For December’s Recipe Redux challenge, we played a game: “grab a book and cook!” Our assignment was to redux a recipe from page 201, 17, 217, or any combination of page number that related to the year 2017. Confession: I only own Run Fast East Slow, and there weren’t any recipes on those pages. So instead, I rented Isa Chandra’s Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook from the library and poof! Easy vegan crab cakes for your pleasure.
These vegan crab cakes make a great appetizer for a holiday party, and they’re included in the New Years Day section of her book. The original crab cake recipe calls 12 ingredients, plus 4 more ingredients for the breadcrumbs. I reduced it to 9 ingredients total and still maintained the flavor, texture and protein. These crab cakes are baked instead of fried, so there is no oil, less fat and fewer calories.
The original recipe uses black-eyed peas. Did you know that eating black-eyed peas on New Years is said to bring you good luck? It’s a really big tradition in the southern part of the US (source). Knew I had to keep those in! In addition to their potential luck, black-eyed peas contain a good dose of protein and potassium, making them a great plant-based option for runners.
To reduce the number of ingredients, I chose to mix in a can of hearts of palm instead of zucchini and pepper. Hearts of palm give these vegan crab cakes their meaty texture. Nutritionally, hearts of palm are high in manganese and have a good amount of vitamin C.
The other change I made was with the breadcrumbs. Frankly, it wasn’t a nutrition swap, I just didn’t have any on hand, and I didn’t want to make them. I’ve tried out using rolled oats that I pulsed a few times in the food processor, as well as bran cereal (Nature’s Path Flakes or Ezekiel Cereal are my two favorites). You can substitute the cereal in a 1:1 ratio. With oats, I found that you have to increase the amount slightly, about 1/2 a cup, in order to have enough to coat all the patties. Both turn out well, but I prefer the crunch of the cereal. I’m all about texture with my food, so I prefer crunch.
The vegan crab cakes are crispy, flavorful and make a perfect holiday appetizer. It takes minutes to make the cakes and just 30 minutes to bake them. Serve them with your favorite vegan dipping sauce, on mini sliders, or add to salads for a protein.
Do you believe that certain foods bring good luck? If you try this recipe, let me know! Rate it, leave a comment, take a picture and tag @Rabbitfoodruns on Instagram. I’d love to see how you enjoy your vegan crab cakes!
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