Friday, February 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken & Cauliflower Rice

I know I have mentioned my love for my slow cooker before.  Well, I will say it again.  I love it!  Have I also mentioned my love for Asian-inspired meals?  Well, I love those too.  So when I found a recipe on Pinterest that combined both of those things, I had to try it.  I have made this recipe before and we really enjoyed it.  I probably served it with rice.  So this time, I made some changes and substitutions to make a great Paleo meal!

Here are some of the changes I made: I omitted flour since it wasn't really a crucial part of the dish- it was just for coating the chicken.  I substituted olive oil for canola, tamari sauce for soy sauce, tomato paste for ketchup, honey for brown sugar, and of course my trick of using cauliflower instead of grain rice.  Finally, I added a few more vegetables just to add some Paleo-ness to the meal- mushrooms and zucchini (and I usually would add red bell pepper too, but I tragically didn't have any in my house today...).  So here is what I did:

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken & Cauliflower Rice
(this served the 2 of us with leftovers)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders OR breasts, cut into tender sized pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c tamari sauce
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T honey 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (I didn't have any to include tonight, though)
  • 1/2 cauliflower, grated (I used the leftover half from last week's meal)
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt & pepper, and brown it in the skillet for about 2 minutes on each side (just until there is no more pink).   Transfer the chicken to your slow cooker.  Combine tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar, tomato paste, honey, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a bowl, and then pour over chicken.  Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.  About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, add mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers and stir.  Let that cook up for a few minutes.  The chicken may start to shred a bit when you stir, which is totally fine- if you want to shred it all, go for it, but I like to keep mine partially intact.  In the meantime, cook your cauliflower rice: Heat a bit more olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and then throw in the grated cauliflower and cook for a few minutes (for more info, check out this post). Finally, stir the cashews into the chicken and you are ready to eat!

Serve your cashew chicken over the cauliflower rice and enjoy! We really liked this meal, as usual, and would recommend it to others. Feel free to add any other vegetables you might like, change up the spice level, or whatever else suits you.  Get creative with your Paleo meals and it will make everything much more enjoyable!  Come back and see what we will be cooking up next...

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