Bored of plain old chicken breasts for dinner? Do what we did and turn it into a spicy asian-inspired pasta dish! We’re eating pasta tossed with a home made spicy cashew sauce filled with sauteed carrots, red bell peppers, crispy green beans, cilantro, jalapenos, and yes…slices of seared chicken breast meat. The dish was savory and spicy with just a hint of sweet.
A: this was seriously easy to make! the sauce requires zero cooking… just a bit o’ whisking. i love these types of meals!
T: I know, I was amazed at how quickly you made the sauce. You walked into the kitchen, I was zoned out at the computer, and like 5 seconds later you were done! That’s quick.
A: hehe yeah that part was particularly quick. although i sat on the floor meditating in front of the cabinets before launching into sauce making action. forming the game plan was totally key.
T: Now I’ve never seen you sitting on the kitchen floor meditating in front of the open cabinet doors before… was this a new approach to cooking creativity?
A: yup, i’ve never done it before. the cabinets are a mystical wonderland full of forgotten goodies. some times it’s good to get a refresh on what the hell’s in there! (and i “reorganized” while meditating)
T: I think it worked out well. This was different than anything I remember you making in the past, and it was quite tasty. It had a great spice level and a nice Thai-esque feel to it. It was a good thing to do with chicken breasts, too, because they can get kind of boring for me.
A: me. freaking. too. i get soooooo bored with chicken breasts. I mean, yeah yeah, they’re good and all, but they just don’t generally excite me or spark creativity… unless i stuff ’em with goodies, but i’ve done that pretty recently.
T: yeah, stuffing em with goodies is a GREAT thing to do with chicken breasts. Damn dry flavorless pieces of crap. They should grow chickens that have duck breasts. That would be the shit.
A: okay crack head. so what’d ya rate this meal?
T: 4.4/5. It was quite tasty, and delightfully spicy. And I really get excited about fresh jalapeÃ±os 😀 It might be nice to try this with rice noodles instead of fettuccine (as you said while we were eating). What’s your rating?
A: i feel pretty similarly. i give this meal a 4.323/5. it was good, with the exception being the pasta. the pasta was just alright. in the recipe i don’t tell the user what type of pasta to use, but i suggest vermicelli. i think with the right pasta this would have gotten a much higher rating from me.
T: Yeah, from me too, I think. It might have also been interesting to have some of those super-hot peppers soaked in fish and soy sauce that they sometimes have at thai restaurants. But it was good as it was. So, you were saying that the sauce requires no cooking, and that rice noodles require no cooking… does this mean that this meal (aside from the chicken) could theoretically pass as a “raw food” meal if the veggies and stuff were left uncooked?
A: to tell you the truth, i don’t really know the “rules” of raw food “cooking”. i am apt to think that the process that the rice noodles had to go through to become rice noodles would exclude them from the whole raw food thing. you could always make veggie “pasta” with one of those little devices for making veggie pasta… can you tell i don’t know what they’re called?
T: One of those little devices… is that a brand name? 😛 I just thought of something… where do you draw the line of processing before something no longer counts as being raw? I’ve always thought it was the act of heating that made the difference, but would something marinated in lime juice be considered cooked? Can raw food people eat ceviche?
A: these are some good question that i just don’t know the answers too. if anyone who reads this knows anything about the whole raw food movement, let us know in the comments!
3 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2 long pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 1/2 inch long pieces
1 large carrot, cut in thin 1 1/2 inch long pieces
2 green onions, cut in 1 1/2 inch long pieces
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tbsp canola oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Long pasta of your choice (vermicelli works the best), cooked according to the directions
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup cashew butter
3/4 cup coconut milk (unsweetened!)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp sambal oelek (can adjust amount for desired heat level)
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup water
Preheat a medium sized pot of water over high heat. Preheat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil to the saute pan. While the pan is heat, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot place the chicken in the pan. Saute the chicken over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook for another five minutes, or until chicken is just cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the saute pan. Allow the chicken to rest, loosely cover in aluminum foil, for at least 8 minutes. Once the chicken has rested, slice across the grain (width-wise) into bite sized pieces.
While the chicken is sauteing make the sauce, boil the green beans and saute the veggies:
Add all the ingredients for the sauce into a mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Once the pot of water comes to a boil, season liberally with salt. Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water. Boil the green beans for 5 minutes. Drain the green beans.
While the green beans are cooking and the chicken is resting, saute the red bell pepper, carrot slices, and green onions over medium-high heat in the same saute pan the chicken was cooked in, using the remaining oil from the chicken. Saute the veggies for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp-tender. (oxymoronic i know)
Add the spicy cashew sauce, drained green beans, sliced chicken, cilantro, and jalapeÃ±os to the pan with the veggies. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add the pasta, cooked al dente according to the direction on the package, to the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce so that every strand of pasta is completely covered. Serve and garnish the dish with chopped cilantro and slices of jalapeno (optional). Enjoy!