Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

May 7, 2020

This Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles recipe is EVERYTHING! This dish is anything but short of flavor, the waffles are fluffy, thick, and airy and the cauliflower bites comes bursting with sweet + spicy flavors from the honey-hot sauce mixture. Super easy to make and completely dairy-free. The perfect breakfast, brunch, or Mother’s Day meal for the entire family. Vegan option available.

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

As we’re gearing towards Mother’s Day, many of you are probably already brainstorming on the perfect meal or moment, especially during this time of Quarantining.

Honestly, there are so many dishes that could fit perfectly for Mother’s Day and whether you are a pro in the kitchen or not, this recipe is easy on all levels.

Of course, I’ll share a few additional recipes (down below) that would be awesome ideas of Mother’s Day as well.

Why Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites AND Maple Pecan Waffles?

OK, so these waffles though……ARE AMAZING!

Since I decided to make these cauliflower bites both sweet + spicy, I wanted the waffles to add a nice salty, sweetness as well. That’s why I chose to make them a natural maple flavor (no extract) and add toasted pecans.

YUM!!!

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

How Do You Toast Pecans? Why Toasted?

Yes, so toasting your pecans is super important (for me anyway), especially in this recipe.

Toasting them definitely allows for their flavors to be more transparent in a dish and it also gives them a nice ‘toasty note’ to them.

For a brief breakdown of what actually happens—when toasted slowly in the oven, the pecan’s natural oils are released, which equates to more flavor.

In this case, it allows for the pecan flavor to be more bold and marry well with the sweetness of the maple-cinnamon flavors.

My favorite brand of nuts are Diamond Nuts which are such high-quality.

To toast pecans: Add chopped pecans to a baking sheet and toasting them in the oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5-10 minutes, tossing them halfway to avoid browning on one side.

Wallah!

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

So, if you’re into the cauliflower bites craze, then you’re in luck! If not, let’s get you geared up for a delicious ride.

If you’ve been an avid reader of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re probably already a fan of our Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites which are a guaranteed showstopper!

If not, I highly suggest that you check them out!

SWEETENER: For vegan option, you can always substitute honey with Agave or maple syrup.

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

What About ‘Meatless’ Options that Include Cauliflower?

These Vegan Mango Habanero Cauliflower Bites are an awesome balance between sweet and spicy, which work perfectly together! 

This Sticky Teriyaki + Maple Whole Roasted Cauliflower is like no other Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece that comes completely vegan, gluten-free, and delicious. A healthy and easy way to indulge in a flavorful dish without missing traditional meat dishes during the holidays.

This Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa recipe is a deliciously healthy option for the entire family. At first glance, these beauties truly remind you of classic orange chicken (and trust me, they taste just as good, if not better!), however, they aren’t! Just know that your taste buds won’t be able to tell the difference either! Super easy to make and whipped together in under 45 minutes. All vegan ingredients.

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS RECIPE?

Super easy to make.

Totally meatless without missing anything!

Whipped together in under 45 minutes—perfect for weeknights dinners, breakfast, or brunch!

Vegan option available.

Completely dairy-free!

Sweetness is adjustable based on tastebud preferences.

Did I mention that—THIS DISH IS AMAZING?!

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

Need Additional Food + Dessert Ideas for Mother’s Day? Try These!

These Healthy Vegan Banana Bread Pancakes are the perfect rendition of a delicious classic—banana bread! Completely fluffy, soft, and naturally sweetened, these pancakes are truly irresistible—especially with the burst of banana and warm spices of cinnamon + nutmeg.

This Easy Veggie Breakfast Frittata is the epitome of a savory, tender vegetable-laden vegetarian option to kick start your mornings. Light and bouncy, loaded with mozzarella cheese, and infused with kale, onions, and tomatoes. A silky feel in every bite.

These Cranberry Orange Breakfast Scones will surely bring forth some sort of brightness to the start of your day for everyone involved. This recipe boasts a super flaky, buttery crust and a delicious sweet + tart filling bursting with orange and cranberry flavors.

This Savory Cinnamon French Toast + Cajun Chickpea recipe is perfect for healthy option for breakfast or a nice brunch. This French Toast is thick, delicious, uses a handful of ingredients, naturally sweetened, and completely dairy-free and vegan.

These Flourless Vegan Banana Oats Waffles are everything that one’s heart desires. Made right in a blender, these Gluten-Free waffles are naturally sweetened, fluffy, thick, airy, and full of flavor. The perfect breakfast or brunch dish with the perfect taste for your mornings!

This Classic Red Velvet Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting is a healthier option to the decadent classic—Red Velvet Cake! Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also filled with a velvety cream cheese buttercream that when paired with this fluffy cake (made with premium cocoa powder), they all work amazingly together.

The Best Oreo Cheesecake Bites are what we call these little bites and it’s no understatement. Not only are these little bites the perfect size, but they come fully packed with a beautifully tasty oreo cookie crust and a decadent oreo filling, topped with whipped cream and a full oreo cookie for extra goodness. Can we just say that it’s an oreo overload?

This Lemon + Strawberry Layer Spring Cake isn’t your traditional version of a lemon cake. Not only is it completely moist, + fluffy, but it’s also loaded with a nice balance between tart and sweet as the bursting of lemon flavor paired with the strawberry buttercream work amazingly together.

