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Published November 1st, 2017
Buffalo wing flavor with a veggie twist
Buffalo Cauliflower Photo provided

I just spent a week in New York City with my daughter, and we discovered a new twist on Buffalo wings that uses cauliflower in place of chicken wings. It's such a great idea and it is popping up on menus everywhere throughout the city - from wine bars to sports bars. This is a wonderful version of Buffalo wings that will please everyone, including vegetarians and those with gluten intolerance. It is so easy to make and it's pretty too, with curly ribbons of shaved carrots and celery used either as a base, or as a garnish on top, or both.
Because it's fall, I opted to use the orange cauliflower, but any color cauliflower will do. Also, most of the versions we tried dusted the cauliflower with flour before baking, but I don't find that necessary at all. It's delicious simply seasoned, tossed with olive oil, and baked. The key is to bake the cauliflower at a high temperature for a short amount of time. This allows the florets to brown nicely, while maintaining an al dente character to the vegetable. You can certainly use store-bought blue cheese dressing, but this recipe (below) for yogurt blue cheese dressing is very easy and has far fewer calories and less fat than traditional blue cheese dressing.
1 head orange or white cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 tsp. seasoning salt of your choice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Buffalo wing sauce
2 celery sticks, peeled into ribbons with a potato peeler
2 carrots, peeled into ribbons with a potato peeler
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
Yogurt blue cheese dressing, recipe below
Preheat oven to 450 F. Break the head of cauliflower into small, bite-sized florets. Rinse and allow to dry for a half hour. Place in a large bowl or a baggie and sprinkle with seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss or shake to coat. Now, drizzle with olive oil and buffalo wing sauce and toss again. Lay cauliflower out onto a large baking sheet, oiled or prepared with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, turning once, until able to pierce cauliflower with a sharp knife, but still al dente, and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on or under a bed of the carrot and celery ribbons and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles.

Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing
5 oz. plain low-fat Greek yogurt
3 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
Mix well until yogurt and blue cheese are well integrated. Refrigerated until ready to use.

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