Eat Well Sep. 17. 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites and Ranch Dip

Sep. 17. 2013
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A healthier, non-dairy version of buffalo chicken bites.

If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just a vegetable lover like me, you’re not going to miss out on a thing when others are enjoying buffalo chicken bites or wings. You’ll get the same flavor and a similar texture with these Buffalo Cauliflower Bites without as many calories and not to mention more fiber and room for more! It’s football season (woot…go Bucks!) and what a perfect way to contribute to your next tailgating party or football party with a healthier version of buffalo chicken bites, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites & Ranch Dip (non-dairy friendly).

Yes, I know these have nothing to do with chicken so it may be hard to see the comparison, but let’s break it down into flavors and textures. These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites will give a greasy calorie loaded chicken wing a run for their money both nutritionally and with their flavor profile. You all are familiar with several of my cauliflower recipes (especially the Cauliflower Pizza Crust) because I love cauliflower and it’s amazing health benefits (click here to read). These bites are also a perfect way to get picky eaters and the little ones to eat their vegetables in disguise!

Ways to Serve

  • Your favorite raw vegetables, the classic raw celery sticks are my favorite!
  • A cooling dip such as ranch, blue cheese, yogurt, non-dairy versions such as this Ranch Dip below
  • Gluten free crackers and hummus, etc.

What’s your favorite bar food, tailgating food, or party food that you would like to see made over into a healthier dish? Share below and your idea could be the next Readers Pick recipe!

Happy and healthy snacking,

xo McKel

The Recipe




Dairy-Free Ranch Dip

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (may thin out to desired consistency)

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoon fresh chives

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


Cauliflower Bites:

1 large head of cauliflower (about 5-6 cups raw)

½ cup almond milk (or of choice)

½-1 cup water (more to create a thinner coating)

¾-1 cup red hot sauce (I used Frank’s)

¾ cup gluten-free all purpose flour

1 tablespoon butter (grass-fed or vegan)

2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

Ground black pepper and sea salt

Optional: 1 teaspoon honey






Step 1

Blend all ingredients into a Vitamix or high-speed blender until smooth.

If using for a dip, use less water.

If using for a dressing, use more water.

Keep chilled until used.


Cauliflower Bites:

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet

Step 2

Mix flour, water, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne,  salt, and pepper together in a bowl using a whisk until batter is smooth and somewhat runny. Add cauliflower to batter and mix until cauliflower is coated; spread onto the baking sheet.

Step 3

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 4

Melt butter or ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir hot sauce and honey into butter until smooth. Brush hot sauce mixture over each cauliflower piece, repeating brushing until all the hot sauce mixture is used.

Step 5

Bake in the oven until cauliflower is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow the cauliflower to cool 10 to 15 minutes.


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