Veggie-fying traditional buffalo chicken wings for a healthier and tasty alternative!
Buffalo chicken wings can be a very enjoyable treat, but unfortunately for a lot of us who are opting for healthier choices, it can be difficult to find a replacement. So, for our friends who love to occasionally indulge in the spicy goodness of buffalo wings, but don’t want to worry about the negative repercussions, we have the perfect healthy solution (that doesn’t compromise the taste!).
Registered holistic nutritionist, Alina Islam, at The Hearty Soul has developed a wonderful and super-easy buffalo cauliflower recipe that both tastes great and is good for you. Not only are cauliflowers a superfood, but they also acquire flavors very easily, making this dish a very tasty treat!
According to myfitnesspal, six pieces of traditional buffalo wild wings contain 46 g of fat, 219 mg of cholesterol and 1688 mg of salt. To put that in perspective, Health Canada recommends consuming a maximum of 45-65 g of fat, 300 mg of cholesterol and 2000 mg of salt, PER DAY! And let’s not forget that most of us consume wings with ranch sauce, which substantially increases the caloric and fat content of the meal. Not only can a diet high in fat lead to obesity and heart disease, but it can also lead to insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes. (1) What is most concerning about fried chicken wings is that the heat added to this food can increase the production of acrylamide, a potential neurotoxin with mutagenic and cancer-causing properties. (2)
In the following recipe, cauliflowers replace chicken wings, without compromising the taste. Cauliflowers are jam packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Unlike the inflammation-causing bad fats found in chicken wings, cauliflower has 77% of your daily value of the anti-inflammatory vitamin C, which can boost your immunity and help prevent certain forms of cancers. (3) These cruciferous veggies also have high levels of fiber, vitamin K and B vitamins, all of which are important for digestive, brain and bone health. The following infographic does a great job explaining the benefits of Cauliflowers:
Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe
This recipe was created by Talia Chai, registered Holistic Nutritionist and Superstar Chef at The Hearty Soul.
Florets from 1 head of cauliflower
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup full fat coconut milk
4 teaspoons sambal olek
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
2. Break the head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
3. Season it with salt and pepper, put in the oven bake them for 10 minutes.
4. Dress it with buffalo sauce, transfer to the oven bake them another 20 minutes.
Pham TD, Chng MHY, Roskin KM, Jackson KJL, Nguyen KD, Glanville J, et al. High-fat diet induces systemic B-cell repertoire changes associated with insulin resistance. Mucosal Immunol [Internet]. Nature Publishing Group; 2017 Apr 19 [cited 2017 Jul 11]; Available from: http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/mi.2017.25
Zhang Y, Xu W, Wu X, Zhang X, Zhang Y. Addition of antioxidant from bamboo leaves as an effective way to reduce the formation of acrylamide in fried chicken wings. Food Addit Contam. Taylor & Francis; 2007;24(3):242–51.
Vanamala J. Food systems approach to cancer prevention. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. Taylor & Francis; 2017;57(12):2573–88.