There are enough vegan Buffalo cauliflower wings recipes floating around. But I enjoy this mash-up of flavors so much that I’ve transposed them into this hearty Buffalo cauliflower chickpea salad.
Okay, you know the drill on Buffalo anything — a special hot sauce (most often, Frank’s) envelopes something chewy and is served with cooling, contrasting ranch or bleu cheese dressing and raw carrots and celery. In the vegan world, either tofu or cauliflower have been swapped in for wings, and the dressing is dairy free.
I’d much rather have soup when it’s cold out, so my palate needs a lot of prodding to enjoy salad, which is so important to have all year round. This one is perfect for chilly weather, with the enticement of the hot (or warm) cauliflower and chickpea mixture.
The slaw-like salad, dressed in vegan ranch dressing, incorporates celery and carrots, the two indispensable veggies for the whole Buffalo flavor experience.
With just a few inexpensive ingredients, this yields a heaping portion, quickly and easily. Leftovers can be packed into containers for office or school lunches.
Here you’ll see that the salad is being served with fresh corn tortillas (thank you, Vermont Tortilla Company!). They’re a perfect accompaniment — just scoop a bit of the salad into the center, fold it over, and just like that, you’ve got Buffalo cauliflower soft tacos.
The hot Buffalo cauliflower and chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 16-ounce bag frozen cauliflower, completely thawed
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
- 1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce, more or less to taste
The cool salad
- 2 packed cups thinly sliced cabbage (green or red) 2 packed cups thinly sliced lettuce
- 1 cup grated carrots or baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
- 2 large or 3 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced or matchstick cut
- 1/2 cup vegan ranch dressing (see note)
- Splash of lemon or lime juice
- For the Buffalo cauliflower and chickpeas: Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or wide skillet. Add the cauliflower (make sure it’s cut into very small florets) and chickpeas.
- If you’re new to Frank’s hot sauce, start with 2 tablespoons and increase as you’d like once the mixture starts to heat up. It’s supposed to be hot and spicy, but not more so than you’d enjoy.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. The mixture should start to get lightly touched by brown here and there.
- For the salad: Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
- To serve: You can either serve the salad onto individual platters or shallow bowls, and then top with some of the cauliflower mixture straight from the pan; or, you can arrange the salad on a large platter and arrange the cauliflower mixture over it, letting everyone scoop their portions from it.
- Note: It’s not always easy to find vegan ranch dressing. In a pinch, you can combine 1/2 cup vegan mayo, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons nondairy milk or water, 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash), and some freshly ground pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together and use as needed.
- Variation: As mentioned earlier, this salad is an excellent filling for soft tacos. Use fresh and pliable corn tortillas, and fill them generously but not so much that they’ll break.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 265Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 586mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 9gSugar: 9gProtein: 9g
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Thanks to Vermont Tortilla Company® for sending samples to The Vegan Atlas. This is NOT a sponsored post. We love to tell our readers about products that will make their plant-based life easier and more delicious. Check their store locator to see if this product is available near you.