Last year before Vegan MoFo began, I started turning my gears, wondering what I’d do for a theme. During my brainstorming I thought about Jeff Foxworthy’s stand-up routine around rednecks. If you’re not familiar with it, he does a whole series of jokes about goofy, backwards things and says that if you do any of those, you might just be a redneck. I thought about how all lifestyles involve certain idiosyncrasies. As ideas came to me, I started jotting them down. If you ______, you just might be a vegan. As the idea transformed, I decided to do a silent film-style series in black and white with various unconventional ways to suss out a vegan. As we brainstormed, my husband and I left a sheet of paper on the table for weeks, and whenever inspiration would strike, we’d jot down little notes.
(This is one of the videos from last fall. It seems that people either really get it or they absolutely don’t.)
Well, I had reason to look for that paper the other day when Susan Voisin over at Fat Free Vegan posted her recipe for vegan crab cakes. As I scanned the ingredient list, which includes canned jackfruit, tofu, nutritional yeast, and turmeric, I instantly thought, “Great, I have all of those things on hand.” People, if your kitchen staples include canned jackfruit, tofu, nutritional yeast, and turmeric… You just might be a vegan.
I love vegan crab cakes. Any excuse to use Old Bay Seasoning is a winner with me. I like to think of those crisp little cakes as an Old Bay Seasoning delivery service. There’s something about that bite of celery seed that comes to life in the mouth in the most satisfying way. I’ve actually had get togethers centered around vegan crab cakes, in which guests had to figure out which cookbook author created the recipe for which cake. That being said, while I’ve made crab cakes with zucchini, tempeh, tofu, and now jackfruit, I’ve never made them with the body of a crab… And you know what that means. I just might be a vegan.
Susan gives two options with the crab cakes of either using tofu or white beans. I went with the tofu, because like I said, that’s what I had on hand. The cakes are baked instead of fried, and have a delightful crisp crunch. I omitted the arame, because I’m not into that flavor of the sea. While I was making my last cake, I only had about ¼ cup of the burger mixture left, and so I made one small cake. I actually enjoyed that cake the most, since it was pleasantly appetizer sized. It was just a few bites, and was a bit firmer than the rest of the cakes.
For two people this makes quite a lot, and so we were eating them for a few days. However, they reheated well, and the flavor actually improved as time passed and the flavors melded. We definitely enjoyed them and will be making them again. They would be an excellent choice for a dinner party appetizer or even just a casual game night. Since the cakes bake for 40 minutes, you could slip them into the oven when guests arrive. By the time everyone is settled in and has a drink, it would be time to serve the appetizers.
In case you’re wondering if there are any more ways to figure out if or if not you’re vegan, here are a few:
If your neighbor stops by and wants to borrow a cup of flour, and you offer up teff, rice, vital wheat gluten, all-purpose, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, and besan, you just might be a vegan.
If your cat’s favorite treats are mushrooms, squash, asparagus, nutritional yeast, and coconut milk ice cream, you just might be a vegan.
If you have plenty to eat at potlucks because people are kind of afraid of the food you bring (even if it’s just fresh fruit or chips and salsa), you just might be a vegan.
If hummus is a delightfully appropriate food choice for dinner, lunch, snacks, and breakfast, you just might be a vegan.