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Heavenly Hearts-of-Palm Style Crab Cakes

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Next week, I am hosting a holiday party so I want my guests to be looking forward to eating delicious healthy food rather than hogs in a blanket, meatballs or cheese on crackers. I get so bored with so many of the typical healthy o’dourves you see. One can only eat so many avocado slices on rice crackers before you would start to think healthy eating is for the birds. So I started digging through all my favorite cookbooks and committed to spending the next week experimenting with some of these recipes before serving them to my guests.

This recipe for vegan crab cakes from Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen blew me out of the water. My fiancé, who eats very healthy but tends to roll his eyes at some of my stranger recipes (and trust me, this one looks very strange) loved them so much he keeps reminding me that I can make them again whenever I want.

I can genuinely say these “crab” cakes, made from hearts-of-palm, are better than any real crab cake I’ve ever eaten. And while the remoulade sauce is also delicious, the cakes are so packed with flavor you don’t even really need it.

Hearts-of-palm are packed with Vitamin A, folate, iron, phosphorus and zinc. This recipe also boasts a dose of nori, which is chock-full of Vitamin A, B12, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, iron and stimulates the metabolism.

I am so excited for you to try this recipe and I hope you consider making it at your holiday party. I promise the recipe is not as complicated as it appears. Let me know what you think- I bet you can’t find a crab cake better!

(Image from Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen)

Reemoulade

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1 tbsp ketchup
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1 tsp. hot sauce
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¼ tsp. sea salt
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2 tsp. capers minced
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2 tsp. shallot minced
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1 tsp. parsley fresh minced
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2 tsp. red bell pepper minced

Prepare Rémoulade: Place all rémoulade ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Set aside or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Grind the nori using a spice grinder or a coffee grinder that you use exclusively for spices. Break the nori into pieces, place it in the grinder, and pulse until powdered. Alternatively, crumble it as finely as you can with your hands or pulverize it with a mortar and pestle.

Drain the hearts of palm and press in a towel to dry them. In a food processor, pulse gently until it looks like the consistency of crabmeat.

Place a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, onion, bell pepper, Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, nori flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, arrowroot or cornstarch, and salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Scoop with an ice cream scoop or a large tablespoon to portion into small cakes. Combine breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Coat the small cakes with breadcrumbs. Form and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.

Cook Crab Cakes: Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add some canola oil and heat for 2 minutes. Working in batches, sauté the cakes (make certain that the oil comes about half- way up the sides of the cakes) until browned on both sides and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Remove the cakes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a warm oven (200°F) until you finish all of the cakes.

Serve: Place the cakes on a plate and garnish with Rémoulade.

Crab Cakes

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1 sheet nori or 2 teaspoons toasted nori flakes
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½ cup canola oil more if needed (alternative: reduce to 1/4 cup oil if using small sauté pan)
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¼ cup red onion finely diced
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¼ cup red bell pepper finely diced
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3 tbsp vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
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2 tsp. arrowroot or cornstarch

Prepare Crab Cakes: Toast nori sheet by holding it with tongs and fanning it over a low gas flame or electric burner. Be careful not to let it burn. Turn the sheet frequently, so that it toasts evenly.

CHEF:

Elissa Goodman

Holistic Nutritionist & Lifestyle Cleanse Expert, Los Angeles

Elissa Goodman

After being diagnosed with cancer when she was 32, Elissa Goodman explored holistic alternatives and combined them with traditional treatments and was able to beat the disease. Her husband wasn’t as fortunate; he succumbed to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was only 45 after a regimen of doctor-prescribed chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants. Her personal experience led her to realize the many ways in which nutrition and lifestyle affect our ability to deal with health challenges.

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