Healthy Recipe: Kung Pao Cauliflower

Kung Pao Cauliflower with Cashews

Recipe by Ivy Manning | Photo by Erin Kunkel

Forget the greasy take-out! This satisfying homemade recipe has all the punch and flavor of Kung Pao chicken, without the fat or calories. Cauliflower is totally cool these days, so let your favorite crucifer star in this fresh and easy stir-fry.


1 large (2¼ lb/1 kg) cauliflower, cored and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) florets
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons safflower oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons sherry or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ to ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
¾ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted roasted cashews, roughly chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups (15 oz/470 g) steamed brown rice, for serving


Place a heavy, rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). In a bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Spread the florets on the hot baking sheet and roast, stirring once, until golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.

Place the cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk in the broth, tomato paste, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, and red chile flakes.

In a wok or large skillet, warm the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant, 15 seconds. Add the celery and stir until the celery is tender-crisp, 1 minute. Add the broth mixture and cook until thick and bubbly, 1 minute. Fold in the roasted cauliflower, cashews, and green onions.

Heap the brown rice into bowls, spoon the stir-fry over, and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 447
Protein 14 g
Total fat 20 g
Saturated fat 3 g
Carbs 59 g
Fiber 9 g
Sugar 9 g
Sodium 522 mg

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