On many occasions I feel like being coeliac and off refined sugar where possible means I miss out on lots of food – in some cafes and restaurants more than half the menu can be off limits, which is frustrating. However, sometimes I find myself being more than a bit grateful that my food quest has led me to something new and exciting. I’m sure I wouldn’t have found my new favourite food, almond butter, if I wasn’t always on the lookout for new and interesting ingredients to take the place of things I’m not allowed to eat.
I discovered almond butter a couple of weeks ago when I made Deliciously Ella’s avocado chocolate mousse, which went down extremely well with my dinner guests. And since then, I’ve been figuring out what else I could do with it other than dip vegetables in it and eat it straight from the jar! Then a couple of days ago, I saw this post from Gluten Free B, a well known coeliac blogger, who had made almond butter chicken with cauliflower rice. This was just the recipe for me! But as there was only a picture, I’ve done a bit of research and made up my own version. And I’ll definitely be making it again as it was a roaring success. I reckon it’ll barbecue nicely in summer too.
I managed to produce a rather good almond butter satay that really helped keep the chicken moist and was a definite improvement on the peanut butter satays I’ve tried to make in the past. And I already had all the ingredients in the cupboard, so this could become a family staple.
I’ve never eaten cauliflower rice before, so i thought I’d give that a go too. Plenty of people, particularly paleo followers, totally rave about cauliflower rice, and this seemed like a good opportunity to give it a try. I’ve never been a fan of food trying to masquerade as something it isn’t, and I can’t say cauliflower rice tasted anything like actual rice… but it did the job of being a decent accompaniment to the chicken, with a nice texture and an interesting flavour. I think it would work better with something more saucy, as it were.
So, almond butter satay then:
4-5 tbsp almond butter (I used a cutlery spoon so this is approx)
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp agave nectar (*) or honey
1/4 tsp smoked garlic powder (what I had in – plain would be fine)
really good grind of black pepper
sprinkling of chilli flakes
3 chicken fillets cut into strips
All you need to do is combine the satay ingredients in a dish and then add in the pieces of chicken and marinade them at room temperature for half an hour (or longer). You could barbecue, pan fry or griddle the chicken but for minimal effort, I put the strips on a lightly oiled baking tray and cooked them for 12 minutes at 190C.
Cauliflower rice is equally easy. You only really use the florets for this. I cut them up into small chunks and pulsed them 4 or 5 times in my mini whizzer. The key is to only put in a few at a time, so you end up with evenly chopped pieces. I put them in a bowl covered in cling film and microwaved them for 4 minutes (no need to add any water). Then I added a bit of chopped coriander leaf I had in the freezer to add a bit of colour and flavour. Ta da! My 6 year old wanted me to save him some of the chicken, but I’m taking the rest for my lunch tomorrow with some slaw!
(* Frankly I feel really poncey using agave nectar. I really don’t get the whole sugar-free thing where you’re allowed to just use sugar substitutes, and I’m generally trying to avoid them where possible, but where a bit of sweetness is really called for in a recipe, I figured this is better than refined sugar, so I keep a bit in my cupboard. Honey would probably work fine here though.)