Sweet Potato Crab-less Crabby Cakes

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Make the most of the fall harvest with this sweet potato “crab” cake recipe. Though sweet potatoes are available year-round, they are at their sweetest in the fall and winter.

The mild sweet potato flavor and cayenne kick complement the “crab” flavor in these hearty cakes. You may be asking yourself how it is possible to make a vegan “crab” cake taste crab-like. Well, it ‘s amazing how well hearts of palm can mimic the texture of fresh crab meat and how sea kelp seasoning, dulse flakes, Old Bay seasoning, and ume plum vinegar can add flavors reminiscent of seafood in this recipe.  Served with a slightly spiced aioli, these sweet potato “crab” cakes are every bit enjoyable.  When serving this as a main course, I suggest serving with a big kale salad. Enjoy!

 

Sweet Potato “Crab” Cakes

Servings: 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes

Brief: The mild sweet potato flavor and cayenne kick complement the “crab” flavor in these hearty cakes.

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF

 

Ingredients:

Aoli:

½ cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

¼ cup filtered water

1/2 garlic clove

3 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce

sea salt to taste, optional

 

Crab Cakes:

2 ¼ cups sweet potato, diced and cooked

¼ cup jalapeno, finely chopped

¼ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped

15 oz. can hearts of palm, cut into fourths

½ tsp sea kelp delight seasoning or dulse flakes, optional

2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

¼ cup plain cashew cream or plain almond yogurt

2 tsp dijon mustard

¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp plain dry gluten-free breadcrumbs plus about ¾ cup for coating

¼ tsp ume plum vinegar

3 dashes cayenne pepper

grapeseed or olive oil for frying, optional

Note: You can also these with gluten-free panko breadcrumbs

 

Other Ingredients:

2 red bell pepper, optional

 

Directions:

1. Soak cashews overnight in filtered water.

2. Make the aoili. Add all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. If it is too thick, thin the sauce with filtered water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste for seasoning. If you think it needs salt or more heat, simply add sea salt and more Sriracha.  Blend once more to give it one last mix. Set sauce aside.

3. In a skillet, add jalapeno pepper, bell pepper and diced sweet potato until crisp-tender for about 5 minutes. If it sticks to the pan, add a little vegetable stock or filtered water.

4. Pour 1 cup of mixture into food processor and pulse until it is a coarse puree.

5. In a large bowl, squeeze hearts of palm to break into shards.  Add puree and remaining sautéed vegetables to bowl, along with old bay seasoning, parsley, cashew cream, Dijon mustard, ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs, ume plum vinegar and cayenne pepper and stir until thoroughly combined.  Taste the mixture, adjust for seasoning, and mix.

6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Place breadcrumbs on a plate.

7. Create ¼ cup patties of the mixture and roll into breadcrumbs to coat. Transfer patties onto the lined baking sheet until they’re ready to be cooked. Makes 9 “crab” cakes.

8. You can either fry or bake these. To bake these, place the “crab” cakes on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. At the halfway point, flip the “crab” cakes.

9. Alternatively, you can fry these. Pour 1/8 inch oil in skillet and heat oil on medium heat to 350 degrees F.

10. Fry one side of the cake at a time at about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Wipe out skillet and clean oil before frying remaining cakes. Line a plate with paper towels. Place the fried “crab” cakes on the paper towels to drain the oil.

11. Serve hot with aoli and a salad.

12. If you want to make festive Halloween crabs with these cakes, slice red bell peppers into strips and place 3 bell pepper “legs’ on each side. Make crab eyes by adding dots of aoli where the eyes are located.

 

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Chickpea Fritters with Cucumber Dill Sauce

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There are times when I am in a big rush and need to make something quick, yummy, and high-in-protein to serve alongside a big dinner salad.  On one of these days, I came up with these delightful, little chickpea fritters.

On the days when I am totally averse to frying, I use a griddle to make both sides of my fritters golden and then finish them off in the oven.  On the days when I am short on time, I will fry these babies up in a shallow, hot oil bath.  The result is crispy and extra scrumptious.

You can enjoy them with a big salad, cucumbers, or in pita bread with cucumber dill sauce!

My chickpea fritters are easy-to-make, satisfying, and most definitely delicious!  If you are ever pressed for time or expecting visitors, make these!  Your friends and family will be glad you did!

