Main Dishes

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you know me well then you know I love chicken fingers. They’re crispy, crunchy, perfect for dipping and full of childhood nostalgia. I even mention them in my about Lauren section. Although I usually only have chicken fingers while I’m eating out, I do (attempt) to keep homemade panko crusted chicken bites in the freezer. I say attempt because the batch is usually gone before the week is over.

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

While going through my recipe binders that I mentioned in the Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Gorgonzola and Walnuts post I came across these Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders from a 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine. Their recipe calls for shallow frying the tenders, but I knew my baking method for my panko crusted chicken bites was tried and true for creating crispy coated chicken so I baked them instead.

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chicken tenders get dipped in frothy egg whites and then are coated in a combination of panko breadcrumbs, finely chopped pecans, sesame seeds, paprika and salt. The key to achieving crispy chicken tenders in the oven is to place them on a wire cooling rack coated with nonstick cooking spray that you’ve placed on a large baking sheet. This is the same method used for my Baked Pistachio Crusted Chicken. The hot oven air circulates around all sides of the chicken tenders making sure every single bite is crispy – no air fryer needed!

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was a little shocked at how obsessed I was with the panko-pecan-sesame combination. They taste so well together and provide a perfect crunch.

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since these aren’t ordinary chicken tenders I thought they deserved a simple, but stepped-up dipping sauce. The sesame had me thinking of Asian flavors and since I still had hoisin in the fridge from the Hoisin Beef Kebobs I whipped up a quick dipping sauce of hoisin, mayonnaise and lime juice. It’s creamy, sweet and a little tangy. I hope you love these Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders as much as we do!

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1½ pounds bone skinless chicken tenders, or breasts cut into 1” wide strips
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Cooking spray
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a wire cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray then place on top of a large baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow, wide bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, chopped pecans, sesame seeds, paprika and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Working with 1 tender at a time, dip the chicken in the egg whites then dip in the panko mixture to coat completely. Place on the prepared wire rack so the chicken tenders aren’t touching. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray (I use olive oil or coconut oil spray) then bake for 20-22 minutes. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Keep on the wire rack until serving with the hoisin dipping sauce.
  4. While the chicken is baking, make the hoisin dipping sauce. In a medium bowl combine the hoisin, mayo and lime juice.

 Recipe adapted from September 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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Hoisin Beef Kebobs

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m back with another favorite from the simplest healthy cookbook, Cook This, Not That! These Hoisin Beef Kebobs are tender, sweet and savory. Pieces of sirloin steak get alternated with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and scallions before being glazed in a five ingredient sauce and grilled.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love that the scallions get nicely charred while the cherry tomatoes burst, which brings the best flavor to the steak. These kebobs are a perfect dinner dish because the vegetables could be swapped out with so many other kinds of vegetables since the sauce is versatile and really would taste delicious with most veggies.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I usually serve these kebobs over rice, but they would also be great served with salad or alongside some more vegetables, like some grilled corn.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

The most important thing to remember when you’re making this recipe is that the other vegetables can’t be taller than the cuts of steak – and that the cuts of steak need to be equal. Particularly if you are cooking on a grill pan, which is requiring direct heat, if you have one large mushroom or one large piece of beef, that other piece of steak won’t get cooked enough since it won’t be touching the grill pan. This is less important if you are using an actual grill.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If I’m making these in our grill pan, I actually usually grill the steak and vegetables individually in two batches since our grill pan isn’t long enough for the kebob sticks. Either way, Matt and I can’t get enough of the juicy bites of steak and glazed veggies!

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Hoisin Beef Kebobs
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce (I use Trader Joe’s green dragon sauce)
  • 16 ounces sirloin steak, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 20 small mushroom caps
  • 20 small cherry tomatoes
  • 8 scallion whites, sliced into ½-inch long pieces
  • 8 skewers (if wood, soaked in water for 5-10 minutes)
Directions
  1. Combine the hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili sauce. Divide between 2 small bowls and set aside.
  2. Skewer the steak, mushrooms, tomatoes and scallions, alternating between the meat and vegetables. Try to make sure the mushrooms aren’t larger than the steak pieces, and if the mushrooms are too big then cut them in half. Also make sure the vegetables aren’t pressed against the steak pieces to give the steak enough room to cook.
  3. Using one bowl of the sauce, brush the skewers with sauce and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, basting the other side with sauce before flipping. If you’re using a grill pan, lightly brush the pan with vegetable oil before grilling and grill over medium-high heat. Remove from the grill and brush with the sauce from the second reserved bowl before serving.

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!

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

My go-to diner order is a tuna melt. I love tuna fish and when it’s sandwiched between two toasty slices of bread along with some gooey melted cheese I’m in heaven. I had some leftover egg roll wrappers from the Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls and when I was brainstorming what I could make with them I thought of my favorite diner food. Skinnytaste turned me on to baked egg rolls with the Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls from her cookbook and I’m constantly thinking of new variations.

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

I stuffed the egg roll wrappers with cheddar cheese and a quick tuna salad I made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, scallions and fresh ground black pepper. Then I baked them until they were crispy and crunchy on the outside and had the perfect melted cheese in the middle.

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

As I mentioned in my Pasta Tuna Salad post (if you love tuna fish then you will go nuts for that dish!), Matt does not like tuna fish so I made these for myself for lunch. This is a small batch recipe as it only uses one can of tuna fish to make two servings. You could certainly make more if you are making it for more people, but I would not recommend saving them for leftovers as they taste best fresh from the oven.

