Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs- each cut into about 6 pieces
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 Tbsp ketchup
2Tbsp brown sugar
2 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite size pieces
1 cup snow peas, steamed Until al dente
Directions:
Combine flour and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 4 minutes on each side until brown. Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Add cashews, pineapple and snow peas and gently stir. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.
1 cup Jasmine Rice, rinsed and drained
2 T coconut oil or veg oil
13 oz (one can) Coconut Milk
11 oz Water
1/4 cup Coconut, shredded
Kosher salt To taste
Procedure:
Prepare rice; in a medium saucepan, heat 2T coconut or vegetable oil. When hot, add rice and stir to coat, toasting lightly. Add water and coconut milk to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat; fold in coconut and season to taste with kosher salt.

Cashew Chicken

Over the last few months I’ve been learning about adding nutrition to food and also how to retain the nutritional value in foods (fruits, vegetables, breads) by using specific cooking methods to sustain their values.  And in turn, having a child has brought a few clever changes in our kitchen at home, and I’m thankful for what I’ve learned in order to serve my family more nutritive and healthy food.  In order to carry out my new understandings, I’ve accumulated many new (Organic) ingredients in my pantry such as: Soy Flour, Wheat Germ, Oat Bran, Dried Milk, and Flaxseed Meal.

I’ve learned most of this from searching the internet as well as reading these books: “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld, “The Petit Apetit cookbook” by Lisa Barnes and a classic favorite, “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer.

This morning I realized that we were out of fresh bread for the sandwiches I knew I was going to make for lunch.  So I turned to The Joy of Cooking and decided to find a “Quick” bread that could be made into a loaf for the sandwiches.  I also knew I wanted to use my healthful ingredients.  So I turned to the “Breads” section of “The joy of Cooking” and found “Fast White Bread.”  And just before that title, I learned of “The Cornell Triple-Rich Flour Formula.”  It’s a formula developed by Dr. Clive McCay at Cornell University in the 1930s.  He did much research to raise the standard of nutrition for large segments of the world’s population.  He discovered that the addition of certain ingredients in their natural forms to enriched unbleached bread flours significantly increased their nutritive value.  You can use this formula in your favorite bread, cookie, muffin or cake recipe.

When you measure, first put in the bottom of each cup of flour called for:

1 tablespoon soy flour

1 tablespoon dry milk powder

1 teaspoon wheat germ

Then fill the cup with flour as called for in the recipe.

 

So I began to make “Fast White Bread” (recipe follows)

One 9X5-inch loaf

A quick and easy yeast bread designed to work with quick-rise yeast; regular active dry yeast works too.

Stir together in a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer:

2 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry or quick-rise yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Add:

1 cup very warm (115 to 125 degrees F) water

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted or softened

Mix by hand or on low speed for 1 minute.  Add 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is moist but not stick:

1 to 1-1/2 cups bread flour

 

Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over to coat with oil.

Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 40-45 minutes.

 

Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.  Punch down the dough, form it into a loaf, and place seam side down in the pan.  Oil the surface and cover loosely with a clean cloth.

 

Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450F.  Bake the loaf for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 350F and bake about 30 minutes more.

Bake until the crust is gold brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.  remove the loaf from the pan to a rack and let cool completely.

 

Notes:

I love whole wheat and if you do too: Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the bread flour.

Follow the instructions for adding the cornell triple rich formula to each cup of flour to get the most nutrients out of your bread.

I like to use my coffee maker as a warming device.  It’s not too hot, just warm enough to warm up the bowl.

Winter time is perfect to bake when baking yeast breads cause the house is nice and warm!

Lightly coat your bowl with organic extra virgin olive oil.

If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer, you can also just use your hands and arms and manually knead and mix.

It’s more work, but definitely worth it and you’ll be better for it!

This was my first week teaching at the Epicurean School in Anaheim. I have had a very fun week to say the least. The first class was a “Pro Chef Series” part of their International classes, we focused on Italy- Umbrian cuisine. And last night was a “Healthy Cooking” class and we had a tour of the local farmers market (conveniently located one block away) and the OC Register covered the class to run in Wednesday’s paper in the Health Section.

Tonight we had a group of 16 couples and the theme was “Dinner for Two”. It was a mixed group of “couples” and some were friends or Mother/Daughter. I had a great time teaching and I know they had fun as well learning…and drinking wine! Here’s some pictures to give you a “taste” of our fun!