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Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Wow! Wow! Wow! I do not know how else to start this post, but that’s all that flashes in my brain when I think about these epic Pepperoni Pizza Rolls. The rolls are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and packed full of pepperoni pizza flavor. There’s plenty of garlic and herb seasoning as well as melted mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices. When they come hot out of the oven a little melted butter, fresh parsley and Parmesan gets brushed on top before serving. Dip a bite into some warm marinara and it’s just like eating a slice of pepperoni pizza except, dare I say it, better!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Tomorrow is National Pepperoni Pizza and since it’s also pizza Friday I thought it would be perfect to post a recipe for pepperoni pizza. I had all of the ingredients ready to go, but couldn’t get motivated to deal with either my pizza stone or my countertop pizza oven and the rolling and stretching of the pizza dough involved. I started brainstorming for an easier solution and came up with these epic Pepperoni Pizza Rolls.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

The shredded mozzarella and chopped pepperoni slices get kneaded right into the pizza dough. You then make the dough into a ball, cut it into eight pieces and roll each piece into its own little ball. The little dough balls get baked at 475 degrees F for twelve minutes and voila! Time to eat!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

The secret that makes these even easier is that we’re using Sunny Anderson’s 1-2-3 pizza dough as the base for this recipe. I first saw this published in my Food Network Magazine a few years ago and decided that I finally needed to try it. The 1-2-3 is for the only ingredients involved: 1 tablespoon of garlic and herb seasoning, 2 cups of plain Greek yogurt and 3 cups of self rising flour. I halved this to get eight Pepperoni Pizza Rolls, although they’re so good that if you’re making them for more than just your family you will want to double the recipe I have below! It sounds odd, but the ingredients get mixed together with a dough hook in a stand mixer (or you could mix and then knead by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer) and somehow create the most delicious dough.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you don’t want to use self-rising flour I included a note in the recipe, but it really helps making them even easier. I promise that even the most novice home cook could nail this recipe – and it only takes twenty minutes to make including the baking time! These are definitely going to be a new regular recipe of mine. Try them out – I know you will love them just as much as we do!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
 
Yield: 8 rolls
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup sliced pepperonis
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Marinara, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Add the self rising flour, Greek yogurt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with a dough hook on medium speed until combined, stopping and scraping down the sides and bottom at least once. Continue until the dough comes together.
  3. Add the mozzarella cheese to the bowl of the stand mixer. Chop the sliced pepperonis and add to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on medium-low speed until incorporated. Take the dough out of the bowl, form into a large ball and place on a cutting board. Slightly flatten the dough ball then cut into 8 even wedges. Roll each wedge into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
  4. While the pizza rolls are in the oven, combine the melted butter, chopped parsley and grated Parmesan in a small bowl. Sprinkle in a little Italian seasoning. When the rolls come out of the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter mixture. Serve hot with the marinara sauce.
Notes
If you don’t have self-rising flour use the following substitution: 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 2¼ teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt plus ⅛ teaspoon salt.

 Pizza dough recipe adapted from June 2017 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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!

Copycat Olive Garden Salad

Copycat Olive Garden Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The Olive Garden holds a special place in my heart. Many years ago during high school that was the preferred dinner spot for my friends and I. We would get all dressed up, as a joke to ourselves that this was our “fancy” dinner spot, wait the hour at the crowded restaurant to be seated and then stuff our faces with salad, breadsticks and pasta. Of course, it was always someone’s birthday so we could get the free chocolate cake and we would rotate through the group as to whose turn it was to be “celebrated.”

Copycat Olive Garden Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

These days I don’t eat there that often, but whenever I do all the nostalgia of those days comes rushing back. Their unlimited salad isn’t just about nostalgia, though, it’s actually just really good. So back in 2009 when Food Network Magazine published their copycat version of the Olive Garden salad I made it right away.

Copycat Olive Garden Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The salad is simple: romaine lettuce mix with shredded carrots, croutons, Parmesan cheese, olives and pepperoncinis (both of which I leave out). What makes the salad special is the light, tangy and subtly creamy Italian dressing.

Copycat Olive Garden Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was surprised when I checked out the ingredient list for their copycat version of the salad dressing. Most of it seemed like fairly normal items you would expect: olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt. But then I saw the secret – Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip? Yes, I know, but it totally makes this dressing taste just like you’re sitting at Olive Garden. I had never used Miracle Whip before, but I discovered it is a sauce similar to mayonnaise except it has added sugar, paprika, garlic powder and other spices. It also has this zippy tanginess to it, which helps the dressing achieve both the tangy and creamy qualities while still looking like your regular Italian dressing.

Copycat Olive Garden Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since then I’ve made this salad countless times and I’m finally sharing it with you all!

Copycat Olive Garden Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Copycat Olive Garden Salad
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the dressing
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
for the salad
  • 1 10-ounce bag American salad blend (romaine blend with shredded carrots and cabbage)
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 4 pepperoncinis, optional
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives, optional
  • ½ cup croutons
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
for the dressing
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. If too thick add 1 additional tablespoon olive oil.
for the salad
  1. Add the salad blend to a large salad bowl then top with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine before serving.

 Recipe slightly adapted from June/July 2009 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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!

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes you need a quick meal you can grab straight from the freezer and heat up. So today I’m going to walk you through my favorite new freezer meal: freezer burritos. The recipe today is for these Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos, which are packed with flavor and plenty of good-for-you foods.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Not feeling that combination? That’s okay because we’re going to talk about all different tips you can use to make your own personal favorite freezer burritos. You can certainly buy freezer burritos from the store, but they’re typically loaded with sodium, might not have the exact ingredients you prefer and aren’t exactly cost effective.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I decided to try making my own I was skeptical that the version out of the freezer would taste just as good – and that the texture would be just as good – as a freshly made burrito. Much to my delight I discovered with a few simple tricks these homemade freezer burritos would become a mind-blowing game changer! How so? Because you can pop one out of the freezer, microwave it for three minutes and have a fresh, delicious and healthy (depending on what you put in them!) meal any day of the week. If you want to go one extra step further you can even sear it in a skillet for one to two minutes per side after microwaving to add that extra crispy factor. So let’s get into it.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Keep Moisture Out of Your Burritos

The key to having a freezer burrito taste like you got it fresh from your neighborhood Mexican joint and not be a soggy mess is to keep away the wet ingredients.

  • You can still have salsa. This doesn’t mean no salsa. Just toss your protein or other ingredients in the salsa before adding to your burrito so that they are coated, but not dripping. This way you get the flavor the salsa provides without the moisture.
  • Drain well. If you’re using beans make sure they are well drained before adding to the burritos.
  • Sauté those veggies. Sautéing the vegetables before adding them to the burritos is a great way to add flavor while also reducing the moisture. Sautéing vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, onions and greens helps get the excess moisture out of them.
  • Room temperature everything. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature before starting to assemble the burritos. Warm fillings lead to steamy insides, which cause future soggy burritos. This also goes for your tortillas since cold tortillas are stiff and tend to break. You’ll want to use fresh (aka not the ones that have been sitting in your fridge for weeks) room temperature tortillas.
  • Be smart about your fillings. If it doesn’t belong in the microwave then it doesn’t belong in your burrito. That shredded lettuce and sour cream? Back away from your burritos and put it back in the fridge.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Wrap the Burritos Well

This goes for making the actual burrito and for wrapping the finished burrito for freezer storage.

  • Wrap a tight burrito. There are plenty of Youtube videos out there that show you how to properly wrap a burrito. I’m not that much of a perfectionist though; I layer my ingredients in a long line towards the bottom of the tortilla closest to me, tuck in the short sides and then wrap as tightly as I can from the bottom. Having all your ingredients tightly nestled in there will help keep moisture out while they’re in the freezer.
  • Prep for the freezer. There’s a few different ways you can go about this, but I prefer to tightly wrap each burrito in plastic wrap or aluminum foil then place all the wrapped burritos in a gallon storage bag, labeling the burrito type on the outside of the bag. This provides double protection and also allows you to easily remove just one burrito at a time.

In a couple weeks I’ll be sharing another favorite of ours: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos. I’ll also use that post as a follow-up to this one and list out plenty of protein, grain and filling ideas so you can mix and match your own freezer burritos. What do you load into your ideal burrito?

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos
 
Yield: 6 burritos
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces kale, thick stems removed
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1½ cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup salsa verde
  • 6 10-inch flour tortillas, room temperature
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
  • ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella or colby jack cheese, optional
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or lidded sauté pan. Add the kale, season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add ¼ cup water, cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later.
  2. While the kale is cooking, sauté the mushrooms. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later.
  3. When you’re ready to make the burritos, combine the shredded chicken with the salsa verde. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature or cold. Place the first tortilla on a plate. Add some brown rice in a lengthwise strip towards the bottom of the tortilla closest to you. Top with some salsa verde chicken. Top with some kale, mushrooms and cheese, if using. Fold in each side then take the bottom of the tortilla closest to you and tightly roll it up and over the filling. Continue to roll up the burrito, tightly, tucking in the sides additionally as needed. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set aside and repeat for the remaining tortillas and fillings. Place all the rolled burritos in a labeled gallon freezer bag and place in the freezer.
  4. To heat: Remove the burrito from the freezer. Remove and discard the plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the burrito on a microwave safe plate and microwave at 70% power for 3 minutes. Sear the burrito in a sauté pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned. If you don’t want to sear your burrito, microwave for a total of 5 minutes instead of 3.

