With the Superbowl (and Puppybowl!) fast approaching, many folks are seeking out easy, delicious, party savvy foods to serve at their social gathering… but many of us have dietary restrictions that make the more traditional versions of these foods not very appealing.
Buffalo wings and jalapeño poppers have always been two of my favorite munchies, and after asking my lovely readers on facebook, I decided to recreate them into slightly healthier versions. These two fantastic football friendly finger foods will pack some heat, and satisfy any superbowl snacky cravings, all while remaining 100% gluten free and animal friendly.
Buffalo Chickpea Nuggets
Yield: about 15 nuggets
- 1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
- 1 cup water
- 2 chick’n flavored bouillon cubes
- 2/3 cup cooked sushi rice (white is best)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 2 tablespoons superfine brown rice flour
- Olive oil for brushing
Quick Buffalo Sauce:
- 1 cup hot sauce (brands like Melinda’s or Sriracha work great–if you want a less spicy nugget, then use a much milder hot sauce for the base)
- 1/2 cup melted nondairy margarine
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Place the TVP into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the bouillon cubes and water just to a boil. Stir well. Remove immediately from the heat and mix with the TVP. Cover and let rest about 5 minutes, or until fluffy. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse together the cooked rice and chickpeas just until the chickpeas are broken apart and combined with the rice. The mixture will be tacky, not crumbly. Transfer to the bowl with the TVP and mix well. Gently stir in the superfine brown rice flour.
Using very clean hands, shape the mixture into nugget shapes, making sure to pack the mixture together well while forming. You can easily do this with a nice squeeze from your palm, and then form them into nuggets from there. Place onto a silicone mat (or parchment) covered cookie sheet and brush the tops of the nuggets with olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes, carefully flip over using a flat metal spatula, brush the other sides with olive oil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and mix up sauce by whisking together all the ingredients until smooth.
Liberally brush the buffalo sauce onto the chickpea cutlets (carefully, the nuggets are still fragile at this point) and place back into the oven, increasing oven temperature to 400 ºF. Bake for 20 minutes, flip over, brush again with the buffalo sauce and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Let cool 15 minutes (they will firm up upon cooling), and then douse with more sauce. Serve with celery and your favorite vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Yield: about 12 appetizers
- 6 jalapeno peppers
- 1 medium baking potato (Yukon or Russet work fine) fully cooked
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon non-dairy margarine
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1/3 cup vegan shredded cheese, such as Daiya
Preheat your oven to 385 ºF and lightly grease an 8 x8 inch shallow metal pan or cookie sheet.
Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds, and remove the pith (the white part) from the pepper. Careful to keep those fingers away from your eyes!
Peel the baking potato and place into a food processor along with the garlic, margarine, and sea salt. Blend for at least 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. The starches of the potato will release and it will turn very gooey. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the parsley and shredded vegan cheese.
Place the peppers cut side up and fill with the cheesey mixture. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the oven, until the filling is browned on top and slightly bubbly. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and serve hot.