Recipes

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every week for the last couple months I’ve been saying to Matt, “Listen to all the awesome recipes I have coming up in January!” and then I make him listen to me read them all for the bajillionth time because I’m just so excited about them. Yes, the last couple months because I’m a planner so I’ve had these in the works for quite some time. All the recipes I’m posting this month are indicative of how Matt and I eat when we’re at home. Sure, we have the occasional pasta night or indulgent meal, but recipes like the Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Roasted Salmon and Broccoli and today’s Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls are how we eat 90% of the time we’re home.

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though I keep talking about healthy meals and posting healthy recipes in January, we don’t really look at them as health food. To us they’re just really delicious meals we love that happen to be good for us, too. My excitement stems from finally sharing all these recipes that have been made over and over in our kitchen last year; whether we make them once a month or whether I just came up with it and made it four times in a row because we got hooked. These Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls fall into the latter category.

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had this idea to combine two of our favorite new meals from last year: the Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and the Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls. Shredded cooked chicken gets tossed in barbecue sauce (I recommend my homemade refined sugar free recipe, which I’ve posted in the recipe below) and some chopped steamed spinach before being rolled up in the egg roll wrappers with some sharp cheddar cheese. They only take 16 minutes to bake and the outside gets really crispy, while the cheese inside gets gooey. I’m literally drooling as I’m typing this – sorry folks!

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt loves barbecue sauce so he proclaimed that he likes these even more than the Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls. I don’t think I could choose because it depends on what I’m in the mood for, but these definitely win in their simplicity of the filling. Another reason we’ve had these egg rolls so much recently is because they freeze so well. We’re big fans of freezing meals so we have something quick instead of succumbing to takeout and I freeze these after they’ve been baked and cooled. To reheat, I just put them on the toast setting of our Breville Smart Oven or you could bake them at 375 degrees F for ten minutes.

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love having ranch dressing with barbecue sauce so I was excited to see so many healthier ranch dressings made with Greek yogurt at the grocery store! I got one from Hidden Valley Ranch and it’s so good with these egg rolls, but with way less calories and fat. I hope you all try these soon!

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Baked Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls
 
Yield: 7 servings (3 rolls per serving)
Ingredients
for the egg rolls
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1¼ cups barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup steamed and strained spinach
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 21 egg roll wrappers, see note
  • 1¼ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Greek yogurt ranch dressing, for dipping
for the barbecue sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste, about 6 ounces
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons molasses
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black 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. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, spinach and red onion until fully coated.
  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 chicken 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 ranch dressing.
for the barbecue sauce
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
Notes
I use Nasoya egg rolls wrappers. In Whole Foods I find them in the refrigerated section near the hummus and guacamole. In Wegmans I find them in the refrigerated section near the tofu and blocks of cheese.

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!

Italian Kale Salad

Italian Kale Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Matt and I spent the weekend visiting family and we had a food-packed day in Philadelphia on Saturday. If you saw my stories on Instagram then you will know just how much food we consumed! Whenever I have a few days of heavy eating I immediately start craving a salad. The key is that the salad needs to be satisfying enough that you can eat it as your meal and not feel like you need to dive into a bag of chips after.

Italian Kale Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Italian Kale Salad is loaded with all kinds of delicious toppings and the dressing packs the perfect balsamic punch. Along with the kale and radicchio, there’s chickpeas, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, red onion and Parmesan.

Italian Kale Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I first came up with this salad in December to post for the healthy January we’re doing here and we loved it so much that I served it at Christmas dinner as well. I’ve also made it almost every week since first making it because we just can’t get enough. I actually just ate some for lunch with a soft boiled egg on top for some protein!

Italian Kale Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love kale salads because you can dress them ahead of time and the greens never taste wilted; in fact they often taste even better after sitting for a bit. The key with kale salads, which I talked about previously in my Strawberry Kale Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans post, is that you need to tear and scrunch the leaves for about five minutes to break the greens down and get rid of their natural bitterness. My Dad and Diane have always said they don’t like the taste of kale, but I am happy to report that they were both fans of this salad at Christmas.

