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Grey plate with rice and crispy browned cauliflower covered in orange sauce
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Baked Vegan Orange Cauliflower Recipe

This vegan orange cauliflower recipe is an incredible veggie version of a traditional favorite. Baked and not fried, but still crispy and full of flavor!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 372kcal
Author Sophia DeSantis

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower , medium-size
  • 1 cup orange cauliflower sauce , see below

Crispy Coating:

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs , gluten-free if needed
  • 6 tbsp hemp seeds or almond flour , grind the hemp seeds for best results (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Batter:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup cashew or almond milk
  • 1 cup sparkling soda water
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • drizzle oil , optional (see notes)

To Serve (optional):

Orange Cauliflower Sauce:

  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup Sumo Citrus mandarin juice , see note
  • 2 teaspoons zest from citrus
  • ½ cup Tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated garlic , about 4 cloves (use zester you used for the citrus zest)
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup warm water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F/ 232°C.
  • Slice the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces. Or cut into nugget size if making for kids.
  • Make the crispy coating by mixing together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, ground hemp seeds (or almond flour), and salt, then place it in a shallow baking dish.
  • You can also put it into a large plastic bag for the shake and bake option.
  • Make the batter by combining the almond flour, milk, water and baking powder in a bowl until fully mixed. Add a drizzle of oil if you’d like.
  • Using one hand for the batter and one for the coating (this helps avoid clumping of the coating), dip each cauliflower piece in the batter then place in the coating dish and cover with coating.
  • Place each piece on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Make sure to evenly spread out the pieces.
  • If using the plastic bag, simply place the batter coated cauliflower into the bag and shake to coat in the topping. It should all fit but do it in parts if need be, just make sure to only use half of the coating so that it doesn't all get wet.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes.
  • While baking, make the sauce by whisking all ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, in a small bowl.
  • Add to a pot and cook on medium until it begins to bubble.
  • Combine the cornstarch and water until dissolved.
  • Pour into the pot and whisk well. Simmer until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes. It will reduce by about half.
  • Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and drizzle about ¼ cup sauce on top of the cauliflower pieces, trying to coat the top sides well. Using a pastry brush can help.
  • Flip them over and drizzle another ¼ cup of sauce on top of the other sides, trying to coat them well. You can use more of the sauce to coat here and then have less to drizzle on top when you eat, it’s up to you at what stage you want to use the sauce.
  • Put them back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until they’re crispy.
  • Serve immediately over rice with optional toppings!

Notes

  • You can use almond flour instead of hemp seeds to make is easier, but I like the final texture the hemp seeds give because of their natural oils.
  • I use a fine grained almond flour, but because this isn't a baked good, any almond flour would work.
  • You can add a small drizzle of oil to the batter if you want. It is definitely not needed but can add an extra crispness to the final product.
  • If you do not have Sumo Citrus, use a mandarin or orange to gain similar results.
  • Sauce makes about 1 cup.
  • Nutrition facts do not include all of the batter and coating since all of it is not used. An average of how much used is accounted for.
Baby/Kid Food idea:
  • To make these kid friendly, do not add the crushed red pepper. Serve as nuggets with sauce as a dipper.

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 948mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 57.8mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 2.6mg