Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes (Crabless)

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

Some people can go vegan overnight, some transition from vegetarianism, and others gradually wean themselves off of different animal products in stages. If you struggle to  imagine a world without seafood, this post is for you.

Veganism has made great strides in recreating your favorite seafood dishes without fish and without the unnecessary strain on our oceans. There’s vegan shrimp, vegan scallops, vegan tuna, vegan fish filets, vegan ceviche, vegan calamari, vegan salmonvegan lobster and of course vegan crab cakes. You should definitely check out those examples above, they all look super yummy and I will definitely try my hand at some of these in the future.

So how the heck do you re-imagine seafood as vegan? Jackfruit, carrots, oyster mushrooms and of course soy and tempeh can all be used to recreate your favorite seafood dishes without cruelty and without harming our planet.

Overfishing is a very serious problem that is sometimes overshadowed by factory farming. Both industries account for trillions upon trillions of deaths each year. If I told you the numbers, you wouldn’t be able to fathom the sheer magnitude of killing that happens in our oceans.

  • 970 – 2,700 billion fishes are caught from the wild, of which [source]
  • 450 – 1,000 billion fishes are caught to make fishmeal and fish oil. []
  • 37 – 120 billion farmed fish are killed for food. [source]
  • 170 – over 400 billion farmed decapod crustaceans are also killed for food. [source]

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

This cannot continue.

When it comes to animal sentience, there are some who still believe that animals are not capable of experiencing  pain and emotions in the same manner as we do. Unfortunately, this conversation often stops at pigs, cows, chickens, and animals we consider pets. Fish are too often overlooked in conversations about animal sentience and morality, even though they have been found to exhibit the same complex emotions and behaviors as humans and other animals.

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

fish gasping for air

I’ve never been one to use intelligence or an animal’s tendencies to display ‘human’ behaviors to determine whether or not they deserve my empathy. Often, the argument is made that cats, dogs, apes, horses, elephants, lions, etc. should be protected and revered simply because they are able to be commercialized by us in some way. We love dogs because they make us feel like they love and need us, we love horses because they are practical, we love apes because we have been told that we are related, so on and so forth. I think it’s time that we afford ALL ANIMALS the same love, respect, and compassion that we show animals like the ones mentioned above.

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

The first step is to realize that all living, breathing, moving creatures on this planet have feelings. An animal’s right to live is not dependent on how cute they are, how many tricks they can do, whether or not they get along with humans, or their perceived intelligence. An animals right to life is bestowed upon them by God from the moment they enter this realm….and the same goes for us.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to what you actually came for…jackfruit crab cakes. If you’re new around here, you’ll soon learn that I am obsessed with jackfruit and I really feel that it will be a major key to society’s transition to a vegan world.

Even when I did eat seafood a few years back, I never considered myself to be a crab connoisseur, so my endorsement of this dish as a crab cake replacement is really just based on how this particular recipe tastes, and it was damn good 🙂 It’s been so long since I’ve had crab that I can’t really remember exactly how crab cake tastes, but I can tell you that this recipe is delicious, whether it’s an exact doppelgänger or not.

The rice vinegar really set off the wannabe-fish taste and the combination of baking and frying the patties made such a huge difference in the taste. Top it off with a generous squeeze of lemon a dab of tartar sauce and I bet you could fool, or at least appease, a die-hard fish fan.

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Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

Course Dinner, Lunch, vegan seafood
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 pieces

Ingredients

  • 2 cans jackfruit
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (optional)
  • 6 flax eggs (1 egg = 1 tbsp flax meal +3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

DIY Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch ginger
  • pinch cayenne

DIY Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup vegan mayonaise
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely diced cucumber or pickles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drain the jackfruit, shred into small pieces and remove any seeds/hard parts. Pat the jackfruit dry with a paper towel. Set aside

  2. In a separate bowl, mix the 6 flax eggs (measurements in ingredients list) together and set aside for at least 10 minutes 

  3. In a small bowl, combine the old bay seasoning ingredients together and set aside. 

  4. Combine old bay seasoning, drained jackfruit, flax eggs, rice vinegar, onion, and optional celery and form the cakes into patties. Place on a silicon pad on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can even leave them overnight if you'd like. 

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes

  6. Line a skillet with a thin layer of sunflower oil and fry each cake until they are light brown/toasted on each side. 

  7. Mix tartar sauce ingredients into a small bowl and serve. Keeps in the fridge for at least one week. 

  8. Sautee the cakes on the skillet with a touch of oil to re-heat. 

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

For this recipe, I used more water in my flax egg recipe than normal because I wanted to make sure that the jackfruit mixture was wet enough to stick together. I used 3 tbsp of water to 1 tbsp of jackfruit compared to 2.5 tbsp of water.

