Somewhat unpopular opinion: I have a strong aversion to watching or partaking in sports. Even the Olympics can’t get me in the spirit for organized competitive activities.
I do however, revel in the food rituals that surround sports. The gathering, celebrating, excitement and celebratory “cheers” that comes along with showing support for your favourite team.
Every year around this time, people start talking about Super Bowl, and my mouth begins to water. Smoky chili, fried cheese sticks, chicken wings, cauliflower wings, mac and cheese, guacamole galore – I have a large place in my heart for these comforting foods.
As a nutritionist who digs decadence, I’m often experimenting with ways to pack more veggies and nutrient-dense foods into these dishes.
These Hot Honey Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” are my plant-powered take on the pub favourite, chicken wings. They are simple, satisfying and will crush your cravings for wings.
The Hemp Seed ranch is worth whipping up as well, for the delicious obligatory “wing dunk”. Hemp seeds *magically* blend up into a surprisingly creamy dressing with the help of a high-speed blender or food processor. As a mayo and dairy lover, I feel confident assuring you that this zesty dressing is damn delicious, vegan or not! I love to drizzle it over iceberg lettuce for a quick salad, as a dip for pizza, and for snacking on fresh-cut veggies.
Hot Honey Buffalo Cauliflower Wings with Hemp Seed Ranch
Hot Honey Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small "wing" sized pieces (approx 600 g)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tbsp olive, grape seed, or avocado oil
- handful sliced green onions, fresh dill (optional, to top)
Hot Honey Buffalo Sauce
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Hot Sauce (like Franks Red Hot)
- 2 tbsp honey (use maple syrup if vegan)
- 1.5 tbsp butter unsalted or salted (I use salted)
Hemp Seed Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 3 tbsp olive, grapeseed, or avocado oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp pickle juice
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 15 grinds black pepper
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Make the Hemp Seed Ranch Dressing
- In a high-speed blender, add all ingredients. Blend for 60-90 seconds. It will take some time to break down the hemp seeds, but the result should be a similar consistency of dairy ranch dressing (a few small granules are normal) Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Dressing will thicken in the fridge.
- Taste the dressing and add more pickle juice, garlic salt, black pepper as needed. I often add a dash more pickle juice for tang.
Par Bake The Cauliflower
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Add cauliflower to the sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss well to coat.
- Bake cauliflower on the lower oven rack for 15 minutes, until slightly tender and golden in spots.
Make the Hot Honey Sauce
- In a small pot, add buffalo sauce, honey and butter. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until melted and combined. Set aside.
Finish the Cauliflower
- Remove parchment paper from cauliflower.
- Drizzle 3/4 of the Hot Honey Sauce over par-baked cauliflower. Use a spoon, tongs or your hands (careful, they will be hot) to thoroughly coat in the sauce.
- Adjust oven setting to a high broil. Broil cauliflower on the upper rack for 3-10 minutes, stirring halfway (depends on broiler heat levels) They are ready when they are crisp and charred in spots, but not mushy.
Plate and Serve
- Plate cauliflower and drizzle over reserved Hot Honey Sauce. Garnish with green onions or fresh dill, if desired. Serve with Hemp Seed Ranch for dipping, or your favourite ranch or blue cheese dressing
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