My husband has gone off the deep end. A few weeks ago, our “snacking” went from eating ice cream with hot fudge on top to getting excited over raw cashews. He’s decided to embrace the whole “plant-based eating” concept. This is the same man who scoffed when I brought home anything labeled “organic.” What was I trying to do, bankrupt the family? Just yesterday he said to me, “We really need to eat all organic. Did you know about all the pesticides they spray on vegetables?” Duh.
Because I know he’s doing a good thing, and because I know everybody in the house could benefit by his sudden enthusiasm for barely cooked squash and green beans, I’m embracing this too. Maybe a little more reluctantly than I should, but I’m still eating nothing but things grown in the ground, on vines, or in trees right now. This isn’t easy for me. I once tried broiling dill pickle spears wrapped in bacon. They weren’t bad.
Over the weekend I pored over a couple of cookbooks I borrowed from my neighbor, and came up with a version of Buffalo cauliflower that I can live with. The secret is coating it with a spicy, healthy, tempura-like batter before baking it in the oven. This time around, it really did come out looking like some kind of Buffalo chicken nuggets, and when I dipped it into blue cheese dressing (give me a break, I had to), it really did taste a little like Buffalo chicken. Either that or I’ve lost all sense of taste.
Everyone ate this up as if I’d just picked it up from Rocco’s, and I’m pretty sure it’ll be one of our favorite recipes. If you put the word “Buffalo” in front of anything, my family is willing to eat it.
I’m going to share this recipe, because, who knows, maybe your significant other will be inspired to drive you crazy with facts about the dangers of olive oil and cooked oats once they taste this plant-based option.
Good luck, and remember, sometimes change is good. And if you feel like dropping off a couple of corn dogs at The Times’ office sometime, I’m on the second floor.
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
(Recipe adapted from “The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook”)
2 medium heads cauliflower
1 heaping cup gluten-free flour
1 heaping tsp. garlic powder
1 heaping tsp. onion powder
1 heaping tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 cup almond milk
1½ cups hot sauce (I used Frank’s, but you can use whatever you like.)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (I didn’t have any in the house, and it worked just fine.) Cut the cauliflower into bite-size chunks.
In a bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and almond milk. Keep stirring until there are minimal lumps. Immerse the cauliflower pieces into the batter so they are well coated, and then place them on the lined pan. Cook for 18 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven and brush the hot sauce onto the cauliflower. Cook for another 8 minutes. Dip these “hot wings” into your choice of dressing.