Main Dishes

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am channeling some serious warm weather feels with these Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans. Maybe it’s the lettuce or maybe it’s the lime, but they’re definitely bringing me to fresh springtime. Matt learned how to ski a few years ago and ever since winter hasn’t seemed so bad up here in Boston because we get to go skiing on the weekends. So we tough through the driveway shoveling and the messy commutes because we know there is a bright snow-covered mountain light at the end of the New England winter tunnel. However, now that we are solidly in mid-March I am ready for spring to emerge. Come on barbecues, flip-flops, grilling, and outside walks with no jacket on! Is there anything more exciting than being outside without a jacket on?! Ok, yes, but it’s still pretty awesome.

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

We first made this recipe as one of our Blue Apron meals. Have you tried Blue Apron? There are aspects I love about it, such as having all the ingredients sent without having to run back and forth across a grocery store. I’m also a big fan of the detailed photo instructions so other family members can jump in and help by picking some steps to follow on their own. And by that I mean Matt can help without asking me questions or what he should do next while I’m working on another part of the dish 😂.

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

The main reason we don’t order Blue Apron more (and why we order a different box now that I will share in another post) is the recipes seemed to be hit or miss for us. These Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans were a definite hit. I’ve made steak lettuce wraps before, but I’ve never added sushi rice and green beans. The rice bulks them up a little and adds a balancing tenderness to the wraps. Charring the green beans brings some smokiness and crunchiness. Finally, the sauce is the perfect combination of zesty, sweet and umami for this springtime weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sushi rice
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 8 ounces sirloin steak
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and separated
  • A small handful of cilantro leaves, roughly torn
  • A small handful of mint leaves, roughly torn
Directions
  1. In a small pot or a rice cooker, combine the sushi rice, 1½ cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Heat on high until boiling, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook for 15-17, or until the rice is tender and there is no more excess water. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook the green beans until they are slightly charred and softened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the green beans and wipe the pan with a paper towel.
  3. Dry the steaks if needed then season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook to your desired degree of doneness. For medium-rare steak, cook about 2-3 minutes per side for a 1" steak. Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest before cutting them for at least 5 minutes.
  4. With the browned bits from the steak still in the pan add the minced garlic, as well as a drizzle of olive oil if the pan is dry. Heat over medium-high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the ponzu sauce, sugar, the juice of 2 lime quarters, and 2 tablespoons of water. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has slightly thickened, continuing to stir. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  5. Place the lettuce leaves on the plates. Top each lettuce wrap with some cooked rice and charred green beans. Slice the steak against the grain and place over the rice and green beans. Finish the lettuce wraps with the sauce, torn cilantro and mint leaves, as well as an extra squeeze of lime as desired.

 Recipe from Blue Apron.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Why do mini food items always taste better? Does their cuteness enhance their deliciousness? Or is it that knowing you can eat more of the tiny bites makes them even more irresistible? Whatever the reason may be, the mini raviolis in this dish certainly increase the tasty factor.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

And using store-bought raviolis and prepared sauce is a winning weeknight dinner combination. This pasta meal was an unplanned dish born from the ingredients in my fridge, but I was so happy with the results I decided to share it here on Lemon & Mocha.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

The sautéed garlic, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes tend to be my go-to pasta trifecta. They are the perfect base to almost any pasta dish, providing full-packed savory flavoring.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

The fresh spinach leaves are a great way to sneak in some veggies and are a great pairing for the ricotta-filled raviolis. The goat cheese adds a depth and creaminess to regular prepared sauce, almost giving it the taste of a vodka sauce.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Feel free to swap out the spinach and use your favorites veggies to mix and match this pasta dish. I think asparagus and mushrooms or eggplant and zucchini would both be delicious variations. I might have to go give them a try!

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese
 
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, regular or garlic & herb
  • 1-2 cups prepared tomato sauce, depending on sauciness preference
  • 1 pound mini raviolis, prepared according to package instructions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, if desired, for serving
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the minced shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot has softened and started to lightly brown.
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, a handful or so at a time, stirring often, until all the spinach has been aded and wilted.
  3. Stir in the goat cheese until melted. Add the tomato sauce and stir until warm.
  4. Carefully stir in the prepared mini raviolis until coated. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce

