This Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower and Quinoa recipe is a deliciously healthy option for the entire family. At first glance, these beauties truly remind you of classic orange chicken (and trust me, they taste just as good, if not better!), however, they aren’t! Just know that your taste buds won’t be able to tell the difference either! Super easy to make and whipped together in under 45 minutes.
Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower and Quinoa [Vegan]
For the Sticky Cauliflower:
- 1-2 cups cooked quinoa (Cook according to packaging!)
- 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped in large chunks
- 2 cups bread crumbs (See Notes!)
- 3/4 cup fresh water
- 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
For the Orange Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons fresh water
- 1/3 cup juice of an orange (1 medium size orange)
- 3 tablespoons organic brown sugar (See Notes!)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduce sodium
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon mashed ginger (See Notes!)
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch + 3 tablespoons water (See Notes!)
For the Cauliflower:
- Preheat your oven to 450°F and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, add water, flour, sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried parsley, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and set aside also.
- Now, dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and "crunchy" looking. **NOTE: Be sure to flip each cauliflower on opposite side half way through baking time**
- In the meantime, cook quinoa according to packaging.
For the Orange Sauce:
- In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, add all ingredients (except for the arrowroot starch) and bring to a slight boil whisking everything together.
- Once sauce thickens a bit, reduce heat and add arrowroot starch mixture, whisking it in until sauce begins to thicken more. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the cauliflower bites are done, remove them from the oven and carefully add them into the sauce immediately. Toss them carefully until fully coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- To serve, add a few spoonfuls of quinoa to a bowl, then top with orange cauliflower, and garnish with chopped green onions, optional.
To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container. For the Sweetener: Instead of brown sugar, you can always use maple syrup or agave as a sweetener.