It’s her claim to fame… buffalo cauliflower. This recipe is the most visited page on Lauren Toyota’s blog and her most watched YouTube video.

Newcomers, feast your eyes on the buffalo cauliflower sandwich! I’ve add- ed panko-style bread crumbs because it makes the cauliflower crispy and crunchy. Not the kind of crunch that’ll tear up the roof of your mouth, but the kind of crunch that’ll definitely make you relapse and forget that you’re bit- ing into a piece of cauliflower. It makes a heck of a good replacement for chick- en in this spicy stacked monster of a sandwich!

INGREDIENTS

Breaded buffalo cauliflower

2 heads cauliflower
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free rice flour 4 tsps garlic powder
4 tsps onion powder
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps paprika
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 tsp ground pepper
3⁄4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
3⁄4 cup water
3 cups panko-style bread crumbs or gluten-free bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup vegan butter
11⁄2 cups buffalo-style hot sauce

Sandwiches

4 kaiser-style rolls
The Classic Ranch from my cookbook or sub for store-bought vegan ranch dressing
1 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1 onion)
2 cups lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 dill pickles

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a bak- ing sheet with parchment paper. Parch- ment paper is absolutely necessary, or the cauliflower and batter will stick to the sheet.

For the cauliflower, remove the leafy parts, being careful not to cut off any florets. Slice each head in half from the top. From the inside of each half, cut a slice 3⁄4 inch to one-inch thick. You now have four large cauliflower cross-sec- tions or steaks. You can reserve the remaining florets to make buffalo bites using the same batter and method or you can roast them up for another meal.

Mix the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, non-dairy milk, and water together in a bowl until well combined. The amount of liquid or flour may need to be increased if you replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t pool too much around the steak.

Transfer the batter to a wide, shallow dish that will fit your cauliflower steaks. Place the bread crumbs in another dish or large bowl. Immerse each steak in the batter, using one hand to coat all the crevices and letting just a bit of the excess drip back into the dish.

Coat all sides of the steaks in the bread crumbs. Place the breaded cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes, until crispy, flipping the steaks halfway through the bake time. If you go to flip the steaks and the batter feels stuck, it needs to bake longer on that side.

Just before the cauliflower finishes baking, melt the vegan butter and whisk it into the hot sauce in a shallow dish.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven, and let cool slightly.

Coat the breaded cauliflower steaks evenly on all sides in the buffalo sauce. Reserve the excess sauce to baste the cauliflower before serving. Bake again for 25 minutes, flipping the steaks halfway through the bake time.

To assemble the sandwiches, just before the cauliflower is done baking, cut the rolls in half and toast, if desired. Spread a generous amount of ranch dressing on the cut sides of each roll. Place a buffalo cauliflower steak on the bottom half. Add the red onion, lettuce, tomato, and then the top half of the roll. Serve with a pickle or slice the pickles and add to the sandwich.

TIP: You can slice leftover buffalo cauliflower steaks into breaded strips and make a salad with greens and veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. Then add ranch dressing. It’s out-standing! You can also use half buffalo-style hot sauce and half BBQ sauce for a milder version of this sandwich.

Recipe Author: Lauren Toyota, superstar chef and MuchMusic VJ turned vegan. Check out her story here.

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