Recipes

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

See? I told you the healthy recipes would be back! Although I can’t say the same for what I have scheduled for next week. Last week when I posted the Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce I started thinking about that creamy, salty and tangy peanut sauce. More specifically, about how it was so good that I needed to come up with other recipes I could drizzle it all over!

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

My mind immediately went to a stir fry so here we are staring at this drool-worthy Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli. This dish came out exactly like I was hoping. The broccoli and shrimp are tender and slightly crispy, but of course the star is that creamy peanut sauce. Pour the whole thing over some brown rice, add some chopped peanuts and scallions and you are in weeknight dinner heaven.

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

To make the broccoli for this stir fry I used the steam-sautéed method. Remember that old post? You lightly sauté some garlic and broccoli then add some water and cover the pan so the broccoli finishes cooking by steaming right in the skillet. It cooks the broccoli really quickly while also adding some char and flavor that is missing with traditional steamed broccoli. I also peel and chop the broccoli stalks so that I’m using every bit of the broccoli, but you can feel free to omit this step if you would prefer just to use broccoli florets.

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

The shrimp get a quick sear with three minutes on each side before it’s time for the simple peanut sauce made from peanut butter, coconut aminos, light coconut milk, maple syrup, lime juice, ground ginger and a little red pepper flakes. This whole dish is incredibly quick to throw together, which is the beauty of stir fry meals.

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

When Matt and I were in our old apartment and would both get home from work late, stir fries were usually a twice a week regular in our rotation. I love this Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli stir fry because the peanut sauce is a nice change from the classic soy sauce base that was usually our go-to. I hope you all enjoy this one! Happy Friday!

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thai Peanut Shrimp and Broccoli
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized florets; stalks peeled, diced and kept separate
  • 2½ tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet (that has a lid, but don’t use the lid yet) over medium heat. Add the garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the diced broccoli stalks and cook for 1 minute. Add the florets and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water, cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes, until tender and the water has steamed off.
  2. While the broccoli is cooking, make the peanut sauce. Whisk the peanut butter, coconut aminos, light coconut milk, maple syrup, lime juice, ground ginger and red pepper flakes in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
  3. When the broccoli is done, remove from the skillet. Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp, being sure not to move the shrimp once you place them in the skillet. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sear for 3 minutes, flip and sear for another 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the broccoli and sauce to the skillet. Stir until combined then remove from the heat. Serve the shrimp and broccoli over brown rice and top with the chopped peanuts and scallions.
Notes
Substitutions: If you can’t use coconut aminos, you can try swapping in low sodium soy sauce. You might need to increase the amount of maple syrup. If you can’t use light coconut milk, substitute water.

 

Game Day Cookies

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m stopping the Lemon & Mocha healthy January posts a couple days early, but it’s for a good reason. I still have plenty of healthy recipes on the schedule, they just won’t be the sole focus of my posts. I hope you enjoyed them though; I definitely did! The very good reason I’m cutting out early is because I have to post the monthly Food Network Magazine recipe. Last year was all about the muffins and if you’re new here you can read about it in my Muffin of the Month Round-up. At the end of that post I guessed that the monthly treat for 2019 would be cookies so I was super excited when I opened up my January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine to see their Calendar of Cookies!

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was even more excited after looking at the recipes for each cookie because the types and flavors look so good. However, they are definitely fancier than the typical cookies I make. My go-to cookie is usually a drop cookie, like these Game Day Cookies I’m posting for January, but for the ones coming up we have cookie pops, different colored dough, sandwich cookies, pie cookies and even macarons! It’s a little intimidating to go from easy one bowl muffins to these cookies, but who knows? Maybe they will end up being easier than they look. I like that it’s a challenge to push myself out of my baking comfort zone a little each month. I hope you’ll join me on this fun baking challenge!

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First up, we have these crazy snack-packed Game Day Cookies that are perfect for those Super Bowl parties! When I say packed I mean it; these cookies are loaded with candied bacon, pretzels, chocolate chips, mini M&M’s and potato chips. The base is like your normal chocolate chip cookie dough plus some of the bacon fat to replace some of the butter and to really bring home that bacon flavor.

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve never made candied bacon before, but the recipe calls for you to crisp bacon in a skillet then drain the fat and continue cooking the bacon with some brown sugar. If you normally think crispy fresh-cooked bacon is addictive, wait until you try this candied bacon! It was hard to save it for the cookies.

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

With all the different snack additions to these cookies they are the ultimate sweet and salty treat. Matt loved them especially because he is a huge bacon fan. I liked them, but I’m more of a sweets person so every time I ate one I found myself wishing it was less savory and more sweet. And had more chocolate, since as you all know I love to stuff my cookies with tons and tons of chocolate. So far, the Food Network Calendar of Cookies is off to a good start and I can’t wait to try the February cookies! Stay tuned!

