Well, it is that time of the year and new year resolutions are being made. I have only one for 2019. I want to be healthier. For me that encompasses:
1. Water, not wine!
2. Go Meatless in January!
3. Remember to eat! (I know! But sometimes I look up and lunch is over so I keep working.)
4. Kick up the workouts! (or start them (shrug))
Ever notice how resolutions feel more like a punishment? Has anyone ever resolved to party harder? If you have, I want to hang with you! But hey, I only committed to one month. Mainly, I am just tired of meat and the heavy meals of the holidays. I need to detox. So, I’m going to go meatless for a month and share some of my favorite vegetarian dishes with you starting with one of my favorites.
This meatless version of General Tso’s Chicken is a delicious and healthy dish of yum. This recipe uses cauliflower instead of chicken. Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to use in meatless dishes. It can be fried, mashed, sautéed, or roasted. It also takes on the taste of the other ingredients you mix it with making it as versatile as it is tasty.
It is easiest to break this recipe into two parts starting with frying up the cauliflower. Steam a head of cauliflower. Remove any green stems from the bottom of the head.
Place the full head in a steamer and steam for 7 – 9 minutes. Remove immediately from the steamer to stop the cooking process. Run cold water over the cauliflower to stop the cooking process. You do not want it to be too soft or it will not fry properly. Cut into florets.
In a medium mixing bowl mix 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Gradually mix in 12 ounces of cold beer, whatever you have on hand. Add the beer slowly using just enough to form a batter the consistency of heavy cream.
Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan. Drop a few drops of the batter into the oil. The oil is ready if the batter bubbles and floats across the oil upon hitting the oil. Coat the cauliflower florets in the flour mixture and fry in the oil turning and frying all sides to a golden crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Work in batches to not overcrowd the cauliflower. I love how the cauliflower fries up. It is super easy to work with.
Prepare the sauce starting with prepping the veggies. Slice 3 garlic cloves into thin slices, mince 1” of fresh ginger root and slice 2 green onion separating white and green parts. Snipe a dried hot chile into small pieces. If you like things hot feel free to use more (or less) as desired.
In a wok, or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over high heat. When hot add the prepared vegetables. Stir-fry until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.
Slowly mix in ¼ cup water, 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Bring to a boil. When sauce has thickened, add in the florets and green parts of the green onion. Toss together for 30 seconds coating the cauliflower with the sauce.
Serving vegetarian really cuts down on the calories. This recipe is only 243 calories per serving which comes in handy since it is so good you are going to want to have seconds. Serve it with a side of Fried Rice for a real treat. – Ella💙
- 1 head cauliflower, raw
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 ounces cold light beer
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1" diameter ginger root, raw
- 2 stalks green onions, sliced
- 1 hot chile pepper, sun-dried
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Steam the head of cauliflower using a streamer for 7 – 9 minutes. Remove immediately from the pan and let cool. Cut into florets.
In a medium mixing bowl mix the flour, baking powder, corn flour, and salt. Gradually mix in the beer to make a batter.
Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan.
Coat the cauliflower florets in the flour mixture and fry in the oil until turn frying all sides to a golden crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel.
Slice the garlic into thin slices, mince the ginger root, and diagonally slice the green onion separating white and green parts. Snipe the dried chile into small pieces.
In a wok, or large skillet, heat sesame oil over high heat. When hot add the garlic, chile, ginger and white parts of the green onion. Stir-fry until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.
Slowly mix in the water, tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil. When thickened, toss in the florets and green parts of the green onion.
Toss together for 30 seconds coating the cauliflower with the sauce.