The ultimate game day snack — baked, not fried! Skip the pre-packed fried snacks and make these crispy cauliflower bites at your next event, where they're sure to be a huge hit. Serve with a side of cool vegan ranch dressing for dipping.
Baked Crispy Cauliflower Rice Bites [Vegan]
- 1 medium head cauliflower (should yield about 4 cups cauliflower rice)
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, plus 4 tablespoons
- A bag of tortilla chips, or panko breadcrumbs
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Vegan ranch dressing
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
To Prepare the Crushed Chips:
- Add the chips to a food processor. Pulse a few times until the chips are finely crumbled. Be sure not to get it too fine to a grain-like consistency. The crumbs should still be identify-able, but fine enough to coat the bites. Process enough chips so that you end up with 1 1/4 cup crumbled chips. Set aside in a bowl, and wipe the food processor clean with a wet napkin.
To Make the Cauliflower Rice:
- Wash the cauliflower, dry completely, and cut into large pieces. In two separate batches, using a food processor, quickly pulse the large pieces of cauliflower 8-9 times until uniformly chopped into rice-size pieces. Be sure not to get it too fine. If there are a few larger pieces still in the mix, chop them down by hand or remove them. Empty the contents into a paper towel lined bowl. Try to use the paper towels to absorb and get rid of as much water released as you can from the cauliflower "rice." Set aside. Note that you should end up with about 4 cups of cauliflower "rice", as this is the amount that the recipe uses.
- In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseeds and water and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Add the minced garlic and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add 4 cups of prepared cauliflower "rice", mix, and cook covered on low-medium heat for only 5 minutes until the cauliflower "rice" becomes slightly tender.
- Remove the cover, and cook uncovered on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequent to cook-off most of the excess liquid released from the cauliflower. Note that if there is too much water remaining, the mixture will be difficult to work with.
- Pour the flaxseed-water mixture into the food processor, along with the parsley, and cooked cauliflower "rice." Process by pulsing in a food processor until everything is finely chopped and combined into almost a paste, then transfer the mixture into a large bowl.
- Place the bowl of the cauliflower mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is cooled.
- Remove from the fridge, add 1/4 cup of the prepared chip crumbles, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and combine. This mixture should be formable (hold together when squeezed) and still a little wet so that the chips will stick to the bites.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out about a tablespoon of the cauliflower mixture, roll it into a ball, and shape it into a small cylinder (like tater tots). Carefully place in the bowl containing the crumbled chips and roll them to evenly coat the entire bite. Place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until they are all lined up on the baking sheet.
- Lightly spray with cooking olive oil (optional), and place in the oven. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until they are crispy, firm, and will hold together. While they are baking and place in the fridge to cool until needed.
- Once done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly until they hold shape.