I grew up in Maryland, and in Maryland, we went crabbing and we ate crabcakes. Real crabcakes—not the sad, mostly-breaded attempts I see at even the finest restaurants out here in the Midwest. Where I’m from, crabcakes are meaty, creamy, flavorful and have a delicate balance of spice and crunch that only come with key ingredients like Old Bay seasoning and a restrained hint of breadcrumbs.
I established a challenging mission for myself last week. Create a delicious, texturally-accurate, crab-free, dairy-free, gluten- and wheat-free Chesapeake Bay-style un-crab cake that would make a true Marylander lift an eyebrow in disbelief. Wow, that’s a mouthful. Well, mission accomplished.
Makes: 3-4 cakes | Preparation Time: 45 mins
3 cups organic zucchini, grated
2 cup organic yellow squash, grated
1/2 cup organic sweet potato, grated
1 green onion, chopped
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
3 tsp finely chopped organic red pepper
1 tbsp fresh organic lemon juice
1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/2 cup pure water
3 tbsp of garbanzo flour (can substitute garbanzo fava flour)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Celtic or pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp gluten-free, soy-free coconut aminos (you can use tamari or nama shoyu if gluten or soy aren’t a concern)
Cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil for skillet
Let’s Get Started:
Wash and grate your zucchini, yellow squash and sweet potato.
Chop your red pepper and green onion.
In a blender, toss in your cashews, water, garbanzo flour, apple cider vinegar and salt. Blend until super creamy. In a large bowl place your squash, zucchini, sweet potato, pepper and onion. Add the remaining ingredients and your cashew mixture. Carefully fold together until well mixed.
Heat a skillet over low-medium heat, add coconut oil and evenly coat bottom of pan. Sprinkle a pinch of Garbanzo flour into the pan where you will be spooning on a veggie cake. This creates that delicate crunch that is oh-so tasty. Using 3-4 spoonfuls of your veggie cake mix, create a cake on top of your sprinkle. Repeat until you have 3-4 cakes in your pan. Sprinkle garbanzo flour on top of all cakes.
Now, since we aren’t using eggs to bind the cakes, we have to be patient. Let each cake slowly brown in your pan for about 15-20 minutes on each side. Flip carefully by sneaking the spatula entirely under each cake before flipping. Once cakes are browned on both sides, you can turn up the heat a bit to brown further if you like. The slow browning on both sides binds the cakes very well.
Make a nice salad or grill some asparagus to pair with your cakes. Serve with a wedge of lemon, or change it up with a wedge of lime and enjoy the taste of the Chesapeake Bay!