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Crab-Free Crab Cakes

One food blog I follow regularly is Happy Herbivore.  Lindsay, the blog's author has 1-2 posts every week, featuring fabulous, whole food, no added fat, vegan dishes.  She also has also just published a new cookbook.

Prior to publishing this new cookbook, Lindsay had self published 4 different e-cookbooks. Having purchased all 4, I can tell you that her recipes are great tasting. Even more importantly, they all use routine, grocery store ingredients, and easy, un-fussy preparation methods. You do not have to be a gourmet cook with a pantry full of a gazzillion specialty ingredients in order to prepare her dishes.

This crab-cake recipe is definitely one of my favorites of all her posts.   It is incredibly easy to mix up if you use the food processor ... whiz up the tofu, whiz the celery, onions, bread, and mushrooms into chopped up state and mix.

Crab CakesClick to see full size image

Now, I've never had crab cakes that have crab in them, so I can't vouch for how these compare to the fishy kind, but I CAN tell you these are the most flavorful patties I've ever eaten!!

When you try these, DO be sure to leave some of the mixture UNBAKED, and eat like you would tuna fish.  It is SOOOOOO good that way too!!

Crab Free Crab Cakes
(makes 7 patties)

recipe by Happy Herbivore
click here for the recipe as published
at Happy Herbivore blog

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. fat-free vegan mayo  (See NOTE, below)
10 oz extra firm tofu
3 celery stalks
1 small onion
About 10 oyster mushrooms
3 slices whole wheat bread  (See GLUTEN FREE NOTE, below)
1 tsp. kelp
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper


Preheat oven 350°F

Place tofu in food processor and pulse till coarsely crumbled.  Repeat with celery, onion, mushrooms and bread (I do the celery, onion, and mushrooms together after doing the tofu by itself, and the bread by itself).

Transfer everything to a mixing bowl.

Put the mayo in a small bowl, add the salt, pepper, kelp, and Old Bay Seasoning, and whisk to thoroughly mix. Add to the tofu/veggie/bread crumb mixture and mix well with a spatula or your hands.   Scoop mixture with 1/2 measuring cup and pack tightly.

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

These are totally great without any sauce, but adding in a Thousand Island-type of sauce does add an additional layer of complexity and interest to the patties' flavor.   I just mixed together some of the low fat vegan mayo with some ketchup.  If your palate likes heat, add in some hot sauce as Happy Herbivore does.


NOTE:  While not going over board on fat, I do not generally go out of my way to restrict fat in recipes and such.  The first time I made this, I used Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Mayo, which is anything but fat-free.   I found this made the crab cakes WAY, WAY too greasy.  

The next time I made these, I used the low fat vegan mayo recipe Lindsay linked to, and these cakes were much, much better that way.


GLUTEN-FREE NOTE:  Hubby is gluten intolerant, so I made these using a store bought gluten-free bread and they came out just perfect.  Texture was fine, as was the taste!   The only thing is that it needs more bread than you'd think.   I used 6 slices ... gauge it by how thick (or not) the mixture is.  It should not be "gloppy" ... you want it fairly firm, not dry, but more substance than goop!

Old Bay Seasoning

One of the ingredients in this recipe is a seasoning I'd never heard of:   Old Bay Seasoning

I think I've been vegan too long ... all my omnivore friends are familiar with this seasoning ... apparently it is mainly used in seafood dishes ... hence a perfect application here in the Crab Cake recipe.

Our small town grocery store had it, which makes me think it is pretty easy to find at least here in the states.   I've found a couple websites that give a homemade version of it as well:


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