By Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D., Associate Food Editor, EatingWell
I love any excuse to throw a party. More specifically, I love any excuse to cook, invite all my friends over and crack open some local beer and cider. Even though I’m not the biggest football fan, the Super Bowl is a great excuse to get everyone together.
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I was planning what I’m going to serve—sweet-hot chili wings, 7-layer dip and beefy chili—and I started thinking. There are two things I can never get enough of at Super Bowl parties: Buffalo sauce and vegetables. My solution? I created this new recipe for addictive Sriracha Buffalo Cauliflower Bites in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. They’re a healthy meatless alternative to classic Buffalo chicken wings that even my vegetarian and gluten-free friends can eat.
Cauliflower is the ultimate party veggie: it only has 29 calories per cup and is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and fiber. When you roast the florets, they get nutty, brown and a little crispy. Plus, it’s a great carrier for the sauce, which I kept healthy by reducing the amount of sodium-laden hot sauce and butter, adding lemon juice for tang and sriracha for heat. You can eat these cauliflower morsels to get your Buffalo fill and your veggies at the same time.
Get the full recipe: Sriracha Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Recipe
To make this easy appetizer, cut up a head of cauliflower into florets—keeping them big enough for people to grab with their fingers, about 1 ½ inches wide. Toss them with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, then roast them at high heat until they get a bit browned and crispy.
While the cauliflower is roasting, you’ll mix your sauce in the same large bowl for less mess. You probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen—sriracha, hot sauce, butter and lemon juice.
Take the hot roasted cauliflower out of the oven and toss it in the sriracha-Buffalo sauce. Another quick flash in the oven gets everything hot and saucy, and bam! You’ve created a vegetable “wing” that even the meat eaters will keep coming back to.
Serve these little beauties with carrots, celery sticks and creamy Buttermilk Ranch and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing. (Make sure to have cocktail napkins or toothpicks since these saucy babies might leave fingers in need of a wipe—or lick.)
Are you pumped? Get out your hot sauce, napkins and team jerseys. It’s time to eat, drink and watch commercials—ahem, I mean football!
Sriracha Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Makes: 6 servings
Serving Size: ¾ cup each
Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
8 cups 1 ½-inch cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Toss cauliflower, oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet; reserve the bowl. Roast the cauliflower until it’s starting to soften and brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine hot sauce, sriracha to taste, butter and lemon juice in the large bowl. Add the roasted cauliflower and toss to coat. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and continue roasting until hot, about 5 minutes more.
Per serving: 99 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat); 5 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g total sugars; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber; 288 mg sodium; 439 mg potassium.