure you have a little bowl or cup of warm water and a clean work surface. Place the egg roll wrapper down so that a corner is facing you. Scoop 3 tablespoons of the turkey mixture and place it near the bottom corner of the wrapper. I like to adjust the mixture so it’s more of a log shape then a big mound. Place a tablespoon of the shredded cheese on top. Take the bottom corner of the wrapper and fold it up and over the mixture so it’s completely covering it then continue to roll it one more time. Fold in the left and right corners so they create a little envelope then continue to roll it until it’s 1 roll away from the top corner. Wet your finger with the water and use it to moisten the whole exposed top corner. Fold the corner down to close up and seal the roll. Place it on the baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining rolls then coat all the rolls with cooking spray.
  4. Bake the rolls for 8 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 8 minutes. They should be crispy and golden brown. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.
for the avocado dipping sauce
  1. In a high-speed blender, combine the avocado flesh, water, lemon juice and garlic powder. Blend until combined, about 40 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
I use Nasoya egg rolls wrappers. I find them in the refrigerated section of my grocery store near the hummus and guacamole.

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken  |  Lemon & Mocha

You know this is a quick and easy recipe since it’s from the “10-Minutes Meals” section of my Cook This, Not That! cookbook! Now, I’ve never accomplished this meal in quite that short of a time frame before, but it’s still a fast meal to whip up. I got this little cookbook the year after I graduated college and I cooked about 13 different meals from it for Matt and I that year.

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whenever I get asked about my favorite cookbook I always laugh and mention Cook This, Not That! It’s such a little cookbook and it’s not by any celebrity chef, but I’ve actually cooked a fair amount of recipes from it and they’ve always been really good! In fact, one of my favorite go-to meals, whether it’s just Matt and I or we’re having company, is this Chicken Cordon Bleu from the cookbook. I’ve never made these Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken for company, but I make them for Matt and I as make-ahead lunches or dinners whenever we are in the mood for an Asian noodle fix.

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken  |  Lemon & Mocha

The sauce is creamy, tangy and super peanut-ty. I’m obsessed with peanut butter, like most people without nut allergies, so I love that the peanut taste really comes through here. Every time I make it I just want to start pouring it on everything! And by everything I mean on food items so I can then eat them, not covering items in my house with peanut sauce for no reason. I don’t know why I said no reason, I don’t think there would ever be a reason you would cover household items with peanut sauce, but anyways I’m getting sidetracked here!

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken  |  Lemon & Mocha

I throw in sautéed chicken, broccoli, red bell peppers and snow peas, but you could switch it up with whatever protein and vegetables you would prefer. This would be so good with some flank steak, peppers, onions and asparagus – yum! You can also use whatever type of pasta you prefer; I like using long noodles for this, but sometimes I switch up the type of long noodle and use brown rice noodles or whatever else is in my pantry.

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and scallions on top add the perfect amount of crunch and texture to this dish. Okay, just describing these Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken has made me start craving them so I guess I need to make them again soon! I hope you all enjoy!

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces linguine pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for noodles
  • Chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and scallions for topping
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. When there’s 5 minutes left on the pasta, add the broccoli florets. Drain the pasta and broccoli together then toss with a little sesame oil and a little rice wine vinegar in a large bowl to keep the pasta from sticking. If you don’t have rice wine vinegar just a little sesame oil is fine.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, start the chicken and veggies. Cut the chicken into thin slices then cut in half if the pieces are too long.
  3. Sauté the chicken in the olive oil on medium high heat until almost browned. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper right after putting it in the pan. Add the bell pepper and snow peas. Cook until the bell pepper is tender and the chicken is browned then remove from the heat.
  4. In a small microwave safe bowl, add the lime juice, peanut butter, water, soy sauce and sesame oil. Microwave for 45 seconds and then whisk or stir until combined. Pour over the noodles and broccoli and toss to coat. Add the cooked chicken and veggies then toss to combine. Top with the chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and scallions, if desired.
Notes
I usually use Jif creamy peanut butter for this recipe. I find the natural peanut butters tend to separate and not mix as well when I cook or bake with them. I haven’t tried this specific recipe with natural peanut butter so if you do give it a shot let us know how it worked!
This recipe accounts for 2 ounces of pasta per person, which is the FDA’s recommended serving size. If you are used to larger pasta portions you can certainly use more! The dish is loaded with chicken and veggies though so we find the dish filling as is.

