Hi there! So I feel kinda bad for only posting sugary, fattening dessert recipes so I figured I’d go a different route with this post and share a very tasty and (mostly) healthy entree. This cashew chicken is quite a crowd pleaser and can be served over lettuce like a salad or in wraps. At my last house I had a thriving lettuce garden (sadly nothing else ever thrived except peas!) and a ton of bamboo so I used both when making this and it was a big hit with my coworkers. Butter lettuce tastes the best but romaine is good too because it is a lot stronger and can hold more weight. Your choice. On we go!
CASHEW CHICKEN WITH COCONUT RICE (yield: 8-10 servings of chicken, 4-6 servings of rice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds ground chicken (ground turkey works well too)
- 1 onion (err on the small side–this recipe gets really onion-y really fast)
- 3 green onions
- 1 8oz can sliced water chestnuts
- 1 8oz can bamboo shoots
- 3/4 cup cashew halves
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- salt & pepper
- romaine or butter lettuce (if desired)
EITHER 1 box of ready-to-make Soy Vay Toasted Coconut Jasmine Rice OR you can make it from scratch with these ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup cream of coconut
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and use it to brown chicken (or turkey). Make sure to break up the meat into small pieces, drain well and return to pan.
- If making ready-to-make Soy Vay Toasted Coconut Jasmine Rice, skip to step #3 (it only takes about 10-12 minutes total to cook). If you are making your coconut rice from scratch, you should go ahead and start the rice since it will take 20-25 minutes to be ready–put the coconut milk, water and sugar and salt in a small or medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add rice. Bring rice to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until rice is tender. Pour cream of coconut into pot, stir again, and cook an additional 10 minutes. Spread coconut flakes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and begin toasting coconut in a toaster oven. Once rice is tender, sprinkle toasted coconut into it and stir until blended. Keep warm until serving. Obviously if you choose to go the Soy Vay route you save some time and can just focus on the chicken–and it’s still quite delicious, you’re not shafting flavor by going that route.
3. Chop green onions and white onions–they should be minced. If you don’t already have one, go out and get yourself an Oxo chopper–it is so great and saves so much time and frustration! Look at the difference in the chopped size before and after!
3. Add garlic, onions, ginger, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots & cashews into the pan. I love these little packets of ginger shavings that you can get at Kroger; they last for a month and you don’t have to deal with shaving fresh ginger unless you really want to. Look at the pretty colors in the pan! Stir everything together and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent.
4. If making the instant rice, follow directions on package to get it started in a separate pot and then proceed to step #5.
5. Pour hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar* and Sriracha into the pan and stir. It helps to drizzle the sauces all over everything and not just pour them all in one spot so that they will be evenly disbursed. (*I personally am not a huge fan of vinegar and I think this is delicious without it, but if you like the taste of vinegar, go for it). It will be also be healthier overall if you get low-sodium soy sauce; most of the sugar in this recipe is hoisin sauce, which is the real yummy kick in the pants that makes this meal great. I wish the sauces combined didn’t make everything all the same boring gold color but what can you do? You can always sprinkle some more minced green onions on top for added color. I’ve added pineapple chunks into it before too but wasn’t super impressed.
6. Season with salt and pepper and serve alongside the yummy coconut rice! If you’re making wraps or salad, just dump it right on top!
This recipe, like many of my others, freezes nicely if you have leftovers.