Monday, January 25, 2016

Vegetarian Buffalo "Wings" ( can be vegan); Meatless Monday.



Super Bowl is in two weeks with the Denver Broncos facing the Carolina Panthers. This also means that there will be lot of Super Bowl parties! Usually at these parties there is tons of junk food laid out, the most popular being chicken wings!!! All kinds of chicken wings! But not everyone eats chicken wings. Many people are vegetarian for various reasons. Some for religious reasons while others  in pursuit of better health. Regardless, being vegetarian does not mean that they do not enjoy food. Therefore, it is important that there are vegetarian options at all gatherings, parties. Today, I am sharing with you the recipe for the vegetarian version of Buffalo Wings. Yes, you heard right, Buffalo Wings. I guarantee you that once you try this, you will make it again and again. The original recipe is from PETA! Even I didn't know that they had recipes too. I improvised on the recipe that I saw here.  Cauliflower is used to make these "wings".





The improvisations I made were with the goal of reducing calories. Did you know that a lot of butter is used in chicken wings?? The milder the buffalo wings, the higher it is in calories! This is primarily because they use butter to lessen the impact of the hot sauce. The recipe I followed, instructed to toss the wings in the sauce. Instead, I chose to brush them with sauce. This significantly lowered the calories. I also reduced the calories in the blue-cheese dressing by mixing it with Greek yogurt. It was delicious!



I also didn't have garlic powder alone, so mixed adobo seasoning in the mix.
This is a very easy recipe to make and does not take long, 30-40 minutes at the most!



I brought the vegetarian wings to my neighbor and to my colleagues at work. Everyone loved it! I was thrilled.



Servings: 6-8


Ingredients:


Cauliflower: 1 small head
Flour: 3/4 cup
Garlic powder: 1 tsp ( I used Adobo seasoning instead).
Buttermilk: 1 cup
( for vegans, use same amount of soy/almond milk ).

For the sauce:

Hot sauce: 1/2 cup
Butter: 1/2 cup ( alternatives like margarine, Country Crock or olive oil may be used for vegan options)
Salt: 1/8 tsp ( skip if you used Adobo seasoning with the flour)
White Vinegar: 1/2 tsp

To serve:

Blue-Cheese dressing: 1/2 cup ( use vegan cheese if vegan).
Greek yogurt: 1/2 cup ( use vegan yogurt like SILK,  for vegan option)
Celery sticks : 4-5 celery stalks, cut into 5 inch pieces.

Method:


Preheat the oven to 450 deg F.

Cut the  cauliflower head into bite-size pieces. Wash, drain completely and keep aside.



Mix together the flour, buttermilk, garlic powder and keep aside.



Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and keep ready.

Dip each cauliflower piece in the flour-buttermilk mixture and place it up on the baking sheet. Do this with all the available cauliflower.


Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake at 450 deg F for 20 mins.



While the cauliflower is baking,  prepare the sauce and dip.

To prepare the sauce:

Mix together the hot sauce, butter( or margarine or oil), vinegar and salt and bring it to a gentle boil.



For the dip:

Mix equal proportions of Greek yogurt and blue cheese. Keep aside.

Putting the wings together:

Once the cauliflower pieces are baked, take them out, brush them thoroughly with the "Buffalo sauce". Place the wings in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Brush them again with Buffalo sauce of needed.



Serve them hot with blue cheese dip and celery.

I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday # 23, Fiesta Friday # 104 and Saucy Saturdays. Angie's co-hosts this week are Mila @ milkandbun and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine.

Cooking made easy:


Use warm water with a pinch of salt to soak the cauliflower pieces for a few minutes. Drain it completely and pat the pieces dry with a paper towel before dipping it in the flour.

Tip for healthy living:


Cruciferous vegetables are known or their health benefits. Cauliflower is one of them that contains a plethora of nutrients that includes vitamins, minerals, antioxidants  and phytochemicals. Some of the major health benefits of cauliflower include it's anti-inflammatory properties, detoxification of the body, boosting brain health due to the presence of choline, boosting of heart health due to the presence of sulforaphane and most importantly, cancer-fighting properties.  So, eat more of the cauliflower! 

References:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282844.php
http://www.webmd.com/diet/cauliflower-health-boost



Food for thought:


Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains. Marilyn French


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