Plant Based 411
American Heart(s of Palm) Health Month
By Nancy Eisman
Hearts a flutter, love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is on 2/14, and the entire month of February has been designated American Heart Health Month, an initiative to get people to engage in heart healthy lifestyles. When you incorporate more vegetables and fruits into an eating plan, you’re showing heart-healthy love for your family and friends.
So with hearts getting the attention they deserve this month I’ve chosen an ingredient to feature in a very tasty plant-based recipe (veganhuggs.com) – Melissa’s Hearts of Palm. Many of you know that jackfruit is a key item used to replicate shredded meats or fish in p-b dishes, but did you know that hearts of palm is another way to go?
When shredded and combined with flaked garbanzo beans, hearts of palm stands in for crab in a p-b dupe of the much loved crab cakes. With some old bay seasoning added for flavor, and panko breadcrumbs added for crunch, these plant-based crab cakes topped with a flavorful remoulade sauce are going to warm hearts from coast to coast.
Plant-Based “Crab” Cakes
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (reserve the liquid)
2 jars (14.8 oz. each) Melissa’s Hearts of Palm
6 tablespoons reserved garbanzo bean liquid
¼ cup veganaise (or another plant-based mayo)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce (preferably low sodium)
½ cup green onion, diced
green onion, minced for garnish
½ sheet nori (crushed)
1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
¾ -1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Additional panko for coating
¼ cup vegetable oil
Fresh lemon wedges
1 cup veganaise (or another plant-based mayo)
1/3 cup Creole or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons red hatch chile powder
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish,br>
1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
1 large garlic clove, minced and smashed
To make the remoulade, combine all the ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour to let the flavors blend.
To make the cakes, add the garbanzo beans and hearts of palm to a food processor. Pulse a few times just to shred to a crab consistency – do not over pulse! If you prefer, break up the beans and hearts with a fork manually. Set mixture aside.
In a mixing bowl combine the bean liquid with the mayo, lemon juice, tamari or soy, mustard, and the dry seasonings. Whisk to combine.
Add in the panko, green onion, crushed nori, and garbanzo & hearts of palm mixture, and gently fold to combine. Adjust seasoning. Place the bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes to help the mixture stay together.
Place some panko on a plate. Remove the mixture from the freezer. Choose the size you want your cakes and form balls of the mixture. Gently flatten the balls to a patty shape, coat each one with the panko and set them aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and then add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil sizzles add a patty one at a time making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Pan fry the cakes 3 ½ minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer the cakes to a paper towel lined plate. Clean out the pan and add fresh oil for the remaining cakes.
Serve immediately with the remoulade sauce, minced green onion and lemon wedges.
(Note: Like in all recipes, having the ingredients prepped ahead of time makes assembly and cooking so much easier.)