Recipe adapted from Cook This, Not That!.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Beach Crab Cupcakes

Beach Crab Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

This past week was my family’s beach week down at the Delaware shore. Every year my Dad’s side of the family gathers together at the beach for a week of lazy beach days, plenty of Leebreezes, and general family shenanigans. As usual, it went by too quickly and we’re already counting down until next summer’s beach week! Do vacations ever seem long enough?

Beach Crab Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wanted to bring down a fun treat and when I saw these Beach Crab Cupcakes on Pinterest I knew I had to make them. How cute are these? I don’t normally have the patience for decorating, but these were actually very simple.

Beach Crab Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

The hardest part was finding a gummy that would work for the eyes. I ended up using Sour Patch Cherry, which I didn’t even know was a thing. You stick a candy eye onto each Sour Patch Cherry, or whatever small round sour gummies you can find, for the crab’s eyeballs. The claws are made out of gummy peach rings that are cut in half. The crab’s body is made of gummy orange slices and finally the whole thing is propped up onto your cupcake and frosting of choice with some halved toothpicks. Don’t forget the graham cracker crumb “sand” on top!

Beach Crab Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used my Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting for these since they were already screaming summer even before I topped them with these adorable crabs. These are great for kids and adults alike, especially the gummy candy eaters like Matt.

Beach Crab Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I will definitely be making these again, although I already started brainstorming cute cupcake ideas for next beach week! Happy Friday, everyone!

Beach Crab Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Beach Crab Cupcakes
 
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 24 cupcakes
  • Batch of frosting to frost 24 cupcakes
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 48 Sour Patch Cherries
  • 48 candy eyes
  • 60 toothpicks, cut in half
  • 24 gummy peach rings
  • 24 gummy orange slices
Directions
  1. Frost the cupcakes, reserving a small amount of the frosting for the eyes. Sprinkle the tops of the frosting cupcakes with graham cracker crumbs.
  2. To make the eyes, use a small amount of icing to attach one candy eye to each small round sour gummy. Insert 1 toothpick piece into each prepared eye.
  3. To make the claws, cut the gummy peach rings in half. Insert 1 toothpick piece into each crescent shaped gummy peach half.
  4. To put together the crab, insert a toothpick piece into the bottom of the flat part of the gummy orange slice. This will be how the crab gets set on top of the cupcake. Take the two prepared eye toothpicks and insert them both onto the top curved part of the gummy orange slice. Finally, insert one prepared claw onto each side of the crab. Insert the crab onto a frosted cupcake then repeat for the remaining cupcakes.

Inspiration from Clean and Scentsible.

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting  |  Lemon & Mocha

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting! Yes! These cupcakes are pure bright, summery and creamy heaven. I love cupcakes, but ever since I started making filled cupcakes I am so spoiled by them. Filling cupcakes isn’t difficult, but it gives them that something extra special. First of all, with filled cupcakes you get that surprise factor when you bite into it. Secondly, it adds a third flavor and texture element to the cupcake making the depths of deliciousness that much deeper.

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting  |  Lemon & Mocha

These Key Lime Pie Cupcakes are filled with Monday’s creamy key lime curd. I wanted a base cupcake that would pair well with the key lime curd so I went with a moist vanilla cupcake that has a hint of spiced cookie to it since some of the flour is replaced with graham cracker crumbs. I got the idea from June’s S’mores Muffins – remember those bad boys?! I love the taste the graham cracker crumbs provided to the muffin so I figured why not replicate it in these vanilla cupcakes.

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting  |  Lemon & Mocha

I initially was planning on making a cream cheese frosting for these loaded cupcakes, but I had some mascarpone cheese in my fridge that was begging to be turned into frosting. Mascarpone is made using whole cream so it’s a lot creamier and richer than cream cheese. Cream cheese also has more acidity to it and we’re already getting enough acidity from the key lime curd filling that mascarpone seemed to be a better fit for the frosting.

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite component of this recipe, but this mascarpone frosting? Insane. I can’t even describe to you how hard it was to save it for topping the cupcakes and not eat it all. There’s not even any butter in the frosting because the mascarpone is rich enough on its own to hold up to the sugar and vanilla. I don’t like overly sweet frostings; I would much prefer a whipped cream frosting over a buttercream frosting. The mascarpone frosting reminded me of a cross between a whipped cream frosting and a cream cheese frosting because it was rich and creamy without being too sweet.

