Chicken and Cashews

Who doesn’t love a cashew?  Crisp and buttery, full of good fats and nutrients.  We have cashews on hand all the time for a go-to healthy snack.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, May 2009.

No substitutions were made.

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Chicken and Cashews

3 tblsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tblsp dry sherry
4 tblsp cornstarch, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tblsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil, divided
3/4 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
1 tblsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)
1/4 c chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews

Combine 1 tblsp soy sauce, sherry, 2 tsp cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat.  Combine remaining 2 tblsp soy sauce, remaining 2 tsp cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce and honey in a small bowl.

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Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add chicken mixture to pan; saute 3 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in pan.  Add onion, celery and bell pepper to pan; saute 2 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic; saute 1 minute.  Stir in broth mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with green onions and cashews.

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cartoon-strawberry-9This is a wonderful, quick and healthy go-to meal if you’re craving Chinese food.  I served the chicken over angel hair pasta tossed with dark sesame oil and the green onions from the recipe.  YUM!

Stir-Fried Shrimp w/ Spicy Orange Sauce

I’ve been on a quest to set a grocery budget and live (or die) by it.  Make a weekly menu and buy only to that menu each week.  So  far, so good.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, August 2007.

No substitutions were made.

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Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce

1.5 lbs peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 tblsp cornstarch
1/4 c fresh orange juice
2 tblsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tblsp honey
1 tblsp rice wine vinegar
1 tblsp chile paste with garlic
2 tblsp canola oil
1 tblsp minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c chopped green onions

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Place shrimp in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat.  Set aside.

Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant.  Add shrimp mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done, stirring frequently.  Serve immediately.  Yield: 4 servings.

spicy orange shrimp 4

cartoon-strawberry-9There was a suggestion to serve this over udon noodles or rice.  I had vermicelli in the pantry, so I used that instead, and added in some green beans.  I expected this to be more on the spicy side (hence the name..).  There was a good heat, but not an overwhelming spicy heat.  If you have some shrimp on hand and are able to find the chile paste, this is a great dinner!

Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Cups

Who doesn’t love a dinner of fun Chinese food?  It’s even better when you make it yourself and know the ingredients being used.

This recipe is from Real Simple, May 2008.

Substitutions made, noted below.

lettuce cups 1

Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Cups

3 tblsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 tblsp honey
2 tblsp canola oil
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch pcs – I used turkey breast
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tblsp grated ginger – I used 1/4 tsp dried
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced – I used green onions
1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained – skipped this
1/4 c roasted unsalted cashews
1 small head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated – I used Romaine

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Combine the soy sauce and honey in a small bowl; set aside.  I used a small whisk to mix these properly.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  2 tblsp of oil is A LOT, I would cut this in half.

Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

Lower heat to med and stir in the garlic and ginger.  Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the water chestnuts and half the soy sauce mixture and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with the cashews.

Divide the lettuce leaves among individual plates and spoon the chicken over the top.  Serve with the remaining soy sauce mixture for drizzling.

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cartoon-strawberry-9I served these with chicken pot stickers and steamed pork buns from Trader Joes.  The chicken/cashew mixture was pretty good, not quite level with PF Changs, but pretty close.  In the future, I would use ground chicken or turkey, use a bit more dried ginger and add a little spice, white pepper?  Red Pepper flakes?  It needed a little bit of heat.