Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Salad
This Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Salad is the stuff salad dreams are made of. Spicy baked buffalo cauliflower mixed with kale, avocado and roasted red onion all topped off with creamy tahini and vegan parmesan? Ya, it’s dreamy alright. It’s also packed with nutrition. It’s got everything from antioxidants, to fibre, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein but aside from all that, it’s got all the flavour you could ask for. You’re gonna love this one!
Massaged Kale…wait, What?
You might have seen the words massaged kale at some point and wondered what the heck it’s all about. What kind of weird health trend do I have to keep up with now?? Haha, don’t worry.
Massaged kale is nothing more than slathering raw kale with things like olive oil and lemon and letting it sit to soften up a bit.
Raw kale can be a bit rough and intense so giving it an little massage to soften it gives it that perfect creamy texture you’re looking for. For today’s Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Salad, raw kale gets massaged with tahini, lemon and sea salt. Once the cauliflower is ready, the kale is softened, nice and creamy and ready to be enjoyed.
About That Buffalo Cauliflower
The buffalo cauliflower is a little doughy, a little spicy and a lot of perfect. To make it, you’ll need to whip up a batter of flour, water and spices to bake the cauliflower in. The trick with the hot sauce is to add it after the cauliflower has done most of it’s baking, otherwise you’ll end up losing a lot of the flavour. I added the hot sauce after baking the cauliflower for 30 minutes, then baked it 10 more minutes plus a couple minutes on boil. The result is a dough, browned, spicy buffalo cauliflower that is perfect in this kale salad. Paired with with the roasted red onion, avocado and tahini, it’s amazing.
How to Make Vegan Parmesan
To make the vegan parmesan, blend 1/3 cup of raw cashews with 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast, 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of sea salt until it resembles parmesan in consistency. It should only take a couple of pulses in the blender. This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. For further details on how to make vegan parmesan, check out this post.
Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Salad
This is one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time. The cool avocado and tahini pair perfectly with the hot, spicy cauliflower and roasted red onion. It’s a fairy simply salad that doesn’t have ton of ingredients but what it does have works beautiful together. You can always switch things up and add whatever veggies you have on hand too.
You could try roasting broccoli and red pepper with the red onion, you could use raw red onion instead of roasted, you could add some grated carrot to the mix. Anything goes really, otherwise just follow the recipe as written and you’ll be in one one tasty delight of a kale salad.
About the Recipe
I gave exact amounts to make enough buffalo cauliflower for about 4 servings of salad. The rest of the ingredients you can eyeball depending on how many servings you plan on making. If you’re just making a single serving, you can store the extra cauliflower for a snack later or for making more salad the next day.
If you’re making more than one serving, I’d recommend mixing up enough massaged kale in a large bowl for how every many people you’re serving, then dividing amounts bowls and adding the cauliflower and the rest of the toppings from there. Like many of my recipes, it’s more of a guideline and inspiration to make your own amazing buffalo cauliflower kale salad creation.
Recipe Notes and Nutrition
The instructions and ingredients might seem a bit long but it’s actually very easy to make. While the cauliflower and onions are baking, prep the massaged kale and other salad ingredients. Once the cauliflower and onions are done, it’s simply a matter of assembling the salad.
Nutrition-wise, you’re getting a ton of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. The salad contains fats from the tahini and a very small amount of olive oil. It’s low in carbohydrates and contains some protein from the vegan parmesan and tahini. This salad is vegan and if you use a gluten-free flour for the cauliflower (I used brown rice flour), it’s gluten-free.
Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Salad
This buffalo cauliflower kale salad is everything you could ask for in a salad. It has different textures and flavours that pair perfectly together. Cooling, spicy, creamy and crunchy, there’s a lot going on and each bite is even more delicious than the last!
For the Buffalo Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup Frank’s Buffalo Hot Sauce
For the Roasted Red Onions
about 1/4 of a red onion per serving/person
tiny drizzle of olive oil
pinch of sea salt and pepper
For the Kale Salad
a few large handfuls of kale per person
1-2 tbsp tahini per serving of kale, plus extra for topping, if desired
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice per serving of kale
pinch of sea salt
1/4 of an avocado per serving
handful of chopped green onion per serving
a few tbsp of vegan parmesan per serving
To Make the Buffalo Cauliflower
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl.
Mix the flour, water, garlic and salt and pepper in a bowl then add to the cauliflower and mix to coat.
Place the cauliflower in a single layer on a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. While that’s baking, mix the buffalo sauce and olive oil in a small dish.
After 20 minutes or so, coat the cauliflower with the buffalo sauce mixture then bake for another 10 minutes until starting to brown. You can broil for the last few minutes for a little extra crisp. Be careful not to burn it though.
To Make the Roasted Red Onion
Slice the red onion, drizzle it with a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place on a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and add to the oven with the cauliflower.
Bake for about 20 minutes until starting to brown.
To Make the Kale Salad
While the cauliflower and onions are baking, tear the amount of kale you want into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle with tahini, add a spritz of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt and then rub it all in with your hands until all the kale is coated. If you’re making more than a single serving, add all the kale to a large bowl and massage with the tahini, lemon and salt before dividing it into serving bowls. Set aside.
Once the cauliflower and onions are ready, you can assemble the salads.
For each salad, start with a base of kale, then top with cauliflower, red onion, avocado, green onions and a generous sprinkling of vegan parmesan.