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now that I have those Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches on my mind from Wednesday I’m thinking I missed an opportunity to put some everything but the bagel seasoning on the top of the egg roll wrappers just for some added flavor. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had tuna fish on an everything bagel, but it is so good. There’s this place I used to order from at work that would make a tuna melt on an everything bagel with some of the bagel scooped out so it would get nice and crispy. Like these egg rolls! Minus the everything but the bagel seasoning, but maybe next time!

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Tuna Melt Egg Rolls
 
Yield: 6 egg rolls
Ingredients
  • 1 5-ounce can of tuna fish, drained
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 scallion, end removed and chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 egg roll wrappers
  • 6 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • Everything but the bagel seasoning, optional
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the tuna fish, mayonnaise and chopped scallion in a bowl. Season with the black pepper.
  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 ⅙ of the tuna 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. Sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning if desired.
  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.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Friends, we have another epic sandwich on our hands and I’m having trouble containing myself yet again. This little breakfast sandwich is savory, creamy, tangy and a whole lot of deliciousness.

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

My inspiration for this sandwich came from a little weekday date Matt and I had. There is a cafe near Matt’s office and a couple months ago we had lunch there together. I got this crazy delicious egg sandwich with spinach, pesto, goat cheese and pickled red onions on a buttery roll. I’ve been craving it ever since so I decided to re-create my own.

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Instead of keeping all the components separate I made the pesto with spinach and goat cheese. I’ve made spinach pesto before, but I’ve never used goat cheese in my pesto. Oh my goat cheese heavens! It made the pesto so creamy and gave it the consistency of almost a pesto spread. Which could not be more perfect since it gets spread right onto these toasted kaiser rolls. These are the same rolls from the Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and I used the same egg wash method with everything but the bagel seasoning since I’m channeling breakfast. You really could eat this sandwich for any meal, but I wanted to include some of those breakfast flavors since we’re working with eggs.

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Next, we have the scrambled egg patty. You could scramble your eggs in a pan, but if you cook the egg in a ramekin in the microwave then it will be the perfect shape for egg sandwiches. Finally, after being slathered with goat cheese spinach pesto, it gets topped with some tangy Quick Pickled Red Onions and some additional creamy goat cheese. Yum!

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Okay, back to the goat cheese spinach pesto because I’m still not done talking about it. The recipe below makes more pesto than you will need for the sandwiches, which is amazing because then you can either a) make even more sandwiches with it or b) use it on everything for the next few days. I had the pesto on chicken, mixed in with rice, on turkey sandwiches and stirred into pasta with shrimp. I couldn’t get enough of it and was very sad when we used it all up. I guess that just means I have to make it again soon!

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Goat Cheese Spinach Pesto Egg Sandwiches
 
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • ⅓ cup nuts, see note
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 kaiser rolls
  • 3 eggs
  • Everything but the bagel seasoning
  • Pickled red onions, for topping
  • Cooking spray
Directions
  1. Puree the spinach, nuts, garlic and salt in a food processor. Add the olive oil and continue to pulse until smooth. Add the goat cheese and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Beat 1 of the eggs in a small bowl then add 1 tablespoon water. Brush the tops of the buns then top with everything but the bagel seasoning. Toast in your toaster oven or oven.
  3. Spray 2 small ramekins or microwave-safe bowls with cooking spray. Beat each of the remaining 2 eggs in their own ramekin and season with salt and pepper. I usually add a splash of milk. Lightly cover and microwave for 1 minute.
  4. To make the sandwiches, spread the bottom of each bun with some of the goat cheese spinach pesto. Carefully remove the egg from the ramekin and place on top along with the pickled red onions and additional goat cheese, if desired.
Notes
You can use whichever type of nut you prefer in pesto; I would recommend toasted pine nuts, almonds or walnuts. Alternatively, you could use 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seed butter instead as that is what I used for this recipe.

 

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now this, my friends, is how to truly enjoy hummus. I thought I had a love for hummus, but this Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza just deepened my love ten-fold. Pita chips dipped into hummus is great. Warm, soft pita wedges dipped into hummus is even better. But a toasted pizza crust topped with warm hummus, roasted vegetables and slightly melted goat cheese is the hands-down winner.

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used Monday’s Caramelized Onion Hummus to make this flatbread pizza and the rich flavor balanced with the roasted zucchini and broccoli was perfect. The beauty of this dish is you can really customize it any way you would like. Swap out the hummus flavor, your favorite veggies or even add some additional protein, like some grilled chicken.

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Or just make it with whatever is in your fridge because once you get the thought of a hummus pizza in your head nothing will matter until you are blissfully taking bites of the warm and crispy hummus-slathered flatbread.

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

I found these new pre-made rectangular pizza crusts at Trader Joe’s. They were giving out samples of them covered in pesto and gooey mozzarella so of course I got a few to stock up. They were super long so I cut them in half and popped them in my freezer. I would definitely recommend them, although naan bread, pita bread or any other type of pre-made flatbread would work well for this hummus pizza.

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

One key recipe step that I want to point out is that you have to spread the hummus on the pizza before putting the flatbread in the oven. Hummus spread on a warm pita is one thing, but hummus baked on a pizza crust is an entirely different experience. The hummus gets warm and bakes onto the crust. So good! Have you ever had a hummus pizza?

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Flatbread Pizza
 
Yield: 2 personal sized flatbreads
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds then halved
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
  • 2 flatbreads, about 8” by 6” each
  • ½ cup hummus
  • ¼ cup shredded raw beets
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbles
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place the broccoli florets and zucchini pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Season the veggies with salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly charred.
  2. Divide the hummus between the 2 flatbreads and spread in an even layer. Divide the roasted veggies, raw beets and goat cheese crumbles between the flatbreads. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or toast in your toaster oven, until the flatbread is warm and the goat cheese is slightly melted.