This Whole30 Stir-Fry Chicken recipe contains affiliate links.
The key to surviving the Whole30 challenge is to keep things simple. You want eat simple foods that are not processed and have ingredient lists comprised of whole and healthy foods.
Most stir-fry recipes don’t always offer up the cleanest of ingredient lists, though. That’s because soy sauce is widely used in stir-fry cooking, and soy sauce contains two forbidden Whole30 ingredients: Soy and Wheat (aka gluten).
The gluten-free community has been able to easily find gluten-free soy sauce, or tamari, substitutes just find. These soy sauce alternatives omit wheat in their ingredient lists, although they are still made from 100 percent soybeans, which is not a Whole30 compliant ingredient.
The reason soybeans are off limits on the Whole30 diet is because they’re considered legumes, just like beans and chickpeas are considered legumes, too. Legumes contain phytates, or “anti-nutrients,” which block the absorption of calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper and can be detrimental to one’s health if consumed too often and in excess. Unfortunately, in the Standard American Diet (SAD), phytates are consumed in excess.
Putting soy (and soy sauce) aside, I set out to make a Whole30 compliant stir-fry.
What I found was very interesting, indeed!
I found that coconut aminos, which are made from fermented palm sap, is gluten-free and Whole30 compliant. It even tastes similar to soy sauce, only slightly a milder, sweeter taste. Coconut aminos also contain much less sodium than soy sauce (90 mg of salt in coconut aminos vs. 280 mgs of salt in soy sauce).
Please note that some coconut amino brands have ingredients that contain the word “nectar” in it, which is okay according to the Whole30 rules.
The other Whole30 swap I need to make was with coating the chicken. I’m used to using cornstarch to coat the chicken pieces before I add it to the hot oil to cook. Adding the cornstarch creates a wonderful barrier around the chicken, sealing in the chicken’s natural juices while still allowing it to cook evenly. It also gives the chicken a crispy coating.
A simple swap for cornstarch is tapioca flour. Tapioca flour is made from the cassava root, a plant, and therefore is grain-free and Whole30 compliant.
I recommend making plenty of stir-fry (load up on those veggies) to ensure a filling meal. I usually serve my stir-fry over rice, but alas, rice is not allowed on the Whole30 diet. Instead, I just savored the extra veggies and my tummy filled up fast!
Feel free to add any vegetables you have hanging around the house to this stir-fry. There are no hard and fast rules about what vegetables you can enjoy in it. And of course, adjust the coconut aminos to taste. It might take a little getting used to because it is a bit different than soy sauce. Good luck!
Whole30 Stir-Fry Chicken Recipe
- 1 1/2 lbs. organic chicken breasts, patted dry and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
- 2-3 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 10-15 portobello mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium or large zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1-2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
- 5-6 Tbsp. Coconut Secrets coconut aminos sauce (more to taste)
Add chicken pieces and tapioca starch to a large zip top bag and shake until chicken is coated.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for about 5-7 minutes (stirring occasionally) until cooked through. Set aside.
Add chopped onion to pan and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft, then add garlic and mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are softened, about 6 minutes. Add zucchini and broccoli (or other vegetables of choice) and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until softened. Turn off heat.
Return chicken to the pan with the vegetables and add coconut aminos to taste. I only like a little bit of coconut aminos, but by all means add more to your liking.