Italian Kale Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

You could serve this Italian Kale Salad along with dinner or have it as a main dish with some grilled chicken or shrimp on top. I hope you all love this one as much as we do and I cannot wait to share Wednesday’s recipe with you all!

Italian Kale Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Italian Kale Salad
 
Yield: 4 servings as a main dish
Ingredients
for the salad
  • 8 ounces kale, thick stems removed
  • 1 cup chopped radicchio
  • ¾ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup canned artichoke hearts, quartered (about 2 artichoke hearts)
  • ⅓ cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh grated or shaved Parmesan, for topping
for the dressing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste
Directions
for the salad
  1. Make sure all thick ribs and stems are removed from the kale. If the kale isn’t already chopped, roughly chop then place in a large bowl. Tear and massage the kale for about 5 minutes. To massage the kale scrunch it up with both your hands, release, and scrunch up some more, tossing and tearing as you go. This helps tenderize the kale and reduce its bitterness by breaking down the cellulose structure.
  2. Add the radicchio, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper and onion. Toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss to completely coat. Top with the Parmesan. If you aren’t serving right away, cover and refrigerate until serving. Toss again before serving.
for the dressing
  1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard and Italian seasoning until combined. Season with salt to taste.
Notes
To roast the red pepper: Spray a baking sheet or aluminum foil covered baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Wash and dry the red pepper then place on the baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flip the pepper over then bake for 20 more minutes. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin, stem and seeds. You need roughly 1 whole red pepper for this recipe.

 

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

It’s the first Friday of 2019 and we’re celebrating with four new recipes! Here on Lemon & Mocha not only is this January all about healthy recipes, but every Friday is going to feature a healthy breakfast dish. My go-to breakfast is usually a Greek yogurt and some fruit, but it’s not the most filling breakfast and it definitely gets boring after a while. One of my favorite discoveries in 2018 was Birch Benders Protein Pancake Mix. This post is not sponsored; I just wanted to share a product I’ve been loving for a while now.

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

The mix is packed with 16 grams of protein per serving and every time I have this meal I stay full all the way until lunchtime. The pancakes are fluffy and the best part is you only need to add water to make them! After making them a few times and getting my little routine down, I can get my three pancakes on the table at the same time Matt is just sitting down with his coffee. I typically have them plain and top them with 88 Acres Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter and fresh berries, but I have been experimenting with the base mix so today I’m sharing my four favorite variations.

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

First up is pumpkin spice pancakes topped with spiced apples and vanilla yogurt. The apples gently cook down in a small skillet with some ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and are done by the time the pancakes are ready.

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

Next up, we have lemon pancakes! I love lemon so it wasn’t long before I added some lemon zest and juice to this mix to bring out my favorite flavor, which also happens to be delicious with fresh berries.

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

Blueberry pancakes topped with warmed berries are one of my favorite variations. The berries get slightly cooked down with a little maple syrup and ground cinnamon. I put blueberries in my pancakes, but you could use any berry you prefer.

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

Last, but definitely not least, we have peanut butter chocolate pancakes. Look how fluffy these got! Don’t forget the drizzle of peanut butter and mini chocolate chips on these because it definitely makes them. Which one do you think you’ll try first?

Birch Benders Pancakes Four Ways

I’ve found the best price for this pancake mix to be Amazon or Target, but you can also find them on the Birch Benders website, Whole Foods, Wegmans and probably lots of other grocery stores. If you don’t have the Birch Benders Protein Pancake Mix, you could always use the variations below as inspiration to experiment with your favorite pancake mix.

