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December 24, 2020

Plant-Based "Fried" Cauliflower

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower is an oil-free vegan dish that mimics the taste and texture of fried food, without the frying part. It’s a sweet and spicy spin on cauliflower.

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower

I’m calling this recipe Plant-Based “Fried” Cauliflower. Fried is in quotes because we won’t actually be frying anything. It seems pretty obvious that fried food isn’t at all good for you.

When you fry food, you submerge it in oil. The food will absorb a lot of that oil, adding TONS of fat and calories. Even if you used a “healthy” oil, you still would add so many calories that the food would probably be pretty bad for you.

This is not to say that high-calorie foods are all bad. I’m just generalizing.

I’ve written about oil before, so I won’t go too in depth here, but even “healthy” oils aren’t actually good for you. Hopefully you know to avoid ultra-processed oils like canola and vegetable oil. Those definitely aren’t good for you.

But even oils like olive oil and avocado oil are still VERY processed. Think about it: you start with olives and then press and press and press until somehow you end up with an oil. This is a lot of processing, stripping the olives of any nutrients they had.

The data may be inconclusive about the overall affect of “healthy” oils, but even if you just think about it from a ‘how much is my food processed?’ standpoint, oils should be minimized.

Hence, we’re making oil-free fried cauliflower today. We can all agree that even if it’s not healthy, fried food still tastes good. So the goal of this recipe is to minimize the unhealthy parts of frying (aka oil), but maximize the amazing parts of fried food (aka FLAVOR).

Let’s do it!

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower: The star of the show! Pro tip – look for a cauliflower that has little to no brown spots, this way you don’t have to trim any parts off, and you can create a beautiful presentation.
  • Vegetable Stock: We'll be creating a paste to paint onto the cauliflower. The vegetable stock will help thin it down.
  • Sriracha: To add some great flavor to the cauliflower, we’ll start with some spice! Be sure to choose a sriracha with no added sugar.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds that savory kick. I’ve been obsessed with freeze dried garlic lately – it makes prepping SO easy. You can also use fresh garlic.
  • Plant-Based Ketchup: I don’t normally suggest buying products like ketchup as they often have added sugars. But there are a few brands with clean ingredients, be sure to choose one with ingredients you can pronounce, and watch for those sugars!
  • Spices: Cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne. This mix of spices creates the perfect sweet, savory, spicy combination!
  • Scallions: Also known as green onions, scallions add a bit of green and fresh flavor that we'll add to the cauliflower at the end.

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower

How to make Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Step 2. Trim the cauliflower and place on the baking sheet.

Step 3. Mix the vegetable stock, sriracha, garlic, ketchup, spices, salt, and pepper.

Step 4. Brush half the mixture on the cauliflower. Roast for 40-50 minutes, then brush the remaining mixture on. Roast for another 10 minutes.

Step 5. Cut into wedges and sprinkle with chopped scallions.

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower

Preparation and Storage

Preparation: If you want to whip up the sauce before you make the cauliflower, you should be able to store the sauce in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Storage: After you cook the cauliflower, you can store it in the fridge to eat as leftovers. If desired, you can chop the head of cauliflower into florets for easier storage.

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for vegetables that are flavorful and healthy. Help us enjoy the food we eat and use it to nourish our bodies.

Related Recipes

Looking for other delicious plant-based veggies? Try some of my favorites:

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower Pinterest Graphic

Plant-Based "Fried" Cauliflower

Plant-Based Fried Cauliflower is an oil-free vegan dish that mimics the taste and texture of fried food, without the frying part. It’s a sweet and spicy spin on cauliflower.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

4

Prep:

5

min

cook:

60

min

total:

65

min

Ingredients

  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Plant-Based Ketchup
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cloves
  • Dash Cayenne
  • 2 Scallions

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Trim the cauliflower and place on the baking sheet.
  3. Mix the vegetable stock, sriracha, garlic, ketchup, spices, salt, and pepper.
  4. Brush half the mixture on the cauliflower. Roast for 40-50 minutes, then brush the remaining mixture on. Roast for another 10 minutes.
  5. Cut into wedges and sprinkle with chopped scallions.

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September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography