I recently stumbled across this recipe on Skinnytaste and had to make it – like right away. Not only did it look amazing, but this was my call to finally make zucchini noodles. I’ve seen “zoodles” a zillion times, but never got around to preparing them. This was the perfect recipe for my first taste; they soak up the delicious sauce perfectly and were light, but filling. The original recipe was for two, so I’ve adjusted to make this a 4-person serving, or for 2 very hungry people! Enjoy.
I used a mandolin with a julienne blade, but you can also use a spiralizer if you have one. I played around with the cut and found I liked the slightly thicker 4.5 mm julienne cut the best. The thickness is totally a personal preference, so use whatever cut you prefer.
Vegetarians could totally swap the chicken for tofu, and in fact, I think next time I make this I will do the same. Tofu or tempeh would go great with this refreshing, light dish.
If you like this, you may also like Kung Pao Chicken Tacos – one of my favorite recipes!
Kung Pao Chicken with Zoodles
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins
- 2 lbs. zucchini (med/lrg zucchini work best), washed & ends trimmed
- 2 tsp. canola oil
- 1 lb. chicken breast or chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh ground ginger (feel free to add more if you really like ginger – I do!)
- Crushed dry roasted peanuts to top
- Sliced scallions to top
- Sauce —
- 4 tbsp. reduced sodium soy or tamari sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. hoisin sauce
- 3 and 1/2 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp. roasted red chili paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 tsp. cornstarch
- Using a spiralizer or mandolin with julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long, spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long so they are easier to eat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Season chicken with S/P. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. If you prefer, you can cook the chicken whole and then chop after they are cooked. Either way, cook the chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside on a separate plate. If you haven’t chopped yet, chop or shred into bite-size pieces before adding to final step.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper and stir in the sauce, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook another minute or so until thickened. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook for about two minutes at most until tender and covered with sauce. The zucchini releases water and should thin the sauce out a bit. Remove from heat and stir in chicken. Top with peanuts and scallions.
When I cook chicken for recipes like this I prefer to cook tenderloins because they cook faster. I also prefer to chop/shred the chicken after cooking it. Chicken breast or tenderloins will work perfectly here and you can decide to cook the chicken whole and then chop, or chop prior to cooking.
I’ve been craving miso soup like crazy, but really wanted something that would provide a full meal. So why not make miso soup loaded with goodies to make a complete meal?
Done and delicious.
This makes a large pot with 4-6 bowl-sized servings. Great for lunch or dinner, and perfect for packing for work lunches. Enjoy!
Loaded Miso Soup
- 8 oz. Somen, rice vermicelli, Soba, Udon or any other type of noodle
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups sliced bok choy, stems and leaves
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced (whites and greens)
- 5 slices peeled fresh ginger
- 8 oz. diced tofu, drained
- 6 cups water
- About 5 tbsp. miso, to taste
- Salt, optional
- 2 cups baby spinach, or chopped spinach
- Soy sauce
- Cook the noodles according to package instructions and reserve a tbsp. of pasta water. Drain and set noodles aside; toss with the pasta water to prevent sticking.
- In a large pot set over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and then add the bok choy, scallions, ginger, and tofu. Cook until fragrant and tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add 5 cups of water to the pot – reserve the last cup and add the miso to that cup and whisk until smooth (this just makes it easier to dissolve the miso). Add the miso water to the pot, stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a simmer and let cook about 10 minutes. Do not boil, just simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more miso, and/or salt if needed. Once the seasoning is adjusted, stir in the spinach and a splash of soy sauce. Remove from heat.
- Add noodles to each bowl and then ladle soup onto the noodles. Serve immediately. Store leftover noodles separately – if you store them in the soup they can soak up the broth and become soggy.
Miso comes in three types: red, yellow, or white. Any variety works in soup. I use a type called Mellow White Miso. I have to buy it at Wholefoods or Asian markets in a refrigerated area. Do not just get a miso soup mix – you want actual miso. Different types vary in the strength and sodium which is why I can’t put an exact tbsp. amount in the recipe. Start with a few and then taste. The Mellow White is mild and low in sodium so I use a good amount and add a bit of salt to taste.
Crepes are one of those things I just assumed must be difficult to make, so even though I LOVE them, I always ordered them out. But thanks to America’s Test Kitchen great recipe, I finally made them at home and was shocked at just how easy they were to make. Easier (and faster) than regular pancakes in my opinion.
I devoured almost the entire batch (10 crepes!) with fresh squeezed lemon and a dusting of sugar – so delicious! You could, of course, fill these with anything – fresh fruit, jam, chocolate, nutella … the list goes on.
If you follow the instructions carefully these are really so simple. But this is not the type of recipe you can leave for any amount of time, they cook in a matter of seconds so you need to be at the stove at all times.
