|Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower|
I don’t share enough side dishes with y’all. I know this. And it’s not because I’m withholding or because I don’t love my veggies. It’s simply because,well, I just keep it so SIMPLE. More often than not, I toss my produce of choice in a little salt, pepper & avocado oil, throw it in the oven and rely on my dressings/sauces to add personality.
Yes, this method creates a delicious result, but I also think I’ve gotten a little lazy in the last year. I think I’d convinced myself that no matter how fabulous my veggies are, I’m always going to prefer the main event on my plate: the meatloaf, the pasta, the tofu…you get the idea.
All of that changed when I bit the bullet and purchased my air fryer. I’d seen air fryers touted on YouTube for several years, but I took it as a passing fad, like many (most) “unusual” kitchen gadgets. I was also skeptical—how could this little Wall-E looking machine recreate the texture of fried food, with hardly any oil, without the splatter war-wounds to show for it?
This past Spring I went to NYC for my cookbook tour, and I had the chance to eat at By Chloe, an excellent vegan fast-food chain that makes Air-Baked fries. I was HOOKED. These fries were light, crispy on the outside and potato-pillowy on the inside. I don’t know if By Chloe uses an Air Fryer, but I figured that whatever technique they do use couldn’t be far off, and I purchased this Phillips Air Fryer.
It is on the pricier side, but I did A LOT of research, and I believe you truly get what you pay for. I'm especially glad I sprung for the XL, because any smaller and I'd have to do at least 2 batches for each recipe.
Let me tell y’all, my baby boo air fryer lover is HERE TO STAY, and I sorta can’t remember life before.
How do I love thee, Air Fryer?! Let me count the ways:
- It is FAST. It takes me approximately 20 minutes less to make something in the air fryer versus the oven. Add that up on a regular basis, and that’s saving me hours and hours of precious time
- It is easy to USE. Whatever the opposite of technologically savvy is, that’s me. And yet, I learned how to use the air fryer in all of 5 minutes. You choose your temp, you choose your time, you press go.
- It is easy to CLEAN. Mine, at least, has a nonstick surface, so all I do is soak the basket and base in warm soapy water for 15 minutes, give it a spritz with my sink sprayer and voila! It’s ready for use. The machine itself stays clean as a whistle.
- Most importantly, it WORKS. Are air fryer fries or chicken tenders identically to their oil-saturated brethren? No. They’re quite as crunchy and certain don’t have that gross but satisfying pop of grease. But they are noticeably crunchier and crispier than anything I’ve ever made in an oven. The air fryer also manages to texturize the outside of the food, while keeping the inside much more M-O-I-S-T than any other cooking method.
In sum, I have now consistently used and loved my air fryer for almost 6 months, so I am confident enough to share about it with y’all. And for my inaugural recipe post, I chose this downright ADDICTING Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower.
I randomly threw this combo together a few weeks ago, and I ended up eating the entire batch over a 4-hour period (wouldn’t recommend), so I knew it was a keeper. Since, I’ve made two more batches in the air fryer and two in the oven, and I’ve yet to get sick of it.
I've also included instructions on how to make this dish in the oven. It is, of course, delicious...but I'll tell y'all, the air fryer version is unequivocally better.
If y'all have any questions, please feel free to comment below OR message me directly on Instagram @lauraleabalanced! PLEASE also tag me if you make it so I can see your spicy little nugget creations!