Cashew Chicken Quinoa

One of the very first dishes I ever learned how to make was a delicious, authentic cashew chicken when I was living in Chiang Mai, Thailand as a sophomore at BYU. Somehow, while volunteering at an orphanage, child-minding for my professor’s daughters, studying world-religions, sociology and thai language, and traveling around SE Asia, I found time to take a couple of cooking courses! I have since forgotten and lost most of those recipes, but the cashew chicken recipe was SO simple and delicious that I used to make it ALL the time as a student and newly wed, and it somehow got imprinted in my mind! I decided to change the recipeĀ up just a little by adding some quinoa, which we all know is a LOT healthier than white rice, and I added some bell pepper for color, but aside from that–this recipe is truly authentic, and brings me back to that amazing summer I spent in monsoons, night markets and buddhist temples! It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s pretty darn healthy, and SO delicious too! So that just makes this recipe even more awesome. I hope you all enjoy! ;-)

2 cups quinoa
3 cups water + 3 tsp chicken bouillon {or 3 cups chicken stock}
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups salted, whole cashews
4/5 roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthways & sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced into 2″ pieces
2 large/4 small chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small bottle oyster sauce (9oz)
1/2 tsp fish sauce
pinch of sugar

Bring the quinoa, water and chicken bouillon to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-14 minutes until stock has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside with lid on to keep warm.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and stir 3-4 minutes, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a small bowl, and set aside. Heat another tsp olive oil in the same pan, add the peppers and tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the scallions, and cook for another minute or two, then combine the cashews, stir, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in another saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side until done, or no longer pink in the center. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar, according to taste and stir. Plate the quinoa, followed by the cashew and tomato mixture, and top with the chicken and sauce.
<3 Sarah xoxo