I try a lot of stir-fry recipes at home. I add noodles, make different sauces and experiment with a variety of colorful veggies. Sometimes they turn out well and other times….not so much. This is the best sweet and spicy cauliflower stir-fry with shrimp and peanuts featuring glazed veggies, crunchy garnish and a nice balance of carbohydrate, protein and healthy fat. One of my favorite things about this dish is the addition of fragrant fresh ginger and garlic. Assembled piece by piece then combined at the end, it is a relatively simple recipe and good to have in your repertoire for easy weeknight dinners.
Cauliflower is trending as a food trend right now for good reason. A member of the cruciferous veggie family, cauliflower is packed with B-vitamins in addition to plentiful C and K. It is rich in fiber and sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates which are compounds unique to this family of veggies (think broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) that have ties to cardiovascular, digestive, immune, inflammatory, and detoxification system support. With my background in oncology nutrition, I always recommend my patients increase intake of this family of veggies because of some of the great research available on their benefit. I especially tell my breast cancer folks to be sure to eat these veggies daily. Don’t let the white color of cauliflower fool you; it is packed with antioxidants. So versatile, this is a great veggie to include several times a week in the diet.
If you need some other simple stir-fry or Asian-inspired recipes, check out my Tofu Zoodle Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce and Spicy Vegetarian Mango Curry. What are some of your favorite ingredients to whip up on busy evenings?
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 head cauliflower (cut into bite-sized florets)
- 3 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided)
- 1 cup snap peas (trimmed and cut in half)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger (minced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
- Add rice to 1.5 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan, bring to a boil then cover and cook for 40-50 minutes until water is absorbed. When finished cooking, remove from heat, remain covered and let rest for at least 10 minutes. While rice is cooking, toss cauliflower in 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Preheat the broiler, spread cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet then broil on high for about 10 minutes, until cauliflower is soft and lightly charred. Set aside when finished broiling. Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet and toast peanuts about 1 minute until lightly toasted. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Add peas, bell pepper, ginger and garlic to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender 1-3 minutes. Add chili sauce, soy sauce, and cauliflower and continue to cook until vegetables are glazed, about 2 minutes. Serve stir-fry over rice garnished with peanuts and cilantro.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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