I first discovered the Internet when I was a senior in high school in Fiji. It was 1998, an internet connection at home was unheard of but my school had one. I had to look up the discipline of marine engineering for a scholarship and that’s how I saw my first webpage – altavista.com.
I have come a long way since then with a computer science degree and a decade-long IT career. The Internet is no longer as mystical as it seemed that warm summer day when I stood in awe as this screen magically populated with “real” information about boats and coastlines.
These days, the Internet is this wonderful communication medium connecting us with people from all walks of life. It lets us keep in touch with friends and family thousands of miles away. It lets us share parts of our lives with strangers (like Crunchy Mama’s kitchen creations!). It also lets us share our thoughts, both profound and mundane, with strangers – Tweets about what we had for lunch, instagram photos of our children and opinions and commentary on anything and everything in between.
Sometimes, I read things like forums and comments on popular blogs and it amazes me how people will say things online that they wouldn’t dream of saying to a stranger face-to-face. It is fascinating and sometimes frustrating to read. A lot of it is probably due to a lack of empathy for people you can’t see. You are just speaking behind the anonymity of a computer.
Perhaps, we can all reflect a moment on the power of language and how we may be speaking to an actual human being on the other end of all these wires and electronics. I find it especially important to remember the power of language when discussing people’s health and eating choices and habits - as is often the case on food and diet sites. Most of us wouldn’t dream of walking up to someone in a restaurant and tell them things like “You’re eating DEAD FOOD”, “I am more hardcore healthy/Paleo/Primal/vegan/<insert label> than you are. That pancake/butter/tapioca flour/fish is NOT ‘healthy/Paleo/Primal/vegan/<insert label>’”.
Until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes, you don’t know anything about them and their journey for better health and in life. There’s respectfully inquiring about someone’s choices and sharing your own experiences and then there’s the judgey, condescending, I-am-better-than-you blanket statement of your opinion. The former may take a little longer and a little more effort but I’d like to think that most of us would make that little investment to try and remain kind people online as we normally do in real life.
OK, rant over.
I always feel a bit better after a healthy, satisfying meal. Cashew chicken is a Chinese restaurant favorite. I know a lot of Crunchy friends get very excited about a more Paleo/Primal version of Chinese fare because going to Panda Express is no longer desirable in our quest for better eating. This one is a really easy one with a small list of ingredients – I hope you enjoy it!
Cut up your chicken into pieces that are roughly the size of a cashew nut and marinate it in some coconut aminos, tapioca flour and egg white.
Cut up some colorful peppers, ginger and green onion.
Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside (coconut aminos, wine, balsamic vinegar and a little bit of salt, honey and tapioca flour)
Using your fat of choice (Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, bacon grease), shallow fry the chicken pieces for a few minutes until just cooked.
Drain chicken pieces over some paper towels.
Drain your skillet except for 2 TBSP of fat and saute up some green onion and ginger until fragrant.
Throw in the peppers and sauce and cook briefly until sauce is thick and bubbly.
Then add chicken and cashews and stir until everything is evenly coated with sauce.
Serve with a yummy side salad and enjoy!
- 2 lb chicken, cut into pieces the size of cashew nuts
- 1 cup roasted cashew nuts
- 1/2 red pepper, diced to the same size as chicken
- 1/2 green or orange pepper, diced to the same size as chicken
- 3 green onions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 15 slices of ginger (size of a quarter)
- Fat of your choice for frying and sautéing (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or bacon grease)
- 1 egg white
- 2 TBSP coconut aminos
- 1 TBSP tapioca flour
- 4 TBSP coconut aminos
- 2 TBSP cooking wine
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp tapioca flour
- Combine marinade ingredients and mix chicken into marinade for at least 30 minutes
- Combine sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside
- In a large skillet, heat up your fat of choice and shallow fry the chicken pieces for 2-4 minutes until just cooked.
- Drain chicken on some paper towels
- Drain the fat out of the skillet except for 2 TBSP
- Saute the green onion and ginger for a minute
- Add peppers and sauce. Cook until it is thick and bubbly
- Add chicken back to the skillet and stir until chicken pieces are covered in sauce.
- Throw in the roasted cashews. Stir and serve