Nik’s Protein-y Zucchini Fritters

This started out with me trying to dispel a myth. You see, someone at work told me they’d eaten a zucchini fritter that tasted just like a crab cake.

Being a lifelong Marylander (home of the crab cake) I thought surely this cannot be. So I took to the only place I thought might hold the answer: The Google. Through The Google I found even more people who said that a zucchini fritter, made a certain way, can taste similar to a crab cake.

I thought: these people MUST be delusional. So I decided to try it to debunk this untruth!

Buuuuuut…there were some issues with the recipes I saw. Namely:

  • They all called for copious amounts of bread crumbs or white flour
  •  All the recipes I saw were fried in oil (for me this is an express route to the temple of the porcelain gods)
Plus if you’re analytical like me you know that zucchini + crumbs/flour + oil does NOT = protein forward. So of course I hadda change it. Here’s the recipe I came up with. I’ll share my impressions in a moment.
Nik’s Protein-y Zucchini Fritters
(What you see above is 8 sandwich-sized fritters. You may certainly make them smaller to suit you!)

1 large zucchini, grated through the larger holes of your box grater (here I used half a green and half an orange)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning 
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp light mayo (I used Hellman’s Canola mayo)
1/4 tsp Herbs de Provence (or, if you don’t have that some Italian seasoning works well)
1.5 c. TVP, crushed (What’s TVP? And no worries, I’ll explain the crushing.)
Optional: 1 large egg
After you shred the zucchini, place it in a bowl and toss the salt and Old Bay seasoning into it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes during which time it should release a fair amount of water. Don’t worry about that.
Meanwhile, break out your food processor (or in my case my Magic Bullet Blender) and throw your TVP in. Pulse until it is the consistency of bread crumbs. Here’s what it looks like before (in my hand) and after.

Return to your zucchini. Add in your mustard, mayo and herbs and mix thoroughly. Give it a taste. You should taste the Old Bay and it should be just a twinge too salty. No worries, the TVP will soak that up.
Mix the TVP into the zucchini mixture thoroughly and let THAT sit about 5 minutes. The TVP should absorb the liquid from the zucchini and what you should be left with is a ball of mixture that looks something like this.

Now at this point I was able to form them into patties but the spirit of my long-gone grandmother kept pestering me to put an egg in it. Cuz…you know…that’s what you do! I honestly believe, though, that it is possible to cook this without the egg, thereby making the fritters vegetarian.
S’anyway, I used my trusty griddle pan (I truly use it for EVERYTHING) but you can use a fry pan. Set it over medium heat and let it get HOT. Then spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
Form patties of desired size in your hand (I did sandwich sized ones because, as we all know, I have the Wonder Pouch), then place the patties onto the hot pan. Cook about 4-5 minutes each side.

Check out the awesome CHUNK of orange zucchini in that bottom right one! 🙂
As they finish, put them in a bowl or on a plate lined with a paper towel (although there’s no grease it helps draw any excess cooking spray off the surface) and allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.
NOW…the verdict. I broke one open, tasted it and…

They bear a considerable resemblance to a crab cake in both flavor and looks. That’s about all you’re going to get from me. I lose my Marylander card if I say anything stronger that that. 🙂

I found the more Old Bay I used, the more I picked up the crab cake. I’ve tried these with a myriad of toppings and I think my favorite is Ken’s Light Honey Dijon salad dressing. Just a little drizzle. I imagine this thing would taste great on a bed of arugula with some halved cherry tomatoes too. All in all, VERY yummy!

Mine yielded 8 crab cake sized fritters. You can certainly make them small. Make them YOU-sized.

(TIP: When reheating these…heed my warning. Put it on a plate and place a wet paper towel over the top. You’ll thank me!)

So far as the “protein-y” part, you guys know how I feel about giving full  nutrition stats but every once in a while I do like to give that information, just to give you a starting point of how the nutrition shakes out. As per usual, this is not an indicator that I will start posting stats on all dishes. Nope…not doing it!

BUT…since I call these “Protein-y” Zucchini Fritters, I kinda felt obligated.

Each of MY fritters (remember, I made 8 sandwich sized ones) have:

105 calories
1.31g fat
9.17g carbs
4.69g dietary fiber
13.49g protein

And here’s how I found that out. 

Nik's Protein-y Zucchini Fritters
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Nik's Protein-y Zucchini Fritters
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  1. I can't wait to try these! They look awesome!

  2. Which TVP do you use, please?

  3. I get mine in bulk from Whole Foods but you can also find it under the brand name Bob's Red Mill.

  4. Yum! Just made them with a couple additions- diced poblano pepper and 1/2 ear of corn from the cob.

  5. I’m thinking about actually adding crab to these! ?

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