Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

I’d like to think that I am a fast learner when it comes to cooking and while I have tried and conquered some difficult recipes, the meals with the simplest ingredients are always my favorite!

Today I will be sharing a Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry recipe that is so easy and full of flavor.
You more than likely already have all the ingredients at home too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots
  • 2 cups of broccoli (You can use fresh or frozen  vegetables or even a “Stir Fry Kit” you may see in the frozen section of grocery stores.)
  • 1 lb. of boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cubed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet and add the broccoli and carrots and cook until the vegetables are tender.

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Once fully cooked, remove the vegetables from the skillet and place them on a plate or in a bowl and cover.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and season the cubed chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.

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Remember to mince your garlic and then add that to the chicken while it browns for about 30 seconds.

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Add your vegetables back to the skillet and cook for about 2-3 more minutes.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the chicken broth, honey and soy sauce together and then in a smaller bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water. (The cornstarch will help with the texture.)

Pour the soy sauce mixture into the skillet and cook for about a minute.
Next, add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, cook until the sauce has thickened.

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Serve with white rice if desired and enjoy!

With love,

-R. Vargas

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan has always been my favorite go to at an Italian restaurant. I’ve always wanted to make it on my own but it’s one of those recipes that has always intimidated me. Recently I found this recipe of Martha Stewart’s online and decided to try it on my own with a little twist. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how amazing it turned out!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can of Tomatoes, lightly pulse in a blender or food processor
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Salt
  • 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (split down the middle) or chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup of plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

Directions:

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, the garlic, the crushed red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds.

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Add the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

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Lay the chicken breasts or tenderloins (I used tenderloins) on parchment paper or plastic wrap and season with some black pepper and a little garlic salt.
In a large prep pan, combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Spread out to cover the whole bottom of the pan.

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Lay down as many chicken breasts or tenderloins as you can that will fit evenly. Make sure you season each side of the chicken and turn over completely coating both sides.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and butter to coat the skillet.
Add some of the chicken and cook until golden.

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Remove and repeat process for the remaining chicken, adding a little oil and butter to the skillet as needed.
While the chicken is cooling, preheat your oven to 400°F and spoon some of your tomato sauce into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Layer the pieces of chicken and top with your sliced Mozzarella. Spoon over 1 1/4 cups of the tomato sauce and then sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

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I also boiled spaghetti pasta to serve on the side with the remainder of my tomato sauce. So easy and delicious!

From my kitchen to yours,

-R. Vargas

Blueberry Loaf

love blueberries in my baked goods and I am so excited to share this recipe with you all.
Not only is it easy to prep and bake but it is delicious!

Instructions:

  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 3/4 of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

Note: Blueberries can be substituted for raspberries as well. If using frozen fruit, use without fully thawing to avoid discoloration of the batter. 

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine salt, flour and baking powder. Once combined, mix into creamed mixture.
  4. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Pour batter into 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50 to 55 minutes.

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Enjoy and let me know if you try this recipe!

With love,

– R. Vargas

 

Homemade Pesto

If you’re anything like me, you love Pesto but have always been afraid to make it on your own.
I used store bought for years and finally caved and bought a basil plant a few weeks ago in an attempt to keep it growing and finally make Pesto from scratch.

It is incredibly easy and cheaper than store bought and you can even substitute the pine nuts for chopped walnuts since pine nuts aren’t very easy to find.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (No stems)
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese in a food processor or food chopper.

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Once everything is blended and combined, add salt & pepper to your liking.

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Store in jars and seal tight and keep in the fridge if you are storing for later or use as sauce for pastas, flatbreads, pizza, or toss in pasta!

With love,

-R. Vargas

Slow Cooker Pork Sirloin

Hi everyone!

On today’s blog, I am sharing the easiest pork sirloin recipe with you that’s simple, tasty and budget friendly.
I typically cook at home to save from eating out so much but there are times when I am buying ingredients for a new recipe and it can be costly. This recipe won’t break the bank and you more than likely will already have the ingredients at home.

Ingredients:

  • Pork Sirloin (Mine weighed 1.44 lbs)
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • Garlic Salt Seasoning
  • Fajita Seasoning
  • 7 oz. can of canned Jalapeños (Green Pickled Sliced Jalapeño Peppers)
  • 1 small onion

Directions:

Place your pork on a cutting board.

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Make slits in your pork sirloin but make sure not to cut all the way through and then flip over and make slits again but in the opposite direction.

Next you will sprinkle your Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Garlic Salt, and Fajita Seasoning  all over the pork. Make sure you rub and massage seasonings into the slits.

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Once you have finished, slice your onion and place the slices into the slits.

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Place your pork sirloin into your slow cooker and open your can of Jalapeños and pour the juice all over the pork and into the slow cooker. If you’re thinking this will leave your pork very spicy, you are wrong. This adds to the flavor and will help the pork become very juicy. If you are still uneasy about the Jalapeño juice, add 1/4 cup of water or less to help dilute. I also add a few Jalapeños from the can and place them in between the slits as well.

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Cover and place on High for 4 to 6 hours or Low for 7 to 8 hours.
Pull apart with fork and let it absorb all the juice and serve however you would like.
You can add BBQ and make pulled pork sandwiches or add into a baked potato, make tacos or quesadillas, or serve just as it is with a few sides.

With love,

– R. Vargas

Slow Cooker Chili

After reviewing quite a few chili recipes, I decided to adapt a few and make my own. Keep in mind this is a beginner recipe and someday I would like to add chipotle and adobo sauce and tons of peppers but until I master chili, this quick and easy recipe will do for now! This recipe is perfect for potlucks and great for Super Bowl Sunday!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. of lean ground turkey
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small clove of garlic,  minced
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinse & drain
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans, rinse & dried
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used Fire Roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. of Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Prepare slow cooker by spraying well with cooking spray or lining with a plastic slow cooker liner.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Add the ground turkey to the skillet and cook until brown. Make sure to break up the ground turkey as you cook it and sprinkle the garlic powder on top.

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Drain and add the turkey to the bottom of the slow cooker.

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Add the remaining ingredients on top.

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Stir well and combine then cover with lid and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Once it’s ready and served, top with cheese, chives, and the rest of your favorites.

I used this recipe to enter a Chili Cook Off at work and it was a favorite!

Have you ever made chili? If so, what do you put in yours?

With love,

-R. Vargas

Cajun Chicken Pasta

If you are looking for a quick recipe that has a little spice, this is the recipe for you!

All you need to do is place everything in your slow cooker and boil pasta once everything is ready.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 Chicken Breast
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can of Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can of Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning (The more you add, the spicier!)
  • Mushrooms (Optional)
  • Bell peppers (Optional)
  • Cooked Penne pasta

Directions:

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  1. Place chicken breast in your slow cooker.
  2. Top with cream cheese and both soups.
  3. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Boil pasta and sauté vegetables.
  6. Stir mixture and serve with Penne pasta and vegetables.

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I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top and served with a salad and French bread. I’ll admit it’s not the prettiest but it taste amazing and it’s definitely one of my favorite slow cooker recipes!

With Love,

-R. Vargas