This week’s #SundaySupper features Back to School dishes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Even though The Grillmaster and I don’t have kids at home, there are still nights when we need quick meals due to meetings or other commitments. In these situations, we usually pull out the wok and whip up dinners like Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry.
We often serve this dish over baby spinach or other greens. We get an extra boost of fiber and vitamins, we don’t have to take the time to cook rice and I don’t have to worry about the extra carbs. If you want to serve this stir-fry with rice, cook a double batch. The next night you can combine the leftover rice with chunks of ham, onions, peas, carrots and eggs to make some quick and tasty fried rice.
I actually timed myself when I was preparing this stir-fry. I shooed The Grillmaster out of the kitchen and pulled it off in about 24 minutes. Your mileage may vary, especially if you have kids underfoot.
Here are a few ways to further reduce prep and cooking time:
- Use pre-cut fresh or frozen mixed vegetables and substitute them for the red bell pepper and carrots.
- Use minced garlic from a jar.
- Use chopped ginger from a jar.
- Use roasted cashews and skip the step where you toast the raw cashews.
- Do the first step (marinating the chicken) in the morning. It will save you time when you’re ready to cook and allow the chicken to develop more flavor.
- Chop everything ahead of time and place each ingredient in a separate bowl next to the wok. Mix the tamari and orange juice in a small bowl ahead of time too.
What’s your favorite quick meal to prepare on a busy night?
Adapted from Eat Carbs, Lose Weight by Denise Austin
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into crosswise strips
4 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons raw cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into thin strips
4 scallions, sliced, divided
1/2 cup orange juice
In a medium bowl, combine chicken, 2 tablespoons tamari and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Toast cashews in a small nonstick skillet (don’t use any oil). Stir often, for about 3 to 4 minutes, until cashews are lightly browned. Remove from heat and let cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry for a minute or so, until fragrant. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until no longer pink.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to wok. Add the carrots and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry another 3 minutes or so, until vegetables have softened, but are still crisp. Add half of scallions and cook for another 2 minutes.
Return chicken and its juices to wok. Combine orange juice and remaining 2 tablespoons tamari in a small bowl, then add to wok. Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. Let boil for 30 seconds, then remove wok from heat.
Garnish with remaining scallions and cashews.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 304 calories, 13g fat (2g sat), 65mg cholesterol, 634mg sodium, 16g carb, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 30g protein
Nutritional Analysis: This stir-fry is a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Niacin (Source: nutritiondata.com).
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