How do you measure a successful recipe? Even if I completely love something I create, it's not enough until the toughest critics in my family eat what I make, then go for seconds. This recipe, my super delicious Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is a success...and it's easy. I made this as a prepped to go to a concert with a girlfriend, while my two oldest watched Coco in the living room, and my youngest sat at the counter with me.
What Makes This Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Special & Delicious
Yes, a clean, healthy protein like chicken helps. Yes, all the veggies and flavorful sauce helps. But in my opinion, the thing that separates this stir fry from the others I've made is the addition or arrowroot flour. Arrowroot flour is sourced from a root, and acts as a starch - so it's both gluten free and paleo. In terms of cooking, it acts as a thickener, but also helps to coat major ingredients - like in this case, chicken. The arrowroot won't make the chicken crunchy, but it add a little extra flavor and a really great texture that everyone who had a bowl (or two) of this dish noticed.
I struggle cooking with corn starch. Corn starch would typically be my go-to for this type of recipe. When I was a kid I used to use corn starch, along with the help of my grandma, to make gravy for Thanksgiving. As I got older, I almost always used corn starch in stir fry sauces to help thicken. No more. Arrowroot is so easily available as a substitute and it's not genetically modified. About 90% of corn crops in the US are GMO. So if you're concerned about this type of thing, consider using arrowroot as a substitute. If not, the buy only organic corn starch.
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Nutrition: The Breakdown
Sometimes when we eat different foods, there's good and there's bad. For example, a salad can be one of the healthiest things you could eat, but if you throw on a salad dressing filled with unhealthy oils, you're filling your body with anti-nutrients as you try to nourish it with beneficial nutrients. This Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is 100% nutrition. No anti-nutrients to report!
- Chicken: I used organic chicken breasts in my recipe. Chicken is a good source of protein, and provides about 3 ounces (per serving) in this dish.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, peas, red pepper, garlic and onion. That's all I added to my dish. I cut the onions super small as my kids would call me out on it, but I still used quite a bit. The flavor and health benefits it brings is so good. Garlic is a rockstar ingredient.
- Cashews: A healthy source of fat, I used raw cashews for this recipe. This recipe calls for one cup of cashews, so you're not overdosing and still have plenty of room for another healthy fat in the next ingredient. Cashews are a good source of magnesium, which can help improve blood pressure and bone health; copper, which has been shown to improve hair and skin while benefitting brain function; and B6 which helps keep your nervous system healthy.
- Olive Oil: I love the taste of a good olive oil! Did you know that not all olive oil you find in the store is actually 100% olive oil? It's true - check this out. I used California Olive Ranch olive oil for my recipes. It's so good. I've also read that Costco has a truly legit olive oil, but have never tried it. Bottom line - get to know your olive oils so that you're getting the real deal.
Before I get to the recipe, if you're looking for a healthy dessert also made with cashews, you have to try these No Bake Chocolate Cashew Coconut Bars. They're easy and so good - especially if you're a chocolate lover.
- 1 lb chicken breast, dice into 1" cubes
- 3 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets (I used frozen, but fresh is good, too.)
- 1 cup red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup peas (I used frozen, but fresh is good too. Try to avoid canned.)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chili sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
- Toss cubed chicken in a bowl along with the 3 tbsp arrowroot flour and salt. Coat thoroughly and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onions to skillet after oil is hot and allow to sauté for 3 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté to onion mixture for about 1 minute.
- Add in chicken and cook thoroughly.
- As chicken cooks, prepare sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking until it's a smooth mixture.
- After chicken has been cooked throughout, add in vegetables, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes, depending whether or not the vegetables were frozen or fresh.
- After vegetables are heated, toss in sauce.
- Finally, toss in cashews.
- Serve and enjoy!