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Crispy Baked Breaded Cauliflower

Crispy Baked Breaded Cauliflower

What’s not to love about crispy, crunchy breaded cauliflower?  Furthermore, when it’s baked instead of fried – it’s all the better!  This recipe mimics the classic fried fish and chips without all the oil and the fish!!  The cauliflower is served along with a slightly spicy buffalo mayonnaise and accompanied by baked “chips” and a vinegary slaw.  Super yum!!

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The fries

The baked fries I am showing you how to make have been a classic dish of mine for over 10 years.  They are the perfect substitute for fried french fries.  All it takes is your basic white potato and just a bit of time to make them.

A few things contribute to their overall crispiness.  The first trick is cutting the potatoes into thinner strips.  This will shorten the cooking time and makes them crisp up better.  The second trick is soaking the potatoes in water with salt and sugar for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.  This combination of sugar and salt works to pull some of the starch from the potatoes creating a crisper fry.  Finally, the last trick is turning the potatoes at various intervals in the cooking process to get brown and crisp up all sides of the potatoes.

My favorite combination of flavors on the fries is fresh rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  But they are also good with simply salt, pepper and a bit of paprika and cayenne.  Feel free to experiment to create your own flavor combination.

The slaw

The slaw here is pretty simple.  I used a combination of purple and green cabbage for a bit more color but using simply purple or green is just fine as well.  The dressing is simply a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  I recommend making it first and then letting it sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  As a result, this time allows the flavors to meld and the cabbage to soften a bit.

The breaded cauliflower

The star of the show here is the breaded cauliflower.  The breading is made with shredded coconut, corn meal and panko breadcrumbs.  I recommend sticking with the panko.  It just makes the end product much more crunchy than regular breadcrumbs.  Use coarse or fine cornmeal in the recipe.  Either one will work, but my preference is definitely using coarse cornmeal because I also believe it yields a crunchier crust.

I really have to admit that I envisioned this dish as a large piece of cauliflower, imitating the piece of fish.  Kind of like a cauliflower steak which I’ve seen in pictures before.  However, the cauliflower here in Peru is a bit different in its composition than the cauliflower I am familiar with in the United States.  It’s more “leggy”.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to you but what I mean is that the it has way more stalk and the florets are not as compact.  So, when I tried to slice it, it fell apart a bit and the larger pieces had way more stalk than I would prefer.

In the end, I ended up with a few large pieces and several smaller pieces.  All pieces were trimmed to about ½” thick.  Don’t throw away the excess you trim away to create the smooth sides.  I saved mine and used it to throw into scrambled eggs or a salad later in the week.  Honestly I thought the smaller pieces like the one in the photo below on the right came out much better than the larger pieces.  No matter the size of the final pieces, the key is really making sure that the two sides have a flat surface, making the breading easier to adhere.

 

Breaded cauliflower is on the try and ready to cook
Cauliflower is all breaded and ready for the oven.

 

Health benefits of cauliflower

Cauliflower is low in calories at 25 calories per 1 cup serving and contains virtually no fat.  One cup also contains 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber.

However, it is full of just about all the essential nutrients including:

NutrientContains% RDI
Vitamin C52 mg69%
Folate61 ug37%
Vitamin K17 ug18%
Choline44 mg11%
Phosphorous299 mg7%
Potassium299 mg7%
Manganese.16 mg9%
Riboflavin.06 mg6%

*Nutritional information was obtained from the USDA database.  Nutrient percentages are based on information for women, 31-50 and may be slightly different for men and other age groups.  Source for data are the Dietary Reference Intake Tables from the NCBI – NIH.

In addition to these nutrients, cauliflower is an excellent source of antioxidants.  It gets this antioxidant action from the vitamin C and other compounds in the cauliflower.  The benefit of antioxidants is that they reduce inflammation in the body and also may provide some protection against disease.

 

Flexibility of cauliflower

Finding ways to incorporate cauliflower into your diet as a low-calorie substitute for many foods is really easy because it is such a flexible vegetable.  I also think it doesn’t have a super strong flavor and so you can add it into many different dishes.

Using cauliflower as a substitute for rice, pizza crust and alfredo sauce are all dishes that I’ve used it in with really fantastic results.  It is no doubt different from the “real deal” dish, but not in a way that I feel like has a negative impact.  The texture and flavor are slightly different but in ways that I enjoy.  Check out other recipes and posts I have regarding the uses of cauliflower.

