The sweet and tangy bite of pineapple chicken or pork that you get from Western Chinese food restaurants is the ultimate comfort food to me. However, like most comfort foods that I love, the vibrant orange sauce and deep fried batter is guaranteed to set my gut into a tailspin of stomach pains, bloating and leave me filled with shame and regret. Totally not worth it.
After a recent craving for it that I couldn’t ignore AND the fact that I had an overripe pineapple to eat, I decided to put a gut-friendly spin on Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken. This version is gluten-free, has MUCH less sugar than the original, is garlic-free for the IBS’ers and still maintains that addicting sweet, tangy thick sauce.
- Prep Time: 15m
- Cook Time: 30m
- Total Time: 45m
- 2 c pineapple juice, from fresh with pulpy bits
- 3 tbsp. corn starch
- 1/2 c coconut sugar
- 3/4 c strained tomatoes
- 2/3 c apple cider vinegar, or more to taste
- 3 tbsp. Bragg’s soy aminos or coconut aminos, or more to taste
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- chicken breasts, boneless, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- quinoa flakes
- salt and pepper
- cooking oil (olive, avocado or sesame)
- 1 bell pepper, seeds removed, cut into strips
- 2/3 fresh pineapple, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 lb broccoli
- 4 tbsp. olive oil (garlic infused works nicely here)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 3/4 c water
- Whisk 1/4 cup pineapple juice and cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth.
- Combine cornstarch mixture with remaining ingredients in a large pot over high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce comes to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency, 15 to 25 minutes.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Put eggs, cornstarch and quinoa flakes each into separate bowls. Working in batches, toss the chicken in the cornstarch, then the eggs and then the quinoa flakes, making sure that each layer is coated evenly.
- Heat a few glugs (up to 4 tablespoons) of oil into a pan over medium high heat. Add battered chicken and cook until browned.
- Add bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. Add pineapple and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Add about 1/2 of the sweet and sour sauce to the chicken mixture and let simmer over medium/low heat until chicken, is cooked through.
- Serve with rice and additional sauce if desired.
- Peel and slice thick stems from broccoli; separate florets.
- In a skillet, bring water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add stems and florets; cooked, covered, until bright green, 4 minutes.
- Stir in olive oil, salt and crushed pepper. Cook 4 minutes.
- Turn off heat; stir in vinegar.
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