This post comes from my good friend, Holly. Please enjoy this exclusive guest cook edition of Eat Fit Not Fat!
I’ve never been a huge fan of buffalo wings. Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken and I love the spice of buffalo sauce, but there is something about the combination that has never blown me away.
Then about a year ago, my world was opened to a new way to enjoy the delicious spice of buffalo: cauliflower. I was visiting a friend in L.A. and we ate at Mohawk Bend, a wonderful restaurant with abundant vegan options. I’m not vegan, but I will happily order anything that takes a new spin on a vegetable or a classic combination (I also can’t eat dairy so the vegan blue cheese dressing intrigued me). I was hooked after the first bite and am still thinking about the appetizer over a year later.
I decided last super bowl Sunday that the time had finally come to take a crack at recreating the appetizer. The dish turned out great and my meat and veggie loving friends quickly made it disappear. I know this recipe won’t take the place of wings for some, but it’s a healthier way to snack and a good way to sneak in the added health benefits of cauliflower (which has compounds related to cancer protection, anti-inflammation, cardiovascular benefits, digestive health, etc.).
The recipes below were adapted from Nutrition Stripped (which has also highlighted the many health benefits of cauliflower). The buffalo cauliflower is served with a dairy-free/vegan “ranch” dressing. Though this dip is delicious and a perfect companion to the spiciness of the buffalo sauce, it resembled more of a green goddess esque flavor than a ranch.
BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER – Serves 8-10 – Vegan, dairy-free, gluten free
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes; Total time: 1 hour
- 1 large head of cauliflower (about 5-6 cups raw)
- ½ cup almond milk (or of choice)
- ½-1 cup water (more to create a thinner coating)
- 1 cup red hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
- ¾ cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- 1 tablespoon butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Ground black pepper and sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and grease with coconut oil or other. If you don’t have coconut oil or a liner for the baking sheet, take a cookie “drying rack” and put on top of a standard baking sheet. You’ll eventually put all of the cauliflower bites on top of the “drying rack” to allow them to cook through with less sticking.
- Cut cauliflower head into small bite sized pieces.
- Mix flour, milk, water, and spices into a small bowl.
- Dip each cauliflower floret into this flour mixture (This is the step where you can either make the batter thick or thin by using less/more water respectively). Note: I suggest shaking off the extra batter before placing on the baking sheet.
- Lay on baking sheet in an even layer to ensure baking all around.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
- After the cauliflower bites have baked, pour the buffalo sauce mixture onto the bites.
- Stir until each cauliflower bite has been coated in the sauce.
- Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- Raw celery sticks or another favorite veggie
- A cooling dip such as ranch, blue cheese, yogurt, or a non-dairy version such as the ranch dip below
Serving size: 1/10th recipe Calories: 76 Fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 12 Sugar: 1 Fiber: 3 Protein: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 10 minutes
- ½ cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour (I soaked for 2 hours)
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (may thin out to desired consistency)
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Blend all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth.
- If using for a dip, use less water.
- If using for a dressing, use more water.
- Keep chilled until used.