Cooking with the Library–Paleo Cashew Chicken
At the start of every new year, it seems that people become very interested in trying to eat better and healthier. It is often so that they can counteract all of the indulging that occurred with rich foods, sweets, and desserts over the recent holiday season. This year especially, it may be a very popular goal since all of us have been sitting home for months and months, moving and exercising less and likely eating more. One way to reach that goal is to start eating “clean”, which simply means less processed, more wholesome, homemade recipes, where you can control which ingredients are used. You can check out more information on this from the Mayo Clinic.
One lifestyle or diet path that follows some of these same principles is the Paleo diet. This “diet” focuses on lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, or things that could have been hunted or gathered during the Paleolithic era, which was approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
Read more about this diet plan here from the Mayo Clinic.
While there are many different viewpoints on which dietary plans are the best to follow, it is generally agreed that you can start to eat healthier just by making your own recipes and controlling the ingredients and eating a balanced diet.
Try the following sheet-pan recipe if you want to sample something Paleo.
It can be found in the cookbook:
Clean Paleo: One-Pot Meals by Christina Shoemaker, which is available for checkout or reserve.
Or in eBook format to view on your device…on Hoopla.
Easy Cashew Chicken
½ cup coconut aminos* (used in place of soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon rice or apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
¼ to ½ crushed red pepper flakes
Cashew Chicken & Veggies:
1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
12 ounces of raw broccoli florets, large florets cut in half or thirds
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
Salt and black pepper to taste (I generally go quite heavy on the black pepper)
2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup of roasted cashews, salted or unsalted
*Coconut aminos are lower in sodium than traditional soy sauce and gluten, wheat, and soy free.
Read more about them here.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Make your 4-ingredient sauce: In a bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes (use more for increased spiciness), then set aside.
- Make the cashew chicken and veggies: line a large (12 X 17) inch baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. (Parchment paper would be a great alternative when cooking or baking at lower temperatures…)
- Spread the chicken in a single layer on one side of the sheet.
- Add the broccoli in a single layer next to the chicken.
- Add the bell pepper in a single layer next to the broccoli.
- Sprinkle salt and black pepper over all of the chicken and veggies.
- Drizzle the oil over the veggies, and half of the sauce over the chicken.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and separate the chicken if necessary. Make room for the cashews on the sheet and add a single layer.
- Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and check chicken for doneness. There should be no pink and juices should run clear. Layer the broccoli, bell pepper, chicken and cashews in bowls or on a plate, and drizzle remaining sauce on top.
**To add an additional serving of veggies and to stay Paleo, serve over a helping of cauliflower rice. (see recipe below)
**If eating grains as part of your diet, can be served over steamed brown rice.
Trim and chop cauliflower into large chunks and place in a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse until cauliflower is very small and has the texture of rice. Can be steamed lightly before using in recipes.
**to save time and prep work, cauliflower rice is available in the frozen food section of many stores.
Eating healthy can be easy and delicious!