Buffalo Bites + Blue Cheese Dressing (vegan)

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.

SERVES 4

***

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

*NOTES
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.

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine the water and/or soy milk, flour and garlic powder in a bowl and mix well.

STEP 2
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.

STEP 3
Bake for 18 minutes.*

While this is baking, make the blue cheese dressing (see recipe further below).

*NOTES
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. 

STEP 4
Mix the buffalo sauce and olive oil or vegan margarine in a small bowl (I used a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup).

STEP 5
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.

SERVES 4

***

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*

*NOTES
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.

STEP 1
(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.

STEP 2
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.

Thank you to Ashley Palmer for the Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’ recipe and to “Munchy” on Group Recipes for the Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing recipe!

Now… what else can I coat in ‘batter’ and buffalo sauce? Hmm…

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Comments

  1. Dawn R. Martinson says

    Hi Livvy:

    Looks good! I will have to try this sometime! You asked what else can you coat and batter?? Well, you can do that with firm tofu! My hubby loves BBQ Tofu bites! The trick (in case you haven’t heard it yet…) Take your firm, water packed tofu, press and drain it, then wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for a few days or longer. It turns an odd shade of yellow – although it is still good! Take it out, thaw it, then repress and drain it. It now has a “meatier” texture and flavor! Cut it up in slices, marinate it in your sauce for a couple of hours and bake until done! Yummy! Leftovers make great sandwiches for lunch. I now only use water packed toful after I have frozen it – way better taste and texture!

  2. Ricki says

    Found you via Finding Vegan–what an intriguing recipe! And it LOOKS fantastic. If I can make the sauce work with my dietary restrictions, I’m on i! ;-) I also have to agree with Dawn up there–freezing tofu is a great way to make it “meatier.” I freeze, then crumble, then put into spaghetti sauce. My hubby asked if it was ground chicken! Hee hee. :D

  3. Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack! says

    Oh my goodness, you have my tummy growling and possible drool droplets on my keyboard. This looks tremendous!

  4. Jacqui @VegpocalypseNow says

    I have to agree with Jackie, this looks PHENOMENAL. I have a humongous head of cauliflower in the fridge that was destined to be aloo gobi, but… anything involving Frank’s, and I’m in.

    I am wicked skeptical about the dressing though. I’ll have to wait until our housemate comes home–he used to LOVE bleu cheese dressing, so he’ll be a good judge when we try it out!

    • says

      Jacqui, don’t be afraid to use extra tahini in the dressing. Like I said, I thought it said 1/2 cup (instead of 1/2 tsp), and my husband and I both really liked it. I didn’t realize how off I was until I was typing up the recipe for the blog post! I don’t think a 1/2 tsp would even be noticeable. Lmk how you like it!

  5. Natalie says

    Seriously the best recipe ever!! I love it all, the cauliflower is a brilliant idea and that dressing tastes exactally like blue cheese! Thank you for the great recipe!

    • says

      Glad you tried it and liked it! Thanks for reading/commenting. It’s hard to tell from the little tiny picture, but I think we look a lot alike, no?!

      • Natalie says

        Maybe a little bit? I asked the hubs and he said a little bit too, funny! I liked you on FB so you can see a bigger pic of me. Can’t wait to have my leftovers today!

          • Kanishk says

            I have never been able to like tofu either, and after leinnarg more about nutrition I feel no need to force myself to like it. Soy has a sugar that we can’t digest, which is why it gives us gas, and manufactured tofu has been processed to take out all of the fiber as well as a lot of the vitamins and minerals.Tempeh is a fermented product, so that the sugar has been broken down, and it uses the whole bean fiber all and tastes SO much better! ask around or maybe order online?

  6. Nigel says

    I just made these and they are great. I am new to vegan eating and I love anything buffalo :) I like how the batter works with the sauce and the texture of the cauliflower is wonderful. Thanks for a great and easy to follow recipe.

  7. ashley says

    I just made these bites (no blue cheese) and they are delicious and so easy to make!! I had to keep reminding myself that they were vegan. I used the Franks original buffalo sauce and it was SPICY. i had to grab a glass of almond milk. Next time, i will most likely get an even milder flavor, but there will be a next time. Loved it

  8. Yin says

    I really like the idea of Buffalo style cauliflower. Had some troubles with the batter not being very batter-like, but we enjoyed these no matter!

    Appreciate the frozen tofu tip from Dawn!

  9. says

    Hi Livvy!
    I just wanted to say that I made these for myself last night for the Superbowl. My family are all omnivores and were having chicken wings, this was my alternative. They definitely filled my craving to have some Buffalo Hot “wings”. In fact, they were so tasty that my carnivore husband ate probably as many as I did. Thanks for finding this great recipe! (I did not make the dressing since I did not have tofu, just ate them plain with a side of celery).

  10. Laurie says

    I made these today because I had a head of hybrid green cauliflower. Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I thought it would be fun to have these for a snack. They are delicious. I did eat mine out of the oven because I don’t have a toaster oven to crisp them up, but maybe if I left them in the warming drawer for a few minutes that might work. They are so good, between my husband and myself, we ate the entire head of cauliflower! Thank you for posting this. P.S. I added a few shakes of McKay’s vegan chikn seasoning to the batter for a little more taste.

  11. Bobbi says

    I. LOVE. THESE. I have made this recipe 4 times now and love it everytime! I don’t put the tofu in the dressing because the first time I made them I was out of tofu and loved it without so subsequently I continue to leave it out because it is one less step.

    Love your blog!

  12. says

    I pinned this recipe ages ago and finally had a chance to make it today–my hubby called it “a ten” :) one of his biggest compliments! Also–I made the sauce with BBQ sauce and a bit of teriyaki. It was a great variation! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Kielecia says

    Hey! Thanks for the recipe! I made these last night for me and my boyfriend, and they were pretty good. Definitely making them again. I used all purpose flour and they didn’t really come out as crispy as I was hoping. Should I use a different kind of flour? What kind did you use to make yours brown up in the pictures.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kielecia! Mine didn’t really come out very crispy either. See my note in Step 3 – I think that will help. I don’t think the flour matters.

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