More about the flexibility of cauliflower

Making cauliflower rice

Making a creamy cheese sauce with cauliflower

The recipe

Final plate of cauliflower served with coleslaw and potatoes on white square plate with yellow napkin underneath.

Crispy Breaded Cauliflower with Spicy Buffalo Cream, Baked Fries and Apple Cider Vinegar Slaw

Baked, crispy breaded cauliflower served with zippy buffalo mayonnaise. Served with baked herbed fries and homemade coleslaw.
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Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: buffalo sauce, cauliflower, healthy, vegetarian
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 180
Author: Lyn Croyle

Ingredients

Breaded Cauliflower

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • ½ cup low fat canned coconut milk*
  • 1 egg white
  • 3-5 small limes juiced and separated
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Buffalo Cream

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T Buffalo Sauce

Baked Fries

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Water to cover and soak potatoes
  • 2 tsp canola oil separated
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

Slaw

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.

Baked Fries

  • Slice potatoes in half, then slice each half into pieces about ¼” wide. Lay pieces flat on the surface of the cutting board and slice into ¼“ strips. Place the strips into a bowl of water with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Allow to soak for 20 minutes. While potatoes are soaking, make the slaw and cut cauliflower.
  • When the 20 minutes are up, drain the potatoes well and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss them with 2 tsp canola oil and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Spray a baking tray and layout the potatoes. Place into a 400 F degree oven and bake until tender. About 30-40 minutes. Turn potatoes over and move around on tray every 10 minutes or so the potatoes brown on all sides.

Slaw

  • To make the slaw combine the cabbage, carrots and onion in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the ½ tsp lime juice, vinegar, honey, olive oil and salt. Drizzle over the vegetables and toss to combine. Next, place the slaw in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.;;

Cauliflower

  • Slice the cauliflower and form “steaks”. First cut the cauliflower in half. Place the flat side of one half down on the cutting board and now slice into ½” slices. Continue cutting until you have cut the entire head of cauliflower.
    Cut the cauliflower into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Continue cutting until you have cut the entire head of cauliflower.  Don't worry if you end up with little pieces as well.  They will still work and taste well.
    It's ok to use small and large pieces of cauliflower. A smooth edge though will bread easier.
  • Zest one lime and combine with the coconut milk, 1 tsp lime juice, and egg white in a dish that is wide and shallow to allow you to dip the cauliflower in. Mix together gently with a fork. Set aside.
  • n another similar dish, mix together the salt, breadcrumbs, cornmeal or masa, shredded coconut and spices. Blend ingredients well with a spoon or fork.
  • Begin by dipping pieces in the liquid.
    Step 1 - Dipping the cauliflower in the wet mixture
  • Next coat the first side.  Pressing it firmly to get the breadcrumbs to stick.  F
    Step 2 - Dipping the cauliflower in breadcrumb mixture.
  • Flip it over to coat both sides repeating the same process on the other side. Continue with each piece of cauliflower until they are all breaded. 
    Bread both sides of the cauliflower
  • Place the breaded cauliflower on the pan, lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, flipping each piece over halfway through. Cauliflower is ready when both sides are lightly brown and crunchy.
    Breaded cauliflower is on the try and ready to cook

Buffalo Cream

  • While the cauliflower is cooking, make the sauce. The sauce can be made by combining the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice and buffalo sauce in a small blender or bowl and mixing thoroughly.

Notes

*Substitution for low fat coconut milk = 1/4 cup coconut milk + ¼ cup water

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 1269mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Vitamin C: 148.5mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2.7mg
Breaded Cauliflower Pinterest Recipe Card
Breaded Cauliflower - Pinterest How to Make

Today’s recipe for breaded cauliflower is a bit more involved and I know the list of ingredients is fairly daunting.  But in all honesty, it’s pretty easy to assemble, though maybe it takes a bit more time to prepare than some of the other recipes I’ve shared.  Hopefully, you will be inspired to try it anyway.  I think it is well worth the time!!  And be sure to check out some of the other recipes I’ve shared on cauliflower that are mentioned above in the post.  Cauliflower has amazing possibilities!!!

Did you cook this recipe?  Please tell me about your experience and meal in the comments below. And be sure if you like the recipe, give it a 5-star rating on the recipe card.

If you liked this recipe, take a look at these other recipes I think you may like as well!!!!

My Favorite Vegetarian Black-Eyed Pea Recipe

http://cookeatlivelove.com/refried-bean-and-mexican-cauliflower-burrito-bowl/

 

 



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