March 9, 2008

Healthy Meal: Chipotle Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice and Spinach Salad

Last night, my roommate came home right when I was finishing up dinner, so I ended up talking to her instead of posting my recipe. that means today, you get two recipes! (And maybe a few more as well, since I have a couple recipes that I cooked and took pictures of but neglected to post).

This recipe springs from me wanting to use up some fridge leftovers. I had chicken (from another recipe, to be posted soon), red peppers (from the same), hazelnuts (from like… 3 months ago), and chipotles in adobo (from whenever I make turkey chili). I screwed this recipe up by trying to double up the chipotles, which made it way too spicy. However, when I fished through the final product to pull out the actual pepper pieces, I found that the sauce had just the right amount of heat; it was just that I couldn’t stomach eating the actual peppers.
Recipe notes: chicken and brown rice
To make this healthier, I grilled the chicken on my Foreman instead of sauteing it; this allowed me to use less oil because I only needed a little bit to saute the veggies. I used only 1/4 cup of brown rice for one serving, which was plenty – I’ve gotten used to less pasta/rice with my stir fries. I substituted hazelnuts for the cashews, because that was what I had on hand and I wanted to use them up. Finally, for the sauce, I used reduced sodium soy sauce, and also went lightly on the honey and maple syrup.

Recipe notes: spinach salad
I went very lightly on the oil, and mainly used the soy sauce and vinegar to provide liquid. I also put in a little water to give it more liquid without adding calories. Finally, I went very lightly on the sesame seeds, using them more as a garnish than for flavor.

Nutrition facts:
582 calories for the chicken stir fry (recipe here)
60 calories for the spinach salad (recipe here)

Review: 3/5
This was really tasty after I got rid of the offending chipotles. Not quite as healthy and low-cal as I’d like, but still, it’s mostly good-for-you ingredients, and it all goes together nicely. The spinach salad was good, but the ingredients in the sauce didn’t add much flavor relative to the calories they added. I’d do the chipotle chicken again, but would probably just do plain spinach or spinach with a bit of soy sauce but not the other ingredients.


3 thoughts on “Healthy Meal: Chipotle Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice and Spinach Salad”

  1. Yep, I think I’m going to make that for dinner tonight. I love chipotle flavor, and my kids will eat anything “exotic”. Thanks for the recipe. Oh, and you cracked me up talking about the security antics at the airport.

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