Hi, kiddos! How are you?
Okay, it’s Confession Day on Simply A (RD) Foodie.
I confess that I don’t know one thing about football.
Like absolutely nothing.
Like if you want to watch a football game in peace, please find the TV farthest from me and watch it there. Because if you are sitting next to me, I will need to ask you a thousand questions about what’s happening (I have no clue), about the reasons behind quarterbacks licking their hands before throwing the football (ummm, gross), and about when we can turn the channel to something else (now, please!).
While I do not get football at all, I do get football food. My attention is usually not on the TV but on the coffee table in front of the TV that is usually loaded with dips, chips, chili, and buffalo wings. I love messy, portable football food – it is inherently festive!
With the Super Bowl less than two weeks away, I am starting to think about what I will be dishing up for our annual get together. Chili with all the fixin’s is the traditional staple, but I wanted to have a fun munchie that people could nibble on before dinner. My personal football food favorite (say that three times fast!) is the classic – buffalo wings. Spicy, hearty, and messy – three things that make a perfect football food!
But as much as I love traditional buffalo wings, I wanted to put a healthier spin on my football fav. I remembered that during my first year of graduate school, I saw a recipe for buffalo CAULIFLOWER bites. All the taste of traditional wings without the meat. I made them again this weekend and they were awesome. And so easy!
Here’s how you make them.
Grab yourself a head of cauliflower.
Cut it in half and start breaking off small florets – a bit bigger than the size of a quarter. Toss them into a colander and rinse them thoroughly.
While the cauliflower is draining, you can whip up the batter for the bites.
It’s some flour, baking powder, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk the dry ingredients together to combine them.
Then pour over some sparkling water and quickly stir to combine. The carbonation gives the batter a bit of a “tempura-like” consistency. Beer also works really well here too…
When the batter is prepared, dip the cauliflower bites into the batter, shake off the excess batter and place the bites onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
It doesn’t look like much now, but they do puff up slightly. Bake the bites for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
Yummy! While I could probably polish off the whole pan like this, things are about to get… spicy.
Pop the bites into a large bowl.
And pour over a delicious mixture of hot sauce (whatever brand you like, but I’m a Frank’s girl) and butter. If you want to make this vegan, sub out the butter for some vegan margarine! Caution, this recipe uses one cup of hot sauce (so watch out!).
Toss the bites in the sauce and then place the bites back onto the baking sheet and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes in order for the sauce to set.
Then it’s time to eat!
Serve alongside your traditional buffalo wing fixin’s, like blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery sticks.
A healthy option for your Superbowl party table!
So, kiddos, what are you doing for the big game? Throwing a huge bash at home? Going out to a local pub for pints? Let me know!
Your football confused, buffalo wing lovin’ friend,
This recipe was featured in i’mperfect magazine’s section, Perfect Eats! See it here – http://im-perfectmagazine.com/recipe-kickin-buffalo-cauliflower-bites/
- 6½ cups cauliflower florets, a bit larger than the size of a quarter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 1 cup hot sauce, your favorite! (I love Frank's)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk to combine. Pour sparkling water over flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Dip cauliflower bites into batter, shake off the excess, and place the bites onto the baking sheet. Pop the bites into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the bites become slightly golden brown.
- While the cauliflower bites are baking in the oven, combine the hot sauce and butter in a small bowl. When the bites are finished baking, place them in a large bowl and cover with the sauce. Toss gently to combine. Place the bites back on the baking sheet and pop the baking sheet back into the oven for 5-7 minutes until the sauce is set.
- Serve immediately with blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery sticks!