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Game Day Cookies
 
Yield: about 16 cookies
Ingredients
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup broken pretzel sticks
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup mini M&M’s
  • 2 cups kettle-cooked potato chips, broken
Directions
  1. Make sure racks in the oven are in the upper and lower thirds so you can fit bake both baking sheets of cookies at the same time. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until crispy and browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly then measure out 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and place in a large heatproof bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Safely discard the remaining bacon grease or save for another use (like the Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins!). Add 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar and the water to the drained pan with the bacon and cook for about 1 minute, or until the sugar is dissolved, making sure to stir. Transfer the bacon to a plate and spread it out to let it cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter to the large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer that has the bacon fat already in it. Add the remaining ½ cup brown sugar and the granulated sugar then beat on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla then beat until combined. Add the flour mixture then beat on low until a few flour streaks remaining. Add the pretzels, chocolate chips, M&M’s and candied bacon then beat until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the potato chips.
  4. Use a large OXO cookie scoop or a large spoon to scoop out large dough balls that are about 3 tablespoons each. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the middle, about 13-15 minutes, switching the baking pans halfway through from top to bottom. Place the pans on wire cooling racks and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to the wire cooling racks to cool completely.

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

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Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Friday, everyone! I don’t know about you, but this has been a long week. Both Matt and I were sick and all the snow, ice and cold didn’t help. Having lived in New England my whole life I’m never surprised when we get bad winter weather, but that doesn’t mean we can’t complain about it, right?! This healthy breakfast dish is perfect for those cold winter mornings because it’s warm and full of bright berry flavors.

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m always on the hunt for warm breakfast ideas since I am allergic to oats so oatmeal is out. A while back I stumbled across a recipe in Giada’s Feel Good Food cookbook for a breakfast bulgur. Bulgur wheat is a whole grain that is a smaller grain than rolled oats, but it has a similar chewy texture. I cook it up with some vanilla and cinnamon then pour berries that have been cooked down with maple syrup over top.

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries  |  Lemon & Mocha

As with most of the recipes on Lemon & Mocha, this breakfast bulgur is ideal as a make-ahead meal. Usually I make a big batch of the bulgur and the berries then divide it all between eight small reusable containers. That way Matt and I can each just microwave our little container for one minute for a quick and healthy breakfast without having to guess at the serving size.

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve also frozen the little containers once when we were going to be away and they still tasted good when we defrosted and ate them the next week. If you didn’t want to make quite so much you could easily halve the recipe. I’ve been wanting to try other variations of bulgur wheat for breakfast, but I’m so hooked on this original berry version that in the few years I’ve been making it I have yet to try it any other way. Do you ever have bulgur for breakfast? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, in case you are new to bulgur and are looking for a visual for when you’re at the grocery store, I buy this Bob’s Red Mill version. Whole Foods also sells it in the bulk bins if you wanted to try it first; that’s what I did when I first made it before I graduated to buying the Bob’s Red Mill bags in bulk from Amazon!

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries  |  Lemon & Mocha

Breakfast Bulgur with Warm Berries
 
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
for the bulgur
  • 2 cups golden bulgur wheat
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
for the berries
  • 10 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 16 ounces frozen mixed berries
  • 6 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
for the bulgur
  1. Add 4 cups of water, the bulgur, vanilla, cinnamon and salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir together; the water should be absorbed.
for the berries
  1. Heat all the frozen berries over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Let cook for 8 minutes, or until the berries are almost thawed. All the fresh berries, maple syrup and the cinnamon. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and lightly smashing the strawberries as you stir. Remove from the heat and eat over the bulgur.

Recipe slightly adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food.
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!

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Are you guys peanut butter fanatics like I am? Most days I just look around the kitchen to see what would be a good vessel for my peanut butter snack. Pretzels? Check. Carrot sticks? Yup. Pancakes? Yes, please. Spoon? Sure, why not?

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes when I’m coming up with recipes I think the same way. I quickly discovered that roasted acorn squash makes an excellent peanut butter vessel. Especially when the peanut butter is combined with coconut milk, lime juice, coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and maple syrup to make a rich, tangy, salty and slightly sweet sauce. Add some chopped crunchy peanuts and savory scallions and you have absolute veggie perfection.

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you ever used coconut aminos? I bought a bottle at Trader Joe’s and this was my first time using it. Many people use it as a substitute for soy sauce since it tastes similar, although slightly sweeter. Coconut aminos is lower in sodium and contains no soy. If you would rather use low sodium soy sauce because that’s what you already have in your fridge you might need to adjust the sauce to taste a little since it’s not a direct substitution.

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love pretty much all roasted vegetables and acorn squash is no exception. The slices get tender, a little crispy and caramelized. Plus, how fancy do they look all laid out on the platter? You definitely need a very sharp knife to cut through the squash. If you’re finding the squash too difficult to cut through, cut a few slits in the skin of the squash then microwave for three minutes to help soften the skin.

