Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recipe of the Day: Vegan Crab Cakes (Seaside Cakes)

Vegan Crab Cakes (Seaside Cakes)

Sometimes, you just want to eat a crab cake. You just do. Now, I am very picky about the seafood I will eat. I am spoiled, growing up near the Gulf Coast and being used to FRESH and available seafood. Also, due to work travels, I have had the PRIVILEGE of eating at some amazing seafood restaurants on the lovely Inner Harbor of Baltimore, MD. But, generally, the food is very rich, usually fried, and it can become unhealthy. So, what are some alternatives?

Trying to eat healthier, and to really watch what I put in my body, I loved some of the healthy alternatives that High Noon Café and Rainbow Natural Grocery offered me. I love the fact that it can be completely organic and/or vegan. If you substitute carefully and watch how you make it, it can be gluten free! Thus, this recipe for Seaside Cakes, which is really a vegan version of a Crab Cake.

"Side Note: These are NOT the Seaside Cake recipes from Rainbow High Noon Cafe, but they are similar, with my own twist… and I love the tartar sauce recipe."

You will need:
~.25 cup oil (I use either EVOO or I will use grapeseed oil. It has a lower fat content and higher burn threshold.)
~1/4 cup unbleached white flour (you can find great quality in a local health food store.)
~1 cup non-dairy milk (please use what you can with your specialty needs diet. I like soy milk, or rice milk.)
~1/2 teaspoon salt (this is for the sauce, and not for taste.)
~2 Tablespoons onion, minced (fresh onion is best for this, because it just adds something, but you can use dried in a pinch!)
~1 pound tofu, crumbled (just regular tofu. I get the refrigerated kind, but personal preference should drive you to get what you want.)
~1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
~1 teaspoon sea salt
~Dash of cayenne (dash here means a generous pinch)
~12 to 16 soda crackers, crushed to crumbs (you can also you panko, or a GF cracker or flatbread)
~1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
~Extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to brown the cakes (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
~Lemon wedges, tartar sauce (see recipe below) for serving.

First, turn on your burner. Get a small saucepan and get it heated up. Don't go in cold. Once the saucepan is warmed, add oil and flour. Heat, and let bubble over low heat for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the non-dairy milk and salt. Stir in the minced onion and continue cooking until very thick.

Second, in a bowl, combine tofu, dry mustard, sea salt and cayenne. Add the flour/milk mixture to the tofu. Mix well. Chill 3-4 hours.

Third, use your hands and scoop and shape the chilled mixture into cakes about 1/2" thick. Then dredge the cakes in a mixture of soda crackers and paprika. Chill the crumb-covered cakes about 1 hour.

Fourth, fry the cakes in a little hot oil. Turn them gently, browning on both sides.

Lastly, serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. Garnish with parsley.

Yield: 10 large cakes; Per Serving: 210 Calories; 15g Fat (63.8% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 470mg Sodium.

Vegan Tartar Sauce
~1/2 cup vegan mayo (I like Vegenaise the best.)
~1 Tablespoon sweet relish~
~1/2 Tablespoon minced onion
~1 teaspoon minced garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules or garlic powder
~1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
~Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate unused portion.

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