Staff Recipe Favorites: Zucchini Crabless Cakes

One of the big perks of working at BenBella is getting to check out all of the scrumptious new cookbooks. With so many talented authors on our roster, it’s easy to end up experimenting a lot in the kitchen and developing fresh culinary favorites. In the Staff Recipe Favorites column, we’ll be sharing some of the best-loved employee eats. We hope you enjoy as much as we do! See previous posts here.

Staff Recommender

Leah Wilson, Editor in Chief


Zucchini Crabless Cakes from The China Study Cookbook, by LeAnne Campbell, PhD

Thoughts from Leah


It turns out that, when you have a kid, you have to feed them, like, every day. Multiple times, even. So when the time came, I chose to introduce baby Dash (at 11 months old, above) to food via the least effort-intensive method I could find: baby-led weaning. It has a fancy name, but it’s a simple concept; you just hand the kid some of what you’re eating, and let him figure it out for himself.

There are two catches, though: 1) what you’re eating has to be healthy enough that you’d be willing to feed it to your baby (unsurprisingly, most of the recipes in our cookbooks are—I just sometimes dial back a little on salt or sweetener), and 2) it’s really messy. Okay, maybe also: 3) Early on, a little extra work making things large enough to hold really decreases your baby’s frustration. So we’ve done a lot of cutting veggies into sticks, and a fair amount of making various patty-shaped foods.

One of Dash’s early favorites was the Zucchini Crabless Cakes.

We cut down the Old Bay seasoning, due to salt content, and the salt itself, and swapped in gluten-free “bread”crumbs (breadless crumbs?), given his early wheat sensitivity. The breadcrumbs substitution weakened the integrity of the cake pretty significantly, as you can probably tell from the photos. But the rich, savory flavor still prevailed, and, as you can probably also tell from the photos, we both managed to make due!

Make it Yourself

Preparation Time: 25 minutes | Baking Time: 2530 minutes | Makes 12 cakes


2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 medium zucchini, grated
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 14-ounce package firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup Green Garden Mayonnaise (see below)
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika

For the Green Garden Mayonnaise
6 ounces firm silken tofu
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add vegetable broth, onion, zucchini, corn, and parsley. Saute until onion is translucent.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine crumbled tofu, mayonnaise, Old Bay, and sea salt. Mix well.
  4. Stir vegetables into tofu mixture. Add bread crumbs.
  5. Shape into 1/2-inch thick patties and place on nonstick baking sheet. Sprinkle paprika on top of patties. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown and firm when pressed in the center. Remove and let cool before serving.

For the Green Garden Mayonnaise

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. If you desire a thinner consistency, you may want to blend in a little water.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.


  1. Karolyn said on

    What did you use for gluten-free “bread”crumbs? I too became gluten sensitive and have not found an acceptable substitute for bread crumbs.

    • Leah said on

      I used the gluten-free bread crumbs from Christina Ross’ Almond-Encrusted Eggplant Cutlets in The China Study All-Star Collection– mostly because I had them leftover from making the eggplant cutlets earlier in the week. 🙂 They were super tasty in this recipe, but– as you can see in the image– didn’t hold the cakes together quite as well as regular bread crumbs might.

  2. Beth Canton said on

    These crabless cakes sound delicious and I can’t wait to make them. Since there’s only two of us can the extras be frozen and reheated successfully?

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