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting  |  Lemon & Mocha

Having a mouthful of the light cupcake, the tangy key lime curd and the creamy mascarpone frosting was definitely on my top five bites of summer this year. Enjoy, friends!

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting  |  Lemon & Mocha

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
 
Yield: 14 cupcakes
Ingredients
for the cupcakes
  • ¾ cup cake flour (see note)
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for topping
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest, about 3 key limes, plus more for topping if desired
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup key lime curd
for the frosting
  • 6 ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, chilled
Directions
for the cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners (this makes 14 cupcakes) and set aside.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs for 20 seconds. Add the sugar then beat until combined on medium speed, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract, vegetable oil and key lime zest then beat again until combined.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low then carefully add half of the flour mixture. Once just combined, add half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour then with the remaining buttermilk. Try not to over-mix the batter. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared 14 cupcake liners. Bake for 12-14 minutes. The edges should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out with just a few crumbs on it. Let cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes then remove the cupcakes to let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  6. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a cupcake corer or a knife to remove the middle of the cupcake. Fill the cupcake with about 1 tablespoon of key lime curd - enough so it fills the cavity in the cupcake. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
for the frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the mascarpone and vanilla until incorporated. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until incorporated. Slowly add the heavy cream while still beating the mixture then increase the speed to medium. Continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Once the cupcakes have been filled with key lime curd, frost them with the mascarpone frosting then sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs and additional key lime zest, if desired. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Notes
If you don’t have cake flour, follow this substitution to use all-purpose flour. Measure out ¾ cups all-purpose flour. Take out 1 tablespoon and 1½ teaspoons of the measured flour (you can put these back in your flour container, you won’t need them). Add 1 tablespoon and 1½ teaspoons of cornstarch to the flour and sift together before using in the recipe.
If you don’t have buttermilk, follow this substitution to use whatever percentage milk you have in your fridge. Put ½ tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (I prefer to use lemon juice when I’m baking) into a liquid measuring cup then fill with milk until you have ½ cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
These cupcakes should be stored in the fridge.

Cupcake base adapted from Glorious Treats.

How to Make Homemade Key Lime Curd

How to Make Homemade Key Lime Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had no idea that I had a deep love for citrus desserts until I met Matt. When we first started dating we decided to grab some desserts on campus and eat them on the quad. We went up to the Chocolate Bar, which, first, if you’ve been to Boston College recently it’s not like it used to be and second, it was as amazing as it sounds. I am a chocoholic so I would always get the Oreo frappe or the chocolate croissant. I picked out a chocolate dessert, probably a chocolate croissant, and Matt got a lemon tart. We went outside with a couple forks for our little dessert picnic and I could not believe how much I loved the lemon tart! As our relationship went on, the more citrus desserts Matt ordered, the more I would love them until next thing I knew I was full-on citrus dessert obsessed.

How to Make Homemade Key Lime Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorite citrus treats to drizzle on waffles or stuff inside cupcakes is homemade lemon curd. I’ve been making it for a few years now and I figured it was time I branched out and tried the recipe with a different citrus flavor. Key limes have a bright punch to them that pairs well with subtle sweet flavors, like graham crackers or angel food cake.

How to Make Homemade Key Lime Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

Just like the lemon curd, this key lime curd is smooth and decadent. In addition to be slathered on cookies, spread over cheesecake or generally just eaten with a spoon, I think it tastes particularly delicious stirred into some plain Greek yogurt. Whatever you do with it, make sure you keep some for Wednesday’s post! I can’t wait to show you how I used up my batch of key lime curd.

How to Make Homemade Key Lime Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

Key Lime Curd
 
Yield: 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • ½ cup key lime juice
  • Zest of 3 key limes
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the key lime juice, key lime zest, sugar and eggs. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the pieces of butter. Whisk the curd frequently until the curd is thick enough that it keeps the mark of the whisk when you touch it to the curd in the saucepan. It takes a bit of time for it to thicken, but just keep whisking!
  2. Strain the key lime curd through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl to get rid of any egg lumps. Cover the surface of the key lime curd with a piece of plastic wrap so that it’s completely touching the curd. Place in the fridge to cool. After cooled, if not using right away store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.