Like buffalo sauce? You will love this recipe for baked buffalo bites of cauliflower, tofu, or tempeh, and the planet will be happy due to the low carbon footprint! Don’t be daunted by the directions, which sound a bit complicated. The prep is actually really fun and pretty quick, and the bites are sooo delicious. My nephew and his fiancé made a gigantic pile of these made out of tempeh for a dinner party, and everyone, omnivores and veggies alike, devoured every last one of them (even though many people were new to tempeh). My family loves them best made out of cauliflower (a great way to increase your vegetable intake), and next best out of firm tofu.
Here they are made out of cauliflower:
You can find the original recipe for tempeh wings here at Home for 28 Cooks (shown below).
You’ll need to set up four bowls in series:
- This first bowl will contain at least 2/3 cup soymilk (you can also use other alternative milks)
- 2/3 cup flour with the following mixed in:
- 1 t salt
- 2 t thyme leaves
- 2 t paprika
- 1 t garlic powder
- black pepper to taste
- another bowl of at least 2/3 cup soymilk
- Italian seasoned panko crumbs (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
Break a large cauliflower head into bite sized pieces. Pick up each piece individually and dip it into each of the four bowls sequentially. Place each bite onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake another 10 minutes, or slightly longer so the batter on each piece is dry.
You can toss these in straight Frank’s or a similar Lousiana-style sauce, or you can mix ½ cup of Frank’s with 2 T margarine and 1 T ketchup.
If you are using firm tofu instead of cauliflower, you can just slice it up straight out of the container, and start dipping. If you are using tempeh, it may taste better if you boil or steam it first (see the link above).
Each of the four servings made by this recipe (using cauliflower, and margarine in the sauce) has 209 calories and 6 grams protein, and delivers fiber, Ca, and vit C. The carbon footprint is a very modest 48 g CO2-eq per serving! Using tempeh or tofu instead of cauliflower increases the calories, protein, and carbon footprint by just a bit (to 239 calories, 9 grams protein, and 57 g CO2-eq per serving), while also increasing the fiber, calcium, iron, and vit A.
If you made this recipe with chicken, butter in the sauce, and dairy milk, the carbon footprint of each serving would be 287 g CO2-eq, with 127, 83, and 54 g CO2-eq coming from chicken, butter, and milk, respectively. Each 236 calorie serving has 12 grams protein, but is lacking in fiber and vitamins.
Each time you cook a batch of these using either tofu, tempeh or cauliflower, you save the equivalent of the gas used in a drive of about four miles, or the energy required to burn a halogen bulb for approximately 40 hours.