NEW FAVORITE SIDE DISH – Lightened up Sweet and Sour Cauliflower! A vegan friendly spin on the favorite Chinese takeout. Easy, gluten free and paleo friendly too!
Now hear me out… I’m not trying to pass this cauliflower off as sweet and sour chicken.
IMO – you can’t just say something that is clearly a vegetable, is meat. The meat lovers will always have your head.
But what I will tell you is:
This sweet and sour cauliflower is a delicious side dish that just so happens to be completely plant based and you definitely need it in your life.
If you want to get whoever it is that says they don’t like veggies, to add some cauliflower into their life, adding sweet and sour sauce is the way to go.
This absolutely delicious recipe comes from my friend, Lindsay Freedman, of The Toasted Pinenut and her really awesome, “Cauliflower Power” cookbook!
This book has over 75 recipes, all featuring the star ingredient: CAULIFLOWER. But these recipes are anything but basic, I promise.
You’ll come a long way from just making cauliflower rice into making delicious recipes like:
- Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake
- Vegan Queso
- Chocolate Mousse
- Strawberry Ice Cream
Just to name a few…
So I am giving you a little preview of one of the most popular recipes that is sure to turn cauliflower haters into lovers
Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Recipe
- cauliflower – the star ingredient, obviously!
- coconut oil – the cooking oil used on the cauliflower prior to baking. You can also use avocado or olive.
- tapioca flour – this is added to the cauliflower for a “breaded” like consistency.
- apple cider vinegar – the sour ingredient.
- agave nectar, maple syrup or honey – the “sweet” ingredient in this sweet and sour sauce. Use agave nectar or maple syrup if strictly vegan.
- ketchup – use a no added sugar variation or a paleo friendly brand if you’d like.
- tamari or soy sauce (or coconut aminos) – tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce, or you can use coconut aminos for a paleo friendly option.
- minced garlic, grated ginger root and onion powder – these seasonings add so much flavor! Especially the fresh ginger, don’t skimp out on that.
- scallions and sesame seeds – for garnishing
Make this recipe in 2 Steps
This sweet and sour cauliflower recipe is easy and is ready to go in about 35 minutes! Chop the cauliflower into medium florets, gather your ingredients and let’s do this.
First bake the cauliflower florets
Transfer to baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 425ºF.
Make the Sweet and Sour Sauce
While the cauliflower is baking, you’ll make the sauce:
Place the vinegar, sweetener, ketchup, tamari, minced garlic, grated ginger and onion powder in a small pot over medium high heat.
Whisk for three minutes, until mixture is smooth then bring the sauce to a simmer; continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce thickens.
Transfer the baked cauliflower to a bowl, then toss with the sweet and sour sauce. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds and devour!
See how easy that was?
I mean truly, I am not sure I’ll ever want to enjoy cauliflower another way.
This dish would go great with your favorite stir fry or serve alongside spaghetti squash noodles for even more veggies!
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 4 cups medium cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted (or sub avocado, olive, etc.)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 TBSP tamari or soy sauce (coconut aminos for paleo)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 scallion, light green part, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake the cauliflower: place cauliflower florets and oil in large bag; shake until evenly coated. Add tapioca flour to bag and shake again. Transfer florets to baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes until florets begin to brown.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: place vinegar, maple syrup (or honey or agave), ketchup, tamari (soy sauce or coconut aminos), garlic, ginger and onion powder in small pot over medium-high heat. Whisk mixture for 3 minutes until smooth. Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened.
- Place the baked cauliflower in a bowl and toss with sweet and sour sauce. Top with scallions and sesame seeds and dig in!
Use paleo-friendly coconut aminos and ketchup as needed.