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

Let’s dig our forks right into this recipe, shall we?

Cauliflower Bites:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Then in a medium bowl, add water, flour, sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried parsley, and garlic powder and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and also set aside.

Now dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated. **NOTE: Be sure to SHAKE OFF any excess coating.**

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and “crunchy” looking. **NOTE: Be sure to flip each cauliflower on opposite side half way through baking time**

In the meantime, combine the honey, and hot sauce in a medium pot (on medium-high heat) and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and add thickener (arrowroot or starch + water mixture), whisking until well combined and sauce becomes thick.

Once cauliflower bites are nice and crispy, remove from oven and let cool slightly for 5 minutes.

Toss them GENTLY into the sauce until fully coated. Add coated cauliflower back to baking sheet and place them back in the oven (turning oven on broil) for about 5-6 minutes.

Once sauce has thickened and appears to be ‘sticky’ unto the bites, remove from oven and set aside.

Maple Pecan Waffles:

Preheat your waffle maker to desired setting–medium-high heat worked for me!

In a large bowl, whisk together the organic all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and sea salt.

Add the oil, Almond milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar in the center of the dry mixture (after creating a well) and stir everything together well (using a spatula) until fully incorporated. Add the toasted pecans and stir again. Now, let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes while it slightly thickens and rises, which means that the ingredients have activated.

Next, spoon batter into your waffle maker (1/4 cup approximately) and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

Once each waffle completes, add to a baking sheet and place them in the oven on the lowest setting (to keep them warm). Repeat until all waffles are made.

To serve–stack waffles (whole or cut), top with cauliflower bites, sliced strawberries (if desired) and drizzle with maple syrup.

Bon appetit!

Orchids + Sweet Tea

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make this Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles
Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
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Ingredients

Cauliflower Bites:

  • 1 head of organic Cauliflower, chopped in large chunks
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Frank's Original)
  • 2 cups organic honey (I use Wholesome Sweets; See Notes for Vegan option!)
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh water
  • 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Maple Pecan Waffles:

  • 2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Toasted chopped pecans (See Post for Instructions!)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsps vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup + more if desired! (I use Coombs Family Farms; See Notes!)

Instructions

Cauliflower Bites:

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Then in a medium bowl, add water, flour, sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried parsley, and garlic powder and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and also set aside.
  • Now dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated. **NOTE: Be sure to SHAKE OFF any excess coating.**
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and "crunchy" looking. **NOTE: Be sure to flip each cauliflower on opposite side half way through baking time**
  • In the meantime, combine the honey, and hot sauce in a medium pot (on medium-high heat) and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and add thickener (arrowroot or starch + water mixture), whisking until well combined and sauce becomes thick.
  • Once cauliflower bites are nice and crispy, remove from oven and let cool slightly for 5 minutes.
  • Toss them GENTLY into the sauce until fully coated. Add coated cauliflower back to baking sheet and place them back in the oven (turning oven on broil) for about 5-6 minutes.
  • Once sauce has thickened and appears to be 'sticky' unto the bites, remove from oven and set aside.

Maple Pecan Waffles:

  • Preheat your waffle maker to desired setting–medium-high heat worked for me!
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the organic all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and sea salt.
  • Add the oil, Almond milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar in the center of the dry mixture (after creating a well) and stir everything together well (using a spatula) until fully incorporated. Add the toasted pecans and stir again. Now, let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes while it slightly thickens and rises, which means that the ingredients have activated.
  • Next, spoon batter into your waffle maker (1/4 cup approximately) and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.
  • Once each waffle completes, add to a baking sheet and place them in the oven on the lowest setting (to keep them warm). Repeat until all waffles are made.
  • To serve–stack waffles (whole or cut), top with cauliflower bites, sliced strawberries (if desired) and drizzle with maple syrup.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

SERVING: If you’d prefer to make 1/2 the amount of Belgian waffles, feel free to shave each measurement down in half for each ingredient. **For standard waffles (non-Belgian)—this will make more than 6-8 waffles for this recipe.**
HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS: To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container. 
STORAGE: Best if consumed within the same day. Leave leftover cauliflower bites tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for a day or so.
FREEZE WAFFLES: To store waffles for longer periods, simply add them unto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Once fully frozen, remove and store them in a zip loc and freeze for up to 3 months.
VEGAN OPTION: Instead of honey, you can use maple syrup or Agave as the base sauce for the cauliflower bites.
OIL: Instead of using vegetable oil, you can always use coconut oil or melted vegan butter.

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Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites + Maple Pecan Waffles.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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  1. I know what I’ll be asking my family to make me for Mother’s Day. Not only will I love this sweet and spicy cauliflower bites with maple pecan waffles but so will my family.

  2. I am so ready to start my day with these waffles… every day! Some of the best waffles I’ve seen, and something I would be so excited to try some time soon!

  3. The cauliflower bites are so good. I didn’t make waffles to enjoy the cauliflowers, just some steamed white rice, which goes quite well together. 🙂

    • Hi Anita! Yes, that’s the awesome part about cauliflower bites! They’re so versatile! 🙂