Maple Cashew Baked Chicken or Tempeh
Over Rice Noodles
Note: Gluten Free, Vegan Options & Allergen Alternatives Included
Recipe by Kelsey Crawford, CN
I encourage folks who would typically prepare this recipe with chicken, to be adventurous and try it with tempeh!
Tempeh is a fermented soy food that originated in Indonesia, and is often times made with grains and legumes such as cooked or sprouted brown rice and lentil. It provides a complete protein source a unique element of flavor, hearty texture & fermentation to the meal (aiding digestion) and appeasing folks new to vegetarianism. According to one of my favorite recipe books, Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (see notes at bottom), tempeh should be consumed with in the week of store purchase. It can be stored for up to six months in the freezer. There is always the option to try different preparation techniques such as baking, broiling, boiling and pan frying a single serving for experimentation, and if you don’t use it all- freezing it.
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup maple syrup – alternatives might be agave, molasses, or apple sauce
1 pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons crushed cashews – alternatives could be pumpkin seeds or cooked quinoa
2 chicken breasts – alternative vegan protein suggested is one piece of tempeh cut in half (I typically see tempeh sold in packs with two large pieces. I would say about half of one piece is plenty a serving size)
Vermicelli or Pad Thai rice noodles – alternative to noodles would be their whole grain form- brown or white jasmine rice
Mixed leafy greens of your choice, opting for seasonal or local if possible for freshness
Fresh basil and cilantro
Optional lime wedge if it’s citrus season – alternative to citrus for a similar effect would be just a dash of rice or apple cider vinegar just before serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil a baking dish then place either chicken or tempeh in dish.
- Whisk tamari, maple syrup, spices and sesame seeds together in a bowl, then glaze chicken/tempeh with this marinade.
- Sprinkle the crumbled cashews (or quinoa) over chicken/tempeh, cover and place in oven to bake for about 18-22 minutes. Do a knife test and check center of chicken to confirm that it has been baked all the way through. Aim for a golden, caramelized cashew crust by removing lid or foil and rotating the baking dish for an even color.
- Rice noodles will cook incredibly fast in boiling water (usually 2 minutes or less for vermicelli). Save this step for last. Strain noodles and run under icy cold water for a few seconds so they don’t stick together. Place them into a bowl and toss with a little sesame oil to help keep them from sticking if you like.
Once noodles have come to cool, place them in a bowl with some light leafy greens. Greens can be placed at the bottom of the bowl, tossed in with the noodles, or on top of the noodles. What ever your style is! Garnish with cilantro and basil.
Place either the chicken or tempeh on top and serve.
If you’re feeling like bringing the flavor up a notch, you might try garnishing with a dash of fish sauce (a little goes a long way- there are vegan versions free of fish- see notes at bottom), fresh diced serrano or jalapeño pepper, lime juice (or vinegar).
This dish is also excellent cold. Chill it in the fridge for a refreshing and satiating salad on a hot day or for lunch after some sort of physical activity or workout.
If you want to give a pop of color before serving to someone, add in a little chopped purple cabbage & shredded carrot.
Recipe and photos by Kelsey Crawford, CN for Go Forth Culture
Lair, Cynthia. Feeding The Whole Family, Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents. Cooking With Whole Foods. Seattle, WA. Sasquatch Books. 2008.
Tofuna Fysh Sauce: vegan all purpose seasoning made with organic seaweed, not fish.