Monday, February 11, 2013

Hawaiian Haystacks - A Real Food Version

I loved Hawaiian Haystacks growing up. Although there are a lot of healthy elements of this dish, there are also the ones that are fake "foods" that I wanted to do without. Normally the chicken sauce is made with some variation of a cream of ______ (fill in the blank) soup, sour cream, and milk. But since these soups are filled with preservatives, additives, sugar, GMO ingredients and who knows what else, I have opted to leave them out of my diet and go for a more healthy version. So here is a new take on an old classic. And let me tell you, this sauce is amazing! (This version is dairy-free, gluten-free)

Hawaiian Haystacks

(Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

*Makes about 4 cups chicken sauce (enough to serve 4-6 for Hawaiian Haystacks)


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks (or leftover cooked chicken, cubed)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
½ onion (about ½ cup), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic; finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup rice flour
2 cups rice or almond milk
1 cup free-range chicken broth


In a large skillet melt the coconut oil over medium heat and add the onion and raw chicken (if using leftover cooked chicken, don’t add it to the skillet now, you’ll add it later). Saute the onion and chicken, if using, until the onions are soft and translucent and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring, until fragrant.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and chicken and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute – this helps get rid of the starchy, flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper. If you are using leftover cooked chicken, add it now. Continue simmering, stirring the sauce frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5-8 minutes.

Serve the chicken sauce over rice with your toppings of choice, such as olives, tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, mandarin oranges, pineapples, chopped almonds, and chow mein noodles.

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