Once upon a time I found a recipe for Strawberry Chicken that my guys just loved. It called for a 32 ounce container of strawberry yogurt (and honestly, I can’t remember what else). When I realized I couldn’t eat dairy anymore, I took it out of our rotation. The other day we were in a hurry to leave the house and we needed some lunch. I asked Bronco Bear what he wanted. He said, “Strawberry chicken.” Sometimes I think he says things just to stump me. It almost worked – until I remembered the pint of strawberries I’d just picked up on sale from Sprouts.
I hadn’t been buying strawberries from Smith’s because, frankly, they sucked. If you were lucky enough to find some that weren’t already half rotten, they were bad within a couple of days, barely worthy of an honorable mention in a smoothie. Not only did Sprouts have them on sale, they were also absolutely perfect. The berries were ripe and I almost started eating them in the middle of the produce section. I didn’t, though. I held off. Good thing, too, because they were perfect for Strawberry Chicken.
This may seem a little odd, but let me assure you, chicken and strawberries go together quite well. In fact, I think chicken and all sorts of fruits go together well. The guys ate theirs over brown rice, but I of course had mine over spinach and zoodles. I recommend serving the sauce warm because of the natural fat content in the coconut milk. It didn’t even need any additional dressing – it was tasty just as it was.
My only regret, and I think I’ll try this next time, is that I didn’t marinate the chicken in the sauce before cooking it. I do worry a little about it burning, as coconut milk has a tendency to thicken when it’s cooked (one of the things I love about it), whereas yogurt does not. If you try it and it works, please let me know! The best part is that this recipe is Whole30 approved.
For the chicken:
3 chicken breasts
Juice from 1 lemon
1 T. olive oil
Sea salt, black pepper and onion powder
For the sauce:
1⁄2 pint strawberries, cored and halved
1⁄2 cup full fat coconut milk (from a can)
1⁄2 T. apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 T. coconut aminos
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
For the salad:
1 summer squash, shredded
1 T. coconut oil
Combine chicken breasts, lemon juice and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Use tongs to toss and coat. Let marinate at least 10 minutes. If marinating longer, put in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease lightly. Arrange chicken breast in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 160 degrees (no longer pink). Let cool slightly, then cut into thin strips.
While chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. Combine strawberries, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos and sea salt in a blender. I used my Magic Bullet knockoff. Pulse several times to mix well, but allow some chunks of strawberries to remain. Transfer to a saucepan and bring just to a simmer (but not boiling), whisking frequently.
Grate squash with the large holes in a cheese grater, or use a Spiralizer. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet. Add squash and cook about 1 minute, or until soft but not mushy.
To assemble the salad, create a bed of greens from the spinach, add squash, then chicken slices, and drizzle strawberry sauce on top. Serve warm.