How to Make Crepes
- 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- Any desired toppings/fillings
- Place oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over low heat for at least 10 minutes. Prep your butter by melting over stove top or in the micro (I suggest 10 sec increments so you don’t overdo it); set aside and let cool.
- While skillet is heating, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Add half of the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add the butter and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in remaining milk mixture until smooth.
- Using a paper towel, wipe out skillet, leaving a thin film of oil on bottom and sides. Increase heat to medium and let skillet heat 1 minute. Test the heat by placing 1 tsp of batter in the center and cook for 20 seconds. If the mini crepe is golden brown on bottom, the skillet is properly heated; if it is too light or too dark, adjust heat accordingly and retest.
- Pour 1/4 cup batter into one side of the pan and tilt/shake gently until batter covers the bottom of pan evenly. Cook without moving until the top surface is dry and crepe is starting to brown at edges, about 20 seconds. Loosen one side with a rubber spatula and flip, using your fingertips to help if needed. Cook about another 20 seconds unitl the second side is lightly spotted. Transfer crepe to a wire rack to cool and continue cooking until batter is gone, letting the pan reheat for about 10 seconds in between crepes.
- To reheat, stack on a plate and invert a second plate over the crepes. Microwave until warm, about 30 seconds. Top crepes with desired fillings and fold into quarters, roll, or stack flat like pancakes. Serve warm.
I am eating one of these as we speak … or in between typing to be more exact and they are freakin’ delicious! I’ve always loved oatmeal cookies and these take it to another level with intense, sweet spice flavor and soft, chewy texture. I’ve been eating these for breakfast, snacks, and dessert – they are that good.
I’m not surprised because the recipe comes from Cook’s Country, which is from the same people behind America’s Test Kitchen and I absolutely love their recipes. I know it’s still July, but some of us may be thinking about back to school mode – teachers, parents, and maybe? kids. These are definitely going in my bag of tricks for school snacking and eat-in-the-car breakfasts. I already see these making a great accompaniment to my morning smoothie. If your kids like oatmeal cookies and granola bars, these are a beautiful marriage between the two and they will love ’em. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Chewy Oatmeal Bars
Serves: 24 bars
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon/leveled)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 8 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup molasses (regular, not blackstrap)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant)
- 1 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 350 degrees. Prep two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and set aside. Beat the shortening and sugar together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add molasses and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, and mix until just combined, scraping bowl as needed. Add oats, raisins, and nuts if using and mix until incorporated.
- Form 2 dough logs on each baking sheet (for a total of 4) – place them 3 inches apart (at least) and make them 9 by 2-inches, about 1 inch tall. It helps to put cooking spray or flour on your hands when doing this because the dough is very sticky. They will spread a lot and become large bars like pictured. Bake until lightly browned and set, 16 to 19 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on the sheets and them move to a cutting board and cut into bars. Let cool completely and add the optional glaze.
*Use fresh, good quality cinnamon to get the best flavor. I love King Arthur’s Vietnamese Cinnamon – it is decadent and smells amazing. [br]*I did not use nuts in my recipe, but I’ve included options in the recipe if you prefer nuts in your sweets. [br]*This recipe includes a glaze, which I made for the pictures, but I don’t think these need it at all because they are already so sweet. I would bake them and taste, and then decide if you want the glaze. [br]*Make sure not to use instant oats (I used a generic grocery brand old-fashioned oats and they were great) and do not use blackstrap molasses, which is too strong.
It’s July – holy shit, how did that happen? Summer is going by way too fast! I’ve been traveling and we recently adopted a rescue puppy so things have been a bit crazy around here.
It’s hot, and I’m pretty exhausted, so easy, cool, refreshing salads like this are my perfect summertime lunch. Fresh, homemade tabbouleh is so delicious – I love it stuffed in pita bread! Enjoy!
*I’ve listed the cooking time as 30 minutes, which is the active time – plan on another 1hr 30 mins for standing time.
America’s Test Kitchen Tabbouleh
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
- 3 medium round tomatoes, about one pound
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 2 scallions
- 1/2 cup medium grind bulgur (this is the most common “size” of bulgur)
- 2 lemons
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Core the 3 tomatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss tomatoes and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer, set strainer in bowl and let stand for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Meanwhile chop enough parsley to yield 1/2 cup. Set aside. Thinly slice the scallions. Set aside. Juice the 2 lemons to yield 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.
- Once tomatoes have finished draining, rinse the bulgur in fine-mesh strainer under cold water. Drain well. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in 2 tbsp. of the lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of the juice drained from the tomatoes.
- Let stand until grains begin to soften, about 30-40 minutes.
- Whisk remaining 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 6 tbsp. olive oil, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add drained tomatoes, soaked bulgur, chopped parsley, chopped mint, and scallions. Toss gently to combine.
- Cover and let stand at room temperature until flavors have blended and bulgur is tender, about 1 hour. Toss to recombine, season with S/P to taste, and serve.