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February 12, 2016

Healthy take on Game Day Classics

Football seasons over, emotions are running high. Players that began the year with high hopes now find themselves preparing for the offseason. For us fans, it’s been a long season as well — from weekend tailgates to game day parties, food hangover after food hangover.

Of course, there are the football staples: wings, kebobs, burgers, hotdogs and side dishes like coleslaw, baked beans and bacon-wrapped chicken bites. For many, those have yet to lose their luster, but come playoff time, the digestive system can only take so much.

In accordance with the cliché weight-loss New Year’s resolution, what if we simply partied/tailgated smarter, instead of less? That begins with searching for healthier alternatives to tailgating classics — baked over fried, nutritious over greasy.

Of the popular game day dishes, there may be none more prevalent than the buffalo wing. For the last 50-some years, this revolutionary and addicting bar food, which originated in Buffalo, N.Y., has changed the game entirely.

Believe it or not, in terms of texture and taste, it’s cauliflower that may be the closest match to the buffalo wing. It’s a versatile vegetable that absorbs flavor easily and bakes well. We recommend substituting your wing spread with this healthier game day recipe.

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Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Yield: 15 bites

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill White Rice Flower
  • Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Cut stems off cauliflower florets and break into bite-size pieces.
  3. Mix Rice Flour, yeast and spices in a small bowl.
  4. Coat the cauliflower in the flour mixture, then fry florets in pan with olive oil on low heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Place florets on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (flip florets after 10 minutes).
  7. (If bites are not already at your desired crispiness) Broil for 5-10 minutes until browned and crispy.
  8. Take bites off baking sheet and brush or toss bites with buffalo sauce.
  9. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dipping sauce.