We hadn't been there in a while so I was struck by a new menu item: Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings." Any regular readers of this blog already know I'm sort of obsessed with this cruciferous veggie. Cauliflower is packed with goodies like vitamins C and K, as well as folate (so crucial during before conception and in early pregnancy to prevent birth defects), potassium, and manganese; it's also loaded with fiber, promoting digestive health plus satiety. Plus, cauliflower is an incredibly flexible ingredient, so it works as a fabulous low-carb, low-calorie substitute for rice, as an addition to pasta, or even as a faux popcorn!
The "wings" at the pub were yummy, but deep-fried and heavy. I knew I had to make my own at home. I did a quick search and found this version from Peta; it seemed like a great place to start. With a few little changes, it turned out fantastic and truly satisfied that buffalo sauce craving I sometimes get. Hey, I ain't too proud to admit that!
(adapted from Peta.org)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour*
1 tsp. ground, dried garlic (or garlic powder)
small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's)
2T melted butter or coconut oil
*I used this gluten-free baking mix because it's made with rice flour, which is probably the ideal flour for this dish (I didn't have plain rice flour handy). As with tempura, rice flour lends a crispy and light breading to the cauliflower.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
|The mix I used includes almond flour, so that's what those brown specks are.|
In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, flour and dried garlic. Dip each floret into the batter, letting the excess drip off. Place the florets on a large, parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the hot sauce and melted butter together in a small bowl. (I increased the amount of butter from the original recipe because I wanted the bites to be a bit crispier.) Once the cauliflower is baked, brush the sauce on both sides of the florets, making sure they are entirely coated. Put cauliflower back in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the florets are a bit browned and slightly crunchy.
Despite the photo above, I'd recommend using a fork to dip these bites—since these cauliflower bites are boneless (can you imagine if they weren't?! nightmare-worthy!) they aren't as sturdy for dunking as real wings.
The last step in this recipe: DIG IN!
**If you're pregnant and concerned about the blue cheese in the dressing, the CDC recommends choosing only pasteurized blue-veined cheeses, so check your package.