It’s easy to fall into ruts with our food choices, no matter what type of diet we eat. I tend to ingest lots of smoothies, veggie burgers/sandwiches/wraps, salads and rice/bean combos. So, when I found a recipe for Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’, I knew I had try it. I haven’t made anything like this since going vegan. Hubs loves anything coated in buffalo sauce, so why not give it a go? And vegan blue cheese dressing – that had me intrigued.
I’m happy to report that this was a very successful recipe test! No, the cauliflower did not magically taste like chicken. But it was still quite tasty – and so was the blue cheese dressing. It’s amazing how the textures in this recipe are so similar to the real thing. I would definitely make this again. Hubs approved ;)
Start with the Buffalo Bites first, then make the dressing while the bites are baking.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN BUFFALO BITES:
1 cup water or soy milk (I used 1/2 cup of each)
1 cup flour (any kind of flour will work – even gluten-free!)
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup buffalo or hot sauce*
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine
Be sure to check the ingredients in the buffalo/hot sauce – not all are vegan. I used Frank’s Red Hot Wings Sauce in Buffalo flavor. If you don’t like spicy food, try a mild flavor like Frank’s Sweet Chili Sauce.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine the water and/or soy milk, flour and garlic powder in a bowl and mix well.
Grease a shallow baking dish/pan (I used two small ones) with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
Dip each piece of cauliflower into the flour mixture, let the excess drip off and place it in the greased baking dish. As you can see in my photo, I didn’t let the excess drip off well enough. I had to cut off the rubbery batter spills from some of the pieces after they cooked.
Bake for 18 minutes.*
While this is baking, make the blue cheese dressing (see recipe further below).
I baked mine for 20 minutes since my oven is a little slow. However, I think they could go even longer – like maybe 25 to 30 minutes? I didn’t care for them right out of the oven. Instead, I waited until they cooled and then I crisped them up a bit in the toaster oven on about 300º for a few minutes.
Mix the buffalo sauce and olive oil or vegan margarine in a small bowl (I used a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup).
Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for another 5 to 8 minutes.
Serve with Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe below) and celery sticks.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:
1/4 block of firm or extra firm tofu*
dash of garlic powder
1 cup of vegan mayonnaise (I used original Vegenaise)
1/4 tsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)*
fresh lemon juice*
apple cider vinegar*
Regarding the tofu, it didn’t say whether to press it or not, so I did not press it (just drained it).
Regarding the tahini… get ready to laugh. I thought it said 1/4 CUP (see my ingredients photo above?!). Believe it or not it still turned out fine. Original source says recipe can made without this ingredient, but it’s better with.
Regarding the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, you’ll have to taste as you go, adding just a teaspoon at a time until you are happy with the taste. Even with using 1/4 CUP of tahini, I only used 1 and a half teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Channel your inner chef and just go by taste.
(I forgot to photograph this step). In a medium size bowl, mix all ingredients except the tofu. Mix until it has a nice, smooth consistency.
Crumble tofu (see photo above). This will be the ‘lumps’ in your dressing. Add tofu to dressing mixture and stir until combined.
Mine probably looks thicker and darker in color because of the extra tahini. You can also serve this with vegan ‘chicken nuggets’, salads, raw veggies, etc.
Now… what else can I coat in ‘batter’ and buffalo sauce? Hmm…