If you haven’t tried the simple swap of cauliflower for rice, you’re missing out! This…
Big disclaimer and a tribute to a friend in this post! Hopping on the buffalo cauli-wing bandwagon, but I’m in no way shape or form saying these are chicken-like or “you’ll never know the difference”! I’m just saying they’re veggies that taste amazing and are perfect for a football game with a nice cold beer.
Ok, I recognize in my opening statement that I’m that girl in the meme that shows up to a football game with a plate of buffalo cauliflower to be the biggest disgrace of the party. I’m not her! Well, I am for my vegetarian friends but I LOVE a plate of buffalo chicken just like the next person. I prefer it, to be honest. But this recipe is truly AMAZING and a sentimental staple between one of my best friends and me.
You know how you always have that one friend who just shows up when you are scraping yourself off the floor? The one who answers the phone when it’s truly inconvenient for them? The one who drives you absolutely crazy when they call you out on all your bulls**t but you’re not in the headspace to hear it? But still says what you need to hear in a way you need to hear it because they care and respect you in levels you didn’t think someone could? That’s my buddy DW.
This is a person who has knocked on my door late at night/early morning when they see me in tears or better yet inspired and with ideas to conquer the world. He’s the friend who has been by my side through thick and thin. We’ve battled breakups, divorces, job loss, job gains, financial debates and passion project ideas together. We’ve topped off a few bottles of…everything…just conversing, ideating and exploring new places and meeting new people together. But the most memorable conversations lately have been at a local sports bar over a plate of cauliflower buffalo wings.
Now we are both meat eaters so more often than not this dish is also paired with something else, including buffalo chicken dip! It’s become that appetizer that we have shared lately over real talk and cocktails that brings me comfort. When he ordered this for me the first time I was struggling with a lot!!! I mean, a lot a lot! I may have cried and cheered up over a shot of tequila and chased it with a beer. A surprising smile came through when these cauli-wings hit the table and I almost didn’t want to share. Now, as we have turned the tears into triumph, I still look forward to meeting up to see him and talk me through life, as I hope I contribute the same…and we still agree that we’re freakin’ getting buffalo cauli!
So thank you for your friendship, DW….and thank you for turning me onto a vegetable bar food that I crave and occupies a place in my heart. It’s the perfect combo of vodka, friendship, intelligent conversations and vegetables coated with hot sauce!!!
I know there’s going to be hardcore judgment before you even read, and that’s fine. I’m telling you, these “wings” are something else. I’ve been studying how to replicate the recipe from the sports bar and I got it. They’re insanely delicious and just check all the boxes of good football food with so little guilt! Plus they seem semi-guilty because of the pile of crumbled blue cheese on top, but you need it!!!!
If you know me, I love eating vegetables in every way possible. I cannot pass up any veggie that’s smothered in buffalo sauce because that’s my jam. My lunch for years use to always include hot sauce covered broccoli. I even brought 2-3 types of hot sauce to work for lunch. That’s my go-to dressing! Hot sauce in general is a separate food group for me!!!
If you also know me, you know I love tailgate, late night, junky bar food! It’s just the comfort food we need! This is a game day must, alongside chicken tenders because it’s so much more enjoyable than a carrot and celery board! Think about it this way, what’s the last thing to be touched when you’re serving a bunch of drunk sports fans on game day? The veggies! Look at this as the veggie tray that makes people happy!
They’re battered, crisp, and spicy! That’s acceptable in my book as a damn good “veggie tray”. I promise you, you’ll love them. I am NOT telling you that if you close your eyes you’ll taste chicken. No! I’m telling you that you’re just going to love them and that’s that!!!
Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”
- 1 large head cauliflower cut in florets
- 2 cups AP flour, whole wheat flour, Gluten-free flour divided
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾-1 cup almond milk/milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper divided
- ¾-1 cup buffalo sauce
- ½ cup reduced fat blue cheese crumbles
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cut cauliflower head into bite size florets. Set aside. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. ***For the milk, pour in slowly until a batter forms, not to thick, not to thin. It should be smooth. Use more or less milk for appropriate consistency.***
- Toss all cauliflower florets into the batter (you can do this one at a time) and toss until the batter lightly coats the cauliflower.
- In a bowl, mix together the other cup of flour with cornstarch. In a large 1-gallon zip bag, add 1/2 the flour cornstarch mixture. Remove each cauliflower floret from the batter, one by one. Gently tap or shake off excess batter, and then add to the flour/cornstarch bag. Do this in two batches.
- Seal the bag once half the cauliflower is added and then shake until the battered cauliflower lightly coated. Remove from the bag and lay each floret on the parchment covered baking sheet and spread them out. Do this for the second batch as well.
- Bake for 20 minutes on one side and then flip and bake for an additional 20 minutes on the other side until crispy and golden.
- Remove and toss in a large bowl with buffalo sauce! Sprinkle with blue cheese!