Cashew Chicken

Who came up with the idea to mix cashews and chicken?  Did that person just happen to have cashews lying about because he or she was snacking earlier and thought, “You know…  I bet this would go great with my chicken stir-fry!”  Well, whoever that person was they’re amazing because cashew chicken is delicious!

Whenever I’m at home, in the office, or any other out and about place, I’m more often than not thinking about food.  What should I make for dinner?  Do I have that ingredient at home?  Can I make this dish without having to make an extra stop on the way home?  I think it’s fun!  I am waiting for the day when I’m at a friend’s house and they say, “I’m hungry.” and with their permission I can pop into their kitchen and whip something up.  I like to have a wide variety of recipes in my brain.

Anyhoo…  cashew chicken.  You see this in Chinese themed restaurants all the time.  I say “Chinese themed” because really…  Pu Pu Platter?  Fortune Cookies?  They don’t really have those there do they?  I think it’s just to please us Americans and look fancy.  The recipe below is for my Paleo Party People.  If you don’t have some of the ingredients, then you can substitute with something similar.  Honey > Sugar, Tamari > Soy Sauce, etc.  I don’t measure when I cook so everything below is guesstimates.  Please add a little of the seasoning at a time and after you’ve tasted the dish you can add more to your heart’s content.

CASHEW CHICKEN

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast or even a mixture of both!  Cut into 1 – 2 inch cubes.
1/4 cup almond flour
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Red and 1 Green Bell Pepper (Seeded and chopped)

1 Onion (Cut in 1/8’s)

2-3 Tbsp EVOO or Coconut oil (Coconut oil was used in the pics below)
1/4 cup Tamari
2 Tbsp White vinegar
1 Tbsp raw honey
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (PaleoJoe and I love garlic, so you can use 1-2 cloves if you like)
1/2 to 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (You can also use powdered ginger if you do not have fresh)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews

Directions:

1.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add bell peppers and onions and cook for 5-7 minutes.

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2.  Season your chicken with salt and pepper.  Toss chicken pieces in the almond flour.

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3.  Push the veggies to the side and add chicken to skillet.

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4.  Let cook for 5 minutes or so.  You can prep the sauce while the chicken is cooking.

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5.  In a bowl add the remaining ingredients, except the cashews, and mix.  Add to skillet.

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6.  Mix chicken and veggies together so that all are coated with the sauce.

7.  Turn heat down to medium and let cook for another 5-10 minutes.  You can add the cashews at this point, or if you want them to be crunchy then wait til the chicken is done cooking.

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8.  Dish complete!!  You can serve it as, or if you haven’t quite jumped on the Paleo Party Bus then serve over rice.

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If you want to have more sauce then I would double the ingredients for the sauce.

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I like to horde my cashews and eat them last.  🙂  If you’re meal prepping this, then you should know that the cashews get soft, but it is still very tasty.  The dish has been marinating in its own sauce overnight so it will be more flavorful.  ENJOY!

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Gluten Free Cashew Nut Butter Cookies

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I think cookies would have to be my favorite dessert to create.  They’re easy to make, they’re quick to cook, and they’re portable.  If I wanted to, I could have a bag of cookies in my purse right now to snack on throughout the day.  But cookies are treats and should only be eaten in moderation.  I don’t care how “healthy” you make a dessert.  It is still a dessert.

For this dessert recipe, PaleoJoe wanted me to make cookies using the Cashew Nut Butter that we had made, see recipe HERE.  The recipe below is simple and only a few ingredients.  What you get is a soft and moist cookie.  I’m sure if you cooked it longer you can crisp it up, but I just think it’s going to make it chewy.  Entirely up to you though.

 

GLUTEN FREE CASHEW NUT BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup cashew nut butter (unsalted, no sweetener added)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.)  Get rid of the lumps.

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3.  In another bowl, beat the egg and add the cashew nut butter and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

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4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

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5.  Using a cookie scoop, or if you can eyeball it (about 1.5 – 2 tblsp of dough), place the dough out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.  Note:  Try to make your cookie dough balls as even as possible.  You want them to cook evenly.  Oh and unfortunately, the dough is moist and sticky so you are unable to make the familiar criss-cross pattern that you would see in a peanut butter cookie.

