Fakeout Takeout: 2 takes on a healthier Cashew Chicken

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I like Chinese food, a lot, but can’t seem to figure out where it all fits in my meal planning. I never know how to figure out how much oil and what other ingredients are in the sauce.  I have recently devised 2 strategies when facing Chinese food takeout when I want to stay on my plan:

  1. Order steamed chicken and mixed vegetables (feel free to specify if there are some veggies you don’t like) with no sauce from the restaurant and add my own sauce and some cashews to make Healthier Cashew Chicken.
  2. Make my own version of Healthier Cashew Chicken from scratch

Yesterday, I did the latter and it was really good. I add about 2 tbsp. raw cashews to the steamed chicken and vegetables and I make a sauce containing 1/2 tsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos, a pinch of Chinese five spice, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp sriracha. It was a good way to not have to cook anything but to still stay on track.

Now, a few weeks ago, when I attended a family party where Chinese food was served, I decided to go ahead and make my own and bring it with me. The recipe is as follows and is a great fakeout for takeout. It satisfies my cravings for Chinese food and is more filling than what I might normally order.

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Orange cashew chicken (serves 2-3 depending on size of chicken breasts):

2 chicken breasts (cubed)

1 1/2 green containers of chopped bell pepper, white onion and green onion

1 blue container of raw cashews

1 tsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp sesame oil

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (tamari is even better if you have it)

1 tsp hot sauce (I used sriracha even though I am not totally sure it is fix approved)

1/4 tsp honey

1/8 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Trader Joe’s everyday seasoning (you can omit this if you don’t have it)

juice of 1/4 navel orange

In a saute pan, warm coconut oil on medium hot. Add veggies and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add chicken and dry spices and seasonings. Cook for 5 more minutes. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients for sauce. Add to chicken and veggie mixture along with cashews and turn heat to low, cooking for 5 more minutes.

Serve with steamed brown rice (I like to add a cinnamon stick and bay leaf to my brown rice when steaming as it gives it a nice fragrance and taste). I also like to add an extra serving of veggies by pairing this with Coconut Steamed Veggies.

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