Cauliflower turns ‘hot wings’
FoodGuilt-free indulgence

Cauliflower turns ‘hot wings’

A go-to recipe for casual entertaining

Cauliflower "hot wings" (Photo by Carole Mantel)
Cauliflower "hot wings" (Photo by Carole Mantel)

Even though chicken wings are mostly skin and bone with little meat, I love nibbling on them. This American dish is generally deep-fried and coated in a hot sauce prior to serving along with celery sticks, carrots and blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping. I grew up keeping kosher, so I did not use the dairy dipping sauces with my chicken wings. I have tried many different seasonings and preparations of wings at home over the years — grilled, fried, roasted (you get the picture) — I like hot wings!

When I began my health journey three years ago I wanted the flavor of chicken wings without the fat and calories. Enter cauliflower! I use this versatile vegetable to make pizza crust, latkes and stir-fried “rice,” so why not wings?

Below is my adaptation for a flavorful and guilt-free duo of cauliflower hot wings and yogurt dipping sauce.

This is my go-to recipe for casual entertaining — think football game half-time snack. As a bonus, carrots, celery and any raw veggies are delish dipped in the Greek yogurt dip.

If you are preparing a meat meal, you can simply omit the yogurt dip.

Cauliflower “hot wings” with Greek yogurt dip
Serves 4+

For the hot wings:
1 large head of cauliflower, washed and broken up into small florets
olive oil spray (or about 4 teaspoons olive oil)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/8-1/4 cup of tabasco or red pepper sauce, like Frank’s Redhot Sauce

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly spray the lined cooking sheet with olive oil.
Spread the florets on the cookie sheet and generously spray each floret with olive oil.
Combine dry ingredients and then sprinkle over the cauliflower.
Roast for 20-30 minutes.
Optional: Pour Frank’s Redhot wing sauce over the cooked cauliflower and let stand for 5 minutes
Serve with Greek yogurt dip

Greek yogurt dip:
8 ounces Greek plain nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 tablespoon feta cheese crumbles
Spice mix:
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley flakes or chives
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon dill pickle “juice” from a pickle jar

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. And just think: If cauliflower can be rice, pizza crust and wings, you can be anything! PJC

Carole Mantel is an independent health coach and home chef living in Pittsburgh.

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