Not your average nuggets: Crispy, slightly spicy vegan nuggets that rival the originals’ addictiveness minus unnecessary additives or deep-frying. Bye bye, McDonald’s!
Whenever my mum would allow me to get food from McDonald’s my order would be a small size of Chicken McNuggets – sans sauce. In light of that it’s surprising I had yet to recreate them in a veg-friendly way. Maybe it was because I’m not a huge fan of all those tofu mock meats. Who knew the solution was growing right on the field [or at least only a few kitchen steps away]?? Cauliflower for the win again. One of these days I’ll write an ode to this magically versatile wonder vegetable: couscous, pizza crust, mash, nuggets… Who knows the whole potential of this unsuspecting member of the crusciferous family?
Interestingly enough it was Juli bringing up the nugget issue for me again. Her recent decidedly not vegan plate of coconut-crusted chicken nuggets sparked a craving. Further proof that any blogger can show meal inspiration independent from their diet. So while my weekend wasn’t bad in other terms either, the most marvelous food part was this newfound snack favourite.
These are obviously not your average deep-fried and greasy nuggets. However, what these have in common with their non-vegan contenders from the Golden Arches is the addictive potential. In fact, if I was you I’d make a double batch right away. That’s what I should have done because the first time I baked up a tray of these I wasn’t even able to get a proper picture. All of that ‘I wonder if they’re done already’ snacking? Well, there weren’t a lot of fully cooked bites left by the end of the baking time. Which just meant I had to whip up another pan the next day – the things I do for blogging …
Vegan Cauliflower Nuggets [gluten-free]
adapted from Foodie Fiasco
1 3/4 cups cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces [175-200 g]
1/4 cup chickpea flour [30 g]
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
Pinch of garlic powder
1/8 cup unsweetened crispy/ popped amaranth [8-10 g; see note]*
salt and pepper to taste
Scant 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk [I used soy] [50 ml]
Pinch of smoked paprika powder
1 tbsp salsa
- Mix both the dry and wet ingredients in separate shallow bowls.
- Dip the cauliflower pieces into the milk. Then dip in the flour mixture and coat.
- Spread the auliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in one single layer.
- Bake for ten minutes, then flip the pieces.
- Bake for another ten minutes to brown all around.
- Remove the sheet from the oven. Dip the cauliflower into the remaining milk and return to the oven for five more minutes.
- Serve hot or cold.
* If you can’t find this in stores here’s a tutorial on how to easily make popped amaranth at home.
If it’s any indication for how much I like these I bought another head when there was still half of the first left Saturday night. Because you never know of any upcoming cauliflower shortages, right?!
In hopes others will save some chicken by eating cauliflower nuggets, too, I’m sharing these with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Recipes and Tasty Tuesdays.
Have a marvelous Monday!
Happiness-inducing today: Listening to good music on a walk outside in the sunshine.
Stay in touch!
If you had to write an ode to cauliflower or any other vegetable: what would it look like?
What was or is your typical order at McDonald’s?
Have you ever recreated any former fast food favourites [yes to unintentional alliteration!]?