Eating to enhance your performance and possibly manage your weight often leads to eating the same foods repetitively. Let’s face it, it’s much simpler to eat the same thing 5 days a week if you find something you like and fits whatever program you are trying to follow, whether it be paleo, zone, macros or simply counting calories. But most of us like variety, at least every once in a while. That can lead to giving in to fast food cravings here and there. Well, this month’s recipe is one that can feed a yearning for Chinese food and it’s quick and easy. If you follow a paleo diet regularly, you will most likely have all of these ingredients on hand.  If not, make sure to read it through before your next trip to the grocery store.  You should be able to find most all of them in the organic isle.

This recipe calls itself a “Crock Pot” recipe, but I would disagree.  Although it can be made in the crock pot, I find the 3-4 hour cooking time inconvenient for a normal work day.  Maybe if you are doing it on the weekend…. Also, I don’t like slow cooker recipes that require dirtying any additional pans.  So with both those facts in mind, it won’t surprise you that I actually make this on the stove!  It takes less than 30 minutes and only dirties one pan. That fits my lifestyle much better. Did you know that many crock pot recipes can be converted to stove or oven recipes?  And vice versa. So start keeping that in mind, especially when the cook time is just a couple hours on low.  It may make more sense for your schedule.  So without further ado, I give you Paleo Crock Pot Cashew Chicken (originally from www.recipesandme.com) and I will give you both sets of instructions. Bon appetit!

Paleo Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

Ingredients:
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbs. coconut oil
3 tbs. coconut aminos (I’ve used Tamari too, which can be easier to find, but not 100% paleo)
2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 tbs. organic ketchup (tomato paste would work also)
1/2-1 tbs. palm sugar
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/4-1/2 red pepper flakes
1/2 cup raw cashews (The cheapest place I have found these is at the Indian market on the Carlisle Pike. Also great for limes, avocados and cilantro while you are at it!!)

Directions:

  1. Place starch and black pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken pieces and seal; toss to thoroughly coat meat.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet or wok. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until brown on all sides. Remove and add to crock pot. ***This is where I just leave it in the pan and follow step 3, except I let it simmer for about 15 minutes to finish cooking the chicken and let the flavors blend.***
  3. Mix coconut aminos through red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken and toss to coat. Put lid on crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  4. Stir cashews into chicken and sauce before serving.

6 servings, 291 calories protein – 34 g/  carb – 14g/ fat – 13g