Cashew Chicken

I was surprised how easy this meal was to make.  It has kind of a long ingredient list, but it was really simple once I got going.  Tim and I both loved it and he ate all the leftovers!

Cashew Chicken

Source:  pg 152 Ladies Home Journal , Sept 10

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

3 tbsp dry sherry

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes

5 tsp cornstarch, divided

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp canola oil

1/2 cup unsalted cashews {toasted if you want}

2 scallions, sliced {for serving}

Directions:

In a bowl combine sliced chicken, sherry, ginger, garlic, and 2 tsp cornstarch.  Chill in the fridge 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, in another bowl combine broth, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 3 tsp cornstarch; set aside.

Saute half the chicken in a large nonstick skillet with 1 tsp oil until cooked through.  Transfer chicken to a plate.  Repeat with the remaining chicken and oil.

Return all chicken to skillet.  Stir in broth mixture and bring to a simmer; cook until sauce thickens, about 1 or 2 minutes.  Stir in cashews.

Serve over hot rice with scallions on top.

Enjoy!

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Buttery Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp

Yum!  I forgot how much I love anything chili-lime flavored.  It is intense and so delicious.

Buttery Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp

Source:  adapted from Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious Sept/Oct 2009

Ingredients (use more or less depending on how many shrimp you’re using):

3-4 Tbsp butter, melted

juice of one lime

1 tsp chili powder

1 heaping tsp minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

pinch of salt and pepper

1/2 to 1 pound uncooked shrimp (I used medium sized), peeled and deveined

Directions:

In a small bowl combine everything except the shrimp.  Set aside about half of the butter mixture for serving.

Thread shrimp onto skewers (my favorite!), brush with butter sauce, and grill over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn opaque pink.  Baste occasionally with butter mixture.  Remove skewers from the grill and serve over hot rice with the reserved butter.

Garnish with additional lime wedges if desired.

Enjoy!

Quinoa with Black Beans

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) may sound a little unusual, but once you make it once you will be hooked.  Especially if you are looking for healthy alternatives to starches.  Quinoa is actually a seed and is a complete protein.  Use it instead of rice, add it to salads, the list really goes on and on.  It is healthy and filling!  I plan to post other recipes using quinoa soon.

Anyway, I served this side dish with the shrimp and sausage skewers from the other night.  It was very good.

Quinoa with Black Beans

1/2 a red onion, chopped very finely

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup Quinoa, rinsed

1.25 cups water

1/2 a can black beans, rinsed and drained

Saute the onion in oil until tender.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 12 minutes.  Let stand about 5 minutes, fluff, add black beans.

Serves 4.

Sausage and Shrimp Skewers

I always think grilling skewers will be a good idea right up until I’m actually in the thick of assembling them.  Then I’m cursing myself.  Hard.  Sure, they are pretty, yummy, and cook really fast but it takes forever to prep supplies, chop, peel the shrimp, and then finally thread them.  Oh don’t forget to make the side dishes to go with…rice or quinoa, steamed veggies, etc.  Urggg!  For some reason I always say “never again” only to put skewers back on the menu again a few months later.  I never learn.

You however, can be better than me if you are efficient and have good time management skills.  I need to remember to make these on a night when I have time for a little extra work, or maybe I’ll remember to do some prep ahead.  I hope I can be organized like that.  For starters – chop the sausage and onion ahead of time, begin soaking the skewers right away, then start on the side dish (quinoa in this case), then peel the shrimp, then assemble. Good luck!

For these skewers I used:

6 or 7 bamboo skewers – soak them in liquid to avoid burning (water, fruit juice, chicken broth)

1/2  pound medium-large shrimp, peel and de-vein them and then toss in salt-free Cajun seasoning

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into large pieces

1/2 of a red onion, cut into chunks

{cherry tomatoes would be awesome, but the store didn’t have any}

Thread everything alternately on the skewers.  Grill for about 7 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.

I served them with Quinoa with black beans {recipe coming soon}.

Blueberry Cocktail

This ain’t rocket science.
Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka + Ocean Spray Blueberry Pomegranate Juice over ice = YUM
Enjoy!