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Mango Chicken (Paleo, Whole30)
This recipe is based on a mind-blowing stir-fry I ate at a Burmese restaurant in San Francisco. My husband David and I had been walking—and book shopping in fabulously cramped and dusty used bookshops—all day. Our energy was tapped out, and we were heading toward Hangryville. We’d never eaten Burmese food before, and decided to give it a try. It was exactly what we needed. The colors were bright, and the seasonings were unexpected and made perfect sense—delicate and powerful at the same time. It was the food equivalent of reclining against a backdrop of satin cushions… and it didn’t hurt that we were literally reclining on comfy cushions.
The cuisine of Burma, now known as Myanmar, is a fusion of Thai, Chinese, and Indian influences. The country had been cut off from the rest of the world for almost 50 years under the rule of a military dictatorship, but since 2012, the borders have opened up and the country has welcomed tourists.
Mango Chicken with Cauliflower Rice
Serves 2–4 | Total time: 40–45 minutes | Whole30 compliant
1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4–6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
2 ripe mangoes
1 medium jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons mango juice, orange juice, or water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon chili sauce (sambal oelek or sriracha)
1 teaspoon honey (omit for Whole30)
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make the rice. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice, about 10 pulses. Place the coconut oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium- high heat for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and salt, toss with a rubber spatula until the rice is coated with the oil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Meanwhile…
Prep the chicken. Pound the chicken to 1/2-inch thickness between two pieces of plastic wrap with the smooth side of the meat hammer, then cut it crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Place the chicken in a bowl and toss with the salt, pepper, and arrowroot powder.
Prep the veggies. Cut the onion and bell pepper into thin slices. Peel the mangoes and cut them into 1/2-inch chunks; if you do this over a bowl, you can use the mango juice in the sauce. Slice the jalapeño into rings.
Make the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a pint-size Mason jar and shake it like you mean it.
Cook the chicken. Warm the coconut oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium- high heat, 2–3 minutes. Add the chicken and toss to coat it in the oil, then let it cook undisturbed for 2–3 minutes. While it cooks, wash the bowl you used for the chicken; you’re going to need it again. Flip the chicken and stir-fry until it’s golden and almost cooked through, about 5–6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the bowl.
Stir-fry! Place the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and mango in the skillet and stir- fry until the veggies are crisp-tender, 2–3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the sauce and stir-fry until thickened and bubbly, 1–2 minutes. Remove the lid from the cauliflower rice and mix in the cilantro leaves.
To serve, divide the cauliflower rice among individual serving plates and top with the stir-fry.
Rice the cauliflower, pound and cut up the raw chicken, and make the sauce; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, cut the veggies and follow the stir-fry directions.
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