In my college days, I loved eating Chinese food. Once I switched to a wellness lifestyle and realized what was in most restaurant foods, I stopped eating regular Chinese food, but wanted to recreate some of the same flavors with real food ingredients.
One of my favorite pre real food conversion dishes was Sweet and Sour chicken. Most restaurant versions are more like MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup Chicken, so I wanted to make a version that was naturally sweet and sour.
Also, like most of my recipes, I wanted it to be simple to make and not create a lot of dishes. I also wanted it to be quick enough to make that I could make it on a Jujutsu night without it taking forever.
This recipe was the result and it was enthusiastically approved by all five children, my husband and the grandparents so it is sure to be a favorite in your home too. Instead of MSG and corn syrup, it uses honey, vinegar, coconut aminos and citrus juices with natural herbs and spices.
I’ve included the basic spices I used, but feel free to add more or less to suit your preference.
This can be served over white rice or cauliflower rice. I’ve also found that it is good over zucchini noodles (made with a spiral slicer) or just roasted zucchini slices. I’ve also eaten it over wilted spinach to get some extra greens and it was delicious.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Yield 4 -6
Sweet and sour chicken with coconut aminos, spices and citrus juices is a real food alternative to this favorite.
- 1 pound of pastured chicken breasts or thighs (boneless)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup orange spread (no added ingredients- I use the Sicilian orange spread from Tropical Traditions)
- 1/4 cup raw honey (can sub maple syrup)
- 1 orange or red bell pepper (optional)
- Sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish
- Cauliflower rice (or white rice) to serve with
- Cut the chicken in to bite size pieces. I use kitchen scissors for this.
- Place in chicken in a large skillet with butter or coconut oil and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until mostly white. While cooking, add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, turmeric, and paprika.
- After the 5-7 minutes when chicken is mostly cooked, add the lemon juice, coconut aminos, fish sauce and apple cider vinegar and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until pieces are cooked in center.
- Drain off any extra liquid and return to heat.
- Add tomato paste, orange spread, chopped bell pepper, and honey and cook on medium/high for another 3-5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken and chicken starts to brown slightly.
- Remove from heat and serve over cauliflower rice or white rice with sesame seeds and green onions for a garnish.
- Enjoy 🙂
Ever recreated a recipe from a favorite restaurant? How did it go?