Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On My Hearth: Cauliflower "Wings" and Vegan Blue "Cheese" Dressing

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'

1 cup water or soy milk
1 cup flour (any kind will work—even gluten-free!)

2 tsp. garlic powder
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces
1 cup buffalo or hot sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine



Oct 8. 

 Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Combine the water or soy milk, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.  

Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.

While the cauliflower is baking, combine your buffalo sauce and olive oil or margarine in a small bowl.

Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.

Serve alongside vegan blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Oct 8.


 

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." 

4 comments:

  1. I can't believe this! I'll have to try it with a super mild or BBQ sauce and see!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Freakin' yum!! They really were convincing?? I crave the spiciness of the buffalo wing sauce, eating the meat off the bone...not so much. I'm gonna try this!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Freakin' yum!! They really were convincing?? I crave the spiciness of the buffalo wing sauce, eating the meat off the bone...not so much. I'm gonna try this!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jessa and Julia, well, I'm not saying you could fool anyone into thinking there were real wings, but the flavor was just right thanks to the sauce and the consistency wasn't too far off. If you want *really* convincing vegan wings I'd suggest trying those made of seitan. Chip and I had them in Asheville, Omg, they were sooo good and almost too "meaty."

    ReplyDelete