Chinese food is one of those things in a food group all by itself like Sriracha or Frank’s hot sauce or watermelon. I’m not sure I could ever get tired of it!
Before I ate clean or before I became a vegan, Chinese take-out was the perfect Friday night ritual. Saturdays were reserved for a couple DiGourno pizzas and Blockbuster movies. Anyone remember that? 😉
After we mastered the Beer Battered Buffalo Wings, I realized that I could use that cauliflower base for anything that would normally call for battered chicken.
And then enter that genius moment. CHINESE FOOD. Up until this point, I was pretty happy with my lifestyle, but I just KNEW I had to figure this out, and my life might be complete.
Then, a quick google search proved I wasn’t the only genius. In fact, many bloggers had their try at it. But we love our batter so much that we wanted to give it a shot. Our own shot. So here we go.
The cool thing about this sauce is that you can customize it. This is just how I like mine to taste, but if you like yours sweeter, add more honey…a saltier flavor? Add more soy sauce. Then mess around in the kitchen. And above all else, have fun!
But before we go there, can I share with you about our amazing Easter? For many years, my husband had one of those cruddy swing shift jobs. I had gotten pretty used to playing Santa and Easter bunny all alone. Our family unit was missing its most valuable member and we never felt complete.
For many months, Andrew and I prayed and prayed that God would bless him with a day job, ANYTHING that would allow us to be a family again. We were facing a medical journey that was unbearable, we were exhausted, and quite honestly, we just missed each other. By nature, I’m kind of a loner (shocker, I know!) but even I felt lonely.
He got used to getting turned down from jobs that we thought he was beyond qualified for, and we even settled for being willing to take any job that would get him home on nights, weekends, and holidays, no matter what the pay cut would be.
Long story short? We were patient. And God was faithful. He blessed us beyond belief in all areas, beyond what we could ever imagine or fathom. I guess his promises are true?! 🙂
All that to say–I really enjoyed our Easter as a family. It was simple, but it was us–together–teaching our kids about having fun with the Easter bunny, but more importantly, about the impact Jesus’ death and resurrection has on our lives as believers. It was just a beautiful day.
We started with a surprise….we got EGGED! The eggs were filled with toys and money (SILVER COINS!!)….we felt so special!!! The kids believed it was the Easter bunny, so to whoever did this….If we’re in Nashville next year, it looks like you must travel to carry on the tradition 😉
[yes, the picture needs to be rotated, but I’m tired. Forgive me? 😉 )
We had an amazing morning at church–and followed with a family meal at my parent’s house. The kids all had their favorites, and I brought a kale salad, fruit bowl, and dessert. Andrew ate sausage and chicken with my parents, and we all just co-existed beautifully.
And because I’m me, I have to eat chocolate. I always love doing a little something extra for a holiday, so I made these Cadbury Creme Eggs. They really didn’t take long, plus I had fun. That’s always a requirement for me 🙂
But, I know…back to CHINESE FOOD.
Make it your own, have a blast, and invite me over! 🙂
A note: When I make Chinese Food, I like to go all out–which means we actually fry these wings in a pan. So you have that option-OR if you want to hold the fat and oil, feel free to bake them in the oven just like you do the Beer Battered Buffalo Bites. They will still be great–it just may not have that traditional Chinese food flavor.
- 1 small/medium cauliflower, cut into florets (if you get a large cauliflower, you may need more batter, or you don't have to use the whole thing--and save some for another use!) It will be about 6 cups of cauliflower
- 1 cup plus 3 T gluten free all purpose flour blend
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t garlic powder
- 2 T thickener like tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
- 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
- ¼ cup raw honey
- juice of one orange
- ½ cup organic tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ t ginger
- ½ cup (or more) of olive oil
- *Alternate to bake at 450 degrees on a parchment lined sheet for 20 or so minutes or until golden brown, toss in sauce, and bake again for 5-10 minutes
- 4 cups day old brown rice already cooked (you want this REALLY cold)
- 2 T vegan butter or coconut oil (or grass-fed butter)
- ½ cup frozen peas & carrots
- ½ cup frozen organic corn
- ¼ cup organic tamari (gluten free soy sauce), or more to taste
- sesame seeds
- green onions
- Prepare the cauliflower, set aside.
- In a large pan, heat the oil (or preheat oven if using alternate method--directions in blog post notes) over medium heat.
- When the oil is ready, start putting some cauliflower in the batter and coat well.
- Using a fork, get a piece of battered cauliflower (draining excess) and place in pan. You want the batter thick so it stays on the cauliflower. If it's not, add more flour before continuing.
- Repeat until pan is full, but don't let the pieces touch.
- Let fry for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Using tongs, flip the cauliflower and cook for about 4-5 more minutes, or until they are fried to your liking.
- Repeat this process until all cauliflower is cooked. Add more oil if necessary.
- Using paper towels, wipe the oil out into a dish to discard later.
- In the same pan, put the thickener in along with ½ cup of the vegetable broth.
- With a whisk, stir until a thick roux is made. Add all other ingredients (except the last ½ cup of veggie broth) and stir until thickened, raising heat to create a boil--usually medium high.
- If you need more sauce, or don't want it so thick, gradually add more vegetable broth to your liking.
- Keep heating until the sauce is thick and sticky. Add the fried cauliflower to the pan and gently stir until well coated.
- Meanwhile, heat a wok over high heat. Add butter/coconut oil. Once melted, add the cold rice and spread out as much as you can. The key to fried rice is to let it sit for a few minutes so it will get crispy. Then you can stir and spread it back out to get as much of it charred as you can.
- Add vegetables and stir.
- Then add soy sauce and stir until well combined.
- Keep stirring the mixture until it is well cooked and smells like a Japanese restaurant 🙂
- Put a serving of rice on a plate, add some fried cauliflower on top, and top with green onions and/or sesame seeds.
- Relax and enjoy!
- Have your husband do the dishes 😉