Main Dishes

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes it takes a little while for me to remake a recipe. And sometimes that little while is ten years, but that’s okay, as long as it means I eventually got back to it. This Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce recipe comes deep from the archives of recipes I printed, made and tucked away in one of my binders.

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Way back when, I only read a handful of food blogs and one of them was For the Love of Cooking. This recipe is extremely important because it introduced Matt and I to the amazingness that is roasted garlic. How little we knew of life before that moment!

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

We made this pasta dish in Matt’s off-campus apartment the summer after junior year of college and with our limited space and kitchen equipment it was quite the ordeal. The recipe is fairly simple, there’s just a lot of ingredients and most of them require some chopping, shredding or zesting.

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love this dish because it’s so fresh, but all the veggies get a nice depth of flavor from being roasted. Asparagus, zucchini and grape tomatoes all get roasted before being tossed with pasta, toasted pine nuts, fresh Parmesan cheese and plenty of fresh herbs. There’s two standout other mix-ins, though. The first is the tender shrimp that get marinated in olive oil, lemon zest, basil parsley and garlic. The second is that zesty roasted garlic lemon sauce that should be used on every pasta, chicken and seafood dish from now until forever.

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

This dish is the perfect example of how some basic ingredients, like lemon, fresh herbs and roasted garlic, can take an ordinary pasta dish to a flavor-packed one that you don’t forget about for ten years. I’m so glad I finally made this dish again and with it fresh on our minds, I’m sure it won’t be another ten years until we have it again!

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Veggies in a Garlic Lemon Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the shrimp
  • 1½ pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
for the pasta
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed and spears cut into thirds
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Sal and pepper
Directions
for the shrimp
  1. Combine the shrimp, olive oil, parsley, basil, garlic and lemon zest in a bowl or plastic container. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours.
for the pasta
  1. Roast the garlic. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off the top of the head of garlic so almost all the cloves are exposed. Place the head of garlic in a little square of aluminum foil and curve up the sides. Lightly drizzle the garlic with some olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil to make a little packet. Roast for 35 minutes then carefully open the foil packet to let cool. Once it's cool enough to handle, squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves.
  2. When the garlic has 15 minutes left, start the onions. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, lightly season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Remove the onions to a large serving bowl then sear the shrimp in the same skillet, trying not to get too much of the marinade in the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent. Remove from the pan and add to the serving bowl.
  3. While the onions are cooking, start boiling the water for the pasta. Cook the farfalle according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and add to the large serving bowl.
  4. On a large baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil, spread out the zucchini, asparagus and grape tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 of the teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When you take the garlic out of the oven, add the baking sheet of veggies and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and add to the serving bowl.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, roughly chop the roasted garlic cloves that you squeezed out of the skin. Combine in a small bowl with the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Pour into the serving bowl.
  6. When the onions, pasta, shrimp, veggies and roasted garlic lemon sauce have all been cooked and added to the serving bowl, toss to combine along with the Parmesan, parsley, basil and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with more Parmesan on top, if desired.

Recipe from For the Love of Cooking.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have another restaurant inspired dish for you! I say inspired because it is actually quite different from the original. This time it’s from a New England classic – Legal Sea Foods. There’s a few restaurants Matt and I have been to over and over and Legal Sea Foods is definitely in that category. It helps that there’s a lot of them here in Massachusetts and that we’ve always seemed to have one near us, whether it was the one in Chestnut Hill while we were still at Boston College or the one in Harvard Square that we could walk to when we lived in Cambridge.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

It was at their Harvard Square location that we first tried their Thai style fried calamari. It is described on the menu simply as “Thai style – pineapple and peanuts,” and when it came out we could smell the rich peanut sauce.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

The crispy fried calamari was smothered in an addictive peanut sauce, scallions, chopped peanuts and pineapple chunks. We were hooked! They are actually pretty spicy and normally I cannot do spice, but I will happily suffer through every time just for some of these saucy, crispy calamari bites!

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now if you’re wondering why I’m talking about calamari when this is clearly a shrimp recipe that is a big part of why I’m using the word “inspired.” This Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple can be served as a party appetizer or as a main course alongside some rice and salad.