 

Chickpea Fritters

Servings: 2-3

Makes 9 2-inch in diameter fritters

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

V, GF, DF, NF

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp flax meal

3 tbsp filtered water

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

½ cup green onion, sliced

½ cup cilantro, chopped

1 ½ tbsp poblano chile pepper (or substitute jalapeno pepper)

½ cup oat flour (gluten-free)

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp ground cumin

sunflower or grapeseed oil for pan frying

 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl, add chickpeas. Mash the chickpeas with a potato masher, keeping in mind that it’s okay to keep some chickpeas whole since it’ll add nice texture to the patties.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, except for the oil.  Using your hands or a large fork, thoroughly mix and combine all of the ingredients together.

3. a) Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add enough oil to create a shallow bath to fry the fritters in.  Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, pan fry 2-inch in diameter patties until golden on each side, about 4-5 minutes, flipping once. Drain oil from the patties by placing a paper towel on a plate and folding it once. After frying, place patties on the paper towel.

b) Alternatively, form 9 2-inch patties and cook them on a griddle, sprayed with coconut cooking spray until golden brown on both sides.  Place the patties on a lined baking sheet and finish them off in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for about 15 -20 minutes.

4. Serve with Cucumber Dill Sauce (recipe follows), salad and sliced cucumbers.

 

Cucumber Dill Sauce

Ingredients

½ cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

¼ cup filtered water

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup cucumber, chopped

1 tsp dill, chopped

1/2 tsp garlic, chopped

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

¼ sea salt

Directions

Place all ingredients into blender, and blend on high until smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add some filtered water, 1 tbsp at a time. Serve with fritters as a dipping sauce or to dress salad and cucumbers.

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Banana Pancakes

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Pancakes make an appearance on my dining table at least once a week when Peyman and I have brunch.  When I first started making vegan and gluten-free pancakes, it took me a handful of trials to develop a delicious and nutritious gluten-free and vegan pancake.  This is an improvement compared to my first “Coconut and Banana Pancakes” recipe.  Still high in fiber and protein, these are a tad bit fluffier.  They also contain banana and dates, making them super filling and satisfying.  If you like banana in your pancakes and are craving a heavier pancake breakfast, you should try these. Just keep in mind that the bananas make these pancakes a little dense and a bit moist.

I might as well call them superfood pancakes because they do pack a punch when it comes to nutrition and health benefits.  The oatmeal, garbanzo flour and chia seeds supply the fiber and protein which keep you fuller longer and also aid in digestion.  Chia seeds have omega-3 fatty acids (important for brain health) and manganese (good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin).  Bananas contain potassium (helps your heart beat) and prebiotics (improve the absorption of calcium, strengthen your immune system, and assist you in resisting infections).  These prebiotics also limit injury in the intestines and reduce the chance of colorectal diseases.  And there’s even more potassium and antioxidants from the coconut oil. If I go on and continue to list the many potential benefits you can receive from these pancakes, you will be having these for dinner!

 

Banana Pancakes

Servings:  1-2

Time:  27 minutes

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF

Ingredients

Pancakes:

4 large medjool dates

1 cup coconut milk (or any plant-based “milk”)

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 pinch of sea salt

2 large bananas

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 cup oat flour, gluten-free (can substitute with sorghum flour)

1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/4 cup almond meal

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp stevia powder

 

Chocolate Sauce:

1 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)

2.5 tbsp maple syrup

 

Directions

Pancakes:

1. In a blender, add the medjool dates, coconut milk, vanilla, sea salt, bananas, coconut oil (melted, not solid), and chia seeds. Blend until the dates are pulverized (little bits of dates are fine).

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour, garbanzo flour, almond meal, cinnamon, and stevia.

3. Create a well (a hole) in the dry mix and pour in the wet mixture from the blender. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the blender. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together with a rubber spatula until combined.

4. Important step: Set the bowl aside for 15-17 minutes. The flours and chia seeds will absorb the liquid.  In the meantime, make the chocolate sauce.

5. After the batter has rested for 15-17 minutes, heat a non-stick griddle on a little less than medium heat.  Spray with coconut oil spray, or use a little coconut oil to coat pan. With a ladle, pour a circular pancake about 4-inches in diameter.  Flip pancakes when edges appear cooked and bubbles emerge on top. Cook the other side until it turns golden brown.

6. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and mixed berries or other fruit.

Makes six 4-inch pancakes.

 

Chocolate Sauce:

Combine and mix all the chocolate sauce ingredients together.  If you feel the sauce is too thick, thin it out with filtered water a few drops at a time.  Mix well.

 

Assemble

Stack the pancakes in the center of a plate, drizzle with chocolate and fresh fruit.  Enjoy!

 

 

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