Get your buffalo wings on the vegan way! Variations of these cauliflower buffalo bites have been all over Pinterest, and have always piqued my curiosity on how good they actually were. I mean, I LOVE buffalo wings, but as you could probably tell from reading this blog, I am always on the lookout for healthier alternatives for carnivores and plant eaters alike (carnivores – check out my grilled buffalo strips recipe!), and these seemed liked an awesome way to get your veggies and hot wing cravings in for a minimal amount of calories.
They key to making good cauliflower bites is getting that perfectly golden, crispy exterior. Without it, forget it. You’ll basically have soggy cauliflower that is soaked in hot sauce, which is so not what we are going for here. In order to get the most crispy cauliflower bites possible, I tried this recipe two different ways; one with unsweetened almond milk and brown rice flour, and one with water and brown rice flour. While the ones with almond milk weren’t bad, they didn’t crisp up quite the same as the ones with water did for one reason or another, so the obvious winner was the water and brown rice flour batter.
Contrary to what I initially thought, these bites are best eaten after they have had a chance to set out for bit at room temperature. I’m not sure why, but whatever the reason, this step is a must. The longer they set out, the more they taste like a hot wing/tater tot hybrid, and yes, that tastes as good as it sounds.
So, do these taste exactly like buffalo wings? Well, I think they are about as close as you can get considering you’re using cauliflower in place of chicken. I mean, this recipe is definitely one of the tastiest ways I have eaten cauliflower in a while, and I am pretty sure if you’re a buffalo wing fan, you’ll probably agree.
- 1 head cauliflower; chopped into bite size piece
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup water
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of granulated garlic powder
- Non-stick spray
- 1 tsp. Earth Balance butter substitute; melted
- ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- In a small bowl, combine brown rice flour, water, garlic powder and salt. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
- Dip cauliflower pieces in the batter until coated evenly, then place on a lightly greased, non-stick baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the batter hardens, then flip with a spatula and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Whisk together Frank’s Red Hot sauce and Earth Balance butter substitute in a small bowl.
- When the cauliflower is finished, take a plastic pastry brush and evenly brush each piece with the hot sauce mixture.
- Bake coated cauliflower for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is crispy, and sauce looks absorbed.
- Remove from oven.
- Let cauliflower bites set out for at least 20 minutes before serving.