Spicy Crabless Salad with Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes! [Recipe & Product Review]

When your other half has a fish & seafood allergy that is so sensitive that he cannot deal with a “fish-like” smell from vegan fish, you know you’ve struck gold with a recipe he’ll sample without him making a face! That’s what happened when I made this Spicy Crabless Salad for a couple of take-to-work meals. 


Last year at Expo West (2015), we saw the debut of Gardein’s Mini Crabless Cakes. Carlo made such a face and refused to try a sample. This was no different than when I first tried Gardein’s Fishless Filets. Carlo said “no” to a sample. However, he was cool with me making them at home, because they didn’t “smell” like fish. So, would we have such luck with the Crabless Cakes?


I told Carlo to stay out of the kitchen while I preheated the oven. It was a “safety precaution” in case of “odor.” I baked the cakes according to the package (you get about 3 servings in a bag). As they were cooking, I shouted to Carlo “Can you smell them?!?!” He said “I smell something, but they don’t smell like fish!” I jumped for joy.

As I began making my crabless salad, Carlo came into the kitchen and said “That actually smells pretty good and not like fish.” I told him what I put in the salad, especially the mayo mixture. He watched me shred the cakes and fold them into the mix. As I got a bowl of greens set, he said “I’ll try a little.” So, I gave him a teaspoon. His response “The mayo’s good and I taste the lime.”


With that friends, I can say there was “Success!” Will Carlo go out of his way to eat the cakes? No, because he really can’t get beyond the whole vegan fish and seafood thing. However, he didn’t mind me eating it in front of him and I’ll take that.


What about my take? I love the cakes. They’re flaky, full of flavor with a mild bite of spice (but we like to amp it up here) The cakes are so easy to make. They’re great for parties, but you honestly can make them whenever. If you want a no fuss meal, like my Spicy Crabless Salad, then Gardein’s Mini Crabless Cakes are the way to go.

Here’s my salad recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

Spicy Crabless Salad
You don't have to wait for a party to have Gardein's Mini Crabless Cakes. Making this salad to spoon over greens or stuffed in a pita is perfect!
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  1. 1pkg Gardein Crabless Cakes
  2. 1/2 c. Vegan Mayo
  3. Juice of 1 lime
  4. 2 green onions (white & light green parts)
  5. 5-6 pickle chips, chopped
  6. 2T pickle juice
  7. 1/4 t garlic powder
  8. 1/4 t paprika or chipotle powder
  9. 1/4 t cracked black pepper
  10. 1/4c shredded carrots
  11. Salt to taste
  1. Make the Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes according to the package instructions
  2. While the cakes bake in the oven, prepare your spicy mayo sauce in a large bowl by mixing the mayo, green onions, pickles, pickle juice, lime juice and spices together. Set aside in the fridge.
  3. When the cakes are ready and cooled slightly, shred them with a fork or roughly chop. Remove mayo mixture from the refrigerator
  4. Fold in the crabless cake pieces and shredded carrots. Season with salt to taste
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/

#TacoMonday: Taco Soup?


We’re going to be completely honest here. Tonight’s dish was an unplanned surprise. We originally set out to make yummy salad taco, BUT…that didn’t happen. Instead, we ended up making a taco soup, sort of. What made us change gears was the fact that the intended dressing, was too watery to use atop the salad filling. So, instead of wasting the dressing, we used our faithful Vitamix and blended it for several minutes until it yielded a pretty good take on a fresh soup.


So what was in the dressing-turned-soup-base? It had a block of silken tofu, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, cilantro, tomato paste, chipotle spice, black pepper and agave nectar. To add a little cheesiness, nutritional yeast made for a nice touch. All the ingredients were whipped up in 6 minutes in our Vitamix!


Plopping refried beans, tomatoes, salsa, shredded carrot, lettuce with a garnish of hot sauce and cilantro made the dish easy on the eyes and pleasant in our tummies. This isn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last time that a recipe went awry and needed saving. But, as other with other ad-hoc dinners, we were pretty happy with the results.  If you’re interested in the recipe, we don’t have one, as this was a true whip-up. 

