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Author Notes: This healthier take on a beloved take-out dish uses Mejool dates as both a natural sweetener in the spicy-sweet sauce and also as a nutrient-rich garnish! —Jennifer Fisher
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot starch powder
- 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup water (approximatley)
- 1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes (or 6 dried red chilies with ends snipped)
- 1/2 cup scallions (both white and green parts), thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and finely sliced
- 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 1. In a medium bowl, stir together coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and arrowroot starch until the arrowroot starch is dissolved. Add the bite-sized chicken pieces and stir gently to distribute marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes
- 2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, add 3 pitted and coarsely chopped Medjool dates. Add ¼ water to mostly cover dates and microwave for approximately 30 to 45 seconds or until dates have softened. Drain off approximately half of water.
- 3. Place softened dates with water, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, arrowroot starch and teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper in small blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth. If dates have softened well in the water and are chopped enough, this mixing can be done vigorously by hand. Set sauce aside.
- 4. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the coconut oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the red pepper flakes (or whole chilies) and stir for 30 seconds or until slightly fragrant.
- Drain off excess marinade from chicken and add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcrowd pan.
- Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 additional seconds. Stir in the sauce, coating ingredients, and cooking for an additional minute or until heated and bubbling.
- Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle cashews, date slices, and additional scallion greens. Serve with riced cauliflower or traditional rice, if desired.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dates