There are two things that I never say. First, I’ve never said I was a nice person. This gives me free reign to be mean when I have to and not be apologetic about it.The second is that I’ve never said I was a good cook. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy cooking and am always on the lookout for new things to try. Since going vegan, cooking has become one of my main hobbies and something that I enjoy doing with others as well. However, like yoga, soccer, and gymnastics, just because I enjoy doing something does not mean I am good at it.
Case in point. I had a real desire to make my own falafel. The Hungry Pocket, a falafel restaurant/juice bar in Santa Monica, has really amazing falafel. My co-workers grilled the owner about it and came back and reported that the falafel was indeed vegan, so I went down to try it out with them. They were delicious, that is for sure. On the other hand, I knew deep down that I was pigging out on a deep-fried ball of chickpeas. Since I am working on being more aware of fat in my diet, I wondered if I could make my own falafel in the oven, with just a little bit of oil brushed on top.
At any given time, I have about 3 or 4 different culinary schemes brewing in my head, just waiting for the perfect excuse to execute them. I decided to try out my falafel recipe for a picnic. I stuffed them in pita bread with lettuce, roasted tomatoes, and tahini.The idea was great, but the falafel was a little off. I tried a root-cause analysis, but wasn’t able to put my finger on it. Luckily, Short Round (the sidekick to my culinary Indiana Jones) was able to put his finger on it. The cumin in the falafel made it taste more like Old Bay seasoning, therefore giving the entire thing the flavor of a crab cake.
So I am pleased to present my readers with my completely original, absolutely accidental recipe for vegan crab cakes.
Accidental Crab Cakes

  • 1 can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 a white onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 3 TBSP. parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 TBSP. salt
  • 2 TBSP. corn starch
  1. Drain the chickpeas and pour them into a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until they start to break down. 
  2. Remove half of the mixture and place it in a medium sized bowl. Add the onion and garlic to the food processor and pulse until smooth. Mix this into the rest of the chickpeas.
  3. Stir in parsley, cumin, salt, and corn starch. If the mixture is too dry, you can add vegetable broth, one tablespoon at a time. 
  4. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.
  5. Remove dough from the freezer and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  6. Form the dough into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on the parchment. They will flatten a little bit, but this is the price you pay for better skin and smaller jeans.
  7. Brush the top very lightly with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 7 minutes. 
  8. Flip the falafel and brush the other side with oil. Bake for an additional 7 minutes or until golden brown.