Who doesn’t love tator tots? Deep-fried grated potatoes…crispy, bite-sized and fun to eat. The concept of these Baked Crispy Cauliflower “Rice” Bites was inspired by tator tots, but they taste completely different. Instead of deep-fried potatoes you now have baked bites made out of a cauliflower-based mixture, dipped into a creamy Cucumber Ranch Dressing, making them a great, clean, healthy, delicious snack or side for the entire family.
When I first developed my Stir-Fry Cauliflower “Rice” recipe awhile back, I knew it wouldn’t be the last time I’d be using cauliflower “rice” in one of my recipes. Not my original idea, but I love using it in many of my dishes instead of rice. I’d been entertaining the idea of using cauliflower “rice” to make little bites for some time. So when Way Better Snacks contacted me to be a part of their holiday campaign, I couldn’t resist using their awesome baked tortilla chips in this recipe.
Simply said… I love these Way Better Snacks tortilla chips! So much, that I have a constant supply of their chips, in several flavors, opened in my pantry. It all started with my constant search for healthier options for tortilla chips and better snacks. Well…needless-to-say, I was hooked the first time I popped open a bag. They are allergen friendly, certified gluten-free, sprouted, non-GMO, and contain no chemicals. They are made with whole ingredients, are super light and tasty, and are loaded with flavor. Each bag includes sprouted grains, seeds, and beans and they incorporate chia, flax, quinoa, daikon radish and broccoli seeds. I’ve used them in all kinds of dips, wraps, and even crumbled them over salads such as in my Ultimate Taco Salad. Just realize that once you pop open a bag and start eating them, it’ll be really hard to quit, and even though these chips are healthier, I don’t recommend going through an entire bag of them in one sitting =)
Out of the flavors of chips I’ve tried, my favorites are Sweet Potato, Sriracha, Sweet Chili, and Black Bean. My kids really love the Sweet Potato ones. So instead of coating these bites with some type of breadcrumb or flour mixture, I decided to coat them in crumbled Way Better Chips prior to baking them in the oven. The flavor of the chips (especially the Sriracha or Sweet Chili) goes perfectly with the cauliflower mixture! I used the Sriracha flavor to make some for my husband and me, and the Sweet Potato flavor for the kids. Dipped them in my NEW healthy Cucumber Ranch Sauce I posted last week and we had ourselves a delicious, healthy snack and side! I even made a few ahead of time and re-baked them in the oven prior to serving…they lost some of their crispy exterior, but they were still delicious. And since they are bite-sized and perfect for little fingers to handle, I even packed some in my kids school lunch with a side of the Ranch. It’s a great way to get in those veggies if you have picky eaters on your hands.
Give this recipe a try! You can easily whip up the Cucumber Ranch Dressing while the bites are baking in the oven. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Baked Crispy Cauliflower “Rice” Bites with Cucumber Ranch Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To Make Crushed Chips:
- Add your favorite 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 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.
To Prep the Bites:
- In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseeds and water and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large non-stick pan . Add the minced garlic and fry for 30sec-1min 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 form-able (hold together when squeezed) and still a little wet so that the chips will stick to the bites.
To Make 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 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.