Wow, was this good! I recently made a really great recipe from Melissa Clark on the NYT website. I always have luck with her recipes; there isn’t a dud among them. Her original recipe was called Sesame Chicken with Dates and Cashews. It has all of my favorite elements: spicy, sweet, cruncy, savory, fresh. I decided to try to adapt it for some of my Whole30 personal chef clients. It worked out beautifully. I made just a few changes;  I replaced the sesame oil, substituted the soy sauce and wine, for example. The changes made this recipe Whole30 friendly, but the flavor profile is very true to the original!

As a personal chef who has many Whole30, Paleo and Keto clients, I am always looking for recipes that I can adapt to make their meals as flavorful as possible, with lots of variety.

This one is going in my permanent file!

The recipe is below; 


Chicken with Dates and Cashews

(Whole30 Compliant. Adapted from a Melissa Clark NYT recipe)

Serves 4

  • 3 T. avocado oil
  • 2 T. freshly grated ginger
  • 3 T. freshly minced garlic
  • 1 bunch chopped scallions (white and pale green parts)
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces. (Breasts are fine too, but thighs are better.)
  • 1/2 c. unsalted cashews, toasted
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 6 T. coconut aminos
  • 2 t.  Whole30 compliant hot sauce (optional)
  • 6 pitted dates, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. chopped fresh basil/mint/cilantro. (Or any combination of those)
  • A splash of rice vinegar

Variation: For a creamy version, add a little almond butter (or cashew butter) and coconut milk.


  1. Season the chicken with salt; saute it in the oil. When the chicken is cooked on the outside, add teh ginger, scallions and red pepper flakes. Saute 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute.
  2.  Add the apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos and dates. Simmer for 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add a little splash of rice vinegar and the fresh herbs and serve!