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Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa
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5 from 6 votes

Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa 

This Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa recipe is a deliciously healthy option for the entire family. At first glance, these beauties truly remind you of classic orange chicken (and trust me, they taste just as good, if not better!), however, they aren’t! Just know that your taste buds won’t be able to tell the difference either! Super easy to make and whipped together in under 45 minutes. Entirely Gluten-Free. Vegan option.
Course Main Course
Keyword cauliflower, classic, crisp, dairy-free, dinner, easy, food, healthy, healthy bowl, homemade, orange, plant-based, quinoa, recipe, savory, sweet, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 839kcal
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

Ingredients

CAULIFLOWER BITES:

  • 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped in medium chunks
  • 3 cups bread crumbs, GF if needed! (See Notes!)
  • ¾ cup organic all-purpose flour, GF-friendly
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • ¼ cup raw honey (See Notes for Vegan option!)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt + black pepper, each

QUINOA:

  • 1 cup quinoa, original or multi-color
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt

ORANGE SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsps  filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice  (That's about 3-4 large oranges!)
  • ¼ cup raw honey (See Notes!)
  • 3 Tbsps organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch + 2 Tbsps water
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh ginger (See Notes!)
  • 1 navel orange, peels only!

GARNISH:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Chopped green onions (a.k.a. scallions)

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER BITES:

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. NOTE: Doing this step is a MUST to prevent sticking.
  • In a medium bowl, add the milk, flour, honey, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes, and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and set aside also. 
  • Now, dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and “crunchy” looking. NOTE: If not crispy enough, turn on broil and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

TO COOK THE QUINOA:

  • Begin by adding the veggie stock and salt to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Add in the quinoa, whisking continuously while boiling for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking every 3-4 minutes until fully cooked through, and water has dried, and the quinoa has thickened and appear "fluffy". Stir in the garlic powder, dried oregano, parsley, and smoked paprika. Remove from heat.

TO MAKE THE ORANGE SAUCE:

  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, garlic cloves, orange juice, honey, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, minced ginger, water, and orange peels and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, until bubbly stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and add the arrowroot mixture (mix both together until "milky" looking) stirring until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  • Spoon the sauce atop cauliflower bites and let them bake for another 5-6 minutes or until the sauce is "sticky" atop bites. Garnish with seseam seeds, if desired.
  • Remove the cauliflower bites from the oven.
  • To serve, spoon the cooked quinoa is a bowl or plate and top with orange cauliflower bites. Garnish with green onions or parsely.
  • Bon Appetit!

Notes

  • STORAGE: Best if consumed within the same day. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in oven when ready to serve.
  • HOMEMADE GF BREADCRUMBS: To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed GF bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container. 
  • SWEETENER: Instead of brown sugar, you can always use maple syrup or agave as a sweetener.
  • GINGER: If you do not have actual ginger root,  you can substitute for ¼ teaspoon ground ginger instead.
  • EXTRA ORANGE FLAVOR: For a bolder flavor, you can add orange peels to sauce when bringing everything to a boil. Keep it in the sauce and remove them after tossing in cauliflower bites.
  • VEGAN OPTION: To ensure that this recipe is fully vegan, substitute honey with pure maple syrup or Agave as well as butter with vegan butter.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 839kcal | Carbohydrates: 165g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 1521mg | Potassium: 1080mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 1562IU | Vitamin C: 101mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 9mg