Oh, how happy I am to bring you this beautiful and divine Paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish) recipe. It comes from my friend Andrea Wyckoff’s Pure and Simple Paleo: A Low Starch Cookbook (unfortunately, this publication is no longer available). (Update: Sadly, Andrea passed away in 2021.)
You might know Andrea from her website Forest and Fauna and her previous site, Betty Rawker. If you don’t know Andrea, you should! She’s a delightful person and shares outstanding recipes using pure and simple ingredients.
Andrea also gets quite creative with unique ingredients at times and I love that! While I always encourage simplicity as well as basic ingredients with my gfe approach, knowing how to get creative with unique ingredients can be extremely helpful when one has additional food intolerances.
However, not everyone has the time or perhaps the aptitude to test out such ingredients and create successful recipes using them. Having someone like Andrea do that special work for us is invaluable!
On both her blog and in her cookbook, you’ll find excellent—and super appealing—recipes that actually work. In her cookbook, I’m talking recipes like Donuts, Almond Flour Pancakes and Waffles, Bacon Brittle, Super Seed “Honey Wheat” Baguette, Tahini Buns and Bread, Macadamia “Mac” Mayo, Hummingbird Cake, Black Forest Cake, Key Lime Pie, Rich Vanilla Ice Cream, and so much more. There are 130 recipes in her cookbook! They’re all grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free, corn-free, soy-free, paleo, and low starch.
Andrea eats paleo, low starch, and “more free” because of her health conditions. Here’s an excerpt from her About page where she shares some of her personal story:
“I have found that a diet rich in pure and simple foods has been my saving grace in my fight against a really crappy disease I have called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), which is an inflammatory driven auto-immune arthritis that also came packaged with colitis, yeehaw! This wretched disease fused a large portion of my spine into what is called bamboo spine, and it also gave me the gifts of osteoporosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis by the time I was in my early 30’s.
So all of the recipes you will find on this site are actually ones that I have found to be anti-inflammatory and effective in fighting this disease too! That means grain free, soy free, refined sugar-free, and a good chunk are also vegan, many are “raw”, and just about all can be called “paleo” too. And all of my recipes are very low in starch. Check out kickas.org for more info on the link between starch and ankylosing spondylitis. Changing my diet has been the most effective treatment against AS and colitis that I have ever tried! I have created this website to share my favorite recipes and adventures with you and hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!!”
Andrea’s personal health journey is compelling and inspiring. It’s her words at the beginning of her book that move me the most and make me want to fully explore her cookbook and eating philosophy:
“I wrote this book for the girl I was eight years ago, the girl who was lost in a sea of raging pain.”
Please happily note Andrea’s use of the past tense. The power of dietary changes can be nothing short of phenomenal. However, even if you’re simply looking for outstanding gluten-free or paleo recipes, her Pure and Simple Paleo: A Low-Starch Cookbook is a terrific choice!
Now that you know a little bit more about Andrea’s personal story, her site, and her mission, and you’ve drooled over the previous photos of her gluten free and paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish) recipe, here’s the recipe with her introduction and one more gorgeous photo. Although this recipe is titled Paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken, as I mentioned early on and have also indicated by my notes in parentheses, there are alternatives to using chicken.
I think that any gluten-free pescetarian reading will appreciate knowing that shrimp or fish can be substituted for the chicken. Alos, as a fan of chickpeas and often subbing them for chicken in recipes, I think using chickpeas will probably give you a very nice vegetarian/vegan version of this recipe. That version would not be paleo, of course, but I am sure that it would be delicious!
I see myself trying out all these versions because I’ve always savored sweet and sour recipes. However, you choose to make Andrea’s recipe, enjoy!
More Gluten-Free Sweet & Sour Recipes
~ Polynesian Sweet and Sor Sausage Stew
~ Sweet & Sour Chicken (Paleo, Allergy Free)
Paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish) Recipe
From Andrea: This Paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish) can be served on its own (that’s how I enjoy it!), over a plate of sautéed cauliflower rice, or you can use the sautéed shredded Napa cabbage from my Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe. You can also purchase starch-free “Miracle Rice” to serve with this dish. I tell you how to adjust this meal for 100% Starch Free in the Notes section of the recipe. You can easily omit the sesame seeds as many of my recipe testers still enjoyed this dish without them. Last, the leftovers make a great lunch when reheated the next day.
Pure and simple--and divine--Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish) with not very many ingredients, but several options to make this recipe work exactly the way you like. If using fish in place of chicken, the baking time might be closer to 10 to 15 minutes until the fish is thoroughly cooked and flaky. I use apricot jam that is made with only apricots, fruit juice, and pectin. If you are on a zero starch diet and want to omit the apricot jam you can try using 1/3 cup honey and a splash of pineapple juice instead. Or instead of using jam, you take 1/2 cup of dried apricots, chop them up, and soak them in a little pineapple juice for an hour and use a blender to create the sweet and sour sauce with the remaining ingredients. You may need to double the sauce ingredients for a large batch or if you want your dish to be extra saucy.
Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish)
Chicken (or Alternatives) and Veggie Ingredients
Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
Pure and simple--and divine--Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Fish) with not very many ingredients, but several options to make this recipe work exactly the way you like.
If using fish in place of chicken, the baking time might be closer to 10 to 15 minutes until the fish is thoroughly cooked and flaky. I use apricot jam that is made with only apricots, fruit juice, and pectin. If you are on a zero starch diet and want to omit the apricot jam you can try using 1/3 cup honey and a splash of pineapple juice instead. Or instead of using jam, you take 1/2 cup of dried apricots, chop them up, and soak them in a little pineapple juice for an hour and use a blender to create the sweet and sour sauce with the remaining ingredients. You may need to double the sauce ingredients for a large batch or if you want your dish to be extra saucy.
Andrea Wyckoff says
Thank you so much Shirley for this beautiful review!! I am so honored to have you share my recipe and information about my journey to overcome auto-immune disease!! ♥
I hope your readers enjoy this sweet & sour recipe as much as I do!!
Shirley Braden says
Hi Andrea–You are so very welcome, dear! I am so happy to share your story and such an amazing recipe with my gfe readers. I know folks will be as delighted by the recipe and as inspired by your story as I am. Before meeting you, I was not familiar with the serious benefits of low-starch living for conditions such as AS. Thank you for educating me and others! I hope that there are folks reading who will be enlightened and that some will even be helped by this dietary approach the way you have been. I know that is why you create these phenomenal recipes and wrote this book. Thanks for letting me share all! 🙂
Alisa Fleming says
It’s so great to read about natural healthy stories like this! It gives so many hope … and good recipes! This chicken looks delicious.
Shirley Braden says
So very true, Alisa! That’s why I keep sharing them. These approaches don’t get the mainstream attention they deserve so those of us with websites that promote better health have to step up the plate. 😉 I’ve never seen such a simple sweet and sour chicken recipe. I love that you can get the same delicious results while only using low-starch ingredients. 🙂
Thank you both for the great recipe. I enjoy Chinese food and also have an autoimmune disease, SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus). I appreciated your story, that shows the importance of listening to your own body and watching the foods you eat. That is great how you seemed able to adjust to going without carbs. I have a hard time with it. Take care on your journey to health.
Shirley Braden says
Hi Debbie–It’s good to see you here at gfe again! 🙂 Thanks for sharing a bit of your story and supporting Andrea in her continued journey. I love that with her recipes Andrea shows us all that the low-starch approach does not have to be seen as restrictive, but can be viewed as a new world of foods and flavors–while greatly aiding in recovery.
Yum! This looks so good. Bonjour from me in France via gluten free Fridays.
Shirley Braden says
Hi Ema–Welcome to gfe! So happy you found me via Gluten-Free Fridays. 🙂 Your potato crust quiche with bacon looks incredible! I’m happy you like Andrea’s recipe and appreciate you stopping by!
This looks so good! I can’t wait to read the post about making your own chocolate chips. HEAVEN!
Shirley Braden says
Hi Melissa–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 So happy you like Andrea’s recipe and that you’re going to check out her method of making chocolate chips. I venture to say that in your clean eating approach, you’ll soon become addicted to her method. It’s so easy and the resulting chocolate chips are so much better than packaged ones! Now, even if you’re out of chocolate chips, you’ll be able to make some quickly. 😉
Heather @Gluten-Free Cat says
That sweet and sour sauce sounds so delicious! I see a veggie stir-fry in my future! Thanks for the update on Andrea, and how exciting that she has a boo!! I need to hop over to her new blog. She was such a faithful contributor to Raw Foods Thursdays. And you’re right, such creative recipes with pure foods! I enjoyed reading this, Shirley!
Shirley Braden says
Heather–Thanks so much for the sweet feedback on this post and Andrea and her recipes! This recipe of Andrea’s really gave me a whole new perspective on sweet and sour recipes. The veggies absolutely pop in her recipe, so I’m sure your veggie stir fry will be delicious! Andrea is just a phenomenal recipe creator when it comes to all categories of recipes. Love that! 🙂
Sweet and sour chicken is a favorite date-night recipe for me and my hubby. I’ll have to give this a try, it sounds amazing! 🙂
Thanks so my for sharing this with us at Allergy Free Thursdays, Shirley!
April J Harris says
It’s so lovely that Andrea was able to change her health so profoundly with diet – and her book sounds fantastic! This recipe looks really fresh, healthy and most importantly delicious. I like how versatile it is too! Thank you so much for being a part of The Hearth and Soul Link Party, Shirley!