Tasty and healthy this cauliflower leaves and chicken stir fry is a brilliant way to avoid food waste. It's also super quick to make so it's perfect for an easy midweek meal!
Have you ever eaten cauliflower leaves before?
Are you guilty of buying a cauliflower and then throwing away half of it when you take off the outside leaves? Have you even thought to eat the cauliflower leaves? Have you even come across a cauliflower leaves recipe before?
Well, until now I'd just thrown them away without thinking. I don't even know why I suddenly wondered about whether they would be tasty too. But for some reason I did and that's how I ended up with this quick and easy meal.
Cauliflower leaves are perfect for stir fries!
Cabbage is quite a common stir fry ingredient and cauliflower leaves are very similar when stir fried. Cooking mellows the strong flavour a little and adding a strong sauce complements the leaves well. It may look like I haven't added much black bean sauce but the brand I used is very strong and salty. After adding too much when I last used it, I am using it more frugally now. You may well need to add more if using a different brand.
What other recipes use cauliflower leaves?
If you're wondering about other ways to eat cauliflower leaves, they have quite a strong cabbage flavour and I liked them in a salad too. They are great in a coleslaw type salad like this brussel sprout coleslaw with caramelised pecans or this char siu coleslaw. Just add a few shredded cauliflower leaves along with the other vegetables.
However, my husband wasn't keen on the cauliflower leaves in a salad. He even claimed I had cauliflower breath afterwards so although they are tasty, you may not want to eat them on a date night!
Can you adapt this chicken stir fry recipe?
Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your tastes. For example I love to add extra garlic to mine! You can also vary the vegetables you use. Why not add onion, peppers, mange tout or baby sweetcorn? If your black bean sauce is a little less strong then also add a little soy sauce. Just be careful not to add too much at once as you can always add more later.
If you don't want to make this with chicken then pork or beef would also work.
Cauliflower Leaves and Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 200 g chicken, sliced into strips
- 1 tsp root ginger diced
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp black bean sauce I used a very strong sauce so you may need more depending on the brand
- 4 cauliflower leaves sliced into thin strips
- 1 bok choi
- 5 mushrooms sliced
- Put a little oil in a wok and when it is hot, add the chicken. Stir fry until it is almost cooked and then add the ginger, vinegar and black bean sauce.
- Stir well and then add the vegetables plus a dash of water if the pan is too dry. Cook for another couple of minutes until everything is cooked through. Serve with rice.
More recipes that avoid food waste
This carrot top pesto makes the most of those leafy carrot greens that so often just get thrown away!
This delicious soup uses whey from which is left over after making cheese. Don't worry if you don't have whey, you can still make it with stock and a dash milk!