Meatless Friday: Spicy Cauliflower Bites


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Our friends at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, New Jersey, share recipes created in their Culinary Arts program on their blog, Our Daily Bread. This recipe is printed here with permission from MHCA Culinary Arts teacher Frank LaMendola.

This spicy yet savory appetizer is sure to be a new fan favorite at any event! Savory cauliflower is delicately coated with breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper, then dipped in vegan ranch dressing with a light hint of coconut, creating the perfect combination of crunch, kick, and cool. Be sure to enjoy this tasty and healthy treat at your next tailgate party or on your own!

"Meatless Friday: Spicy Cauliflower Bites" by Mary Help of Christians Academy Culinary Arts (

Copyright 2019 Mary Help of Christians Academy Culinary Arts. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Spicy Cauliflower Bites


For the batter:

• 2 to 3 Tbsp hot sauce
• 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 to 3/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 to 1 Tbsp cayenne/ red chili powder
• 1.5 Tbsp garlic powder
• 1.5 Tbsp onion powder
• 1.5 to 2 Tbsp paprika
• 1 tsp cumin powder
• 3/4 tsp salt
• 3 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
• 1/4 cup water
• 3.5 to 4 cups cauliflower florets

Breadcrumb coating:

• 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
• 2 tbsp flour
• 1/2 tsp cayenne
• 1/2 tsp onion powder
• 1/2 tsp garlic
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1/4 tsp salt

Celery Ranch Sauce:

• 1/2 cup ground cashew
• 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
• 2 tbsp flour or 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
• 2/3 tsp salt
• 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (can be omitted)
• a very generous dash of black pepper
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 roasted garlic cloves
• 1 to 2 tsp ranch seasoning (or equal amounts of dried parsley, dill, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder to make 1 to 2 tsp)
• 1 to 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1/2 to 1 tsp celery seeds


Make the Cauliflower Bites:

1. In a bowl, mix everything except cauliflower for the batter. if the batter is too thin, add more flour or starch.
2. In another shallow bowl, mix everything under breadcrumb coating.
3. Dip cauliflower in the batter, then coat in breadcrumbs and place on parchment lined sheet.(use gloves or a fork. the batter is spicy)
4. Drizzle any remaining batter on the cauliflower. Spray oil.
5. Bake at pre-heated 425 degrees F / 220ºc for 25 minutes or until a toothpick goes through the cauliflower easily. Serve warm with dip.

Make the Celery Ranch Dip:

Blend everything except celery seeds. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add celery seeds and blend for a few seconds. Chill and serve.

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

What’s cooking? Find all our Meatless Friday featured recipes here.

Copyright 2019 Mary Help of Christians Academy Culinary Arts

About the author: Mary Help of Christians Academy, located in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, is a private Catholic secondary school for young women. It is conducted by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, in collaboration with laypersons committed to Catholic education.


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