I think I’m going to cry. I’m sitting in my living room, bundled up in a long-sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, wool socks, leggings, and a wool blanket, cursing at the cold. I’m fairly sure that here in Quebec City there are two seasons: fall and winter. Never mind spring and summer. Last year, there was still snow on the ground mid-May and it started getting cold mid-August.
However, with all this cold and snow, we have to find ways to stay warm and happy, and I think I have found a pretty awesome dish that does both.
This week, I invited my red-headed wanna-be Gordon Ramsay to test a new recipe, as well as my vegan Pad Thai (I had been raving about it for a while so we finally decided to get together and have lunch). This time around, I warned him it was a vegan feast, just so he could mentally prepare…It turned out to be a success! I managed to score a 9/10 for my new dish and an 8.5/10 for the Pad Thai (not saucy enough according to him).
Therefore, I can trust that this week’s recipe is a definite keeper, especially for meat-lovers and spice enthusiasts.
This week’s dish is a new favorite in this apartment: Cauliflower Wings! I’ve seen multiple vegan blogs and cookbooks do this, even my own dad (hi dad!) make variations of this recipe, and I’ve never actually been sure about it. But after trying Thug Kitchen’s version, let me tell you, I am a fan, as are my lovely taste-tester girlfriend and my red-headed wanna-be Gordon Ramsay.
I would just like to warn you, this recipe is fairly spicy, but manageable with the right side dishes and cooling beverages. Funny story: my girlfriend was a spice virgin before dating me. And since I’ve introduced her to Sriracha sauce, she has become slightly addicted. She practically licked the bowl clean even if it was extremely spicy.
For the Cauliflower wings, you will need:
- 1 small/medium cauliflower head, cleaned and cut into thumb size florets
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour
Whisk together your water and flour until it is combined into a nice consistent, lump free paste. Mix in your cauliflower florets until they are evenly covered in the mix. Place on a parchment paper lined baking tray and cook for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. You’re going to want to pull them out half way and flip them.
While the cauliflower wings are cooking, you’re now going to make your hot sauce. Feel free to use a different hot sauce (either hotter or milder), but Sriracha is a nice in between.
For the hot sauce, you will need:
- 2 tsp. of canola, olive, or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of Sriracha, or any other hot sauce of your choice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. of gluten free soy sauce (Yes, soy sauce contains wheat/gluten, so make sure that if you are intolerant to gluten that you check your sauce!)
In a small pan, heat all the ingredients, but don’t let it bubble or boil. Turn the heat off once it gets hot.
Once the 15 minutes is up, pull out your cauliflower wings, dump them in a big mixing bowl and mix in the hot sauce, making sure that every piece is well coated. Once this is done, put them back on the baking sheet and back into the oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
While they are back in the oven, you’ll want to make a peanut inspired sauce. I have previously made one with chickpeas, but it has a very thick consistency, so I went with the suggestion in the Thug Kitchen cookbook.
Peanut-inspired dipping sauce
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup sunflower butter (or any other nut-less butter, such as soybean butter)
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. maple syrup/agave nectar/honey (whichever one you have on hand)
- 1 cucumber, cut into thick julienne
Mix the warm water and sunbutter until nice and creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients, minus the cucumber, and whisk.
Et voilà! Your cauliflower wings should be ready by now, so pull them out, let them cool a tiny bit, plate them and serve them with the peanut-inspired sauce and cucumber sticks!
Delicious as a snack, but even better as an appetizer, that is followed by the vegan Pad Thai that we made a few weeks ago.
And don’t worry, they actually do remind you of chicken wings, and have the same spiciness and bite, so you won’t even notice that you’re actually eating veggies!