Kung Pao Cauliflower Bowl

I recently read an except from Mark Mansons book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Not only is the title attention grabbing with the use of an F-Bomb, the book cover is too. You’ve likely seen it posted all over instagram. His blog is full of easily digestable nuggets about career, relationships and a general approach to the good life. If you’re looking for new perspective on such a topic I suggest spending your lunch break on their today instead of Facebook.

After no more then a few minutes of deliberating I got myself a copy. From the excerpt I gather the book expands upon the idea of saving your worries for things that truly matter and to not give a F about what others think of you.

In the spirit of things post digestion of an article which has the F-word  written over 100 times I decided that if a curse word pops up from time to time on my blog I’m ok with it.

Are you shaking your head at me RN? Or saying ya girl ya, go on with your bad self?

There are afterall several examples of respectable people/brands who are sort of known for their use of extreme language. Examples include Tony Robbins, Chelsea Handler or Gary Vee and I’ve seen the use of swear words on The Skinny Confidential and Thug Kitchen – both of which are well known and respected brands in the blogsphere.

However there are brands that I respect immensely like Cupcakes and Cashmere or Minimalist Baker that don’t have any kind of obscene language used on their platform at all. Like not even once.

That is their brand voice and I believe its best that I stay true to mine, too.

Often I’ll find myself writing what could be described as a stream of consciousness (tips I learned from this book) and a curse word will appear on the page. Poof. During the editing stage I will ponder over it… Id go so far as to say overthink the use of the word. Should I change that damn to dang? Will it offend someone? Does anyone notice? This is a healthy food blog, is that ISH necessary? ect.

(insert shugging girl emoji)

There are however some things in life that I never have to think twice about, let alone overthink.

The use of cauliflower in place of meat in a dish is one of them.

So with that lets get on to what you’re really here for —> the food.

Kung Pao is a classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originating from the south-western part of China. It is a spicy stir-fry style meal and Kung Pao chicken is a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine but seeing as I don’t eat chicken and tofu seemed a little to obvious here I went with cauliflower.

Let me just tell you it is (insert use of F-Bomb) delicious.

I wanted this particular recipe to be really approachable and easy to make so I used pantry staples like cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper and black pepper in place of harder to find and less likely to have on hand Sichuan peppercorns or Sichuan Chili Peppers.

Rest assured that this dish will zing and pop in your mouth.

It is full of flavor. And texture. And crunch.

Luscious, tender, yet crunchy cauliflower smothered with a sweet yet spicy kung pao sauce and generously sprinkled with sesame seeds, layered with sweet red bell peppers, crunchy carrots, pungent green onions and salty cashews.

Served alongside fluffy, nutty rice, nutrient dense green spinach and loaded with good phatz avocado.

#brainfood #goodmoodfood #nom

This dish has it all and comes together in just over 35 minutes.

Enjoy!

P.S. Happy first day of May. New month = New beginning 🙂

Kung Pao Cauliflower

May 1, 2017
Serves 4-6 people
Prep time
15m
Cook Time
25m

Ingredients

  • KUNG PAO SAUCE
  • 1/2 Cup
    rice vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup
    tamari
  • 1/4 Cup
    water
  • 1/3 Cup
    coconut sugar or reg. sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon
    cornstarch
  • 1/4 Teaspoon
    pink salt
  • 3 Tablespoons
    sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons
    sesame seeds (white or black)
  • 2 Teaspoons
    red pepper flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon
    black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
    cayenne pepper, more to taste
  • 8
    garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 Tablespoons
    fresh ginger, minced
  • VEGGIE MIX
  • 2
    large heads of cauliflower
  • 2-4 Tablespoons
    tamari
  • 1
    red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2
    large carrots, peeled and sliced on angle
  • spinach
  • 4
    garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 Cups
    chopped cashews
  • 1 Teaspoon
    garlic powder
  • 1/4 Cup
    green onions, sliced on an angle plus more to garnish
  • TO SERVE
  • 4-6 Cups
    rice, cooked
  • avocado, sliced
  • lime slices

Instructions

  1. Make the Sauce:

    combine rice vinegar, tamari, water, sugar, corn start and salt in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.

    Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sesame oil, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds and cook until a gentle sizzle starts. Turn to medium low. Cook and stir until the chili powder turns dark bowrn but does not burn. If the oils bubbles and gets to hot remove it from the heat.

    Then add in the black pepper, garlic and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. It was smell dang good at this point.

    Stir the vinegar sauce with a whisk vigorously then slowly add in to the sauce pan. Stir and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. It will thicken up more as it cools.

  2. MAKE THE VEGGIES:
    Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl with the tamari and garlic powder. Mix and let marinate while you prep the other veggies.

  3. Peel the carrots and chop into 1/4 inch pieces on an angle. Remove the seeds from the red bell pepper and cute into thin strips and then cut the stripes in half. Peel and minced the garlic. Chopped green onions and cashews.

