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Eat Fit Not Fat Guest Edition: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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.

Happy snacking!

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BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER – Serves 8-10 – Vegan, dairy-free, gluten free

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes; Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. 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.
  3. Cut cauliflower head into small bite sized pieces.

COATING:

  1. Mix flour, milk, water, and spices into a small bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. Lay on baking sheet in an even layer to ensure baking all around.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

BUFFALO SAUCE:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
  2. After the cauliflower bites have baked, pour the buffalo sauce mixture onto the bites.
  3. Stir until each cauliflower bite has been coated in the sauce.
  4. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Serve with:

  • 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

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1/10th recipe Calories: 76 Fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 12 Sugar: 1 Fiber: 3 Protein: 2

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RANCH DRESSING

Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Blend all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. If using for a dip, use less water.
  3. If using for a dressing, use more water.
  4. Keep chilled until used.

Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Eat Fit Not Fat Guest Edition: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites”

  1. Thanks for the guest post! These look awesome. Ellie and I tried making something similar to this a long time ago, and it was absolutely delicious. We will give this recipe a shot and see how it goes.

    I like the idea of bake vs fried, the ones we did were fried and they got a little greasy!

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