*Screaming in my best Sloth voice ‘HEY you guuuuys! Summer is here! This recipe is part of my Summer Eats series. It’s hot as hell out here and we’re trying to look good on the beach or at the pool so I figured it was best to lighten up my eats. #Summer17 will be epic! I can just feel it in my bones, I’m still on my summer tour which started in early June, I’ve been up and down the east coast and cruising ’round the dirty south. I’m thinking about doing a few restaurant reviews let me know if that’s something you guys would like to see, but for now, let’s eat!
Today’s dish is brought to you by the letter Z. And this time around the main Z is Zucchini (courgettes for my loves across the pond). Behind the burgeonning food scene on St.Croix are the farmers and fishermen who support them. They work hand in hand to provide the freshest, organic, non-GMO produce and meat, as well as seafood to the territory. I try to have an idea or a meal plan for the week when I’m home but most times I just play it by ear and see what’s fresh at the farmers market, and this time around it just happened to be zucchini. I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found Allrecipes ages ago. I love crab cakes, their one of my favorite foodie things, but due to my mom’s food allergies, she can’t eat them. I felt so bad once when I made them and she said that they smelled so good and it sucks that she can’t even taste it. Shortly thereafter I found this recipe that basically takes out the crab and subs in zucchini instead. I took it one step further and made this dish entirely vegan as well. Why do you ask? Because everything in moderation, that’s why. And as much as I love rich, decadent dishes, deep fried, slathered in cheese and other deliciousness there needs to be balance. We can’t go there all the time. And although I’m not a vegan (and probably will never be full-time) I love good food no matter what form it comes in. I also thought it would be great to share this with my vegan foodie followers and it features local ingredients and some freshly snipped green onions from our garden, so here you go ladies and gents.
1 large zucchini (about 1 pound)
½ onion diced, I prefer sweet onions but use whatever works for you
2 stalks celery, finely diced
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
½ red bell pepper, diced
3 local seasoning peppers, diced (if not available just omit or substitute sweet peppers, it should be about two heaping tablespoons full)
1 tablespoon soaked chia seeds
3 tablespoons veganaise
1 tablespoon brown mustard
2-3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
Oil for frying
1. In a small frying pan add onion, celery, and peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. In mixing bowl, grate zucchini, you should have about 2 to 2 ½ cups.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
4. Shape into patties and lay on plate or tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Remove cakes from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
6. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed frying pan. Add cakes, making sure not to crowd the pan, fry until golden brown on both sides.
7. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
8. Serve with roasted red pepper sauce.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 whole red bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dash (or several) pepper sauce
½ cup veganaise
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1. Rub ½ tablespoon olive oil onto red bell pepper, turn the stove on, using tongs hold bell pepper over open flame until skin becomes charred and blistered, set aside to cool, then peel char off.
2. Combine all ingredients, except for salt and pepper, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Refrigerate until ready to use.
If you get a chance to try it let me know and make sure to use #ahirokoeats so I can find you!