 
Salsa Verde
 
Yield: About 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeños, see note
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (can include top parts of stems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Add the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a medium saucepan and then cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. The tomatillos should become pale green and should be soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro and salt then puree until smooth.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the salsa and cook until thickened slightly, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or refrigerate for later and serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes
If you don’t want your salsa spicy only use 1 jalapeño and remove all the seeds and pith before putting in the blender. If you like it spicy try 1 jalapeño with the seeds and pith and if you want it even more spicy you could add a second jalapeño.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Can you believe we’re already nine months into the Food Network Magazine’s Calendar of Cookies? Food Network Magazine definitely likes the September baked treat to be peanut butter and jelly themed, as seen with last year’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins, and I am not mad about it at all. In fact I’m thrilled about it because I love a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Also, I was a huge fan of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins so I couldn’t wait to try their cookie rendition.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I did deviate a bit from the original recipe, but I think you will thank me for it because I seriously shortened the prep and fussiness time while still staying true to the exact flavors of the recipe. So, today for you I have Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies. The original recipe involved rolling the dough out into rectangles and baking little sandwich cookies with the jam in between, but I figured thumbprint cookies are a true classic for a reason.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

They are simple to make, it’s okay if they don’t look perfect and, most importantly, they are easy to eat. I didn’t change anything about the peanut butter dough from the recipe and I’m so glad because it makes the most perfect crumbly peanut butter cookies that are the ultimate vessel for that dollop of jelly.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

They also taste delicious on their own, which I know both by sneaking one or two right from the oven and because I froze a bunch of these cookies without the jam and was too lazy to fill them before munching away on them. Similar to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins recipe, there’s a little whole wheat flour mixed into the dough so the cookies really give you that peanut butter and jelly sandwich nostalgia.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

You can use any jelly you prefer to fill these Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies. The original recipe calls for grape, but I’ve used raspberry, triple berry and apricot so far and they’ve all been delicious. Side note: apparently we have a lot of jelly flavors in our fridge! If you are a peanut butter and jelly fan I know you will love these cookies! Okay, only three more months of Food Network Magazine monthly cookies left! Stay tuned!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
 
Yield: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups smooth peanut butter (not natural)
  • ⅔ cup raspberry, strawberry or other jelly of choice
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture then beat on low until just combined.
  4. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out 30 balls of cookie dough between the 2 prepared baking sheets. Use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon to press a small indent into each cookie ball. Bake for 12-13 minutes. The edges of the cookie should be browned. Let side on the pan for 3 minutes then use the handle of the wooden spoon to re-make the indents in the center of each cookie. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, add 1 teaspoon of jelly into each indent.

 Recipe adapted from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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!

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m so glad I experimented with another recipe from my Pati’s Mexican Table cookbook. This Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde dish was so crave-worthy and will certainly be a new regular at our house. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by every recipe I’ve made from this book and I’m excited to keep cooking more and more recipes from it. Do you have a cookbook at home that just nails it every time for you?

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I did make a few changes to the original recipe by including spinach, since I love to sneak in green veggies whenever I can, and by adding some shredded colby jack cheese.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Normally when I think of enchiladas I picture a saucy, gooey dish loaded with melted cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with that once in a while, but for a typical dinner I’m not looking to eat something quite so rich. There’s something about these Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde that is lighter and more refined, while still having all the qualities of a comfort food dish you just want to dive into.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

The key is that the tortillas get fully submerged into the warm Salsa Verde before being stuffed with the chicken and spinach mixture so that when you roll them up you know every bite will have the flavor of the Salsa Verde. This helps give the enchiladas that fork-tenderness so that there isn’t a single dry bite to be had.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I added that layer of melted colby jack cheese on top because even if I didn’t want the enchiladas weighed down by cheese I still wanted a hint of gooeyness. The mildness of that cheese also pairs really well with the saltiness from the crumbly cotija cheese that gets sprinkled on top after the enchiladas come out of the oven. These Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde are homey enough to be comforting in the cold of winter, while being light enough to eat with a nice glass of white wine in the summer so I’m looking forward to enjoying this dish all year long!

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 batches salsa verde, about 4 cups
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 3 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1½ cups shredded colby jack cheese, divided
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Crumbled cotija cheese, for topping
  • Chopped white onion, for topping
  • Chopped cilantro, for topping
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat the salsa in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; once warm reduce to the lowest setting to keep warm until ready to use.
  3. Lightly toast the tortillas. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a tortilla. Heat the tortillas, one at a time, for 30 seconds per side in the skillet. Remove with tongs to a plate when done toasting both sides of the tortilla and just stack them on top of each other on the plate until you’re done toasting all the tortillas.
  4. Remove the salsa from the heat. Use tongs to dip a tortilla into the salsa so it’s completely coated then place on a plate. Add a handful of spinach leaves, 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken and 1 tablespoon of colby jack cheese. Tightly roll the tortilla up (no need to tuck in the sides) then place seam side down in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas until they’re all tucked into the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the remaining salsa then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of shredded colby jack.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted. Take the enchiladas out of the oven and top with a drizzle of sour cream, the crumbled cotija cheese, chopped white onion and cilantro before serving.

 
Salsa Verde
 
Yield: About 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeños, see note
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (can include top parts of stems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Add the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a medium saucepan and then cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. The tomatillos should become pale green and should be soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro and salt then puree until smooth.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the salsa and cook until thickened slightly, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or refrigerate for later and serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes
If you don’t want your salsa spicy only use 1 jalapeño and remove all the seeds and pith before putting in the blender. If you like it spicy try 1 jalapeño with the seeds and pith and if you want it even more spicy you could add a second jalapeño.

Recipe slightly adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table.
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!