Last Sunday, while I was grocery shopping for the week, I had written down on my notepad: “something for the playoffs.”
If you don’t watch sports or care, then I’ll tell you: we’re in the midst of the NFL playoffs. Actually, none of my teams are in the playoffs this year, and I’ve grown generally apathetic towards football.
However, my fiance loves sports (as most of ’em do) and I wanted to get something playoffs-themed for a Sunday night dinner.
As I was pushing the cart by the meat and poultry section, my eyes immediately went to the chicken wings and I thought, “oh perfect!”
HOW BORING AM I?!
Chicken wings – pretty predictable. I added them to my cart and when I got home, I put the wings right in the freezer and…. never made them.
Instead, let me tell you what happened: I went to prepare the buffalo sauce (a Paleo, gluten-free, vegan deliciousness) and preheat the oven. I opened the fridge and searched for the wings and realized that – yup, I had put them in the freezer.
But you know what I did have? Cauliflower…. which, yea, looks and tastes nothing like chicken wings, but let’s be honest – it’s not the wing that makes the meal, it’s the sauce.
Also, cauliflower keeps being predicted as “the next big thing” in the food world (actually, SHAPE magazine nicknamed a nutrition trend article as ‘cauliflower is the new kale’), so I figured I’d put this versatile veggie to creative use.
The buffalo cream sauce is just… well, make it and you’ll be able to finish that sentence. It’s otherworldly! The cauliflower softens in the oven and soaks up the spicy flavors in the sauce.
They’re great for game day OR if you want to take it a step further and turn it into a game day-themed meal (or just an ordinary night’s meal), serve it over sweet potato noodles – it’s a sinfully delicious combination and is healthy as heck!
What do you like to eat while watching sports or vegging out?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower with Sweet Potato Noodles
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 8 cups)
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil cooking spray
3 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
vegetable broth, if needed
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, to garnish
For the buffalo pasta sauce:
3-4 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Tessemae’s)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cauliflower on a baking sheet, season with salt, pepper and coat lightly with cooking spray. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until beginning to brown.
On another baking sheet, lay out the sweet potatoes and coat lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 17-20 minutes or until cooked through, but still al dente (taste test.)
While the cauliflower and sweet potato roasts, puree the cashews in a high-speed blender or food processor until creamy. Set aside.
In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the coconut oil to the cashew cream along with the other ingredients for the buffalo sauce and puree again until creamy. If needed, add in vegetable broth until reached a sauce-like consistency (not runny, but not too thick.) Cover and set aside, to keep warm.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cauliflower florets with half of the buffalo sauce mixture, keeping the remaining sauce in the pot. Spread the cauliflower back out on the baking sheet and cook for 5 more minutes or until sauce begins to bubble.
Plate the sweet potato noodles and top with cauliflower florets. Stir the buffalo sauce and then drizzle over plates. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.
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