For nearly a year, we’ve been on an air frying kick. In fact, we have TWO air fryers, because we use them THAT much. From breakfast to dinner, there’s always a great time to put the air fryer to user. One of our favorite dishes to make involves air fried tofu!
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!
- 1pkg Gardein Crabless Cakes
- 1/2 c. Vegan Mayo
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 green onions (white & light green parts)
- 5-6 pickle chips, chopped
- 2T pickle juice
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- 1/4 t paprika or chipotle powder
- 1/4 t cracked black pepper
- 1/4c shredded carrots
- Salt to taste
- Make the Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes according to the package instructions
- 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.
- When the cakes are ready and cooled slightly, shred them with a fork or roughly chop. Remove mayo mixture from the refrigerator
- Fold in the crabless cake pieces and shredded carrots. Season with salt to taste
We love Mediterranean food. It’s what we each grew up eating A LOT. Being 1.5 Italian, there’s always a mix of Southern Italian, Sicilian and Middle Eastern flavors happening. So, we have to have essential ingredients on hand.
One of our favorite places to shop is Fattal’s in Paterson, New Jersey. It’s a Syrian grocery store, where we get some of our favorite spices, seeds, and treats. We also can grab a quick bite at their luncheonette for falafel and spinach pies. Of course, when we can’t make it out to Fattal’s, we have to recreate these dishes at home.
One of the things we love about the food is that it’s REAL FOOD! None of that fancy-shmancy inflated stuff. You get the real deal with simple dishes, full of flavor, culture and za’atar! Za’atar is one of the best spice blends on the planet.
What’s za’atar? It’s a combination of ground dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds and sea salt. Some add fennel seed or coriander to it.
Za’atar is amazing on plain flatbread with olive oil or on a spinach pie, which is made with spinach, shallots, spices and lemon juice on top of a delicious flatbread! While we make our own flatbread on a rare occasion, you can simply use store-bought, like Trader Joe’s pizza crust (which is more flatbread than pizza crust, if you ask us)
So, here’s our recipe for Spinach Za’atar Pie. Please give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments!
- 1 10 “-12” pizza crust
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 lb. of fresh spinach
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 T. za’atar spice blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T. flour (for dusting)
- Preheat the oven 450 degrees
- Place olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and shallots in the skillet and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes)
- Place the spinach in skillet. Add red pepper flakes, the juice of ½ lemon, salt, pepper, and cook until reduced (about 5 minutes)
- Remove spinach and place in a strainer. Squeeze out as much water out as possible
- Lightly dust a baking sheet and place the pizza crust on top
- Brush pizza crust with 1 T. of olive oil. Spoon the spinach on the crust making sure to leave about 1" edge for the crust. Evenly sprinkle the za’atar spice evenly on the pie
- Place pie in oven and cook until the crust is golden brown (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from oven and squeeze ½ of lemon juice over pie
- You can use homemade pizza dough. You can also use your favorite flatbread.
- Looking for store-bought? Trader Joe’s frozen crust is a good option.
Roasts are not just for special events or holidays. They can be a great dish that can spread across a couple of meals, especially if you’re in a smaller household like we are. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there’s no better time like now to plan for how to deal with those leftovers! We’ve got a plan in place to make you go #OMGardein, using the Gardein Holiday Roast!
The Gardein Holiday Roast is one of the best vegan roasts we’ve had, and it’s quick and easy to make! You can cook from frozen and all will be ready in about 60-75 minutes. The gravy packets only require steeping in hot water. Nothing more is needed, unless you want to do more.
What we really enjoy about the roast are the breadcrumb coating and the cranberry and wild rice stuffing. They really put the “holiday” in Gardein Holiday Roast. Not to mention, the roast itself is juicy and tender, which may seem odd for something made of soy protein and vital wheat gluten. There’s a lot of flavor in there! Yup, #OMGardein
Sorry, if you’re gluten-free, but Gardein does offer a number of gluten-free option in its line!
Gardein Holiday Roast nicely serves up to 8 and comes with 2 gravy packets! So, there may just be plenty for everyone to make your holiday compassionate and cruelty-free. If not, a second roast won’t hurt you. Compared to others on the market and the animal kinds, you can’t beat a price of around $14.99 for this roast!
If you’re lucky to have leftovers (or have a second roast on hand), we found a great way to enjoy them in a fun way…DIY Holiday Leftovers Sandwiches. This may seem like a lazy recipe, which it is, but who wants to put in any additional effort after a busy week or a massive family feast? So, here we go! It really is an anything goes type of creation!
- 8 sandwich rolls or 16 hearty slices of bread
- 1 Gardein Holiday Roast, cooked according to package
- 2 pkts. Gardein Holiday Roast gravy, prepped according to package
- 2 c. whipped sweet potatoes* (Carlo has one for you, if you want to try!)
- 1 c. your favorite cranberry sauce
- 1 c. greens
- 1 c. vegan mac & cheese
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/4 c. vegan butter
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. dried sage
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Toast your sandwich rolls or bread slices
- Slice Gardein Holiday Roast into 8 equal portions. Then slice each portion in half
- Assemble each sandwich as follow: 1/4 c. sweet potatoes, two slices of roast, spoonful(s) of gravy, cranberry sauce
- If adding other leftovers, be sure to add them before the cranberry sauce and top part of roll or slice of bread
- Enjoy, especially while in front of the TV in pajamas!
- Rinse potatoes and prick skin with a fork
- Microwave for approximately 7-10 minutes
- Push ends together of each potato to open them
- Scoop out the potato into medium bowl
- Add the remaining ingredients and whip with a fork or whisk until smooth
- You really can add anything you like to this. Carmella would highly recommend some mashed turnips. Carlo would throw in some spicy peppers (of course). Have fun!
- Playing with your food is always encouraged!
Hungry for that sandwich? Yeah, us too! #OMGardein!
Question: What’s your favorite way to enjoy the holidays…and the leftovers? Share with us in the comments!
Pizza Pillows? YES! They’re bigger than pockets and smaller than calzones. It’s our take on a Beggar’s Purse handheld meal featuring Gardein’s The Ultimate Beefless Ground!