On the table

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

One way to keep dinner interesting for the eaters - and the cook - is to vary cuisines. And it doesn't have to mean stocking up on exotic spices or other ingredients.

Below is a recipe I created for cashew chicken, based on versions I've eaten at restaurants. The only ingredient you may not be familiar with is fresh ginger. It's found in the produce section, usually alongside garlic. If you have some leftover after making this recipe, use it in marinades or salad dressings.


Makes 4 servings

Serve this with steamed rice, preferably brown, for a complete and healthful meal.

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon rice or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cashews (preferably raw)

2 teaspoons peeled grated fresh ginger

2 cups diced celery

1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced

1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine chicken, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, cornstarch, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir to mix.

Scatter cashews on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven (if using roasted nuts, skip this step).

Heat wok or heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add chicken mixture.

Stir-fry until chicken begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add celery and bell pepper. Stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.

Add broth to wok. Stir until sauce thickens and chicken and vegetables are coated with sauce. Transfer mixture to a platter. Sprinkle with cashews and serve.

PER SERVING: 258 calories; 30 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 10 g fat (2 g saturated); 66 mg cholesterol; 467 mg sodium