Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower
12 Sep 2021 / Vegetarian

Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower

I wasn’t a normal kid. I loved veg and I loved broccoli in particular. This led me to dislike cauliflower.

Sure, isn’t cauliflower just a poor man’s broccoli - soft, mushy and pale. Perhaps it was the way it was cooked but I’ll bite my tongue before I criticize my mother’s cheesy cauliflower too much. ; )

A few years ago, I made a total 180°, when for the first time, I had oven baked cauliflower. Now, we are taking baked cauliflower to the next level. This recipe is our lighter super-tasty take on sweet and sour chicken or pork, featuring in place of meat, the new rising star of the vegetable world. 

Cauliflower is considered a superfood. Right up there with kale and acai berries. It’s crammed full of vitamins B and C as well as fiber and antioxidants and it’s low in calories with zero fat!  Flower Power is back and cauliflower is to be found everywhere, exiling carbs as an alternate rice, banishing gluten as a pizza base and now cauliflower has graduated from a supporting role to the star of the show.     

- You’re going to love this!

 

HOW DO YOU MAKE BAKED SWEET & SOUR CAULIFLOWER? 

Although it might sound complicated, it’s not at all. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and grease a baking sheet. Combine the cut cauliflower and oil in a large airtight bag. Make sure it’s sealed and give it a good shake to coat all the cauliflower thoroughly. Open the bag back up and add cornstarch. Seal the bag back up and shake some more to make sure the cornstarch now coats the cauliflower pieces. 

Now that the cauliflower is coated in both oil and cornstarch, you can transfer it to the greased pan. Spread it out into one even layer and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to brown on the bottoms. Change the oven over to broil. Cook under the broiler on high for another 3-4 minutes to get the tops to brown as well. Make sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. 

While the cauliflower is cooking, you can make the sauce. Mix together sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion salt and our Famously Thick Ketchup in a medium saucepan at high heat and let it come to a boil while you stir. 

In another small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into cold water until it dissolves. Add this mixture to the saucepan and stir it all together until it thickens some more, then turn the burner down to low heat. 

When the cauliflower is done baking, toss it and the sauce together in a heat-safe bowl. Serve! 

 

HOW TO CUT CAULIFLOWER

I cut cauliflower similarly to how I cut broccoli. That is to say, break it down from bigger to smaller pieces. 

First, remove the leaves. 

Turn the head upside down and cut out the central stem. 

Either break or cut the bigger pieces of florets off. 

Cut the larger parts of the stems off the bigger florets, if desired. 

Take each larger floret and cut those down into smaller ones, or the desired size for the recipe. 

For this recipe, I like to keep the florets around 2 inches long so they bake more evenly and crisp up just the right amount.  

 

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE THIS DISH WITH? 

I served this dish over rice, but you can use your favorite carb, or carb substitute. I love cauliflower rice but that would be a lot of cauliflower in one dish! Serve them alone, as an appetizer. Think of them like meatless wings with an Asian sauce.

  • Serve this cauliflower over zucchini or yellow squash noodles. 
  • Make kebabs by alternating cauliflower with pineapple, before or after baking. 
  • Add sweet & sour cauliflower over quinoa, barley, or wild rice for a truly nutty tasting, filling meal. 

 

IS THIS RECIPE SUITABLE FOR VEGANS?

Yes, our Ketchup is vegan and so is this tasty recipe!

Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower (5-6 cups of chopped florets)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup corn starch

3-4 cups steamed rice, for serving

Sesame seeds for garnish

For the sauce

¾ cup sugar

½ cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion salt

¼ cup Famously Thick Ketchup

1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 tablespoon cold water

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Combine cauliflower and oil in a large zip lock bag. Seal and shake to coat cauliflower in the oil. Open the bag; add cornstarch, seal bag and shake to coat again.

2. Transfer coated cauliflower to greased pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower starts to brown on the bottoms.

3. Switch oven to broil and cook on high for 3-4 minutes, just until the tops start to brown. Keep a close eye on the cauliflower, so it doesn't burn.

4. While cauliflower is cooking, prepare the sauce: Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion salt, and Famously Thick Ketchup to a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil.

5. In a small bowl whisk together the 1-tablespoon cornstarch and cold water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened, and then reduce to low heat.
In a separate saucepan toast the sesame seeds over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally so as not to burn.

6. In a large heat-safe bowl combine roasted cauliflower and sauce.
Serve with steamed rice and top with sesame seeds.
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