As I've mentioned before, I don't miss meat very much. It's so easy vegan nowadays, there are substitutions for nearly everything. Burgers. Hot Dogs. Ribs. Steak. You name it, there's a veg-friendly option. Even..chicken wings, the holy grail of bar food, in my opinion.
I admit it, I was a girl who loved her wings. The hotter the better, bring 'em on! Friends of Chip would compete with me to see who could eat the hottest, and I always won. There was nothing like a plate of steaming wings and a side of curly fries, served with a nice cold brew. Yummy! But, I always felt guilty, knowing that poor little animals died for my taste buds, not to mention what those greasy goodies were doing to my waistline. So, when I went vegan I gave up my beloved chicken wings, yet always hoped to find a cruelty-free substitute that could compare to the real deal. Thus began my search.
Now, I know that I can purchase faux "wings" in my grocer's freezer, but most of them do contain dairy products are therefore not suitable for a vegan diet. I knew I'd have to make them from scratch, which is my preferred way of cooking anyway. When I came across this recipe on PETA's website, I was intrigued yet skeptical. Cauliflower? Really? I'm a big fan of the crunchy white veggie but not sure it's a comparable wing substitute. However, I was in the mood for something hot & spicy and I just so happened to have all of the ingredients on hand so decided to give it a shot.
Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings'
cup water or soy milk
cup flour (any kind will work—even gluten-free!)
tsp. garlic powder
head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces
cup buffalo or hot sauce
Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine
the oven to 450°F.
the water or soy milk, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well
the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking
dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
the cauliflower is baking, combine your buffalo sauce and olive oil or
margarine in a small bowl.
the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an
additional 5 to 8 minutes.
alongside vegan blue
cheese dressing and celery sticks.
The verdict: deelicious! They provided the "meaty" consistency and hot saucy-ness of "real" wings without the fat, calories and, of course, animal flesh! I will absolutely be making these again. Hooters has nothing on me now! Oh, except for the cute waitresses, not sure they make those orange shorts in my size!
Note: This recipe produces a very spicy sauce, similar to the restaurant "Hot" version. It was too spicy for Chip who normally orders a "Medium" sauce. If you want a less intense flavor, I'd suggest adjusting your hot sauce/oil ratio. Also, next time I'll spray the baking sheet first as there was a bit of sticking, and perhaps bake a little bit longer to achieve a crisper "wing."