Cashew chicken is quickly becoming a very popular menu item at Chinese restaurants, and it’s no surprise. The delicious, crunchy cashews add a sensational flavor to the chicken and vegetables. Unfortunately, the cashew chicken served at most of these restaurants is loaded with fat and calories because it is smothered in a goopey, rather heavy sauce. This version has far less calories and fat, but still has a fantastic flavor and an amazing sauce. Once you try Low Calorie Cashew Chicken, you’ll never order the take out version again!!
Low Calorie Cashew Chicken
- 1 large resealable food storage bag
- 1 small bowl
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips or pieces)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine (or chicken broth if you don’t have wine)
- 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 green onions (scallions), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 red or green bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (optional)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup cashews, raw or toasted
- Place the chicken in large resealable food storage bag. Blend the cornstarch, wine, soy sauce and garlic powder in small bowl until smooth and then pour it into the bag over the chicken pieces.
- Seal the bag tightly and shake it around a little to coat the chicken. Place the bag in the fridge for at least an hour (or as long as overnight) to marinate.
- When ready, drain the chicken and discard the marinade. Heat the oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes (or until slightly browned).
- Add the mushrooms, bell pepper and water chestnuts and stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes (or until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through).
- Stir in the hoisin sauce if using and cook 1 minute or until heated through. Serve the chicken and vegetable mixture over the cooked rice and top each serving evenly with cashews.
To ensure that your Low Calorie Cashew Chicken turns out perfectly every time, we’ve gathered some valuable cooking tips and insights. By following these suggestions, you’ll achieve the best results and avoid common mistakes that can compromise the dish’s flavor and texture.
Offer tips and tricks to ensure the best results:
- Use high-quality ingredients: Opt for fresh chicken breast, preferably organic, and ensure your vegetables are crisp and vibrant. Fresh ingredients will enhance the flavors and overall quality of the dish.
- Preheat your pan: Before adding the chicken, make sure your pan is properly preheated over medium-high heat. This will allow for a nice sear and prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: Cook the chicken in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, as it can cause the chicken to steam rather than sear. This will ensure that your chicken gets a beautiful golden crust.
Share insights on common mistakes to avoid:
- Overcooking the chicken: Be mindful not to overcook the chicken, as it can result in dry and tough meat. Cook the chicken just until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it remains tender and juicy.
- Neglecting to toast the cashews: Toasting the cashews before adding them to the dish adds a delightful crunch and enhances their nutty flavor. Don’t skip this step as it greatly enhances the overall texture of the dish.
- Not adjusting the seasoning: Taste your Low Calorie Cashew Chicken before serving and adjust the seasoning if needed. You may want to add a touch more soy sauce or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to balance the flavors to your liking.
The Best Ways To Serve And Enjoy Low Calorie Cashew Chicken
Now that you’ve mastered the art of cooking Low Calorie Cashew Chicken, it’s time to explore the many ways you can serve and enhance this delightful dish. From recommended sides and garnishes to creative presentations, let’s dive into some serving suggestions that will elevate your dining experience.
Recommend sides, garnishes, or beverages that complement the flavors:
To complement the flavors of your Low Calorie Cashew Chicken, consider serving it with steamed jasmine rice or quinoa for a light and fluffy base. The nutty flavors of brown rice or the fragrant aroma of coconut-infused rice can also be fantastic options. For a refreshing twist, pair the dish with a crisp Asian-inspired salad dressed with a sesame ginger vinaigrette. Additionally, steamed broccoli or stir-fried bok choy make excellent side vegetables, adding a vibrant touch to your plate. Don’t forget to garnish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a burst of freshness.
Suggest different ways to serve the dish:
While Low Calorie Cashew Chicken is delicious on its own, there are various ways to serve it to keep things exciting. Try wrapping the chicken and vegetables in lettuce leaves to create healthy and flavorful lettuce wraps. Alternatively, stuff the filling into warm whole wheat pita bread for a unique twist on a sandwich. You can also enjoy the cashew chicken as a filling for a nutritious grain bowl, combining it with quinoa, roasted vegetables, and a drizzle of tangy yogurt sauce. The versatility of this dish allows you to get creative and tailor it to your preferences.
Here are some common questions that often arise when preparing Low Calorie Cashew Chicken. We’ve got you covered with answers and helpful tips to ensure a smooth cooking process and a satisfying dining experience.
Can I prepare Low Calorie Cashew Chicken in advance?
Absolutely! You can marinate the chicken and prepare the sauce in advance to save time. Keep the marinated chicken in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and store the sauce separately. When ready to cook, simply combine the chicken and sauce and follow the recipe instructions.
How do I store leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm the dish in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or chicken broth to maintain moisture.
Can I make this dish vegetarian or vegan?
Absolutely! You can substitute the chicken with firm tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian version. For a vegan option, use plant-based alternatives such as soy sauce or tamari, and replace honey with agave nectar or maple syrup.
Can I make the dish spicier?
Certainly! If you prefer a spicier kick, feel free to add red pepper flakes, sriracha sauce, or diced chili peppers to the dish. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of heat.
Can I freeze Low Calorie Cashew Chicken?
While it’s best to enjoy this dish fresh, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen dish overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Congratulations! You’ve unlocked the secret to a guilt-free indulgence with our Low Calorie Cashew Chicken recipe. Now, it’s time to share the love—don’t forget to hit that share button and spread the goodness of this recipe. Plus, subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with our latest creations, cooking tips, and more.