We have a deep love of Asian food. Such flavors as ginger, sesame oil, and rice vinegar really please the palate. Served with crunchy cashews over a bed of brown rice, our General Tso’s Cauliflower is a delicious, nutrient-dense take on the traditional dish that is suitable for scratching your take-out itch while on the Clean Program cleanse.
The foundation of this plant-based take on a classic is cauliflower, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Cruciferous vegetables are known for being packed with antioxidants, which can help lower our risk of cancer. Cauliflower is also rich in vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which play a major role in regulating our inflammatory system response.
The sauce in this dish gives life to the tender, roasted cauliflower. In addition to being soy and gluten-free, liquid coconut aminos boast 17 different types of amino acids. Amino acids are crucial for brain and nervous system function and boosting the immune system. We love using ginger, which has anti-inflammatory effects and promotes healthy digestion, and rice vinegar, which helps our bodies absorb essential nutrients from the foods we eat.
For the cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (recipe below)
1 ½ tablespoon coconut sugar
3 tablespoons liquid coconut aminos
1 teaspoon tapioca flour
½ tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 bundle green onions, sliced on the bias
¼ cup roasted cashews
For the chili garlic sauce:
1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1/3 cup water
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. tapioca flour
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and transfer to a baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil and toss to evenly coat.
Roast cauliflower for 20 – 25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through to ensure even roasting. When done, the cauliflower should be fork tender and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, make the chili garlic sauce. Add the red chili pepper flakes, garlic, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, water, salt, and tapioca flour to a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly for two to three minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Measure out two tablespoons of the chili garlic sauce and add to a mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut sugar, liquid coconut aminos, tapioca flour, two teaspoons of sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar, and water. Whisk to thoroughly combine and set sauce aside.
Add the remaining sesame oil to a large, deep skillet and heat over medium-high. Once hot, add the green onion and sauté until bright green and slightly wilted about two minutes.
Add the cauliflower to the skillet and toss with the green onion. Sauté for a minute more, then pour in the sauce. Continue to cook for 2 – 3 minutes over medium heat, until the sauce has thickened and the cauliflower is coated. Remove from heat and stir in the cashews.
Serve cauliflower over a scoop of brown rice. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.
Recipe and photography by Kate Kasbee
If you like this recipe, you might also like A delightful bibimbap great for vegetarians