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

This is what the cakes look like after baking for 15 minutes. They tasted just fine with only baking, but when I baked and fried a batch, I was blown away by the taste and texture. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, they were everything I hoped to achieve in this crab cake dupe. I only added white onions this time, but as indicated in the recipe above, I think adding in really small bits of celery into the mix would taste divine but that it totally optional.

vegan jackfruit crab cakes

This is what the cakes look like after jumping from the oven into the frying pan. They taste the best when they are almost too hot to eat, so feel free to get heavy handed with the lemon squeezes and the tartar sauce. You won’t regret it.

Watch how I made vegan jackfruit crab cakes here:

Recommended

Jackfruit Quesadillas

Jackfruit Tortilla Soup

Vegan Tacos 5 Ways

 

Resources

Vegan ‘seafood’ recipes here

Overfishing facts here

How many fish are killed each year?

Countdown until there’s no fish left here

LetFishLive’s IG

Fish feel pain…read more here

Watch the world’s smartest fish play basketball here

What does A TRILLION look like? here


How to Not Get Sick and Boost Your Immunity

https://httpvvegan.com/2018/01/15/how-to-not-get-sick-and-boost-your-immunity/

It is officially winter, the time of year where people expect to have sore throats, itchy eyes, and stuffy noses. For many people, this time of the year is synonymous with the common cold.

But you know what?

It doesn’t have to be that way at all! There isn’t something in the air in the winter that makes people’s immune systems break down, and there isn’t an increase in the amount of cold viruses among us in the colder months. The increase in cases of the common cold and even the flu can all be attributed to habits and lifestyle choices. Stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep and exercise, and little to no sunshine can all be kryptonite for your immune system. If you’re working with any combination of those….

how to not get sick and boost your immunity

Whether you need some help protecting your immune system while dodging coughing co-workers, or if you’re already a little under the weather and need to make a 180º STAT, I can help you learn how to not get sick and boost your immunity. There are so many natural and inexpensive ways to bolster your immune system: warm tonics, nutrient-packed fresh juices, herbs & supplements, and countless tips and tricks that can help you feel invincible in these cold winter months.

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Soy-Free Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

Soy-Free Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s so-called flu season, right?

Nope! Not if you’re taking the proper preventative measures to keep that nasty bug at bay…more to come on that soon. The key to keeping the common cold, the flu, and other ‘seasonal’ viruses away is not found in a plastic bottle with a child safety cap. Maintaining your health throughout the year, no matter the season, is an ongoing process and definitely a full-time job.

For those moments when a cold still gets the best of you, or you just feel like having chicken noodle soup for the sake of nostalgia, you can make this soy free vegan chicken noodle soup. I promise you this version tastes better than any overly salted canned version, and no chickens had to be stuffed with antibiotics or killed for it. We will be using jackfruit in place of soy chik’n strips, so this recipe is au naturale, baby 😉. All you need is veggies, (jack)fruit, noodles and veggie broth. Isn’t it interesting that in American culture we think a soup using one of the most disease-ridden animals and antibiotic resistant animals (thanks to factory farming) is a remedy for a cold?

Check out the steps to a healthier, cruelty-free version of ‘chicken’ noodle soup after the jump!

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Jackfruit Tortilla Soup

jackfruit tortilla soup

It’s that weird time of the year in Los Angeles where you go to bed in full fall pajama regalia, grab a sweater on your way out of the door in the morning, but by lunch time, you are sweating bullets. The high may have been 100 degrees in Los Angeles today, but it’s still officially fall so I am working on my soup arsenal.

I’ve been testing out more recipes using jackfruit this year and I know I always say this, but this one is definitely the best so far. This jackfruit tortilla soup hits all of the marks of fall comfort food. If you haven’t cooked with jackfruit before, you can think of it as a shredded chicken replacement. Canned jackfruit comes in medium-sized wedges so you have to tear them apart and take out any hard pieces or seeds. What you’re left with is something eerily similar to shredded chicken. I usually marinate the jackfruit overnight to make sure it’s super flavorful.

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Tendergreens’ The Happy Vegan Recipe

Tendergreens The Happy Vegan

Fortunately for us, vegan restaurants have been popping up all over the place lately. When I am craving something packed with flavor and nutrients, Tendergreens‘ The Happy Vegan is one of my go-to’s. There aren’t too many vegan options on the menu, but in this case, quality wins over quantity. The cool part about this dish is it’s unique ingredients, it features three different types of grains, green hummus (!), dried cranberries, hazelnuts, and a big pile of leafy greens, oh…and garlic bread! What more could you ask for?

