By the time I was in high school Chinese take-out was a weekly thing at our house. Cashew Chicken was one of my standby favorites. Back then I didn’t know (or care!) that my tasty take-out was stir-fried in pro-inflammatory and highly refined vegetable oil. And I had no idea that it was also surely laced with MSG, sugar and cornstarch. All I know is that this Cashew Chicken Stir Fry recipe tastes better than takeout—and it’s all good! Best of all, you can get it on the table in just about the same amount of time it would take to dial out.
5 Easy Tips for Cleaning Up Your Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Dinner…
- First, I like to make my cashew chicken with a lot more vegetables than the typical recipe calls for. Believe it or not, the extra vegetables make the dish tastier too.
- To boost the phytonutrient and antioxidant content of my dinner even further, I like to serve cashew chicken over black rice. Although black rice might sound exotic, it is every bit as easy to cook as brown rice or white rice (although I do hope you are not eating white rice! Learn why white rice earns a spot on the list of the top four worst carbs HERE.) By far, the easiest way to cook rice, including black rice, as well as ALL whole grains is with a rice cooker, my favorite being the VitaClay Chef Gourmet Rice & Slow Cooker Pro.
- I only use pastured chicken. Pastured chicken is not at all the same as “free range”, “cage free” or “vegetarian”, both of which are pretty much meaningless marketing terms. Although it would be ideal if my cashew chicken dinner were made from organic pastured chicken, if I had to choose between organic and pastured, I would choose pastured every time. Learn more about the benefits of pastured chicken HERE.
- I use only unrefined oil, which is the only type of oil that has not had all of the nutrients stripped. I am also careful not to heat the oil too high as high heat creates damaging free radicals.
- For those of you who are NOT gluten-free: I use organic Namu Shoyu in place of coconut aminos. What is Namu Shoyu? It is a special type of soy sauce that has not been pasteurized. Made from cultured soybeans and free of preservatives, Namu Shoyu has been fermented using traditional fermentation methods and so it is “alive” and rich in probiotics and enzymes. You can purchase Namu Shoyu online or at any natural foods store. FYI: Vitacost.com is my favorite online grocery shopping destination for packaged foods such as Namu Shoyu.****GLUTEN-FREE NOTE: Namu Shoyu does contain a bit of gluten, so if you want a completely gluten free soy sauce look for San J brand of organic gluten free soy sauce, or use coconut aminos.****
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- Begin by steaming broccoli in a saucepan. In the meantime, begin working on step 2, and remove broccoli once tender. If using chicken, now is a great time to begin cooking this. I like to simply pan fry mine.
- Heat avocado oil on medium heat in a large saucepan or wok, and add in sliced onion, red bell pepper, snap peas, and carrots. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown.
- Add in steamed broccoli (and chicken if you choose to include this) and sauté until slightly crisp.
- Push vegetables to the side, and add in cashews to an empty spot on the pan. Add more avocado oil if needed, and sauté until they are beginning to brown.
- Mix stir fry together, and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Coat in coconut aminos to taste (I use around 1/4 cup), and mix until well combined.
- Serve warm. Enjoy!
Non-toxic cookware is an extremely important component of a healthy lifestyle. I used Xtrema Cookware for everything in this recipe!