Adventures in Seagan (Seafood + Vegan) Eating: 4 Healthy Recipes to Fuel Body & Mind

We’re once-devoted vegans and authors of a how-to-go-vegan guide and cookbook (The Vegan Cheat Sheet) who kept a dirty, little secret: We started incorporating fish into our otherwise plant-based diet. The reason was simple: We felt we were missing out on the important essential omega-3 fatty acids you can only get from seafood. After a few humiliating “gotcha” moments when friends—aka the vegan police—caught us with fish on our forks, we decided it was time to come out as seagans.

Now we believe the seagan (seafood + vegan) diet is the gold standard of eating—it’s rich in nutrients, low in fat, and offers plenty of diversity when eating at home or dining out.

Important note: Pescatarians are vegetarians who eat seafood but—unlike seagans—they also consume dairy and eggs, which we don’t consider healthful choices.Reagan Eating

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What the fluke do seagans eat? Every plant-based food you can think of, including fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts, with one addition: Fish two to three times a week (as recommended by the American Heart Association).

We restrict ourselves to sustainably caught varieties that are low in contaminants, such as Pacific wild-caught salmon, North American haddock, domestic crab, and small fish like sardines. Look for the “certified sustainable seafood” label when shopping or ask your fishmonger what’s fresh and local.

Frozen, canned, and pouched seafood make excellent, healthful choices, too; just follow the same guidelines for sustainability and stick with cans that are BPA free.

Ready to take the seagan plunge? Here are four recipes to delight your family and friends. Included is a refreshing vegan dessert to cap off your meal.

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Appetizer | Simple Crab-and-Spinach Calzones

Crab & Spinach Calzones Seagan Eating

Serves 4 for dinner or 8 for appetizers

  • 1(12-ounce) box silken extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach, steamed to wilt, and squeezed to remove all excess water (or frozen, defrosted, and squeezed)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces flaked crabmeat, fresh or canned (picked and drained)
  • 6 to 8 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

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Preheat the oven to 400°. If you don’t have a nonstick baking sheet, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse the tofu, spinach, sherry, and salt in a food processor or with an immersion blender until just blended, or mash together with a fork. Fold in the flaked crabmeat.

Lay the tortillas on a flat surface. Spoon ⅓ to ½ cup of the crab mixture into the center of each tortilla. Fold the bottom half of the tortilla up to the center of the mixture. Fold each side into the center. Fold the bottom up to the top to form a square.

Place each packet on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the tortillas begin to crisp.

These don’t need sauce; however, for a treat, make a dipping sauce by mixing cashew cream (equal parts cashews and water pureed in the blender) and Sriracha or lemon juice.

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Soup | Shrimp Bisque

Shrimp Bisque Seagan Eating

Makes 4 bowls or 8 cups

  • 1½ cups raw cashews
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1½ pounds medium raw domestic shrimp, peeled and deveined (or substitute lobster or crab)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅔ cup sweet sherry

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In a blender or food processor, purée the cashews and water until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In a heavy dry pan, sauté the onion, carrot, and celery over medium heat until the carrot is tender. If the ingredients begin to stick, add water, 2 tablespoons at a time.

Add the stock, shrimp, salt, and pepper to the pan, and heat until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Pour the entire mixture into a blender or food processor and purée with the cashew cream until smooth.

Pour the mixture back in the pan, add the sherry, and heat through.

Make sure to subtly pour extra into your own bowl. It’s so good, there will be no leftovers.

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Dinner | Halibut à la Vodka

Halibut a la Vodka seafood vegan recipe

Serves 4

  • ⅓ cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1½ cups fat-free marinara or other pasta sauce
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vodka (more makes it “spicier”)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 4 Pacific halibut steaks, about 4 ounces each

In a small blender or food processor, purée the cashews and ⅓ cup of water until smooth.

In a large frying pan, over low heat, combine the cashew cream, marinara sauce, vodka, remaining 2 tablespoons water, and nutritional yeast.

Add the halibut steaks to the pan in a single layer, skin-side down, and spoon the sauce over the fish.

Cover and cook until the fish is done, around 8 minutes.

Serve with whole-wheat pasta or over a bed of raw spinach (the heat from the sauce and fish should wilt the spinach).

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Dessert | Mocha-Coconut Almond Fudge Ice Cream by Hand (No Machine)

Mocha Coconut Ice Cream Segan Eating

Serves 4

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup strong black coffee
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped almonds or chopped chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup coarse kosher or sea salt for processing

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients except the sea salt until blended. Chill the ice-cream mixture overnight in the refrigerator in a small covered bowl.

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Remove the ice-cream mixture from the refrigerator, beat it with a hand-held mixer for 10 minutes, then cover it tightly. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Add the sea salt. Nest the covered ice-cream bowl inside the salt-ice bowl so the ice-cream bowl is surrounded by ice.

Place the bowls in the freezer for 45 minutes. Remove the cover of the ice-cream bowl and beat the ice cream with a hand mixer for 5 minutes. Return the bowls to the freezer and freeze for several hours or longer.

Test every hour until you’re happy with the texture.

Quick Option

If you need it now, this version is firm and icy in texture:

Fill a gallon sized zip-top bag halfway with ice. Add ½ cup of kosher salt. Place the ice cream in a zip-top bag inside of the ice bag. Seal the ice bag well. To avoid leaking, double-bag the ice bag.

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Shake and rotate the bag continuously for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the inner bag and check the ice cream for firmness.

If firmer ice cream is desired, return it to the ice bag, add more ice, and shake and rotate for another 5 minutes. Enjoy.

 

 


Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey are coauthors of The Vegan Cheat Sheet (Penguin Press, 2013) and Seagan Eating (Penguin Random House, 2016).

{Image credit: Susannah Feiler}

About the Author

author image

Amy Cramer is a vegan/seagan chef, coach, and creator of Vegan Eats, a line of prepared oil-free vegan foods sold in supermarkets. Lisa McComsey is an award-winning copywriter and speaker, a marketing consultant, and a plant-powered marathon runner. They are also the authors of The Vegan Cheat Sheet, but try not to hold that against them. Learn more at http://seaganeating.com/.

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