Orange Cauliflower

Ready for some delicious “fake-away”?  Then THIS is the recipe you’ve been looking for!

As a kiddo, orange chicken was by far my favorite fast-food Chinese option.  The combination of sweet and sour just hit the spot!  As an adult, I’ve wised up a bit and put my health ahead of my taste buds–although my taste buds are still valued consultants!  When I went about re-creating my old fave, I had three goals in mind:

  1.  Nix the heavy pool of grease.
  2. “Beef up” the vegetables.
  3.  Make it every bit as delicious!

I decided to use cauliflower as my base ingredient.  Besides just being awesome because it is a vegetable, it also provides wonderful texture and soaks up flavor like a champ!  I used aquafaba and gluten-free bread crumbs to give it an extra crunch, and then mixed up the key ingredient– the sauce!  Most “orange” sauces call for a whole heap of refined sugar, to which I thought: Why?  Fresh fruit juice isn’t delicious on its own?  It needs a whole cup of sugar?  Uh uh!  Not in my kitchen and not in my body!  Now, I did add a bit of agave to give it that sticky sweetness that the dish really needs, but in my book, 1 1/4 cups of fresh squeezed juice, with 3 tbsp of agave is a big improvement!

I had high hopes for this meal–and I did not let myself down!  It was de-licious!!  It packed all of the flavor I had been missing without that heavy (slightly queezy) feeling in my stomach that take-away used to give me!  If you want to go the extra mile, water saute some fresh veggies (red and green bell peppers, onion, carrots, celery, jalapeno, and snap peas) with minced garlic and a dash of oriental five spice seasoning to go along with the meal like we did!

This recipe is absolutely worth the work!  Enjoy!

Orange Cauliflower 2

Orange Cauliflower

  • Servings: 2
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– 1 c jasmine rice
– 1 head cauliflower
– 1 c aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
– 1 box gluten-free bread crumbs
– 1 1/4 c mandarin orange juice (about 7 oranges worth)
– 1/4 c rice vinegar
– 3 tbsp blue agave
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– 2 tsp liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
– 1 tsp Asian chili sauce (or sriracha)
– 3/4 tsp ginger powder
– 1/4 tsp garlic powder
– 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
– 1 1/2 tbsp water
– 4 stalks green onion
– 1/4 c cilantro leaves
– 2 tsp tuxedo sesame seeds
– 1 tbsp sriracha (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove top according to package instructions.
3. Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the aquafaba with a fork until it gets foamy. Toss the cauliflower in the liquid until thoroughly coated, and then transfer to a colander and allow excess liquid to drip away.
5. Place half of the bread crumbs in a large ziploc bag. Add cauliflower a handful at a time and shake well to coat. Place cauliflower on a parchment lined baking pan. Replace soggy bread crumbs with the other half of the box half-way through the cauliflower so that you can continue to have nice crispy bread crumbs on all of the florets.
6. Bake for 43 minutes, flipping half-way through.
7. While the cauliflower is baking, make the sauce. Add all of the ingredients, except for the arrowroot and water, together in a small sauce pan. Warm over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder and water together until thoroughly dissolved. Add to the sauce pan and whisk to thicken.
8. When cauliflower is done baking (golden and firm), toss with the sauce.
9. Serve immediately over rice. Add toppings as desired.

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