Orange Cauliflower with Steamed Broccoli & Brown Rice

Growing up, Chinese take out was a weekly occurrence for the most part.  It was just so easy, cheap, and delicious- not to mention the fact they practically deliver anywhere and are open 24 hours a day mainly.  Unfortunately there aren’t too many vegan Chinese restaurants, so we decided to take matters into our own hands and make our own!  Orange chicken with steamed rice & broccoli was always my favorite meal, so I decided to recreate that, but using cauliflower in place of chicken!  This recipe is super simple, and makes great leftovers!

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Start by preheating your oil in a dutch oven or deep fryer until its very hot.  You can test it out by dropping a small pinch of flour into the oil, and if it sizzles right away, your oil is hot enough.  Next, start chopping your cauliflower into florets.  You want them to be relatively bite sized chunks, & make sure to remove as much of the stem of the floret as possible!  Once you’ve chopped up your cauliflower, you can make your batter.  For this, simply mix together your flour, corn starch, water, & salt until you form a thick pancake like batter.  You need it to be able to cling to the cauliflower. After your batter is made, coat each cauliflower floret with the batter and directly add it to the hot oil.  Do this in batches as to not overcrowd the oil.  Put about 7-8 pieces of cauliflower in the oil at one time, so that they all crisp evenly.  Once they are golden brown, you can transfer them to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain, and then can remove the paper towel and place the cauliflower into a 200 F preheated oven to keep warm and crisp while you make your sauce.

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Next you can start by making your sauce.  For the sauce, add your diced peppers, ginger, & garlic into a pan with a little oil.  Allow to sautee for about 5-10 minutes until softened.  You don’t want them to brown at all though.  Zest your orange and add it to the mixture, followed by your broth, orange juice, sriracha, tamari, coconut aminos, & sugar.  Mix well and cook over medium heat until the sides start to bubble.  While your sauce is cooking down, mix 2 tbs cornstarch with a little water to make a thin paste.  This will be used to thicken up your sauce.  Once your sauce is bubbling, add your cornstarch / water mixture, pepper, & salt (if needed, taste test first since the tamari & coconut aminos are salty), and lower the heat.  Make sure to whisk well to incorporate the cornstarch so it doesn’t become lumpy.  Increase the heat for a minute or two to help thicken the sauce once you’ve mixed everything well.  Once your sauce is thickened, add in your fried cauliflower and toss to combine. 


**You can serve it alone, or with some brown rice & broccoli (really whatever you’d like, we just chose these two sides).  For the rice, add your rice & water into a pot, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes until fluffy and cooked through.  For the broccoli, bring a pot of water to a boil, and add in your broccoli florets for about a minute or two, until they have slightly softened & are still a bright green color.  Drain and allow to cool.


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When your cauliflower & sides are all ready to go, thinly slice your scallions, and plate everything together in a bowl.  I like to sprinkle some sesame seeds over the chicken as well, to give a more authentic feel.  Serve with chopsticks and a fortune cookie, and you’ve got yourself a better than ever healthy take-out meal! 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers (red & green)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • oil for frying (we used canola)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • 1 tbs coconut aminos
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs green onion
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets *optional
  • 1 cups short grain brown rice (& 2 cups water to cook it) *optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat your oil for frying in a deep pot.  In another pan, heat up a tablespoon or so of oil, and add your diced peppers, minced ginger, & minced garlic.  Allow them to sauté until softened, but make sure not to burn or brown them too much.  Remove these from the pan until you’re ready to make the rest of your sauce.
  2. Mix the 1/3 cup corn starch, and 1/2 cup flour with 2 tsp pink himalayan salt together in a bowl, and slowly add your 1/4-1/2 cup of water.  Add a little water at a time until the batter is thick, you want it to resemble pancake batter so that it sticks to the cauliflower.  If you make it too thin, just add some more flour & cornstarch to thicken it back up. 
  3. Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter, and add them to the hot oil for frying.  Make sure to fry them in batches, so that you don’t overcrowd the oil. 
  4. Once the batter becomes crisp & golden brown, remove them from the oil & transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.  Once you’ve cooked all of your florets, you can remove the paper towels from the tray, and place your florets in a preheated 200 F oven to keep them warm and crisp until your sauce is ready. 
  5. For the sauce, add your peppers, ginger, & garlic back into the pan.  Zest your orange and add it to the mixture, followed by your broth, orange juice, sriracha, tamari, coconut aminos, & sugar.  Mix well and cook over medium heat until the sides start to bubble. 
  6. While your sauce is cooking down, mix 2 tbs cornstarch with a little water to make a thin paste.  This will be used to thicken up your sauce.  Once your sauce is bubbling, add your cornstarch / water mixture, pepper, & salt (if needed, taste test first since the tamari & coconut aminos are salty), and lower the heat.  Make sure to whisk well to incorporate the cornstarch so it doesn’t become lumpy.  Increase the heat for a minute or two to help thicken the sauce once you’ve mixed everything well. 
  7. Once your sauce is thickened, add in your fried cauliflower and toss to combine.  You can serve it alone, or with some brown rice & broccoli.  For the rice, add your rice & water into a pot, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes until fluffy and cooked through.  For the broccoli, bring a pot of water to a boil, and add in your broccoli florets for about a minute or two, until they have slightly softened & are still a bright green color.  Drain and allow to cool. 
  8. Plate your cauliflower & top with sesame seeds.  Thinly slice your green onion, and add that to the top as well. Broccoli & brown rice are optional.

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