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: 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/

Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Ice Cream (Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert) [Product Review]


Our trip to Burlington, VT brought us to Ben & Jerry’s corporate offices and factory to see first-hand the process of creating ice cream. With the launch of their new vegan ice cream (non-dairy frozen dessert) line, Ben & Jerry’s invited us to try all 4 flavors on site! Of course, we were happy to oblige.

Note: Ben & Jerry’s cannot call their product “ice cream.” The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) in the U.S. defines ice cream as a product that contains a certain amount of (dairy) milkfat, of which you’ll find ZERO in this line. Therefore, it’s called non-dairy frozen dessert. But for the purposes of this blog post and because we want to, we’re calling it ICE CREAM.

With the launch of their vegan ice cream, Ben & Jerry released 4 flavors: 2 new and 2 familiar favorites. All are made with an almond milk base. Why almond milk, considering the number of nut allergens there are. Well, first of all, Ben & Jerry’s is not a nut-free facility. Many of their products already contain nuts. Secondly, in research & development over a 3-year period, Ben & Jerry’s found the greatest success in using almond milk because it had a neutral flavor and texture. If you were familiar with Ben & Jerry’s in your pre-vegan days, then you know that flavors and textures are bold in their products, meaning they have to be the right consistency to support the mix-in ingredients and the flavors need to be fully represented and not convoluted by the base.

As you can tell, we learned A LOT during our trip.

So, let’s get down to it. What did we love? What did we like? What did we shrug off? Here’s our review in order of Awesome to Ugh.


PB & Cookies. This is a special flavor just for the non-dairy line!

If an ice cream flavor could give you LIFE, it’s this one! It was hands-down the best of the log.  Vanilla-flavord almond milk ice cream with a crunchy peanut butter swirl was AHHHMAZING! Then those chocolate creme sandwich cookies that flipped the concept of Cookies & Cream on its head. You didn’t get little itty bits of cookie, you got full-on cookie to bite into. 


The ice cream itself was rich and somewhat creamy. Its slight lack in creaminess supported the cookie, which otherwise would have been lost. We were both very happy with this!


Coffee Caramel Fudge. Another special flavor for the non-dairy line!

Carlo LURVES coffee in all its forms. Me? I’m not so much of a coffee ice cream fan. It’s all about when the mood hits. However, the Caramel Coffee Fudge surprised me A LOT! It was the creamiest of the bunch. If you like caramel macchiatos, then you’ll definitely love this. Then to mix in those fudge chunks? Wow!!


So, what was missing from this one to not make it #1? Well, it could have used a bit more caramel and a bit more fudge. Carlo said it was “just right,” but he also felt PB & Cookies was better between the two.



Chunky Monkey. I was really excited about this being a vegan flavor. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed. The banana ice cream at first tasted great. Then it got a little chemically for me and was the least creamy.


I did like banana ice cream in the past (not NICE cream – I’m talking pre-vegan days). However, something seemed slightly not quite there for me with this one. I don’t know if it was the almonds and walnuts together. I think this one would have done better with a coconut base. 


Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Oddly enough, the classics didn’t fare as well in their vegan form.  The team at Ben & Jerry’s certainly acknowledged that the chocolate ice cream in the Chocolate Fudge Brownie needed some work. I have to say, as a chocolate lover, I do not chocolate almond milk ice cream. I’ve not liked it with other brands either. I find it gets really chalky with a strange after taste. The chocolate in coconut base would have done well in my opinion. 


However, there is a redeeming quality about the Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and it’s the brownie! Those chunks are HUGE and have to be eaten on their own to taste how amazing they are (perfectly dense yet moist). Even though they were made for the Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor, those brownies could star in any ice cream base! We’ll have a fuller review on Greyston Bakery coming soon! 

Wondering if the ice cream is certified vegan? It is certified by Vegan Action, as well as the vegan brownies by Greyston Bakery!


Have you tried the new Ben & Jerry’s flavors? Which one do you like? Tell us in the comments!

Not sure where to get it, check out Ben & Jerry’s website at http://benandjerrys.com/non-dairy.

What Would Carlo Eat? Episode 9: Kite Hill Yogurt [Product Review]


Since the Spring, we’ve been grieving the loss of my beloved vegan yogurt, WholeSoy. we’ve lamented its dissolution, as have our cat kiddos who loved the tang and creaminess of that soy yogurt goodness. When we heard that Kite Hill was coming out with a line of almond-based yogurts, we didn’t know what to expect. We’ve not had the best luck with most non-dairy yogurts, soy, almond, coconut alike. However, as you know, Carlo’s up for trying all things vegan. 

Last week, while grabbing lunch, Carm found the Kite Hill line of yogurt at Whole Foods in Paramus, NJ. Of course, that find would become an episode of “What Would Carlo Eat?” Without further ado, we present you with Episode 9! Let’s see how this  yogurt measures up!

Kite Hill is the artisanal almond-based dairy-free “creamery” launched by famed vegan chef, Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in Los Angeles. This start-up is one of a few plant-based companies changing the way we view how we get our protein. From ricotta to cream cheese, Kite Hill has been delivering dairy-free alternatives, using a cultured almond base! 

To add to what we shared in the video, we love how Kite Hill is packaging the yogurt with a strong message of compassion, sustainability and transparency. In fact, if you tear along the side of the label, you’ll find some great notes on the inside of it! And you can see the yogurt in its blended glory through a clear recyclable cup! Their mission and vision is right there with the yogurt. That’s something I can truly stand behind.  

Question: Have you tried Kite Hill yogurt yet? What do you think? Is it your fave? Share in the comments!

What would you like to see Carlo try next? Drop him a line!

Missed last week’s episode? Check it out here!

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