Cashew Chicken

Do you ever feel like life is just super busy? The weeks just zoom by, moving from activity to activity without a break. (And I don't even have kids. Props to all you moms & dads out there!) When life gets crazy busy, it's really easy to fall out of the dinner routine. I don't mind eating frozen pizza or peanut butter sandwiches for dinner once in awhile... but it's really nice to have a few quick & easy simple meals ready to go for nights when you have zero time to think about dinner.     Cashew Chicken is one of them. From start to finish, it takes less than 30 minutes. (Seriously, I timed it. And not the Rachael Ray way where she has all the ingredients sitting out in bowls pre-measured. :-P) Juicy chicken is stir fried with crunchy red peppers, onions, and water chestnuts. It's all tossed together in a sweet & tangy Asian sauce and topped with cashews. Served over rice, it's an all-in-one meal. Protein, check. Veggies, check. Grains, check.  

  Cashew Chicken reminds me of some of our favorite Chinese take-out meals, except much healthier. You still have that tangy sauce, but not all the grease. Plus, it's loaded with veggies! You can easily add or omit different vegetables based on what your family likes. (I'm thinking I will try some broccoli and snow peas next time.) Let's get cooking! To start, saute diced onion in a tablespoon of olive oil for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.  

  While the onion is cooking, get the chicken ready. Dice a few chicken breast into small pieces and toss with a bit of cornstarch. This gives it a slightly crunchy exterior.  

  When the onion is browned, remove it from the pan, add a bit more oil, and add the chicken. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.  

  When the chicken is cooked, add a bit of minced garlic, sliced red pepper, the cooked onions, a can of sliced water chestnuts, and a big handful of cashews; stir everything around, and cook for about 1-2 minutes.  

  Reduce the heat to medium-low, and get the sauce ready. Just a quarter cup each of molasses and soy sauce! Pour it into the skillet and simmer a few minutes until everything is coated and the sauce reduces down.     Serve over some rice, and dinner's done!  


Cashew Chicken

Servings/Yield: 4 servings
  • 2-3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup molasses (or honey)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • brown or white rice, for serving
Method Heat skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add onion and saute 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from skillet. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Coat with cornstarch. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil to skillet and add chicken. Brown on both sides until cooked, about 5 minutes per side. Add minced garlic, red pepper, water chestnuts, cooked onions, and cashews; cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium low. In a small bowl, combine molasses and soy sauce. Pour into skillet, coating chicken and vegetables. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice. Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is

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