This post was originally published on 1/22/2015. It was updated with new photos and content on 1/28/2019.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Among my overflowing collection of cookbooks, this chicken cordon bleu recipe from Cook This, Not That! is one of my absolute favorites. 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. When you make this dish your family and friends will think, “Wow, such a fancy meal! Such technique! They 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, pound out the boneless skinless chicken breasts until they are 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! Make sure they are only ¼ inch thick (for reference the chicken in these photos is not pounded thin enough). 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 starting from one of the short ends. 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 complicated, but just make sure you hold the chicken roll tight and you’ll be just fine. Bake the breaded chicken roll for 18-22 minutes and you’re done!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Well, as soon as you smother it in an easy homemade honey mustard sauce, which is a definite do-not-skip part of this recipe! The tangy sweetness of the honey mustard drizzled over the crispy chicken is the perfect combination. Serve alongside some steam-sautéed broccoli or a green salad for a healthy meal worthy enough to become a weekly regular. I’ve been making this dish for about six years and Matt and I still both do a little happy dance every time we eat this meal. I love that the Lemon & Mocha readers love this Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce as much as we do; it’s one of the top ten most popular posts of all time on the blog! If you haven’t made this one yet, it needs to go to the top of your must-make list! Enjoy!

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
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 thin slices deli ham or 4 slices if thicker cut
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
for the honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons 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. Set up a breading station with the flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs each in their own shallow bowl. Add the Italian seasoning and the garlic powder to the panko and stir to combine.
  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. Make sure it's only ¼” thick; if it's thicker than that (which the chicken in my photos is a little too thick) then it will take longer to bake. Repeat for the remaining 3 chicken breasts.
  3. Layer 2 slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each chicken cutlet. I usually tear the deli slices so I can place them better on the 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 18-22 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.

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Recipe slightly adapted from Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals.

New England Harvest Salad

New England Harvest Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you heard of Boloco? They are a Boston based burrito joint, but these are not your average Mexican burritos. Self-described as “globally inspired burritos” they take it to the next delicious level with creations like Bangkok Thai, laden with addictive spicy peanut sauce, and the Mediterranean, complete with black bean hummus made in house.

New England Harvest Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Although Boloco, which is a mashup of Boston Local Company, is mostly based in Boston, they do have several locations in Massachusetts outside of Boston and have spots in New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and even Maryland! And in case you were wondering, no Boloco is not paying me for this or even aware I’m writing this blog post, I just love their food that much!

New England Harvest Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorites was a recent addition last year: the New England Harvest Salad. I normally don’t get so jazzed up over a salad, but this dish is so outrageously tasty I eventually had to re-create it myself. This here is a sautéed kale salad topped with quinoa, roasted squash and fresh cranberries, shredded beets, roasted balsamic mushrooms (told you those bad boys were going to make an appearance!) and goat cheese.

New England Harvest Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you told me I could only eat one salad for the rest of my life I would pick this one without even hesitating. In addition to the addictive mouthwatering qualities of this salad, which caused it to never even make it to the table and instead be eaten standing at the counter, this salad is healthy. Just look at all those superfoods!

New England Harvest Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since all the components are warm, other than the shredded beets and goat cheese, I made extra so all Matt and I had to do was throw the leftovers in the microwave the next day then top with the cold ingredients for a quick, healthy and satisfying dinner.

New England Harvest Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

New England Harvest Salad
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces peeled and cut butternut squash (1” cubes)
  • ⅔ cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces roughly chopped kale, hard stems removed
  • 1 small red beet
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 batch Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil and set aside.
  2. Toss the squash and cranberries with the 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil then place on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  3. Meanwhile heat the remaining 1½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and half a cup water. Cook until the kale is tender and the water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Peel the beet with a vegetable peeler then grate with a microplane. Set aside.
  5. To plate the salad first layer the kale. Top with the quinoa, followed by the shredded beets, balsamic roasted mushrooms and the roasted squash and cranberries. Finish by sprinkling with the goat cheese. Serve warm.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

To me, the ultimate telling of a great salad is that it doesn’t seem like you are eating a salad. It doesn’t taste diet-y or as though all you’re doing is consuming a large bowl of raw vegetables like a rabbit raiding the produce aisle.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

It simply tastes like a really delicious dish. The flavors are well-balanced and the textures vary. Extra bonus points if there are both hot and cold components.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

This warm lemon and mustard potato salad hits all the marks on my great salad scale. The key to this meal-worthy salad is that the potatoes aren’t just average roasted potatoes. Before being placed in the oven to get nice and crispy, the potatoes are tossed with a lemon and mustard vinaigrette.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Tart, tangy and creamy, these potatoes are even better when combined with the freshness of the salad greens and the nuttiness of the walnuts. This dish is great for a vegetarian main dish or an elevated first course that will have your guests requesting the recipe.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
for the salad
  • 1½ pounds baby red-skinned potatoes, halves
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the dressing
  1. Whisk together the mustard, parsley, zest, juice and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 3 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
for the salad
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the potatoes to the large bowl with the dressing and toss until coated. Place the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy.
  3. When ready to serve, toss the bell pepper and greens with the reserved dressing. Place on the serving dish then top with the roasted potatoes and toasted walnut pieces.

Recipe from Giada’s Feel Good Food.