Crispy cauliflower vegetarian nuggets served with a homemade BBQ sauce, perfect for entertaining and that won't have you missing chicken!
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- coconut, avocado or macadamia oil or oil spray, for coating
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 100 g (1 cup) almond meal
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 750 ml (3 cups) coconut cream
- 120 g (1 cup) arrowroot or tapioca flour
Easy barbecue sauce
- 3 tbsp hulled tahini
- 75 g tomato paste
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tsp molasses
- 3 drops liquid smoke, or to taste (see note)
- sea salt, to taste
- ½ tsp chilli powder, optional
- 3 tbsp filtered water, plus extra if needed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
2. For the crumb, combine the almond meal, chilli powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and turmeric in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix together the coconut cream and arrowroot or tapioca flour to make a thick batter.
3. Working one at a time, dip a cauliflower floret briefly in the coconut cream batter to coat evenly, knock off any excess batter, then toss it in the almond meal mixture. Transfer to a prepared tray and repeat with the remaining florets.
4. When all the florets are ready, drizzle or spray with a little oil. Bake for 15-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking and drizzling or re-spraying with oil if you wish, until golden brown and crisp.
5. Meanwhile, for the barbecue sauce, blitz together all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender until really smooth. If the sauce is a little thick, add an extra splash of water.
6. Remove the crispy cauliflower nuggets from the oven and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside the barbecue sauce.
• Liquid smoke can be found in specialty food stores and barbecue stores. It is made from hickory, applewood or mesquite wood that is burned inside a chamber. As the smoke rises it is captured in a condenser and this cooled liquid smoke is then collected and filtered. Adding very small amounts of it to recipes gives them a wonderful smoky flavour, but be warned, a little goes a long way - the difference between using a little bit of it and going overboard is the difference between a sunny barbecue and a face full of smoke as the wind shifts.
Catch Helen Tzouganatos whipping up lush gluten-free meals alongside guests in the brand new first series of Loving Gluten Free on SBS and SBS On Demand.