With my favorite season upon us… football, beer and buffalo wings… I get VERY excited, but I am constantly feeling guilty after a weekend of binging and watching men in tights run around with a ball. If you read my last post, I spoke about how I love taking indulgent foods that I crave, and finding a healthy alternative that leaves you with the same satisfied feeling that the real thing usually gives you.
When I am working on my healthy versions of things, often times it involves replacing meat or dairy with a vegetable. Some vegetables are amazing just by themselves, and there are some special ones that are equally amazing as a substitute for heartier things. This reason is why I am nominating cauliflower for Super Veggie of The World!
I absolutely LOVE cauliflower. I was the kid who was begging my mom to get the frozen package of winter mix because I actually preferred my broccoli with some more vitamin-packed vegetable. Cauliflower has become such a huge part of my cooking experience that I am constantly finding better and better ways to use it as a super-healthy alternative. If you stay tuned long enough, maybe one day you’ll get my vegan alfredo sauce recipe that uses NO dairy… and pretty much only cauliflower!
So, to cut to the chase and come full circle… today I am going to show you how I satisfied my buffalo wing cravings with a delicious and spicy alternative that involves my fave… CAULIFLOWER!
Also, as usual, this is SUPER DUPER EASY TO MAKE
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets/bite size pieces
- 1:1 ratio of flour to water, I used about 3/4 cup each to cover my cauliflower (for a large head, use 1 cup)
- Your favorite Buffalo wing sauce
- Seasoned salt
- Garlic powder
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- Crumbled blue cheese
Preheat oven to 450˚F, line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking oil (this is important, don’t just do tin foil and think you’re good… it needs to be greased too!). In a mixing bowl, add the flour, water, seasoned salt and garlic powder with a “dash” of buffalo sauce. This is when your foodie intuition needs to kick in. If you like super spicy, I would say, put a hearty “dollop” of sauce in there. If you just want the light flavor of buffalo wings, put about a teaspoon, maybe a tablespoon. Trust your gut on this one, its hard to actually screw this one up. Mix all the ingredients together, it should be a thick, paste-like consistency. Dip your cauliflower pieces in the batter and put them on your GREASED tin foil covered baking sheet. One you’ve got them all coated nice and thick-like, pop those babies into your preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
While they’re baking, in a bowl, melt your 3 tbsp of butter (takes about 30 sec in the microwave). Add in about a quarter cup of wing sauce to the melted butter, a dash of salt and mix together. This is most definitely the unhealthiest part of the recipe, which you can totally skip out on, but I think it helps add a little more of that flavor and sauce that one might look for in a good wing replacement. After the fifteen minutes are up, coat the pieces with this sauce and pop them back in the over for another 5 minutes, and let it get all bubbly and crusty up in there.
After those finishing 5 minutes, take out your baking sheet and let them cool for a few minutes.
I went ahead and satisfied my craving even more by making a quick little blue cheese sauce to go on top. Again, not very healthy, but since you’re replacing meat with veggie, why not? 😉 So I just popped some crumbled blue cheese and a dollop of fat-free mayo into a small pot and just melted it down to creamy goodness.
At this point, the cauliflower should be ready to pop off the foil, and if you greased it, you shouldn’t have any issues of left behind batter! Plate ’em up, and share the blue cheese love with your spicy bite size nuggets of happiness.
Feel free to cut up some carrots and celery to really add to that sensation of chowing on some wings, hell, use your hands for all I care! Get into it… and most especially… ENJOY!