Deep-fried buffalo wings are a tailgate staple. But at about 100 calories each (not counting blue cheese dressing, which can run 600 calories for little more than a third of a cup!), just a few wings—and who eats just a few?—can wreck your pre-game-day workout.
That’s why chefs and tailgaters alike are ditching the fowl and turning fresh, crunchy, nutrient-loaded cauliflower into a healthy, low-cal, vegetarian spin on the classic.
Sure, cue the eye rolls—but hear us out. Baked buffalo “bites” like these, a slight variation of the dish served at L.A. restaurant Mohawk Bend, taste seriously incredible, so crisp and deliciously spicy you can’t just eat one—which is fine, since they rack up only 145 calories per serving. Oh, and Mohawk’s leaner buffalo dip is amazing, too (you know you can trust a veggie-centric spot that also serves bacon and has 70 craft beers on tap).
1 head cauliflower
1⁄2 cup almond milk
1⁄4 cup almond flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
8 oz Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1) Cut cauliflower into florets and soak in almond milk for 10 minutes. Drain; add to an almond flour–cornmeal mix and toss until well coated.
2) Preheat oven to 450°. Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
3) Remove cauliflower from oven, place in a mixing bowl, and toss with Frank’s Red Hot sauce. Once the cauliflower is coated, bake for 10 more minutes. Serves four.
4) For a healthier alternative to blue cheese dressing, combine 1 cup vegan mayonnaise, 1⁄2 block firm tofu, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, a pinch of garlic powder and onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until the dip has a creamy consistency, and chill for an hour.