When I was a kid I was a frequenter of Panda Express. I remember one day hanging out at the mall with my friend, each of us with a plate full of “Chinese” food and looking at the back of my soda cup, which read, “You ordered the orange chicken, didn’t you?” Yeah, I did.Of course I did. You can’t go to Panda Express and not order the orange chicken. Ok, flash forward to the Stacy of today, and I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to childhood pleasures. Enter this baked orange-glazed cauliflower dish…
A few notes about the recipe. I recommend the first time you do this dish to single-dredge the cauliflower to see how you like it. If you’ve done recipes like this before or just know you like things a bit more crispy, then go ahead and double-dredge the florets. The below picture shows the result after baking a single-dredge batch.
Another note is about the glaze. I have no qualms using substitute sugars to reduce the calories of a dish. For this sauce, I used Splenda baking sugar instead of regular sugar and Heinz reduced sugar ketchup. I’ve indicated the equivalent measurements in my recipe below.
1/8 cup Splenda (or 1/4 cup granulated white sugar)
2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/8 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp ketchup
1 tbsp water + 2 tsp cornstarch
For the Cauliflower
Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Set aside whisked egg in a mixing bowl.
Place panko crumbs onto a large plate
Dip cauliflower in egg mixture so that it is lightly coated. (You may need to shake them or place them on a wire rack to drip off excess. This is to prevent "egginess" during the baking process.)
Dip individual cauliflower florets into the panko crumbs, making sure each is coated evenly, then place onto the prepared baking sheet. (Repeat the egg and panko dip process if you wish to double dredge for extra crispy results.)
Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 400F or until coating is golden.
For the glaze
Combine the orange juice, sugar, vinegar, tamari, garlic, ginger, ketchup and sriracha into a small saucepan on medium-high heat.
Bring sauce to a low boil, stirring constantly.
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water.
Turn the heat down low, then add to the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan.
Stir until the sauce thickens.
Plate it Up
Let the cauliflower cool slightly, then drizzle sauce over florets and gently toss to coat completely.
Serve over sautéed veggies and quinoa (or desired sides).