Popsugar partnered with Tendergreens to bring us The Happy Vegan recipe. Unfortunately, the recipe is for servings of 8-12. Now, unless you’re prepping for a dinner party or you have a Full House style family situation, 8-12 servings is waayyyy too much. Being the fast-moving Aries that I am, I failed to realize this until my fridge was packed with four huge bowls of this stuff that I can’t possibly finish so I am going to tweak their recipe into smaller serving sizes. The good thing is that most of the tweaks can be made in regards to how much of each grain that you use so it’s not too involved. The photos below for each of the salads are for larger servings than the ones detailed in the recipes. You can tweak the grain amounts for each recipe but the veggies, oils and nut amounts can stay the same.

Disclaimer aside, the recipe is pretty spot on. If you boxed up my version and asked someone to point out the dupe or the real thing, they would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I advise splitting this recipe into two days, meaning make the quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, and green hummus the night before and store in the fridge. The next day, you will cook your beets and hazelnuts, chop your veggies, and make the green puree to go over the bulgur wheat. Your final mission will be to mix the veggies to their grains, toss together some ‘tender greens’ and toast your bread. This recipe can be an excellent meal prep and if you get bored of it, you can add in some tempeh bacon or roasted plantains, get creative!

Check out the recipe after the jump!

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Ways to Eat Your Greens Part 1

For many people, that picky child-eater still resides somewhere deep inside of us and for many Americans, pushing veggies to the side could be an Olympic sport. With a bit of practice and technique, you can master the art of cooking, creating and flavoring leafy greens.

Incorporating greens into my diet has been somewhat challenging at times. My go to is to just juice them or shove things into a blender and call it a day and I suspect that I am not alone in this. Did you know that there’s actually more than 300 different types of leafy greens? That’s A LOT of recipes to incorporate so I’m sharing with you my first installment of Different Ways to Eat Your Greens. I decided that this will be an on going series that I will do my best to update every month because we could all use more greens in our diets since they are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet.

For the first installment of Ways to Eat Your Greens, we have Vegan Pesto which can be used in a variety of different ways, Green Hummus which can also be multi-purpose, Collard Wraps, a Greens + Matcha Smoothie, and a Greek inspired Cabbage and Rice recipe. Enjoy!

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Vegan Pizza 4 Ways

In my four years of being vegan, I’ve had my share of mediocre pizzas. I’ve been subjected to slimy, greasy ‘cheese,’ paper-thin crusts, and even pined a little bit for the days of stuffed crust pizza. To put it plainly, I’ve been generally underwhelmed. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few vegan pizzas that hit spot over the years. Hard Times Pizza in Echo Park has a slammin’ pizza menu. The kind of vegan pizza that looks like incognito, authentic New York style pizza.

Very, very tasty.

Whole Foods’ salad bar area has fresh vegan pizza but, unfortunately, Whole Foods is in deep with the canola oil industry. They put that (expletive) in EVERYTHING. Nothing is sacred :/

Naturally, I wanted to take a crack at it myself. I came up with recipes for vegan pizzas 4 ways. I made Supreme Pizza using Gardein’s Beefless Ground for the ‘meat’. You can definitely sub out the ‘meat’ crumbles for quinoa taco meat if you’d rather go soy-free. You can find the quinoa taco meat recipe in my Vegan Tacos 4 Ways post.

I also made a Green Goddess Pizza, a White Garlic Pizza (my favorite) and of course good ol’ Cheese Pizza. Before we get into the recipes, I have to say that Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Mozzarella Cheese recipe was a key part of this process. I altered her recipe a tiny bit but I was super pleased with the outcome. I also borrowed her Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe so you can use that on a topping for your pizzas or pasta, salad, whatever you’d like. Click the ‘Read More’ button for the topping recipes and for vegan pizza 4 ways 🙂

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Vegan Air Fried Chicken

vegan air fried chicken

After three attempts, I finally cracked the code. I figured out how to make the best vegan air fried chicken ever, and it’s oil free.

Let’s start from the beginning…

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around air fryers, so I watched a few videos and perused a few blogs so that I could figure out my plan of attack. My first attempt was pitiful, a waste of cauliflower lol. My second attempt was a bit better, but I still wasn’t satisfied.

I got the idea to marinate the cauliflower beforehand (4 hours or overnight if possible) and I knew that this was going to be a game changer. I also separated the wet and the dry batter because, well…duh! I’m not sure what I was thinking when I combined the two, that was the super bland 1st attempt.