Extra Tips:

  • Do not over-mix the batter. Over-mixing any pancake or waffle batter makes them lose their fluffiness.
  • Do not put too much water in the batter. For each of the recipes below, the batter should be thick and scoop-able, not liquid and runny. If it’s too runny, add a little more mix and use less water next time.
  • I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out 1/2 cup of the pancake mix; it fits more easily into the bag of mix and then I have it ready to use for the water I need to add. I stir the batter with my regular sized Wilton batter spoon then use that same spoon to scoop it into the pan to cook them. Side note: I love the Wilton batter spoons for pancakes, cupcakes and muffins!
  • I use a tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal in my pancakes because they add some omega-3s and fiber. If you want to skip the flaxseed meal, just add slightly less water.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Spiced Apples
 
Yield: 1 serving, 3 medium pancakes
Ingredients
  • 1 apple, cored and small diced
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup Birch Benders Protein Pancake Mix
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
Directions
  1. Spray a small skillet with coconut oil spray (or other oil spray of choice) and heat over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the diced apples. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice and the ground cinnamon over top. Let cook until soft, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat when done.
  2. While the apples are cooking, prepare the pancakes. In a bowl, lightly mix together the remaining ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, the pancake mix, pumpkin puree, water and flaxseed meal. Make sure to add one tablespoon of the water last to make sure it needs it. The dough should not be runny, but instead thick.
  3. Spray a medium skillet with coconut oil spray and heat over medium-high heat (I put the dial on my gas stove between medium-high and medium). Scoop the batter into the pan to make 3 pancakes, trying to not let them touch. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top with the vanilla yogurt and the apples.

 
Lemon Pancakes
 
Yield: 1 serving, 3 medium pancakes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Birch Benders Protein Pancake Mix
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
  • Zest from ½ a lemon, plus more for topping
  • Berries, for topping
Directions
  1. In a bowl, lightly mix together the pancake mix, water, lemon juice, flaxseed meal and lemon zest. The dough should not be runny, but instead thick.
  2. Spray a medium skillet with coconut oil spray and heat over medium-high heat (I put the dial on my gas stove between medium-high and medium). Scoop the batter into the pan to make 3 pancakes, trying to not let them touch. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top with the berries and more lemon zest, if desired.

 
Blueberry Pancakes with Warmed Berries
 
Yield: 1 serving, 3 medium pancakes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup fresh berries
  • ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup Birch Benders Protein Pancake Mix
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons blueberries
  • ¼ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
Directions
  1. Heat the fresh berries, maple syrup and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Let cook until berries start to lightly burst, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat when done.
  2. While the berries are cooking, prepare the pancakes. In a bowl, lightly mix together the pancake mix, water and flaxseed meal. Make sure to add one tablespoon of the water last to make sure it needs it. The dough should not be runny, but instead thick.
  3. Spray a medium skillet with coconut oil spray and heat over medium-high heat (I put the dial on my gas stove between medium-high and medium). Scoop the batter into the pan to make 3 pancakes, trying to not let them touch. Place a tablespoon of blueberries on top of each pancake. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top with the vanilla yogurt and the cooked berries.

 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pancakes
 
Yield: 1 serving, 3 medium pancakes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Birch Benders Protein Pancake Mix
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, plus more for topping
  • Mini chocolate chips, for topping
Directions
  1. In a bowl, lightly mix together the pancake mix, water, flaxseed meal, cocoa powder and peanut butter. The dough should not be runny, but instead thick.
  2. Spray a medium skillet with coconut oil spray and heat over medium-high heat (I put the dial on my gas stove between medium-high and medium). Scoop the batter into the pan to make 3 pancakes, trying to not let them touch. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top with the mini chocolate chips and a drizzle of peanut butter.

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!

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

You guys. I am so proud of this dish and I’m excited to finally be sharing it with you! I recently switched over to a recipe notebook, as opposed to my previous millions of scattered scraps of paper, and if you could see all my notes on this one you would know how I’ve been diligently working on perfecting it for the last couple months.

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

The original inspiration for this Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa was to create a healthy salmon dinner that would incorporate a lot of seasonal produce. Kale and citrus fruits are at their peak, while carrots and shallots are still in season during the early winter in cooler climates. I also wanted to make an all-in-one meal, which is my term for a recipe that includes the protein, grain and veggies without having to come up with different sides. It does not, however, mean a one pot meal since you have to use a couple different pans, but that’s okay because the meal still comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner.

