Merry almost Christmas!!! One thing I ALWAYS used to look forward to during the holiday season growing up was the big feast of different fish dishes that my family would do on Christmas Eve. It’s a common Italian tradition called the Feast of Seven Fishes. This is basically just a huge meal consisting of different fish dishes including linguini with clam sauce, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, fried calamari, and more. Pre-vegan, I was never much of a meat eater, but I did always love fish! As I started looking more into the fishing industry & how many toxins are present in the fish we eat, I eventually eliminated fish (and all other animal products) from my diet completely and made the switch to veganism, which I explain in more detail in this Instagram post.
So as the holidays were approaching this year, it popped into my head… why not do a vegan take on the Feast of Seven Fishes?! I’m sure there are other Italian vegans out there in the same boat (no pun intended :P) as I, wanting to still take part in the tradition without harming any fishie lives.
So I teamed up with Holi Aioli to bring you these 3 BOMB recipes to help you cook up an Italian vegan Christmas Eve feast (coupon code below!). Holi Aioli is a company making delicious *vegan & organic!* aiolis that are perfect as spreads, dips, or in recipes like these. The owner of Holi Aioli, JP, is a talented chef and was kind enough to create these recipes for me to share with you guys! (I figured I’d leave it to a pro!) I already knew that they were going to be delicious just at first glance, but HOLI AIOLI was I blown away by how truly amazing these turned out when I cooked them up to photograph them for you guys. Just, WOWWWZA. The flavors are really complex and the textures are spot on. I can’t wait for you guys to try these! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
HEARTS OF PALM FRIED “CALAMARI”
(VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE)
These came out UNREAL! The hearts of palm make a phenomenal substitute for calamari. The batter makes them crispy on the outside while remaining salty, juicy, and tender on the inside (honestly even better and less chewy than fish calamari, in my opinion!). And the addition of the ground nori into the batter really give it that hint of flavor that mimics calamari perfectly.
- 2 cans of organic hearts of palm (calamari substitute, I like this brand)
- ¾ cups corn starch
- ¾ cups rice flour
- 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 cups of club soda
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 seaweed nori sheets, finely ground
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- First, prepare the batter: In a large mixing bowl, add flour and corn starch.
- Slowly stir in cold club soda until batter is thick and creamy, like pancake batter.
- Stir in the ground seaweed, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Set this aside.
- Open and drain the cans of hearts of palm. Using a straw, push out the soft center of the hearts of palm, leaving only a hollow barrel.
- Slice each barrel into ¾ inch thick rings.
- In a large bowl, add the flour and the rest of the seasonings for the dredge mix and stir well.
- Working in batches, add the calamari rings to dredge mix first, then into the batter.
- Toss in the batter mix gently until all the rings are fully coated.
- In a frying pan, on medium-high, heat, @ 350 degrees add coated rings to 3-4 inches of oil to deep fry.
- Cook until they’re golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove rings from oil and transfer onto a paper towel lined plate and season with a pinch of salt.
- Serve with lemon wedges and Holi Aioli Lemon Basil, Holi Aioli Roasted Garlic or Holi Habanero for a kick!
VEGAN LOBSTER MUSHROOM LOBSTER ROLLS
Have you ever in your life heard of a LOBSTER MUSHROOM? Ok well… they’re a special type of mushrooms that literally look like lobster. Here they are in the mixture as I was making it to give you an idea (I have them mixed here with button mushrooms also):
So, needless to say, they worked perfectly for this recipe. You can get them on Amazon here, or may be able to score them in your local specialty foods shop. But if not, no worries – oyster and/or button mushrooms will still work great. On to the recipe!
- 4 cups lobster mushrooms (if dried see step one), oyster mushrooms, or button mushrooms (or mixture of the 3), large dice
- ¼ cup, divided vegan butter
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon tarragon
- ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Holi Aioli Roasted Garlic
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon capers
- dash cayenne pepper
- 4-6 organic whole wheat hot dog buns
- 2 scallions, slice green tops only
- Boil lobster mushrooms (if dried) for about 5-7 minutes. Drain.
- In a large sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons vegan butter, sliced onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.
- Add diced mushrooms, salt, pepper and tarragon. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are slightly browned.
- In a large bowl, mix mushroom mixture with celery, lemon juice and zest, Roasted Garlic Holi Aioli, capers, brown rice syrup, and cayenne pepper. Stir until mushrooms are well coated.
- Heat a large sauté pan and add remaining tablespoon butter. Slice hot dog buns lengthwise and place with cut side down onto pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
- Fill the toasted buns with the mushroom mix and garnish with scallions!
HOLI AIOLI TOFU CRAB CAKES
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil of your choice; plus more for frying)
- ½ cup onions, diced
- 1 carrot, diced fine
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 pounds tofu (firm or extra firm, crumbled)
- 1½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅛ cup white wine (dry; like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1½ cups breadcrumbs (finely ground)
- 3 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning (or All Seasons Salt by Simply Organic)
- 1 teaspoon. salt
- 1½ cups flour
- 1½ cup Holi Aioli Roasted Garlic or Holi Habanero for a kick mixed with ¼ cup almond milk or water
- Oil for frying
- Sauté the onions and carrots in olive oil until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Set this mixture aside an allow to cool.
- Crumble the tofu into a large bowl and add the cornstarch, nutritional yeast dry white wine, one teaspoon of salt, white pepper and lemon juice and combine well. Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Old Bay seasoning and another one teaspoon of salt. Pour the Holi Aioli into a separate wide and shallow bowl + mix in the water.
- Mix in the sautéed veggies with the tofu mixture and mix until well combined. Using about ¼ cup of the tofu mixture at a time, form small patties. *Note: I had to use an immersion blender at this step to blend up the tofu mixture a bit to get it to a consistency where I was able to form patties. Gently coat the patties with flour, then dip into Holi Aioli mixture. Next, coat well with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. and cook your cakes in a thin layer of oil until golden brown on each side, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Serve your Old Bay tofu crab cakes with Holi Aioli Roasted Garlic, Lemon Basil or Holi Habanero!
Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
Lots of vegan love,
Affiliate Notes: This post was very kindly sponsored by Holi Aioli and the recipes were curated by JP, chef & owner of Holi Aioli. All photos are my own and these all came out truly MIND BLOWING. I’d love if you guys could show them some love by checking them out over at www.holiaioliusa.com!