Monday, October 12, 2015

Kung Pao Cauliflower {Paleo}

Coming out of my hiatus from blogging (due to me finally starting my Dietetic Internship) I must say, this recipe comes out with a POW! Get it? Kung Pao! Living on my own on the opposite coast as my hometown has obviously taken its toll on my joke telling. 

Another withdraw from my home base is none other than,  Chinese Food. Gosh, there was Chinese food back home, every corner to be exact. But my family's favorite, Golden China, was a bit of a drive however, so worth it. No matter where we ate, Golden China was #1 and they use to stay open 365 days a year! So, cuddling up to a warm fire watching a Netflix movie with some Kung Pao prawns was our Friday night go-to. Unfortunately, I don't have this luxury anymore. 

There are plenty of Thai places, but none that do a Kung Pao dish like Golden China. Now, I don't claim to do it better, but boy... it was close. I should preface this recipe by also stating that I did not use any "Kung Pao" stored in a bottle with 100000+ preservatives in this recipe. But, you should know I'm a non-preservative kind of gal by now. Although prawns, chicken or any meat could be added to this recipe, I wanted to hold true to Meatless Monday and use my beloved Cauliflower. 

1 head of Cauliflower
2 tsp. Coconut Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 c. Baby Bell Mushrooms, sliced
1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1" Ginger, minced
2 tbs. filtered Water
1/2 tbs. Red Pepper Flakes
1 tbs. Chili Sauce (omit if you don't like it super spicy!)
1/2 oz. raw Cashew Pieces
2 tbs. Green Onions, chopped

2 tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
3 tbs. Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 tbs. Coconut Sugar (or Stevia if you want)
1 tbs. Ketchup (for a Paleo ketchup, click here)
1/2 c. Filtered Water

Yields ~ 4 servings 

Break down your cauliflower into uniform florets. You want them to be pretty small about 1" max in height. Wash, Rinse, Dry and add to a hot saute pan with a little bit of melted coconut oil. Over high heat, pan-fry the florets. They should be lightly brown on most sides ~ 20 minutes, stirring and flipping occasionally. I know, it will feel like they are burning, but they're not don't panic! :)

Add diced bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Don't let things get mush, just let them fry up and get soft. Once they are soft ~ 10 minutes add in garlic and ginger.  Add in 1 tbs. filtered water and put a lid on your pan. Lower heat to medium and let the aromatics from the ginger and garlic penetrate your veggies. This is a great time to make your sauce.

In a small saucepan, mix together sauce ingredients. Place over high heat and let the sauce reduce ~ 6 minutes. Because this sauce has sugar it will bubble up to the top, so you need to keep a watchful eye on this and whisk consistently. Once the sauce has reduced by 1/2 you can turn the heat off and go back to your veggies.

After about 10 minutes remove lid from your veggies and let water evaporate if it hasn't already. The water will also help cook through your cauliflower if you're worried that they may still be hard. Mix in the red pepper flakes and raw cashews and turn your heat off. Pour reduced sauce over vegetables and mix well to coat. Garnish with green onions and more red pepper flakes if you want it XXX spicy!

I served mine over 1/4 c. of cooked plain Cauli-rice and it was AH-mazing! ~ENJOY!

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