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Extreme Vegan Makeover: Scallion Corn Cakes with Black-Eyed Pea Salsa Edition

For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to go to the Farmer’s Market and I am going through withdrawal really bad! I am missing all the booths, all the color, all the choices, all the new and different vegetables you can’t find in a regular supermarket. What to do?

It’s times like this when what’s needed is a good recipe or two that makes use of the more common produce that’s easy to find like onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and scallions. A well-stocked pantry and freezer are life-savers as well. I always keep lots of frozen produce on hand. Since the fruits and veggies are frozen as soon as they are picked, they maintain all their nutrient value. And I always have cans of various beans for fast and easy cooking.

This is the time of year when corn fields are taller than basketball players and there’s plenty of fresh corn available. This recipe makes use of corn in both components. But maybe you don’t have fresh corn available. Maybe the thought of those tall corn fields makes you have “Children of the Corn” nightmares. Maybe that’s just me. Either way, you can just as easily use a thawed bag of frozen corn.

The salsa is a colorful mix of black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, green beans, red onion and bell peppers marinated in a tangy vinegar and lime dressing. The corn cakes are quick and easy to make. Crispy and satisfying, they are delicious served hot or cold, covered with the beautiful salsa.

You can add nutritional yeast and/or ground flaxseed to make them even healthier, if you want. I like to add flaxseed to my dishes to add those omega-3s but I try to avoid nutritional yeast because the glutamate gives me bad headaches. Besides being Vegan (of course), this recipe is gluten-free and soy-free.

This healthy and hearty dish just proves that by keeping some basic groceries on hand, you can still make a colorful, delicious and compassionate meal that will wow your friends and family!

Scallion Corn Cakes with Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

For the Black-Eyed Pea Salsa


2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. agave nectar
Salt and pepper to taste
1-15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
½ cup corn kernels
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
½ cup red onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
½ cup cooked green beans, sliced
2 Tbs. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped


In a bowl, combine the vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, agave, salt and pepper. Whisk well. Add the corn, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, green beans and parsley/cilantro. Mix well.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Scallion Corn Cakes


2 Tbs. chickpea flour + 2 Tbs. water
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast (optional)
1 Tbs. ground flaxseed (optional)
¾ cup almond or other non-dairy milk
3-4 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup corn kernels
Canola oil for frying
Lime slices for garnish


In a cup or small bowl, mix 2 Tbs. of chickpea flour with 2 Tbs. of water. Mix into a loose paste. This is your binder. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, spices, nutritional yeast and flaxseed (if using). Mix the dry ingredients together.

Add the flour/water binder and the almond milk to the dry ingredients and mix into a batter.

Add the scallions, parsley and corn to the batter and mix well. The batter should be smooth and not too loose.

Heat about ¼” oil in a large skillet. Using a tablespoon, drop the cornmeal batter into the skillet and flatten the cakes with the back of the spoon. Do not overcrowd the skillet; work in batches. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

Drain corn cakes on a paper towel-lined plate, then move to a cooling rack so they remain crispy.

Serve the Scallion Corn Cakes with the Black-Eyed Pea Salsa and lime slices for garnish.


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