Vegan Buffalo Wings aka Hot Wings aka Chicken Wings
Buffalo what? I thought you were vegan!? Replacing meat with cauliflower? Impossible! Then maybe I can teach you better with my delicious recipe for vegan-style buffalo wings! 😉
I have to admit that I never really integrated cauliflower into my kitchen before. Somehow I never had this vegetable with the many small bulges – mogul slopes for the skiers among us – on my radar. Most of us get our first main recipes taken from our parents’ kitchen. But my mom very seldom used cauliflower, and so I didn’t have it on my radar for years.
Cauliflower instead of substitutes
Until one day in one of my favorite Munich restaurants, the bodhi, I stumbled upon these incredibly delicious vegan buffalo wings, “chicken wings” aka “hot wings”! And since then, I’ve been deeply in love. Now, for the last few days, I have made it my mission to make my own creation out of these wonderful florets. And here they are: my vegan buffalo wings! For the sake of simplicity, I call them – like others – “vegan buffalo wings” because they are similar to the “normal” buffalo wings, except that they are cruelty-free and healthy. People say, for example, “alcohol-free beer” or “gluten-free bread” and don’t invent completely new names for well-known things. I will tell you *here* why vegans and other people eat “substitute products”!
In addition, the vegan buffalo wings do not contain any soy, gluten, or another meat alternative. The calorie information is an approximate value, as part of the breading will stick to your baking paper. The recipe corresponds to 4 servings if it is intended as a snack or finger food. Otherwise, there are fewer portions if you want to eat the delicious cauliflower florets as a larger meal. Plus, you don’t fry them and save lots of empty calories with baking. Okay, let’s get ready to rumble! 😉
- baking sheet with baking paper
- small brush
- 1 large cauliflower
- 180 ml oat milk gluten-free
- 60 ml water
- 100 g oat flour gluten-free
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil or rapeseed/ olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt and pepper
- ½ tsp red paprika powder smoked
- 1 tsp cilantro powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Marinade und BBQ-Sauce
- 150 g tomato ketchup
- 100 g tomato paste
- 50 ml water
- 2 tbsp apple cider or lemon juice
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp red paprika powder smoked
- ½ tsp turmeric ground
- ½ tsp salt poss. smoked salt
- some pepper and chili as desired
Prepare the cauliflower
- Preheat your oven to 220 °C top/bottom heat and line your baking sheet with baking paper. Wash your cauliflower well under running water. Dry it off well. Now carefully separate small florets.
- Mix all the ingredients for the breading in a bowl with a fork until all the blobs have dissolved. You may help with a blender.
- Dip the cauliflower florets in the breading, let them drain briefly and place them on your baking sheet. The breading should be enough for all the florets. Bake them for 10 minutes at 220 °C, then turn them and bake them for another 10 minutes.
Prepare the marinade and BBQ sauce
- In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, let it simmer over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes and then take it off the stove.
- Once your florets have been baked for 20 minutes, brush them with about 1/2 of the BBQ sauce – if possible on all sides, and let them bake for another 20 minutes. Once your cauliflower wings are baked, you can serve them with the remaining half of the BBQ-sauce and enjoy them to to the fullest!
Tips for success
To ensure that your vegan buffalo wings succeed, you should make sure that your cauliflower is really dry after washing. So, the breading can stick better to the florets. In addition, you can of course use the stalk, cut it into small pieces, bread it, bake it, marinate it and bake it.
If you don’t have all the spices, you can experiment with them as you like. You can also replace garlic powder with ground cumin, for example! If you don’t have a brush, that’s no problem either! I don’t have one either and just used a tablespoon to spread the marinade on the wings. I also chopped some mint into small pieces for serving, adding a little more color. Herbs like mint are full of antioxidants and add a little nutritional value to your cauliflower wings.
Cauliflower is a real superfood!
Cauliflower and superfood!? Yes! A superfood doesn’t have to have an unpronounceable name such as goji berries, quinoa grains, chia seeds, etc. to be awarded the title of superfood! There are also plenty of regional foods that are real high-scorers in the game of nutritional value! All vegetables are healthy, but cruciferous vegetables are at the top of the podium alongside green leafy vegetables and bulbous vegetables such as garlic. Cruciferous vegetables include i.a. cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. Cauliflower also consists of around 90% water and provides ca. 3 g of fiber, 13 mg of sodium, 282 mg of potassium, 17 mg of magnesium, 22 mg of calcium, 49 mg of phosphorus, 9.51 mg of iron, and 295 µg of zinc per 100 g.
In cruciferous vegetables, the title “superfood” is primarily related to the high concentration of glucosinolates (secondary plant substances) and thus to sulforaphane as their end product. Sulforaphane has shown cancer-inhibiting effects in numerous studies and experiments (chemoprevention). In addition, a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes has been found several times. I will tell you more about sulforaphane and its predecessor in the form of glucosinolates, the active ingredient that makes cabbage and cruciferous vegetables so healthy in one of my upcoming blog posts.
Healthy eating made easy
As you can see, it is not that difficult to get hold of important nutrients. And that is exactly what I would like to show you with my recipes: A healthy diet has nothing to do with “sacrifice”, but can be very tasty and an absolute enrichment! Just like these vegan buffalo wings, which are perfect as a starter, snack, or generally as finger food. If you liked these bites, you will love my crunchy tofu sticks with cornflakes coating for sure as well! 😉
With this in mind: Have fun cooking at home – maybe you will find a little inspiration in my other recipes for a bit of fresh, healthy breeze in your kitchen! 😉
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Stay healthy and nuts! 🙂
Sources for this blog post
Abbaoui, B., Lucas, C. R., Riedl, K. M., Clinton, S. K., & Mortazavi, A. (2018). Cruciferous Vegetables, Isothiocyanates, and Bladder Cancer Prevention. Molecular nutrition & food research, 62(18), e1800079.
Ferreira, P., Rodrigues, L., de Alencar Carnib, L. P., de Lima Sousa, P. V., Nolasco Lugo, L. M., Nunes, N., do Nascimento Silva, J., da Silva Araûjo, L., & de Macêdo Gonçalves Frota, K. (2018). Cruciferous Vegetables as Antioxidative, Chemopreventive and Antineoplastic Functional Foods: Preclinical and Clinical Evidences of Sulforaphane Against Prostate Cancers. Current pharmaceutical design, 24(40), 4779–4793.
Soundararajan, P., & Kim, J. S. (2018). Anti-Carcinogenic Glucosinolates in Cruciferous Vegetables and Their Antagonistic Effects on Prevention of Cancers. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(11), 2983.