It’s that time of year again where we all look forward to watching (and judging) million dollar commercials and being blown away by a halftime performance. At least that’s what I find Super Sunday to be all about. Ben on the other hand may beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll gladly sit down with Ben and watch some Sunday football if that means spending some more time with my man. Plus, that means I’m in charge of making the game day snacks, and you better believe I don’t want to disappoint. Typically this may consist of avocado toasts or some kind of loaded nachos, nothing to out of the ordinary or overly special. But the Super Bowl veg-sesh deserves a bit more creative snack game. Enter these Cauliflower Buffalo Bites.
These buffalo cauliflower bites are the ultimate meatless “hot wing” – just go with me on this one. First, the bite sized florets are coated in a garbanzo bean flour batter and the roasted in the oven until the coating becomes golden brown and crispy. After this first bake, the florets are doused in hot sauce and squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a touch brightness. The fiery bites are placed back into the oven so that the hot sauce crisps up a bit and seals in the flavor. About twenty-five minutes later, and you’ve got a veggie-heavy appetizer thats perfect for game day snacking. Or getting your boyfriend to eat a whole head of cauliflower… pretty impressive, right?
It’s important to note that the coating is essential to giving these bites a similar texture to that of buffalo wings. I tired a couple of cauliflower florets with just avocado oil, spices, and hot sauce, but they were nothing praise worthy – basically just spicy cauliflower. On the other hand, the battered florets were so reminiscent of actual buffalo wings, I couldn’t believe it. This recipe it a keeper and quite possibly the new go-to game day snack. For this recipe, garbanzo bean flour is my flour of choice because it not only makes a thick, smooth coating but also adds some protein to each bite. I’m confident that other flours would work in its place, but I encourage you plan ahead and get your hands on some garbanzo bean flour. This flour is is extremely versatile and in my opinion should be a pantry staple.
And then there’s the creamy cashew ranch dip. You guys, I cannot describe how much I love this dip (!!!) I want to put it on everything. And I will, but for now it goes perfectly with these buffalo cauliflower bites. The creaminess from the cashews provides such a smooth and satisfying base for the combination of fresh herbs. The flavors are rounded out and brightened up with some apple cider vinegar, garlic, and a bit of salt and pepper. I really hope you give this dressing a go. I have a feeling it will replace some of your current dips and dressings and may even become a weekly staple.
Do you have any game day snack favorites or homemade dressing/dips you make on a regular? Also, if you make any of these recipes I’d love to know! Comment below and make sure you snap a pic and tag #nourishedbynutrition on Instagram so I can see.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- 1 medium head cauliflower about 5 cups
- 1 cup garbanzo bean four
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup vinegar-based hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Clean the cauliflower and cut apart the florets. Continue to cut the florets into 4-5 bite sized pieces.
In a medium bowl whisk together the garbanzo bean flour, water and spices. Dip each floret into the mixture so it is evenly coated; let the excess dip off. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet, careful not to overcrowd. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the cauliflower is golden brown and crispy.
While the cauliflower is cooking, mix the hot sauce and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Once the cauliflower is done with its first bake, place a couple of florets in the bowl with the hot sauce and toss to coat. Place the florets back on the baking sheet for their second bake. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower. Place the cauliflower back in the oven for another 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Once finished cooking, serve warm with creamy cashew ranch (recipe below).
Creamy Cashew Ranch
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked*
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Blend cashews, water, apple cider vinegar and garlic in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and pulse 3-4 times so that the herbs breakdown into small specks. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week.
*cashews can be soaked over night or use the quick soak method by pouring boiling water over the cashews and letting them soak for about 10 minutes, drain and proceed with recipe.