#TacoMonday: How We Made Tacos with Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites [Review + Recipe]

#OMGardein: Want to try? Click here to get a $1.00 coupon for Gardein!

It’s our third #TacoMonday! This week, we wanted to switch things up a bit going for carnitas-style tacos. We just so happened to have Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites in the freezer! Ready to know more? Let’s go! Read more

Trader Giotto’s Organic Riced Cauliflower [Review + Recipe]

riced cauliflower from trader joe's
Photo Credit: TraderJoes.com

Have you heard about Trader Giotto’s Organic Riced Cauliflower? NO?!?!?! This has to be one of the best, if not THE BEST, products to come from Trader Joe’s to date. It’s so hot right now that some locations are having trouble keeping it in stock. In fact, we learned that one store has a “wait list” and another had to set a limit on the number of units purchased. 

Why is this product so popular? Well…a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s $1.99 per 12oz bag
  2. It’s organic…and $1.99 per bag (had to repeat that)
  3. It comes from Italy, hence it’s called Trader Giotto’s, not Trader Joe’s
  4. It’s a rice made from cauliflower, making it a grain-free alternative
  5. Cauliflower is the “IT” vegetable right now (Google “cauliflower!”)

Now, this isn’t a new product. We first saw the riced cauliflower hit stores last summer, but the buzz now that they’re back in stores is amazing. 


What’s great about the organic riced cauliflower is that it has the texture and flavor plain cooked rice. Therefore, you can add whatever you want to it. Another plus is that the cauliflower isn’t waterlogged. Ricing, then freezing, seems to help keep the cauliflower from getting mushy while it cooks. It stays fluffy when cooking straight from frozen. It can made into a nice risotto with the right ingredients. 

So, how have we prepared the riced cauliflower? We’ve used it in rice bowls, but we’ve just found a brand new way to use it…TACO (or burrito) FILLING! YES!


Here’s our recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower & Chickpea Tacos. We’re even including Carlo’s latest Buffalo sauce recipe that he created just for this dish! Give it all a whirl and let us know what ways you’d work cauliflower rice into a meal!

Buffalo Cauliflower Rice & Chickpea Tacos
Serves 3
Organic Riced Cauliflower with Buffalo sauce in a tortilla? YUMMMMMMMMM!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
For the Carlo's "Mild" Buffalo Sauce
  1. 1 c. Frank's Red Hot (or your favorite hot sauce)
  2. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 T. tomato paste
  5. 1 t. agave nectar
  6. 1 t. cumin
  7. 1 t. onion powder
  8. 1 t. paprika
For the tacos
  1. 1/2 yellow onion
  2. 1 12oz pkg Trader Giotto's Organic Riced Cauliflower (or 2 c. of homemade riced cauliflower)
  3. 1 c. Buffalo sauce (see recipe)
  4. 1 15oz. can chickpeas
  5. Juice of 1 lime
  6. Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  7. 8-10 small to medium corn tortillas
  1. 1/2 avocado mashed
  2. 1/2 c. salsa
  3. Chopped celery and shredded carrots for garnish
  4. Your favorite vegan bleu cheese or ranch dressing, optional
  1. Make the Buffalo sauce by combining all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until thickened
  2. While sauce is cooking, add onions to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until softened and slightly browned
  3. Add riced cauliflower and stir with onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes before pouring in the Buffalo sauce
  4. Stir in chickpeas and lime juice and cook for additional 3-5 minutes
  5. Fill tortillas evenly with cauliflower rice mixture, add favorite toppings and serve
  1. Can't find cauliflower rice? Minimalist Baker has a great step-by-step recipe to make your own cauliflower rice. Check it out: http://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-cauliflower-rice/
  2. You can also make this filling for burritos. Oh so good!
  3. BTW, "Mild" is subjective. Carlo can eat ghost peppers.
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/

#TacoMonday: Loaded Smoky Tempeh Slaw Tacos [Recipe]

It’s another #TacoMonday, friends! Time for us to share a yummy recipe, using one of our favorite proteins, TEMPEH! We wanted to have a little fun while making a filling meal to “work for!” That’s what went into our recipe for Loaded Smoky Tempeh Slaw Tacos.


