Tag Archives: Vegan Crab Cakes

Scott & the Not-Crabby Cakes

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Over a lifetime, there are few forever friends. I’m lucky to have Leslie as one of mine. During the 20+ years we have known each other, we’ve seen much of life’s roller coaster. College, jobs homes, pets, parents. And of course, there are the guys who were part of our lives .

For Leslie, THE guy was Scott. They knew each other in high school, but the sparks didn’t happen until later, in their thirties. When I met Scott, he and Leslie recently reconnected. The group of us went to a  former Miami hot spot called BED. (Yes, you ate in a bed – it was in South Beach, of course. It’s now closed.) Scott was from Baltimore and what struck me about him wasn’t his fast, witty sense of humor or encyclopedic knowledge of all things sports & politics, though that was impressive. It was how Leslie was with him. She was happy, she was herself – and more than ever.

Leslie and Scott

Leslie and Scott, 2009 in West Palm Beach FL

After you’ve loved a friend for decades, you want so much for her. No…you demand more for her. Not just any guy was going to be acceptable for Leslie, at least not to me. He needed to do more than impress her or adore her, the right guy needed to meet her on her intellectual level, to understand and support her hectic career, really get her quirks – and love them more than me. Honestly, this was the top of my list; there were more criteria. And Scott surpassed them all.

Leslie and Scott Wedding 1

Leslie and Scott at their wedding at The Colony Hotel in FL

Last July 29 the unthinkable happened. I remember with total clarity. Nathaniel walked into our room at the B&B in New York, we were on our annual Watkins Glen trip. He told me Scott died overnight. At first I thought he was wrong, or confused. Scott was only 44! Scott and Leslie had a little boy! No, this was a mistake. Simply not true. Except that Nathaniel spoke true. Scott passed in the night, quite suddenly, in their home in Lake Worth, Florida. I sat on the edge of the bed and cried, then tried to compose myself before reaching out to Leslie.

When you love someone, you become wrapped up in their happiness. You invest in seeing their dreams come true and watching them live their way into fulfillment. It’s more than “wanting the best” for them. You want to see them live long and full. You never entertain that anything less will happen.  So it was for me with Leslie. Scott became a huge part of her world in the five years they were married.  Scott wove into her dreams of everyday life – little things like trips to the grocery store, and big ones, like trips to Maryland with family. Leslie’s heart grew because of Scott’s love. And I loved her all the more for it.

Leslie and Scott fun

Leslie and Scott being silly at Havana Hideout

Today, a year has passed since Scott died. I don’t have the words to really mark this anniversary. Sometimes the acknowledgment that time has passed is what matters, and I believe that to be the case. Nothing I write can replace the time Leslie and their son won’t share with him. No phrase or words will ever pluck out the pain…

A true Baltimore guy, Scott’s fave food was crab cakes. In his honor, we made a vegan version of the recipe. If he were here, I have no doubt he’d try it. He was always game to try new things and whatever project someone was attempting, Scott cheered them on. I loved that about him. The supportive, optimistic outlook.

Leslie, you are in my heart forever. We are thinking of you…

crabbycakes_lrNot-Crabby Cakes, in memory of Scott

2 zucchini, shredded and drained

1 16-oz. can artichokes, drained and shredded

1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (we used Metropolitan Gourmet Gluten-Free)

1/4 cup flax seed meal

3 Tbs. lemon juice (about one lemon)

2 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning

1 Tbs. parsley, dried

3 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce (such as Wizard’s or Annie’s Naturals)

pinch dulse flakes

salt & pepper, to taste

 

Using a food processor fitted with a grating blade, shred two zucchini. Alternatively, grate zucchini by hand using a traditional box grater. Using a standard blade, pulse drained artichoke in a food processor three or four times, until the stems are broken down, but the petals aren’t pureed. Alternatively, roughly chop artichokes by hand, until there are uneven size pieces, but nothing is too large for a patty.

Place zucchini shreds and shredded artichokes into a colander over the sink, press down and allow to drain thoroughly, about 30 minutes. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. Preheat oven to 375F.

While veggies drain, add 1 cup breadcrumbs, flax seed meal, lemon juice, Old Bay, parsley, dijon mustard, garlic powder, vegan Worchestershire and dulse flakes to a mixing bowl. Combine, then add drained zucchini and artichokes. If mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs. If too dry, add a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Allow mixture to rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the fridge. It will take a little time for the flax meal to create a strong bind.

Form into patties, 6 to 9, depending on size desired. Smaller cakes will hold together better. Pack cakes together tightly.

Lightly coat with remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Place patties on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then flip to other side. Bake an additional 15 minutes, until sides are crisp and patties are hot throughout. Alternatively, these Not-Crabby Cakes can be pan-fried in a little oil for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Serve hot – with vegan dipping sauce (ours is vegan mayo with a little mustard and relish stirred in, like tartar sauce).

 

Scott

We miss you Scott… thank you for taking such excellent care of my Leslie!

Vegan Cooking Class, July 8th in Baltimore

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Join Baltimore Vegan Drinks for the second in their “Cooking with Booze” class series and prepare to be wowed by Chef John Shields from Gertrude’s at the BMA. His lesson will include Pea Tendril Pesto with Roasted Heirloom Tomato Polenta Bites, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Crab Crab Cakes” & Three Mustard Sauce, Lemon Tarts and Baltimore-style Peach Cake.

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In the Baltimore area, Chef Shields and Gertrude’s are known for their ability to please every palate – including vegans! Their regular menu includes multiple vegan offerings daily and during weekend brunch events. The zucchini “crab” cakes  (above) are the stuff in legends in both veggie and omnivore circles alike.

Class attendees will be treated to tastings of these dishes and copies of the recipes, as well as other vegan fare and bonus recipes! Local wines will be featured for tasting and as an ingredient. Door prizes will also be part of the event, including aprons and vegan cookbooks – the prizes are a Baltimore Vegan Drinks tradition!

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Pre-registration is required and ticketing will close on Monday  July 7th. For tickets, visit http://www.bmorevegan.com/events Tickets for this event are $45.00 per person. This is a STEAL for the expertise of Chef John Shields!!!! Did you know that he has published THREE cookbooks and has more on the way? And he has had TWO nationally broadcasted cooking shows on PBS? Top notch, folks!

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The cooking class will be presented on Tuesday July 8th from 7pm to 9pm. Local Color Flowers will host the class at their studio, located at 3100 Brentwood Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218.