If you’re like me, quick meals (think ready in 20-30 minutes) that keep calories in check and don’t heat up the kitchen are probably on your “to find” list for the summer. Stir fries are a great option here. With no oven required and only one pan to clean, they adapt easily to the produce that’s in season and make a tasty alternative to grilling if you’re looking to switch things up a bit. I was excited when I saw Cooking Light’s Honey Cashew Chicken with Rice in last month’s magazine because it seemed to fit the bill perfectly! And with a few tweaks, it became an allergen-friendly, lower sodium and very delicious dinner that was on the table in under a half hour! Read on to see how.
I followed the directions and ingredients as written in the original recipe (see link above to download it) except for the following modifications…
2 T cornstarch: replaced with 2 T all-purpose flour (I used regular all-purpose flour, but a gluten-free blend should work, too.)
1/2 teaspoon of salt: replaced with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 C soybeans and 1 red bell pepper, sliced: replaced with a mix of frozen carrots, cauliflower and mushrooms
1/2 C of dry-roasted cashews: replaced with 1/4 C of unsalted, toasted sunflower seeds (If you can eat nuts, unsalted peanuts are really good here instead of cashews. I used a mix of both.)
Dressing (vinegar, honey, soy sauce and Sriracha): I used vinegar (apple cider) and honey in the amounts written. I replaced the soy sauce with about 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil (low sodium broth should also work if you can’t tolerate sesame oil). I omitted the Sriracha, and added a few teaspoons of water to the dressing to thin it to the desired consistency.
I followed the rest of the recipe as directed.
The verdict? A welcome change from a typical stir fry, this dish was subtly sweet without being overpowering. The vinegar and sesame oil provide a nice counterpoint to the honey, and the nuts or seeds added great crunch. I didn’t miss the additional salt (the chicken and veggies were still tender and flavorful) or the ingredients that I had to omit/replace due to food allergies. Definitely a keeper!