I came across this recipe a few weeks ago over at Jessicainthekitchen.com a great blog promoting real wholesome plant based food. Jessica is American, hence the original name Cauliflower Buffalo Wings! Americans are big on chicken wings and eat loads of them, usually deep fried, and extremely unhealthy and produced under terrible conditions. There is nothing healthy about the way these chickens are raised, and cheap food is produced at a real cost to the poor suffering animals and ultimately to our health, if we choose to eat them.
So my plea is to please try these cauliflower ones instead and leave the chicken wings off your plate!
Someone commented on Twitter about Cauliflower having wings, when I shared my photo a few days ago. It made me laugh when they suggested that perhaps you needed to buy GM cauliflower for the wings! Made me think Crispy Cauliflower Wings is a bit of a stupid name so I am renaming them Crispy Cauliflower Bites!
These are just the most delicious, crispy, flavoursome and healthy finger foods on the planet! Perfect food for sharing and you can dip them in whatever dip or sauce you fancy!
These are perfect for movie night or a wee pre dinner snack, they are so nutritious you could eat the lot yourself! I genuinely think you could persuade a few vegetable haters to try these or even fussy kids !
Please leave me a comment if you manage it!!
I love cauliflower and it has a long season in the UK so readily available and locally grown for quite a few months of the year. I should just add that cauliflower is a bit of a superstar in the health stakes. Its a great source of vit C, vit K, B vitamins, omega 3 fats, magnesium, antioxidants and phytonutrients which protect against cancer. It contains choline for brain health, its anti inflammatory,supports the digestive system and detoxification.
So quite a few reasons to eat it! I do think that cauliflower tends to get overlooked for its brighter cousin broccoli, but to be honest it has almost as many health benefits! I guess you could make these with broccoli or romanesco too!
These are miles away from soggy cauliflower florets dripping in artery clogging cheese sauce and are so simple yet so nutritious and healthy!
They do have a cheesy flavour but it comes from Nutritional Yeast Flakes, which are a godsend for vegans who like cheesy flavour without the dairy!
I would advise everyone to go and buy some, they are packed with all the B vitamins, iron, zinc and protein, and cost around £3.75 from any health food store. In my opinion these are way better than a B vitamin supplement. B vitamins are crucial for energy production and dealing with stress so we could all benefit from them!
I also use them to make the most delicious Vegan Almond Parmesan, which is packed with flavour and nutrition, from seaweed flakes, garlic, lemon rind, sea salt and ground almonds! Very handy and versatile and way better than old smelly socks parmesan!
So back to the recipe, you need a medium to large cauliflower, broken into bite sized florets. The trick with these is to dip the florets in batter then into breadcrumbs for a fantastic crunchy coating that sticks! They are then simply baked in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes so no faffing about with hot oil. I really detest deep frying anything, I just hate the smell of hot oil and it seems to cling to my clothes so I smell all greasy and horrible!!
Oven baking is far healthier too so that's always my preferred cooking method for anything crunchy.
The batter is just flour and plant based milk, with seasoning. I added cumin, smoked paprika, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to mine but you could add any herbs or spices you like! Top tip from Jessica, if your cauliflower florets are wet, the batter won't stick, so I didn't wash mine I just wiped it with damp kitchen roll!
I always have a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer. I just blitz any leftover bread in my food processor for instant breadcrumbs. At Nourished by Nature nothing is wasted and since I am always baking lots of sourdough, I generally have spare! And mine is all organic which is even better! I also cut spare sourdough into cubes, freeze them, then oven bake them with some oil and herbs for excellent crunchy croutons!
So to recap these are simply cauliflower florets, dipped in a flour/milk batter, seasoned anyway you like, coated in breadcrumbs, then baked in a hot oven!
You can make a gluten free version using gluten free flour and breadcrumbs. Chickpea flour is naturally gluten free. Doves farm produce decent gluten free flour too.
Serve with any dipping sauce, chilli sauce, guacamole, tomato salsa or even good old tomato ketchup! I served mine with fermented tomato ketchup, sweetened with maple syrup and naturally fermented for a probiotic hit and fantastic flavour!
I will share the recipe soon!
I also made a tamari/maple/tomato dip which tasted great, it just didn't look good in the photo, it was brown!! If you want to make it, just use equal amounts of tamari/maple syrup and tomato puree. Loosen it up with some oil and add crushed garlic and sea salt!
So here is the very simple recipe....
CRISPY CAULIFLOWER BITES
.......your health in your hands........
Okay this week I'm hanging onto the remnants of summer and sharing another fabulous recipe from the One World Vegan Retreat.
This is just summer in a pan and reminds me of warm sunny days!
I think we are all aware that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest and this dish originates from sunny Spain so join the ranks of the healthy and make this fantastic dish a regular part of your repertoire!
It is a real crowd pleaser, it's so colourful and tastes amazing!
Fiesta relates to the wonderful colours of all the veggies. Eat the rainbow for vibrant good health and this paella has all the colours, as you can see from my vibrant photo!