6.  Bake for 11-13 minutes.

7.  Gently move the cookies to a cooling tray as soon as they are done baking.

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And there you have it!  Using the cookie scooper that I had, it made a dozen cookies.  Not all cookie scoopers are created equal by the way.  I would like to tinker with this recipe a bit more.  Like I noted above, there’s no criss-cross pattern and when I think of a nut butter cookie I think of that smooshing down with a fork thing.  I thought perhaps adding more flour would just make the cookie taste like the flour.  Might not be a bad thing since it’s almond flour, but still.  I also would like to get rid of the sugar.  I’ll try raw honey next time, though I’m thinking that it’ll make the dough more sticky and moist.  Perhaps making it a cake-like cookie.  We’ll see.  Stevia maybe?  Experimenting is fun!!

Anyhoo…  ENJOY!

Homemade Cashew Nut Butter

 

 

 

I have always wanted to make my own nut butter at home.  I’ve read recipes on-line to see what I would need, and how hard it would be, and how long it would take.  It’s frickin’ CAKE!  As my daughter would say, “Easy Peasy Mama!!”  That’s right…  😛

For this particular recipe I used raw unroasted unsalted cashews.  We get them in bulk at this store called Sprout’s.  They have a pretty large selection of dry bulk goods at affordable prices, which is fabulous for my wallet.  I’ve also read that cashew are a good alternative to peanuts if you’re allergic.  Though please consult your doctor before trying them if you are allergic.  I really REALLY don’t want you to die.  This would greatly upset me.  Here’s my thing about cashews, if I buy them in the store pre-roasted they have to be whole.  Sometimes they come in cans for “halves and pieces” but I can’t eat them.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  It’s just personal preference.  I also have to eat the whole cashew in pairs.  One for each side of my mouth.  It’s an equal opportunity mouth.  Haha!!  That kinda sounds wrong.  😛

Anyhoo…  for more nutritional information on cashews please click HERE.  Below is the recipe.  I recommend that you use a food processor if you have one.

 

HOMEMADE CASHEW NUT BUTTER

Ingredients:

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2 cups of raw unsalted unroasted cashews

3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil (I used coconut oil for this recipe)

1 tablespoon of raw honey or agave nectar (I used raw honey)

1/4 tsp of sea salt (optional)

 

Directions:

1.  Put all of your cashews in a food processor and blend until all of the nuts have been chopped down.  Some recipes say it’s going to resemble a “fine powdery meal”, but this didn’t look like it at all.  I let it process for about 2 minutes and then checked up on it.  If there were any lumps I processed it some more.

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This is what it looked like after I had processed it.

2.  Add honey, salt and 1 tblsp of coconut oil.

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3.  Blend for 1 minute.

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4.  Now you can leave the nut butter as is or you can continue to add 1 tblsp of honey or coconut oil to the consistency that you like.  Always taste it after each blend.  You don’t want it too sweet, or maybe you do.  It’s entirely up to you.  I recommend 2-3 parts oil to honey.  For this particular recipe I used 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and I blended it 1 tablespoon and 1 minute blending at a time.

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After 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

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5.  After 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and some proper blending I had a nut butter that I was proud of.  I emptied the food processor contents into a mason jar and threw it in the fridge to use later.  Actually…  PaleoBoyfriend used about a cup of it to make Cashew Butter Frosting.  I’ll have him post the recipe and directions later.

Now I’m not sure how long the cashew butter is supposed to last.  I’ve read a few recipes where they’ve kept one jar in the pantry and the backups in the fridge to be used later, but they don’t last long in their household because they are always using it for something or another.  I am going to say a week if you leave it out, and two weeks if you store it in an airtight container in the fridge.  I will test the theory and if it’s true the post stays the same.  If it’s not, then I will update this post with the date of the edit.

Until then…  ENJOY!