Kung Pao Cauliflower

Does anyone else feel like they’re on an emotional roller coaster? Oh good. Pandemics, man. They completely mess with you in every way. I populated and deleted the middle finger emoji, like, 12x before forcing myself to put down my phone and take a lap around my kitchen.

I may be one of the few who can say the days FLY by. We’re in a new routine, our COVID-19 routine. Mark drops the girls at daycare while I start work, work for 7 hours, and then I go pick up the girls. We spend the afternoon together and some afternoons are more fun than others. Like yesterday. Yesterday we went to the beach.

You guys, the beach is SO GOOD for the soul. So is the sun. Both of which made a cameo appearance here in southwest Michigan yesterday. I promise I’m not complaining (because #COVIDproblems), but I was supposed to be moving from one 5-star all-inclusive resort to an adult only 5-star all-inclusive overwater bungalow for a few nights. Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

We may need to pop a bottle of champagne because we can. It seems only appropriate to bring champagne into the equation since vacation is on hold. Indefinitely. There’s 1 bottle leftover from the last time I hosted brunch avec bloody marys and mimosas…is it even brunch without bloody marys and mimosas!?

It’s kind of like take-out – I hear mention of take-out and BAM, I think KUNG PAO. Tell me it’s not just me. We’re ordering take-out tonight (because #DishwasterStillBroken and #ReallyBadDay) and had we not recently devoured this Kung Pao Cauliflower, we’d be Kung Pao-ing it up in hurrrr.

BIG on flavor, this vegan delight was undoubtedly doubled (reflected in the recipe below). I honestly didn’t need or want the rice because it just isn’t my thing, but I definitely wanted to double up on the cauliflower. Unique preparation, delicious result. Enjoy!


Kung Pao Cauliflower
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings (about 1⅔ cups cauliflower each)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
  • 4 Tbsp canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup + 4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup honey*
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup (2 oz) unsalted peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler to high (550 degrees F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and aset aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss half the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon cornstarch to coat. Add 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 2 tablespoons soy say, tossing to coat all the florets. Transfer cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cauliflower, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Transfer to the oven and broil for 4 minutes, until the cauliflower is just beginning to char on the edges. Reduce the oven temp to 425 and bake another 10 minutes, until just tender.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ½ cup soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, and pepper. Add ⅓ cup water and the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisking until combined and smooth.
  5. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, and green onions, and cook 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the peanuts and cauliflower; gently toss to coat.
  6. Serve the cauliflower and sauce over rice and topped with additional peanuts and green onions**, if desired.
Notes
*use pure maple syrup in lieu of honey to make vegan
**not accounted for in nutrition information

Recipe slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1⅔ cups Calories: 273 Fat: 9.3 Carbohydrates: 41.2 Sugar: 23.5 Fiber: 7.0 Protein: 9.0 Cholesterol: 0
Be well,

 

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