Monday, August 27, 2012

Got Zucchini? Make These Vegan Zucchini Cakes with Spicy Cream Sauce!

Ah, the end of summer... Cooler days, back-to-school shopping, and... zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. In fact, we here in North Central Washington resort to extra security measures to ensure our unattended cars and homes don't get filled with squash by desperate farmers, looking to unload a surplus of the stuff.

So, around this time of the year, Sexy Vegan Mama's refrigerator is overflowing with ripe zucchinis, and she's either scouring cookbooks for recipes, sneaking the stuff into the kids' lunches, or crashing around the kitchen like a mad scientist, creating new recipes.

Luckily for you, I'm here to help.

Check out these zucchini cakes, topped with a creamy sauce created with Sexy Vegan Mama's Mango Pepper Sauce, a.k.a. AWESOME SAUCE, which - I'm sure - you've by now employed to rid yourself of the garden tomatoes spilling out the crisper drawer.

I served these delicious cakes atop a bed of fresh spinach and a slice of fresh yellow squash. If desired, you may broil your yellow squash, or serve the zucchini cakes like burgers on a bun, piled high with fresh veggies, and use the creamy sauce as a spread. Delicious, no matter how you serve them!

Vegan Zucchini Cakes with Spicy Cream Sauce

For the zucchini cakes you'll need:

3 c. grated zucchini (about one large zucchini - measure shreds before draining)
1 red bell pepper, very finely diced
1/2 t. salt

4 slices vegan whole wheat bread, toasted and cooled
handful fresh cilantro
small handful fresh chives
1/4 t. paprika (I use Hungarian sweet paprika, but you may use what you like or have)
1/4 t. ground black or white pepper
2 T. egg replacer powder, such as Ener-G (do not prepare "egg," just measure powder)

oil for frying (I use olive oil for the flavor, but any frying oil will work)

For the spicy cream sauce you'll need:

1/4 c. vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)

pepper sauce to taste (I used 1/4 c. Sexy Vegan Mama's Mango Pepper Sauce, a.k.a. AWESOME SAUCE, but you may use Sriracha, Tapatio, or - if you can stand the heavy vinegar - Tabasco. Be sure to add small amounts, and taste as you go, to ensure it's the right level of "heat" for you and your family.)

1/2 t. lemon juice (or to taste/desired consistency)

Directions for zucchini cakes:

Place grated zucchini and finely diced bell pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to distribute salt.

Transfer zucchinis and peppers to a colander, and allow to drain for 10 minutes or so. The salt will pull the water out of the zucchini and peppers, leaving very little salt taste, and reducing the liquid bulk of the vegetables.

Use a small plate on top of vegetables to press remaining water through colander. Don't be shy about it - press very firmly, removing as much water as possible.

Spread vegetables on paper towels or a tea towel to absorb any remaining water, then transfer back to bowl.

Break toast into small pieces and whiz in blender or food processor with cilantro and chives until finely-ground (albeit green) breadcrumbs form.

Add paprika and ground pepper to bread crumbs and mix well. Finally, add egg replacer powder and mix again.

Pour breadcrumb mixture over vegetables and stir, stir, stir, ensuring all vegetables are mixed into dry ingredients. The mixture should be a bit sticky.

In a frying pan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat.

Drop zucchini mixture onto heated pan, flattening slightly to form a patty. You may adjust the size of your cakes as desired, though this recipe makes eight burger-sized cakes.

Cook until golden brown on first side, then use a pancake turner to flip and cook other side. Carefully remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Directions for spicy cream sauce:

In a blender or food processor, combine sour cream, pepper sauce and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Spoon onto zucchini cakes, or fill a plastic zipper-style bag with sauce and snip a small corner off to create a drizzling bag, if you want to get fancy.

Seal any remaining spicy cream sauce in an airtight container and store in refrigerator. The sauce makes a fantastic sandwich spread! Use within a couple days, and you'll be just fine.

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