Sticky Cashew Chicken

About three years ago, I made a switch that would change my life. I did my first Whole 30 and figured out some things about myself. Firstly, the stomach problems I’d had all my life and had been to see numerous doctors about? Yeah. Turns out I’m lactose intolerant. And those daily headaches and weekly migraines I suffered from for years? Yeah. Turns out my body hates sugar.

It’s been a bumpy three years, and while I haven’t always stuck with it as well as I should (and I’ve paid the price), we’ve made big strides to changing our lifestyle. Especially in January when, after watching the documentary Fed Up as a family, we went paleo. Yes, I detoxed my kids from sugar. No, I’m not crazy (most days). For the past ten months, we’ve been following what I call the 90/10 paleo life where we do paleo 90% of the time and cut ourselves some slack the other 10%.

While I could go on and on about how amazing the effects of eating this way are, that’s not what this post is about. This is about quick meals for writers. But. Well. It’s incredibly difficult to find fast meals that are paleo friendly and that aren’t eggs (again).

Enter my favorite meal, ever. It is AHMAYZING. It’s so amazing, I have to make a triple batch every time I make it because that’s how much every single person in my family loves it. And I promise you, even if you’re not paleo, you will gobble up every bite. This recipe is adapted from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook (my favorite cookbook of all time) because I don’t like to cook with chicken wings and, well, because I had chicken breasts on hand the first time I made this and was too lazy to go to the store.

sticky-cashew-chickenSticky Cashew Chicken
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2-3T arrowroot or tapioca starch
2T coconut oil (may also use olive oil or ghee)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1t fresh grated ginger
1/2c coconut aminos
3T honey
1T chili sauce
Splash of Worcestershire sauce (or fish sauce, if you have it)
2T olive oil (may also use coconut oil or ghee)
3/4c cashews
green onions as desired

  1. Get your sauce going by melting 2T coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add coconut aminos, honey, chili sauce, and Worcestershire; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Boil until it’s reduced a bit and has thickened.
  2. Meanwhiiiiiile, cut up your chicken, then throw the bits in a gallon ziplock baggie with the arrowroot/tapioca starch and salt/pepper to taste. Toss to coat. (use more starch if needed, but these should just have a dusting, not full coverage otherwise they’ll get gummy)
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Once ready, add your coated chicken. NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT: Let the chicken sit, sizzling and popping, until the the chicken starts to turn just a bit white on top. Then flip and repeat! You should have a nice golden crust on all your bitesize pieces.
  4. Once chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened (it may still be a bit runny), add your crispy chicken to the sauce pan and divvy up. Try to remember other people may want some, too. I know it’s difficult.
  5. Serve over cauliflower rice (or regular rice, if you’re a rebel), and top with desired amount of cashews (lots) and green onions (a few).
  6. Stuff your face.

From start to finish, this recipe takes about 45 minutes and is worth every second spent in the kitchen. Yes, even while on deadline.

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