Cashew Chicken with Vegetables

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Checking broccoli tenderness

This week I tested out a recipe for cashew chicken with vegetables, which I have been craving since I made the “Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce” from Racing Weight.  Jess took me to the Pacific Beach Farmers Market before we went to the grocery store, and it was a treat to shop outside! We bought organic broccoli that had been picked earlier that day from JR Organics, and used it for this dinner.  We also bought some fascinating cauliflower heads from Suzie’s Farm (see gallery) that I cannot wait to experiment with.

This recipe satisfies my craving for a spicy weeknight meal that balances protein, veggies, carbs and fats.  I made this dish for Jess and her mom last night, at her mom’s home in PB.  Even without red pepper flakes, this dish had some heat! For those who do not like spicy food, consider leaving out the sriracha from your sauce.

 

Recipe

Cashew Chicken with Vegetables – serves 4

The sriracha, fresh ginger and garlic in this recipe provide plenty of heat!  If you like things extra spicy, I would consider adding 1 teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes to the sauce.  When I visit my parents, I cook gluten-free recipes for my mother; to make this recipe gluten-free, use equal parts Tamari sauce in place of soy sauce.  If you do not have peanut flour on hand, you can use 2 T peanut butter, or cashew butter for your sauce.

You will need:

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  1. 2 T olive oil
  2. 2 broccoli crowns
  3. ½ large red onion, chopped into large pieces
  4. 2 red peppers, chopped
  5. 1 C brown rice
  6. 1 to 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped

 

For your sauce:

  1. 1.5 C veggie broth
  2. 1/4 C peanut flour – we used PB2
  3. ½ C raw cashews
  4. 1 T fresh ginger, chopped
  5. 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. 1 T sriracha sauce
  7. 1 T honey
  8. 1 T soy sauce

Optional: hot red pepper flakes

Steps:

  1. Chop peppers, broccoli and red onion and set aside. Chop garlic and ginger.
  2. Prepare rice according to package instructions.
  3. Begin cooking by bringing vegetable broth to a simmer, adding liquid ingredients. Add peanut flour, stirring until combined. Add garlic, ginger and cashews. For extra heat, add 1t or more hot red pepper flakes.
  4. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add red onion and sauté for two minutes. Add broccoli with ½ cup water and cover.
  5. Heat another pan over medium heat and add chicken and half of sauce, stirring to coat. By this point, the sauce should have reduced in volume by about a third.
  6. Add red peppers and remaining sauce to the veggie pan. Stir to coat and sauté for five minutes.  Meanwhile, stir chicken.
  7. Remove veggies from heat and add to large serving dish. Add chicken to serving dish and mix with veggies.
  8. Serve over rice.

 

Sauce inspiration: Fitzgerald, Matt, and Georgie Fear. “Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce.” Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes. Boulder: Velopress, 2013. 230-231. Print.

 

White Fish Poached in Coconut Milk with Mango

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Jake at El Pescador helped us choose halibut.

When Alex visited San Diego, we went out to a Mexican restaurant in Ocean Beach for dinner and agreed that our meal was the very best Mexican food we had ever tasted.  Visit Ranchos Cocina if you are ever in OB!  The Acapulco fish special inspired me to create this recipe, which I prepared over and over again with many types of white fish.

Our favorite versions of this dish were made with frozen, local mahi-mahi and fresh halibut.  My sister, Liz, and I ventured to El Pescador in nearby La Jolla to buy the local, line-caught halibut at the fish market.  I cooked the halibut for Liz and her husband, Jay, while their new puppy, Gracie, stood watch for crumbs.

Recipe

White Fish Poached in Coconut Milk with Mango – serves 3 to 4

When preparing your mango, be sure to remove all of the skin from the chunks.  The skin tastes bitter, and can sometimes irritate your skin.  I prefer using full-fat coconut milk for this dish.  The fat will separate from liquids in the can, and you can decide how much fat to include.  I usually use about half a cup of the fat and dispose of the rest.  You will get a creamier sauce and fuller flavor if you use full-fat rather than lite coconut milk.  I have tried this recipe with bass, cod, mahi-mahi and halibut.  Cod soaks up the coconut milk flavors the most, and cooks more quickly than other white fish because it is so thin.

You will need: IMG_1792.jpg

  1. 2 broccoli crowns, chopped
  2. 1 ripe mango, chopped into chunks
  3. 1 C quinoa
  4. 32 oz vegetable broth
  5. 14.5 oz C coconut milk
  6. 1-1.5 lb white fish
  7. 1 t garlic powder
  8. 1 t black pepper

 

Steps:

  1. Wash and chop broccoli.  Chop mango into chunks, being careful to remove the skin from all pieces.  Set broccoli and mango aside, separately.
  2. Rinse quinoa and combine with 1 C veggie broth and 1 C water in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  When quinoa reaches a boil, turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Steam broccoli in a separate pot.
  4. Meanwhile, combine canned coconut milk and about 1.5 C vegetable broth in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Stir until coconut milk fat has melted, and then add mango chunks.  Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer.  Drop in your fish filets and cook for about 5 minutes, adding 1-2 minutes if your filets are thick.
  5. At this point, your quinoa should be about ready.  Stir to check whether the liquids have been completely absorbed.  If they have, remove from heat and let the quinoa sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. Check that the broccoli has reached desired tenderness, and season with garlic powder and black pepper.
  7. Fluff quinoa with a fork before serving.  Serve fish over 1 C cooked quinoa, spooning sauce and mango chunks across the fish.  Enjoy with a side of broccoli.