This recipe is healthy, fast and gluten-free. It is a great weeknight dinner, and a creative way to shake up a routine of serving the same chicken dishes.  

Cashews are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, an 1-ounce serving of cashews provides 20 percent of your daily recommended value of magnesium, 30 percent of copper, 10 percent of zinc and 10 percent of vitamin E. To learn about the health benefits of cashews, visit

Cashew Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup raw cashews (4 ounces),

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower  

6 cloves garlic, minced

8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup snow peas, rinsed

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 cup organic chicken broth

Brown rice, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until it is coated. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place cashews in a single layer in a baking pan for about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet along with the garlic and white parts of scallions, carrots, snow peas and water chestnuts. Cook, tossing often, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return first batch of chicken to pan. Add vinegar and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.

Add hoisin sauce and 1 cup of chicken broth. Cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in scallion greens and cashews. Serve immediately over brown rice.

• Chef Debi Stuckwisch is the owner of Meals Like Mom’s Personal Chef service in McHenry County. She can be reached at 847-778-9351 or, or