Tempeh’s one of those ingredients that can be tricky for some. If you caught our 7 for $30 Trader Joe’s challenge, you may have read where we called out NOT to eat tempeh straight from the package. Well, that’s because tempeh on its own can be rather bitter. Sure, there are flavored, ready-made tempeh products on the market, and you can work with those. However, we like to start out plain and putting our own flavor twist together, for which we steam our tempeh before including in a recipe.


We like making our own spice blends. When it comes to tacos, we find many are high in sodium. So, we try to scale back on that by putting a mix together ourselves. For this recipe, we used chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, paprika among others. Yeah, we went really smoky with this one, especially when you see we added liquid smoke to boot! That’s just how we roll.

The best tacos really are made with both flavor and texture in mind, in our opinion. The slaw with lime juice adds a citrus CRUNCH. The mashed avocado complements the smoky tempeh. The salsa just brightens things up all the more. You can’t go wrong with that, right?


You know what else you can’t go wrong with? Turning this dish into a salad. Taco salads are great. They’re just like an inside-out taco with more veggies! Your lime slaw can become the base, topped with the tempeh mixture, salsa, avocado and anything else you like to add. Of course, tortilla chips too!

One of my NEW favorite ways to make tortilla chips and strips comes from the “Clean out the Fridge” Soup we made from Spoon University. No fry. No bake. Microwave the tortillas for 2 minutes and it’s all good!


Here’s the recipe below! Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments! Also tell us how you like to make your tempeh!

Loaded Smoky Tempeh Slaw Tacos
Serves 4
Using tempeh as the taco "meat" with homemade spice blend makes for a delicious dish. Then adding crunch with a slaw with your favorite toppings just brings it to another level
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
For the spice blend
  1. 1 T. chili powder
  2. 1 t. chipotle powder
  3. 1/4 t. cumin
  4. 1/4 t. garlic powder
  5. 1/4 t. onion powder
  6. 1/4 t. paprika
  7. 1/4 t. cracked black pepper
For the taco filling
  1. 1 8oz. pkg tempeh
  2. 1 T. olive oil (optional)
  3. 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  4. 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  5. 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  6. 3 T. tomato paste
  7. 1/2 c. water
  8. 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke
  9. For the slaw
  10. 1 lime
  11. 2 c. slaw mix (ex. cole or kale-sprout - see notes)
To assemble the tacos
  1. 6-8 corn tortillas
  2. 1/2 c. salsa
  3. 1/2 avocado, mashed
  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the spice blend. Set aside.
  2. Using a steamer or double-boiler, steam tempeh for 25-30 minutes. When ready, remove from steamer and roughly chop the tempeh
  3. Heat a cast-iron pan over a medium-high flame. If using oil, add to the warm pan. Then, add garlic, onions and peppers. Saute for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the chopped tempeh and sprinkle the spice blend. Cook for another 5 minutes
  5. In a small bowl, mix together tomato paste, water and liquid smoke. Pour it over the tempeh and cook for another 5 minutes until liquid has reduced. (Tempeh will begin to break down and resemble taco meat)
  6. While tempeh cooks, add slaw mix to a medium bowl, and squeeze the juice of the lime over it. Give toss the slaw
  7. In a warm skillet, heat your tortillas 1-2 minutes on each side to make them more pliable
  8. Assemble your tacos, filling with the tempeh mixture, salsa, mashed avocado and the slaw
  1. *For the slaw, you have options from cole slaw to carrot slaw. For this recipe, we like to use Trader Joe's Kale & Brussels sprout slaw, not using the dressing, sunflower seeds or cranberries that come with it
  2. Note: The dressing with the Trader Joe's slaw is NOT vegan and does NOT come in contact with the slaw
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/