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Looking for more peanut vessel inspiration? Check out my Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos, Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken or Apple Nachos. Or if you want something a little sweeter, the Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies and the Peanut Butter Apple Bars are both loaded with peanut butter. Yum!

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Roasted Acorn Squash with a Thai Peanut Sauce
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 acorn squash
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cut the acorn squashes into ½-inch slices. Use a small round biscuit cutter or a knife to remove the center of each slice to leave you with acorn squash rings. Lay the squash slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray then season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. While the squash is roasting, make the peanut sauce. Whisk the peanut butter, coconut aminos, light coconut milk, maple syrup, lime juice, ground ginger and red pepper flakes in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
  4. When the squash is done, layer on a serving dish. Drizzle the peanut sauce over top then top with the chopped peanuts and scallions. Serve warm.
Notes
Substitutions: If you can’t use coconut aminos, you can try swapping in low sodium soy sauce. You might need to increase the amount of maple syrup. If you can’t use light coconut milk, substitute water.
Leave the acorn squash unpeeled. When you cut the slices you want the squash positioned so the stem end is facing your left hand and the bottom end of the squash is facing your right hand (if you are going to be cutting with your right hand).

 

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole  |  Lemon & Mocha

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, my heart you have stole! Your greatness rivals a crispy egg roll. When eating you for dinner I lose self control! Sadly, after the last bite I was hard to console. Sorry for that, but I’m so excited about this dish that the only way I could express myself was through song. That’s normal right?

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole  |  Lemon & Mocha

I first made this Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole just last week and Matt and I were hooked after one bite. It’s creamy, cheesy and full of comforting flavors. Plus, this healthy dinner dish is guilt-free! I swapped all the rice for a combination of half brown rice and half riced cauliflower. This half and half mix is great because you still get the hearty and chewy texture of the rice, while adding more vegetables and lightness with the tender riced cauliflower. You could always do all cauliflower rice or all brown rice if you prefer.

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole  |  Lemon & Mocha

The broccoli has been doubled, which is perfect since Matt and I love broccoli. Each serving gives you a full cup of broccoli meaning you get some tender broccoli bits in every cheesy bite. The dish has also been lightened with nonfat milk and low-fat sour cream, although you can use Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream if you would like.

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every night Matt kept questioning if I was making up that it was a healthier dish since it’s so creamy and delicious! It’s incredible how cheesy it tastes, even though there’s only 1/4 cup of cheddar per serving.

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m sure this freezes well, although we never got around to trying it since we gobbled it all up! I did, however, sauté the chicken pieces ahead of time then freeze them so when I knew I wanted to make this dish I put the cooked chicken pieces in the fridge overnight to thaw and they were ready to pop into the casserole. I can imagine kids loving this dish so I’m sure this will be a family favorite for years and years to come. Enjoy!

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole  |  Lemon & Mocha

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
 
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown jasmine rice
  • 2 heads broccoli florets, about 8 cups
  • 16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Cooking spray
Directions
  1. If you have a rice cooker with a steamer basket, see note. Otherwise, bring broth to a boil in a large pot (big enough to fit all the broccoli eventually). Add the rice, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender. When the rice is 5 minutes away from being done, put the broccoli in the pot and cover to steam. Try not to let too much steam out while you’re doing this or the broccoli will need to stay in there longer. Once the broccoli is tender, remove pot from the heat and add the contents to a large mixing bowl. Rinse and wipe the pot.
  2. Spray a skillet with cooking spray then heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, turning and flipping occasionally. When they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, add the chicken to the large mixing bowl and wipe the skillet. Lightly spray the skillet with cooking spray again and cook the cauliflower rice until tender. It should only take a couple minutes; if you are using frozen riced cauliflower it usually says to sauté until there’s no more liquid. Remove from the skillet and add to the large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat the milk in the pot from the rice over medium heat until warm then whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk occasionally until thick, about 7-10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add ¾ of the shredded cheese (about 1½ cups) and whisk until melted. Add the sour cream, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic seasoning and whisk until smooth. Pour into the large mixing bowl. Add the chopped scallions to the mixing bowl then stir until well combined.
  4. Lightly spray a 9x13” pan with cooking spray. Add the contents of the mixing bowl and spread to an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese (about ½ cup) on top. Broil until the cheese is melted; watch carefully because it melts very quickly. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
Substitutions: You can use any fat percentage of milk you prefer. You can substitute plain nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
Rice and Broccoli: I made it the way specified above for testing purposes since not everyone has a rice cooker, but for all future times I make this I will just use my Breville Risotto Plus to cook the rice and steam the broccoli at the same time since it’s quicker and the rice comes out perfect every time.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.