BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER WITH RANCH DRESSING

From “Veganize It!” by Robin Robertson. According to Robertson, “Even people who think they don’t like cauliflower have been known to devour these tasty bites.”

Serves 4

3/4 cup chickpea flour or all-purpose flour

3/4 cup water or nondairy milk

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets

3/4 cup hot sauce

1 tablespoon vegan butter, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows), melted

Creamy Ranch Dressing (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine the flour, water, garlic powder and salt. Whisk together until smooth. Add the cauliflower pieces to the batter, turning to coat completely. Transfer the battered cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just tender and golden brown, turning halfway through.

While the cauliflower bakes, make the sauce. In a bowl, combine the hot sauce and melted butter, stirring to blend.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and carefully transfer the cauliflower pieces to the bowl with the hot sauce. Gently toss the cauliflower in the hot sauce mixture to coat, then return to the baking sheet. Bake the sauced cauliflower for an additional 15 minutes, or until it becomes crispy. Serve with a bowl of the ranch dressing for dipping.

EASY VEGAN BUTTER

From “Veganize It!” Use refined coconut oil to avoid giving the butter a coconut flavor. For a firmer texture, add 1 teaspoon soy lecithin liquid or 2 teaspoons soy lecithin granules to the mixture.

Makes about 1½ cups

1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

3/4 cup refined coconut oil

1/4 cup grapeseed or sunflower oil

In a blender or food processor, combine the milk, vinegar, salt and turmeric and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Heat the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until it is just melted. Let it cool slightly, then add it to the mixture in the blender or food processor, along with the grapeseed oil. Blend until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Transfer to a container or butter mold and refrigerate to set and firm up, at least 1 hour. Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks or wrap tightly and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

CREAMY RANCH DRESSING

From “Veganize It!”

Makes about 1¼ cups

1 cup vegan mayo

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon minced scallion

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more vinegar or salt if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before using to allow the flavors to develop.

In “Vegan Burgers and Burritos,” author Sophia DeSantis makes cauliflower into a Buffalo cauliflower slider. Photo by Sophia DeSantis

BUFFALO WING SLIDERS

From “Vegan Burgers and Burritos,” by Sophia DeSantis. She warns that the dish may be too spicy for kids.

Makes 8 to 10 sliders

1 medium-size head cauliflower

¾ to 1 cup buffalo cayenne pepper hot sauce

CRISPY COATING:

¾ cup cornmeal

¾ cup bread crumbs

6 tablespoons hemp seeds or almond flour

6 teaspoons dried parsley

6 teaspoons garlic powder

BATTER:

2 cups almond flour/meal

1 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce

1 cup soda water

2 teaspoons baking powder

Drizzle of oil, optional

TO SERVE:

4 to 5 slider-size buns

Vegan Ranch dressing

Buffalo cayenne pepper hot sauce

Red onion

Lettuce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Slice the cauliflower into large slider-size pieces.

Make the crispy coating by mixing together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, hemp seeds, parsley and garlic powder, then place the mixture in a shallow baking dish.

Make the batter by combining the almond flour, hot sauce, soda water and baking powder in a bowl until fully mixed. Add a drizzle of oil if you’d like; it is definitely not needed but can add an extra crispness to the final product.

Using one hand for the batter and one for the coating (this helps avoid clumping of the coating), dip each cauliflower piece in the batter then place it in the coating dish and cover with coating. Place each piece on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Make sure to evenly spread out the pieces.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and drizzle about ½ cup of hot sauce on top of the cauliflower pieces, trying to coat the top sides well. Using a pastry brush can help. Flip them over and drizzle the rest of the hot sauce on the other sides, trying to coat them well. Put the sheet back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is crispy.

Serve immediately on slider buns with the toppings of your choice, using 1 to 2 pieces of cauliflower for each slider, depending on size.

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