Growing up with a Chinese mother, delicious and healthy stir fries were a staple in my house. Stir fries are kind of a comfort food for me. I love cooking up a big meat and veggies stir fry in my wok, then serving it up on a steaming bed of rice or cauliflower rice, or even just on its own. And with our weekly produce box, I always have a large supply of fresh, local veggies on hand to make these amazing meal in ones. I only wish I had a bigger wok!
Chinese stir fries typically use cornstarch and soy sauce, but in this paleo and Whole30 compliant recipe I’ve replaced them with arrowroot starch and coconut aminos (gluten-free tamari sauce is another paleo-friendly alternative). We like ours spicy, but feel free to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes if you like it milder.
Besides the homey comfort of a good stir fry, I also love how infinitely adaptable stir fries are with whatever you happen to have on hand. They’re a great way to use up older produce before it goes bad in the back of my fridge, and the yummy sauce makes this an easy way to get veggies into the kids.
I used chicken, carrots, zucchini, snap peas, and cauliflower for this one, but of course you can use whatever protein and produce you have available. Thinly sliced beef or pork or whole shrimp would all work well. If you’re using different veggies, the general rule is to add the hardest vegetables first as they take the longest to cook.
Try this one the next time you’re in the mood for a flavourful and healthy Chinese stir fry. Enjoy!
Paleo Spicy Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 pounds chicken
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 2-3 large carrots
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 cup toasted cashews
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 6 tablespoons coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 8 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To toast cashews
- Grease a small skillet with a touch of coconut oil and heat over medium.
- Once hot, add whole, unsalted, raw cashews and stir frequently to toast evenly, about 5 minutes.
For the stir fry
- Chop chicken and vegetables into bite size pieces suitable for stir frying and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix arrowroot starch and coconut aminos until starch is dissolved. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir until well-mixed.
- Heat coconut oil in wok or large skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add chicken and stir fry about 5 minutes.
- Add sliced carrots and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Next add cauliflower and cook 3-5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook another 3-5 minutes.
- Add snap peas and toasted cashews, then pour in sauce. Stir fry for 2-3 more minutes until vegetables are cooked, ensuring everything is well-coated in sauce.
- Serve alone or over rice or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!