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Meatless Monday: Spicy kung pao cauliflower — a vegan twist on takeout

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

Make your favorite takeout meatless by giving cauliflower the kung pao treatment

Do you love Asian food but also have a vegan in the family? This recipe is the best of both worlds, giving you the Asian food fix you're craving while keeping things vegan friendly.

Make your favorite takeout meatless by giving cauliflower the kung pao treatment
Image: Brandi Bidot/SheKnows

Cauliflower florets make an excellent replacement for meat in this kung pao recipe. The florets get a quick dip in a light batter and are then oven-roasted just until tender. Once they're roasted, I toss them in a spicy sweet sauce, then pop them back into the oven for a few more minutes to brown and get crispy. Trust me, this version is so amazingly good you may not even miss the meat.

Make your favorite takeout meatless by giving cauliflower the kung pao treatment
Image: Brandi Bidot/SheKnows

Spicy vegan kung pao cauliflower recipe

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 20 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water, plus extra if needed
  • 1 large head cauliflower, florets removed
  • 1-1/2 cups vegan-friendly kung pao sauce
  • Fresh cilantro and thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combined the garbanzo flour, garlic and onion powders, Sriracha sauce, salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of water, and mix until a thick batter forms, adding more water if necessary to thin out the batter as desired.
  3. Dip the cauliflower florets into the batter, remove any excess, and then lay them on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the florets are battered.
  4. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the batter turns a golden brown color.
  5. Remove from the oven, and carefully, using tongs, dip the cauliflower into the kung pao sauce. (Be careful, as the cauliflower is fragile, and the batter can fall off.)
  6. Once all the cauliflower is coated, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a serving platter.
  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro and green onions. Best served warm.

meatless monday
Image: SheKnows

More vegan takeout fakeout recipes

General Tso’s tofu
Kung pao chickpeas
Grilled tofu with tangy vegan plum sauce

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