We have made it twice since the retreat and it is delicious. You can vary the veggies according to what you have available and your personal tastes. We have used cubed aubergine instead of fennel, mushrooms could easily replace artichokes, since they are a bit of an acquired taste but I rather like them!
Most supermarkets sell artichokes in a jar, usually beside the antipasti, sun dried tomatoes and olives, I bought mine from Aldi and they are a great price and perfect for this dish.
You can add frozen peas or sweetcorn instead of the beans and/or fennel and just leave the artichokes out if you don't like them.
Flavour is provided by smoked and sweet paprika, two of my favourite spices! Oh and turmeric for amazing health benefits and colour and garlic just because it adds amazing flavour and is natures antibiotic! Great to include loads of it as we move into colder weather, and who wants to succumb to colds and flu, most definitely not me!
It is essential when making paella to use the right kind of rice! You need short grain white rice or paella rice, most supermarkets stock it. It's different to risotto rice which is stickier and not what you want. Gloopy paella is not great!
A top tip from Lee, don't stir your paella, its not like risotto! This is a good thing which makes this a perfect dinner party dish! No standing over a hot stove while your guests are knocking back the wine! There is actually wine in this so a great reason to crack open a bottle and have a wee glass while you are prepping all your veggies!
This is a wonderful dish to take straight to the table, it has a real wow factor and can easily be served at the table. Some delicious artisan bread is a lovely accompaniment and of course a nice big glass of wine!
I served mine with a 3 day fermented delicously tangy freshly baked spelt sourdough!
Yum and extra brownie points for me! I also used my homegrown wee yellow tomatoes, my other tomatoes are all still green! I will be making some green tomato chutney and fermented green tomatoes, I have loads of them! Maybe my next blog post....
Here is the recipe.....
Ingredients - Serves 4 to 6
.....your health in your hands.....
I am frequently asked when I am writing a book, if I am writing a book or if already have one and the answer to that is not any time soon, probably never and no!
Biggest procrastinator right here......
Anyway one of the reasons I started the blog was to share recipes and knowledge freely with anyone interested in eating plant based for health.
There are so many amazing books on plant based & vegan cooking that it becomes overwhelming and in all honesty we don't need hundreds of different recipes. Most folks buy cookery books then never make anything and I have to admit even I am guilty of that but in my defense I buy a lot of books, for research purposes!
My favourite authors are Lee Watson, Aine Carlin and Anna Jones who all have amazing cookery books and I'd highly recommend them.
I have to say that I love nothing better than settling down to read a new cookery book, its one of lifes pleasures, and planning which recipes to try first. I am old fashioned in that I prefer a good old book made of paper than on line or e books but there is a place for them and to be honest its much easier to upload a wee selection of recipes.
I am always drawn to healthier options and will often adapt recipes to make them more healthy. The majority of the recipes I share are vegan and in fact all of the recipes in my wee e book are vegan.
So this brings me back to this wee E book, which I have to admit, Jenna my rather creative daughter put together for me!
I would never have got around to it, technology is not my thing and it would be beyond my capabilities to format and put this book together, so big thanks to Jenna for doing it for me.
We all have strengths and weaknesses and no one is good at everything. I prefer to focus on what I am good at and not stress out about the things I'm not!
In my opinion, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!!
Jenna put a similar wee book together many years ago when she was raising money to go to Sri Lanka and India to volunteer with street kids.
In true Jenna style, she didn't want to just do the usual sponsored event, so decided to focus on her strength at the time, which was her passion for vegan cooking.
She hosted vegan dinner parties and just asked people to pay what they thought it was worth.
They were a huge success and everyone loved the food, even though there was not one vegan among them!
Jenna put together a fab wee book with her recipes, and some lovely photos and quotes, and we sold 150 of them. Everyone who attended the dinner parties bought at least one and most people ordered an extra one. I still have the book and I always said if I ever did get around to writing a book, I would keep it simple and follow Jennas format.
Tried and tested family favourite recipes, all simple but delicious and healthy, with lovely photos and a few wee favourite quotes, which is exactly what this book is.
The photographs with the quotes are Jennas. She is also an ace photographer!
Back to the book, it has 4 sections;
Nourishing Soups & Salads
and there is a very useful Cupboard Essentials List at the beginning, with all you need to stock up a healthy kitchen.
The last page of the book lists all the recipes in Categories with links to each individual recipe which is a useful way to find your favourites and save you time scrolling through the whole book!
Its really simple to download the book, just click on the link above the Subscribe box and the book will magically be downloaded to your device!
Alternatively, you can print the book out!!
Our health is our greatest asset and there is no time like NOW, to introduce healthier options.
I can guarantee that all the recipes in the book are absolutely delicious and will wow your taste buds, nourish and energise your body and impress your family and friends!
You have nothing to lose and lots to gain so go ahead and download the book, remember its free and you will give you access to lots of my favourite recipes in one place!
You can also Subscribe to the blog, if you haven't already, so you won't miss any new recipes. Just put your details in the boxes and click Subscribe and you're all signed up!
I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who downloads my wee book!
....your health in your hands....
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.