If you’re hosting a Super Bowl gathering this year, we’ve got a new favorite you’ll want to add to your lineup–Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. These little fire balls are so much better than you might think. Their texture and taste stands up to the traditional chicken wing but they have far less calories and are seriously fun to eat.
This is not a new idea of course. The healthier version of your favorite burger, fries, nachos–you get it–has been around forever. Normally, my philosophy is, “if you want some cheesy nachos, buy good tortillas and organic cheese and good quality ingredients and just go for it and enjoy them in moderation!” This year, I had two talented dietetic interns working with me, pushing me beyond my comfort zone. Grace Chan and Jane Pelcher, of Golden Gate Dietetic Internship Program, expanded my horizons as they went on a search for healthy wings we could demo with our friends at AAA in Walnut Creek at a Four Pillars of Health event they were hosting for employees.
Scanning numerous options they found, I encouraged them to make the recipe as replicable as possible across the country and as vegan, vegetarian, and food allergen friendly as possible. Ever so slightly adapted from a delicious recipe by Gimme Delicious Food, they tested this fool-proof recipe in their own kitchens for our upcoming demo and decided this was the winner!
Let me just say that these little nibbles are exciting in your mouth. When we arrived at AAA for the demo, Stan Paskewitz of Sodexo had his kitchen staff prepare both this recipe and my Winter Squash Quesadilla with Creamy Avocado Sauce from the Joyful 12. I was blown away by the crunchy texture, taste, and zing of the cauliflower buffalo wings. As the demo went on, AAA employees had the same reaction–surprise, delight, and culinary joy!
What really blew people away was the difference in calories between a cauliflower wing and a traditional wing–whoa! As health supportive educators, we’re not against chicken wings by any means. What we do want to help people realize is that you can get playful with getting more veggies into your diet and feel good knowing they will balance out a junk filled night like the Super Bowl with their nutrient packed makeup.
So here’s to keeping your Super Bowl party healthy and delicious–packed with spice, flavor, and cruciferous vegetable love–regardless of which team wins! Thank you Grace and Jane for upping my game with your expertise and amazingly fun “Guess the Calorie Count” game for our favorite Super Bowl indulgences.
- 1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1⁄2 cup milk (V use water or almond or soy milk)
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (V use brown rice or garbanzo flour; GF use gluten free flour)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1⁄4 tsp salt
- 1⁄4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 cup hot sauce
- 1 tbsp butter (VL use Earth Balance)
- Preheat oven to 425-450F.
- Mix the milk, water, flour, and spices in a medium mixing bowl. Mix until the batter is thick and able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
- Dip the cauliflower in the batter either one by one or in batches. Shake off excess batter. Lay the cauliflower single layer on a lined and greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, flip the florets half way.
- In a small saucepan on low, heat butter and mix in hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
- Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and put them into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 20-25minutes.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
- V Vegan, GF Gluten Free, L Lactose Intolerance
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