I bought my airfryer on Amazon. It’s generic, the instructions are in terrible English, and the box sat in my apartment just for two weeks just in case I hated it. Vegan fried chicken was my air fryer’s final exam and it passed with flying colors. It cost me $56 and you can purchase it here. Air fryers work by circulating air at extremely high temperatures in order to fry foods without using oil. Air frying uses 80% less fat than traditional frying and there’s less waste and easier cleanup.

The results were a-maze-ing! Marinating the cauliflower made the ‘meat’ so juicy and tender and it even pulled apart the way chicken tenders do. The aifryer perfectly crisped all sides of every piece. However, please, please, please make sure your shaking off-excess-batter skills are on point so you can avoid having random mushy pieces. Also, tongs! You will definitely want to use them for this recipe instead of getting thick, sticky batter all over your fingers. I will definitely be doing more airfryer recipes, so stay tuned!

Check out the final recipe below. I promise it will be the best you’ve ever tasted.

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Vegan Lunch Box – Back to School

 

Summer is packing its bags and getting ready for a vacay of its own. Fall is right around the corner and that means pumpkins and cobwebs line all the grocery stores and people are dusting off their Chelsea boots. But before we commit ourselves to all things spooky, one this has to happen first: going back to school. I’m sure most of you are aware, but in case you didn’t know: school lunches and childhood obesity are in a state of emergency. I wanted to showcase some kid-friendly back to school vegan lunch ideas that you can prepare instead of trusting your kid’s wellbeing to their school’s sketchy mystery meat.

Growing up in American public schools, I ate meat like most people. I ate the canned fruit covered in syrup, the cardboard crusted pizza, and the bland mashed potatoes on a flimsy styrofoam lunch tray like everyone else. Back then, I didn’t think it was anything other than normal, and sadly, I probably enjoyed some of the meals. Little did I know, that the styrofoam plate that my food was on probably had more nutritional value than the ‘food’ that was on it.

And therein lies one of the many cogs in the wheel of obesity and heart disease that rolls across the entire United States. Childhood obesity rates have remained at around 17 percent for the past decade. Approximately 14 percent of children (ages 2 to 5) enrolled in WIC were obese. Nearly one-third (31.3 percent) of children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. And 13.9 percent of high school students are obese (source). These statistics are from 2016, everyone.

Approximately 22 million children under 5 years of age are overweight across the world. In the United States, the number of overweight children and adolescents has doubled in the last two to three decades, and similar doubling rates are being observed worldwide (source).

But you know what? I can show you better than tell you how bleak it is.

back to school vegan lunch ideasback to school vegan lunch ideasback to school vegan lunch ideas

I feel like we need to take a moment of silence for those atrocious facts and those photos. These were taken at various schools throughout the U.S. So depressing.

If you’re not afraid to learn the truth about how schools in the U.S. torture kids in the lunch room, I’ve linked some great studies and articles below.

I say all of this to say that I decided to put together some vegan lunch box ideas for everyone from ages 1 to 92. Whether you’re packing up your lunch for school or for work, these are all fairly simple recipes that can be mixed and matched however you see fit. It may seem pretty bleak right now, but if we just take a little time to look after ourselves and each other, we can turn this ship around before it completely capsizes. If you stir up a desire and a passion for health inside yourself and support that desire with a solid foundation of general nutritional knowledge, you can change the entire trajectory of your health, your kid’s health, and the health of your kids’ kids.

Check out my recipes after the jump!

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Vegan Smores Skewers

Raiding the fridge and the pantry for any and all processed snacks was a rite of passage for many American children, myself included. Bagel Bites, Fruit Roll-Ups, Pop Tarts, Dunkaroos, Tang (!) I could go on and on. Basically, the best part of going to school for 8 hours a day was the opportunity to come home and eat yourself into a processed sugar food coma and watch TV.  until your parents came home and it was time to eat dinner.

Fortunately, I lived an active childhood so I was able to counteract the negative effects of eating my share of processed snacks. Children in this day and age that are so inundated with processed food and a lack of physical activity and sunlight, aren’t so lucky. In America, the rates of childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes in children has skyrocketed. Nowadays, kids eat a sugary breakfast before going to school, eat God knows what during their government mandated lunches, graze on processed sugars and trans fats with a blue light from their phone replacing sunlight once they get home, and then they proceed to eat even more processed food for dinner.

Very. Very. Bleak.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. With just a little bit of extra preparation on the parents’ part or even with some initiative taken by kids themselves, we can all craft way healthier after-school (or anytime) snack ideas. Check out my recipe below for vegan smores skewers that no one can mess up.

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