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General Tsao’s Cauliflower

2017 is being touted on food blogs as the “year of leaving the food label behind” and with good reason! Social media has helped to educate a growing mainstream about the dangers of additives and preservatives in the processed foods that you eat, and striving for a healthier balance. People are finally starting to listen to their bodies and eat more intuitively.

It’s a well known fact that brighter, more colorful vegetables contain the presence of carotenoids, the antioxidants that help make vegetables healthy. Because of this, people assume that a veggie such as cauliflower is lacking. While it does lack chlorophyll to give it color, cauliflower still contains a wealth of essential nutrients such as cancer fighting phytochemicals, fiber, and vitamins B and C.

Cauliflower is mild-tasting and picks up flavors very well, which is why I like to use it in a dish like this one. With more and more people “quitting sugar” a good alternative is to try adding herbs, peppers, honey and ginger to your sauce. Natural ingredients work wonders to lessen irritability and anxiety, promote sleep, and even address poor digestion. Rather than using a bottled sauce with unnecessary additives and preservative, try this version of “General Tsaos” to liven up your veggies.

Ingredients
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
4 to 6 seeded and stemmed dried red chilies
Garnish: toasted sesame seeds

Sauce Ingredients
2 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. molasses or honey
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. arrowroot (or corn starch)

Preparation
heat the sesame oil over medium heat and add the garlic and chopped red chilies just before turning down the heat. Slowly add soy sauce, rice vinegar and hoisin sauce. Use a whisk to incorporate the ingredients, adding arrowroot, brown sugar, ginger and honey. Stir well and drizzle over the cauliflower.

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