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

What you’re looking at is crispy salmon that has been pan seared to perfection and laid on top a flavor-packed bed of blood orange quinoa. You’re incorporating the blood oranges three ways to really help the flavor come through; we’re using the zest, its juice and the actual blood orange segments. This helps give the whole dish a bright acidity.

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

The garlic, shallot and carrots get lightly caramelized before the kale gets tossed in along with some water to help it steam. The kale gets perfectly wilted and tosses really well with the quinoa – no tough greens in this dish! The recipe makes two servings, but you can easily double it if you are cooking for more people.

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

I love seasonal cooking, not only because that means you get the best prices at the grocery store, but the produce with the best flavor and nutrients is going to be what is in season at the moment. One idea I had was to post a seasonal guide at the beginning of each month and then share a few recipes that used the seasonal ingredients as some inspiration. Is that something you would be interested in? If so, let me know in the comments below!

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa

Pan Seared Salmon over Blood Orange Quinoa
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup quinoa
  • 3½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 4 cups chopped kale, thick stems removed
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 filets of salmon, skin-on or skinless
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Bring the quinoa and ⅔ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff and set aside.
  2. Cut each carrot into three pieces then halve each piece lengthwise. Segment one of the blood oranges by cutting off the peel and pith then cutting segments out from the membrane of the orange. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan (skillet with a lid preferred) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and shallot. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the kale and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for 2 more minutes, or until the water has finished evaporating. Add the zest and juice from 1 of the oranges, about ¼ cup of juice. Add the blood orange segments and quinoa; stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
  4. Make sure the salmon has been patted dry. Generously season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a skillet large enough to fit both salmon filets, about 1½ tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil in the pan is hot (you can tell when the oil is shimmering), carefully place the salmon filets in the pan bottom side down. The bottom side is the skin side or the side where the skin was - the less “pretty” side. Once the salmon is in the pan do not move it until it’s time to flip the salmon so it gets nice and crispy. Sear for 2-3 minutes, carefully flip then sear for another 2-3 minutes. You want to take the salmon off the pan when it reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F for medium-rare, or 130 degrees F for medium. Plate the quinoa and kale then top with the salmon filet.

 

Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy 2019! I’m kicking off the new year, and Lemon and Mocha’s month of healthy recipes, with a quick and easy snack. Everyone defines healthy differently, but when I’m trying to eat well I try to minimize processed food as much as possible. This is one of the biggest challenges for me, especially when it comes to snacks. However, when I have fun snacks like these Apple Nachos, especially if there’s some chocolate involved, it makes everything so much easier.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had seen variations of apple nachos on Instagram and Pinterest, but I never got around to making myself some. I don’t know what took me so long since I love dipping my apples in peanut butter.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wasn’t sure how everything was going to stay on the little apples slices, but from the first wedge I was completely hooked! The peanut butter drizzle helped the chopped almonds and mini chocolate chips stick to the apple wedges and I cut them really thin so I would have even more “nachos” on my plate.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

You all know by now how I feel when it comes to food variations and these apple nachos are the perfect vessel to get creative with your toppings. You can use any nut or seed butter you like – I have a little almond butter drizzled on there as well – and then the rest of the choices are up to you! Some other topping ideas are Greek yogurt, any type of nut, shredded coconut, granola, berries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds… I could go on forever! When I first made these, my initial plan was to save half for Matt, but once I started eating them there was no way they were surviving until Matt got home.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope this recipe helps inspire your snack time! I have a dinner recipe I’m sharing tomorrow that has already been on repeat in our house so stay tuned.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Apple Nachos
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or preferred nut/seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
Directions
  1. Lay the apple slices down on a plate. Drizzle the peanut butter over top. If your nut or seed butter is too thick to drizzle, warm it for 20-30 seconds in the microwave. Top with the mini chocolate chips and chopped almonds.