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

The panko breadcrumbs, which are already crunchy, get pre-baked to ensure they create the crispiest coating for the shrimp. The shredded coconut is another departure from the original, but I love the flavor combination along with the peanut sauce and pineapple. A little savory, a little sweet and a whole lot of deliciousness. I hope you enjoy these Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple!

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple  |  Lemon & Mocha

Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp Topped with Peanut Sauce and Pineapple
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the shrimp
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • Salt and pepper
for the peanut sauce
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (don’t use natural peanut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons light coconut milk or water (depending on how thick you want your sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Directions
for the shrimp
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the panko and coconut on a baking sheet then bake until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with ½ teaspoon salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire cooling rack on top of baking sheet then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set up a breading station for the shrimp with three shallow bowls. Place the flour tossed with salt and pepper in the first one. Add the beaten eggs to the second one and the panko mixture to the third.
  3. Bread the shrimp. Coat with the flour, shaking off excess, then dip in the egg, letting excess drip off. Coat completely in the panko mixture then place on the prepared wire rack. Repeat until all the shrimp are breaded then bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately along with the peanut sauce, chopped peanuts, scallions and pineapple.
for the peanut sauce
  1. Whisk everything together until combined.
Notes
If you don’t want to use coconut, just omit it and add an additional ½ cup of panko.

Baked shrimp recipe from Pinch and Swirl.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do you like cooking out of your comfort zone? To me, cooking out of my comfort zone is when I cook with an ingredient or technique I haven’t used before, or cooking something I normally only order at a restaurant. I usually resist it, but sometimes I take the chance and it’s not only easy, but crazy delicious.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

So what exactly is this meal? Creamy coconut sticky rice piled high with savory chicken and fresh mango puree. Each bite is like a comforting explosion of sweet and salty flavors balancing each other perfectly.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve had sticky rice plenty of time at restaurants, but I’ve never thought to make it at home. Sticky rice is different than say sticky sushi rice; sticky rice, which is also called sweet rice or glutinous rice, is very, very sticky and a little sweet. Oddly, even though it is called glutinous rice there is no gluten in it. We’re cooking it in coconut milk so it soaks up all that creaminess and richness.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chicken is cooked right in a skillet and the soy sauce adds a saltiness that pairs really well with the sticky rice. The final component is a simple mango puree. I say simple because it’s literally fresh (or thawed frozen) mangoes blended until smooth with a little salt and pepper.

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

You’re going to want to be very generous with your mango puree serving and make sure you drizzle it over every nook and cranny of your Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowl. Matt couldn’t believe the sauce was just mango and proceeded to use the leftovers on everything he could find in the fridge. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken Coconut Sticky Rice Bowls with Mango Puree
 
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup glutinous or sweet rice
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 mangoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Soak the rice in the water for 30-60 minutes. Then, add the rice, soaking liquid and the coconut milk to a small medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover halfway to allow steam to escape and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. While the rice is cooking, make the chicken. Season the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat then sear the chicken on both sides. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, ginger, hot sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cover the skillet and continue to cook on low heat until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, leaving the sauce. Shred the chicken then return to the sauce and mix well.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, make the mango puree. Peel and pit the mangoes. Puree in a high-speed blender with a little salt and pepper until smooth. To plate the meal, scoop some sticky rice into each bowl then top with the chicken, sesame seeds, chopped cilantro and plenty of mango puree.

Recipe adapted from Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook.
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Blue Cheese Crusted Steak

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

I still remember the day Matt and I bought our cast iron pan. Of course I do, it’s a food-related memory! We were in our very first apartment right out of college and Matt had seen someone online make steak in a cast iron pan. They seared it on the stove-top then finished it off in the oven resulting in a charred outside and juicy, tender inside.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

When Matt gets convinced he wants to make something it usually happens right away, much unlike my years and years worth of recipes piled up, so we walked to the nearest hardware store and bought the cast iron pan. Thankfully we didn’t have to walk far because this thing is heavy! Matt cooked us up some steaks and they were pure perfection. All these years later we’ve gotten a little fancier with our cooking and now prefer to sous vide our steaks, but this recent recipe had me go back to our cast iron steak roots.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

