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It’s Friday, the end of the week when you’re often tired and don’t want to cook.  I have an absurd confession to make, recently I have not wanted to exert much effort in the kitchen, so I understand.  Probably because Klint and I have been working on our house the last few weeks, and are moving in tonight. Some things have had to go, unfortunately cooking has been one of them. 

The last few weeks I’ve been to IKEA more times that I can count (not complaining about that), resorted to doing all our laundry in one load to save time (yes, whites and colors together, on cold of course), and my short hair is shaggier than one of those Old English Sheepdogs (I miss my sister and stylist, Chrystal).

An Old English Sheepdog (Image Source Page: http://shepwaywriters.blogspot.com)

Sorry, sheepdogs probably don’t belong on food blogs.  I do still have eyes though.

Anyway, so last night I made a classic and easy stir fry, I-don’t-feel-like-trying cashew chicken.  Much healthier than take-out and made in one skillet or wok, sauté and serve over steamy, heart healthy brown rice (I cooked mine ahead of time, refrigerated and reheated, or use frozen). 

Chunks of chicken cook much faster than whole pieces, then toss in some veggies, make a quick pan sauce and top with crunchy, meaty cashew nuts.  So good that people around the table will think you picked it up at a gourmet Chinese restaurant.  Enjoy and I’ll let you know when I get that haircut.

Gluten and dairy free option.

CASHEW CHICKEN with BROWN RICE

serves 4

  • 1 lb CHICKEN BREASTS, BONELESS, SKINLESS
  • 1/2 tsp BLACK PEPPER, GROUND
  • 1 tsp SESAME OIL
  • 10 oz STIR FRY VEGETABLE BLEND, FROZEN
  • 1 1/3 cup CHICKEN BROTH, LOWER SODIUM*, (divided)
  • 2/3 cup CELERY STALKS WITH LEAVES, chopped
  • 2/3 cup CARROTS, chopped (15 baby carrots)
  • 5 GREEN ONIONS, green & white parts, chopped
  • 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp FRESH GINGER, minced (or 1 – 1 1/2 tsp dried ginger)
  • 2 tsp HONEY
  • 1 tsp MUSTARD, DIJON*
  • 1 tbsp RICE VINEGAR
  • 2 tbsp SOY SAUCE, LOW SODIUM* (more or less to taste)
  • 1 ½ – 2 tbsp CORNSTARCH
  • 1/3 cup CASHEWS, DRY ROASTED*
  • 3 cups COOKED BROWN RICE

*Gluten free option: Check ingredient labels to insure gluten-free products, such as no maltodextrin or other stabilizers with gluten. Use gluten-free, tamari soy sauce.

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil and chicken pieces, sprinkled with black pepper.

Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown and almost cooked through. While chicken cooks make a quick stir fry sauce: whisk together 2/3 cup chicken broth, honey, vinegar, mustard and soy sauce; set aside.

2. Deglaze the pan, chicken in it, with 2/3 cup chicken broth (basically, pour in liquid and scrap brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon).

Add frozen vegetables, fresh vegetables, garlic, ginger and stir fry sauce; cook for 4-6 more minutes.

3. When vegetables are crisp-tender, stir in cornstarch until well incorporated.

Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low, simmer 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens.

4. Top cooked brown rice with stir fry and cashew halves. Garnish with sliced green onion, if desired.

Serves 4. Serving size: 3/4 cup cooked rice and about 1 heaping cup cashew chicken.

VARIATIONS: For a kick, add crushed red pepper or Sriracha to the sauce.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (includes stir fry and rice): 440 calories, 9g fat, 2g sat fat, 65mg cholesterol, 55g carb, 6g fiber, 7g sugar, 35g protein

FRIDAY FUNNY – a friend posted this on Facebook a few months ago……

 (note: I don’t encourage overfeeding animals)

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