Paleo Sesame Chicken Recipe- No Added Sweeteners, Gluten Free, Soy Free, and Delicious!

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This was not in the plans for today's post at all, however, I posted a picture of my lunch today, which really was amazing, and the result was so positive, people wanting to know the recipe already, that I decided not to wait for tomorrow to post it, and get this out, stat.

So, what was it? Sesame chicken! My family has been doing this 30 day paleo reset, and today is my kids' last day, and because they have been such awesome sports, I decided to make today's lunch a real treat- super yummy and delicious. Sesame chicken was the obvious choice, since I had chicken breast already defrosted, and half a bottle of coconut aminos (a soy free soy sauce substitute that is allowed on the diet) left. On this diet, no added sweeteners are allowed, however, whole fruit are, so I had this idea- use dates to add the sweetness to the sesame chicken (if I weren't making it 30 day paleo reset legal, I'd use a healthier sweetener, like honey, coconut sugar, or jaggery in my sesame chicken), and I scoured the internet to see if I could find a recipe for a terriyaki style sauce made with dates, but no such luck. I didn't get it- that seemed the obvious combination to me, but I guess my brain works differently than others.

Anyhow, this chicken came out beyond amazing- I will certainly be making it again in the future.
Just a warning- it is a drop fussy to make, but it is well worth the extra dishes and time.

This recipe is Whole30 legal, GAPS legal if you leave out the starch, allergy friendly... and if you want to make this with some meat alternative instead of the chicken, it'll be less healthy but it'll be vegan.

Sauce Ingredients:
6 dates
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 cup coconut aminos (if you're not doing paleo, you can use gluten free or regular soy sauce instead, but use less salt in the recipe)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 1/2 teaspoons potato/tapioca starch
Chicken Ingredients:
~1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup potato or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
Other Ingredients:
Oil for frying (I used coconut oil, but any compliant oil will do)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1-2 scallions (optional)

1. Cut up your boneless chicken breast into small 1 inch pieces. I found poultry scissors very useful for this.

2. Mix your potato/tapioca starch with your salt and ginger, then add in the chicken pieces, making sure to coat them all.

3. Fry your chicken in oil, until brown and crispy and fully cooked, but not overcooked.

4. De-seed your dates, and blend them in a food processor/blender with your vinegar and garlic cloves. Keep scraping down the sides, then add water, a tablespoon at a time, and blend it well, until the date pieces are fully pureed and liquified, then add the rest of the sauce ingredients.

5. Put the sauce in the frying pan, and heat up, mixing constantly, until thick.

6. Mix in the cooked chicken pieces, sesame seeds, and if desired, scallions.

7. Serve either on its own, on spiralized zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice... or if you're not doing the paleo diet, on a bed of rice.


Variations: To make this GAPS legal, leave out the starch- the texture of the chicken will be a little bit different, and the sauce won't be thick, but it'll be just as tasty. 
To make this vegan, instead of chicken pieces, use seitan, tofu, or soy chunks... but those aren't exactly healthy, in my opinion, but feel free to do so if you want.
Alternatively, just use this sauce as a terriyaki sauce substitute in any stir fry recipe.

Are you a fan of sesame chicken? Do you usually make it at home, or eat it in restaurants? Does this look like a recipe you'd try out?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I just made this for dinner with honey, it was delicious! I wasn't sure of the amount of honey--I probably used about 1/3 a cup and it was lovely. I don't know if I could have gotten away with less. Thank you!

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