This recipe came from my favorite little cookbook, “Cook This, Not That!” and was one we hadn’t tried before. It’s incredibly simple: steak is cooked then topped with a panko breadcrumb and blue cheese mixture that gets crispy and bubbly in the oven.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

We already know blue cheese and steak is a winning combination from my Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce recipe and the crunch from the breadcrumbs adds great texture and flavor. Matt and I gobbled this down for dinner and even had the leftovers the next day for lunch – we couldn’t wait for dinner. I told you we’ve been living the good life with our meals!

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have a delicious salad side that made a great meal alongside this steak and I’ll share it with you all later this week. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe and the rest of your Monday!

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sirloin or tenderloin steaks (4-6 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the panko, blue cheese, parsley and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  3. In a large cast iron pan or oven safe pan (see note) heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper then sear the meat for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the steaks from the heat and top with the panko mixture. Transfer the steaks to the oven to finish cooking, about 6 minutes. For medium, the internal temperature should be 140 degrees F. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
If you don’t have an oven safe pan, cook on the stove-top in sauté pan then transfer to a baking sheet or baking dish for the oven step.

Recipe 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!

Elote Stuffed Zucchini

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

Another elote dish?! I know, I know, I just can’t get enough of it during the summer! Elote, also known as Mexican street corn, is fresh, zesty, creamy, cheesy and everything you want in a summertime snack.

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

To recap, here on Lemon & Mocha I have recipes for Elote Wonton Bites, Elote Pizza, Elote Hot Dogs and Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad. Now add in this dinner-worthy Elote Stuffed Zucchini. Zucchini and corn are already a classic summer pairing so it all made sense to hook them up together in this new elote twist.

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

In addition to the traditional lime, chili powder, salt and cotija cheese, which is a crumbly Mexican cheese, I’ve added in ground chicken to make the meal a little heartier as well as some shredded mozzarella to make it extra cheesy. As always, feel free to increase the cheese quantities if you are a cheese fanatic.

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

Of course, the best part, as with all elote dishes, is the toppings that get put on after the dish is done. For these stuffed zucchinis, we’re adding plenty of salty crumbled cotija and a generous drizzle of a quick lime mayo after they come out of the oven. Yum!

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’re looking for something to make with the extra zucchini flesh since we’re scooping out the inside of the zucchini to make these you could follow my lead and make this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread. I just grated up the little melon-balled zucchini chunks even though they were partially cooked and the bread still came out as moist, chocolatey and delicious as always. Elote Stuffed Zucchini for dinner and Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread for dessert? Yes, please!

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

Elote Stuffed Zucchini
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
for the zucchini
  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • ½ pound ground chicken
  • 1 15-ounce can corn, no salt added (about 1½ cups corn kernels) drained
  • ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Cotija cheese, for topping (see note)
for the lime mayo
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch chili powder
Directions
for the zucchini
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 13x9” pan with cooking spray. Lay the zucchini halves, cut side down, in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While the zucchini is baking, sauté the ground chicken. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through, breaking up as needed. Remove from the heat and add to a large mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl with the chicken, add the corn, mozzarella cheese, red onion, lime zest and juice, cilantro, smoked paprika and salt. Stir until combined.
  3. Carefully flip over the zucchini halves so they are cut side up. I move a few at a time to a cutting board. Use a melon baller to scoop out the inside of the zucchini, leaving a ¼” border. Place the zucchini back into the pan, cut side up, then fill with the chicken and corn mixture. Add ½ cup water to the bottom of the pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. When the elote stuffed zucchini come out of the oven, carefully remove them from the pan to plates or a serving dish. Serve hot, topped with plenty of crumbled cotija cheese and a generous drizzle of the lime mayo.
for the lime mayo
  1. Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, remaining ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika, ground cumin and chili powder in a small bowl. Pour into a squeeze bottle if you have one.
Notes
If you can’t find cotija cheese, substitute queso fresco. If you can’t find either, use feta cheese.