  4. After the cauliflower has marinated for about 10 minutes heat 1 tbsp oil (coconut or sesame) in the same frying pan used to make the sauce. Once the oil is hot add in the garlic, cauliflower and all the marinade. stir around for 30 seconds. Cook the cauliflower in batches if there is too much to fit in the sauce pan.

  5. Add in the kung poa sauce, carrots and bell pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and top with a lid. Let cook for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender. Repeat if you have more veggies. Right before removing from the heat add the cashews and green onions then stir around.

  6. Make the Bowls:

    divide up cooked rice, spinach, and kung pao veggies amongst bowls. Garnish with avocado, green onions and fresh lime. Pour extra sauce on rice and spinach if desired.

  • Your food photos are lit! I love cauliflower (and broccoli). Browsed through some of your posts and you make eating veggies more interesting. 😉

    • aw thanks Rea, that is my goal for sure- to make vegetable more delicious and interesting to eat 🙂

  • Seriously drooling over here, and it’sonly 9 am!!

    • LOL! #success Thanks for popping by lady

  • No Spoon Necessary

    Hahahaha. OMG, how have I not seen that book???? I absolutely NEED that book pronto! Sooo cursing on the blog… I feel your struggle. IRL I curse, I mean my dad WAS a sailor, so I kind of grew up hearing curse words and naturally they just kind of come out of my mouth quite often. BUT, on the blog? I don’t have one curse word. Not.ONE. I think it’s just about what makes YOU comfortable. I wouldn’t be worried about other people, just yourself. And you should just do YOU! Okay, unsolicited advice aside, I love this dish! Cauliflower is one of my favorites because it’s just so gawsh darn versatile, and this king poa cauliflower looks DELISH!! Cheers, girlie!

    • Aw Cheyanne, Im glad you feel my struggle and have thought about the use of curse words on your blog too. IRL i curse but there is a time and a place for that kind of language for sure. I respect your choice of keepin it clean on your blog, your brand is so strong and respectable. The unsolicited adivce is solicited in a way…., I wrote a post with an open comment section- so your all good! lol I appreciate it leaps and bounds actually. AMEN to agreeing on cauliflower- its versatle AF! Happy Monday babe

  • Phi

    Oh my goodness – this looks so incredible! I actually had kung pao cauliflower at a restaurant once but didn’t even think of making it at home – totally going to have to try this!

    • You did! dang I thought I came up with that LOL! anyways yeah this is a great take out comes in type or recipe- quick easy delicious 🙂 xoxo

  • i feel like most food bloggers don’t swear (in their blog posts; other social media may vary). i personally don’t place that much importance on swearing, so when i hear or say one, i don’t think it’s a huge deal. it’s such a habit for me to use that vocabulary among certain people, that it just comes out in my writing sometimes. and then, like you, i edit it out. very long way of saying, you do you since i don’t mind swearing, but i understand that tendency to censor yourself.

    anyways, kung pao cauliflower: sounds sooo good. i normally steam my cauliflower, sometimes with garlic if i’m feeling ambitious, and call it a day. for some reason, i just don’t do much with it, but idk why! probably because it tastes so good plain, but i’ll have to work on adding more pao to how i season it (;

    • Oh man just good old roasted cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper is super bomb so I get why you keep it simple! Its a really delicious and nutrious vegetable. I feel you with the use of curse words, I dont see it often on food blogs i assume it gets edited out because i dont really know anyone in our age demographic who doesnt sware from time to time IRL, ya know! anyways, thanks for stopping by girlie 🙂

  • I’m a serious veggie head and I love veggie based meals. Especially classics like Kung Pao cauliflower. Can you believe I’ve never had Kung Pao Chicken? It’s the truth, I’ve always wondered how it tastes, and now I can find out for myself. I’ve heard of that book, I need to read it myself. I think it’s fun to cuss a little on my blog and on my social media pages. I cuss so my readers should get to know the real me 🙂 This looks FUCKING delicious lol

    • Oh danng girl, you’ve never had Kung Pao chicken?! lol well i reccomend it if you like chinese food! I love that you keep it real- that is my POV on it as well. I def dont want to be offensive or mean, I like the colorfulness of the language and its my true voice! I have the book but havent started reading it yet, Ive heard great things though.

  • Mmmm this looks so yummy! I wanna try and make it but it’ll probably be nowhere near as good. I’m undecided about the use of the f word on blogs, I don’t personally use it, although I think it can be funny when people do.

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

    • I am sure yours would be delicious 🙂 and yeah I feel you with the use of curse words- they are very colorful adjectives and when used for emphasis or comedy are great. Its when its used for hurtful reasons that I think its really unnecessary

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  • Samantha Hadadi

    Wow this looks beyond delicious! I love cauliflower any way, but this looks really yummy. Bookmarking it to try for sure!
    http://www.thenourishednaturally.co.uk

    • Thanks Samantha! This is a great use for Cauli, lemme know how you like the reicpe 🙂

  • Oh wow!! Talk about a FLAVOR SMACK in the face!!!! <3