Broccoli, Cheddar and Brown Rice Cakes are Meatless Monday’s answer to chicken, broccoli and rice casserole. You’ll never miss the meat!
I have a friend who decided to go the vegetarian route after the holidays. I applaud her, support her and hold her in high esteem for her decision.
It hasn’t been an easy road for Leah. She loved the meats that she no longer eats. She’s had to stand strong against the lack of support and frequent criticisms from family.
And yet, not only has she been able to embrace her new lifestyle, she recently made the decision to take the next step and ‘go’ vegan.
I’m in awe.
Leah’s choices come to mind whenever a encounter a meatless meal, like this one. Before the vegan thing, I’d have saved her a couple of cakes for her to try, but now that the butter, eggs and cheese are out of her life, I ponder the substitutions that could be made so she’d be able to make these.
It begins with prep; lots of prep. I minced garlic and onion (if the pieces are too big, the cakes won’t hold together), chopped up florets of broccoli, shredded cheese and boiled rice.
When everything was prepared, I put the skillet on the heat and added the butter. The aromatics were sauteed in a couple of minutes so I added the stock and broccoli and cooked it til tender. Since the pieces were really small, it didn’t take long at all.
By the time the skillet work was done, the rice was cooked and I was able to combine everything, along with the rest of the ingredients (except the eggs) and mix it all together.
To form my patties, I used the same technique for packing a snowball so the cake would be nice and firm and hold together while baking. I put the ‘riceball’ on the prepared sheet pan, then flattened it a bit into patty shape. I spritzed my cake with spray, then put them in the hot oven. After 15 minutes I sprinkled on a bit of cheese and baked them a little longer, until it melted.
I made these for lunch today. All for me. Flavor-wise, they’re tasty. There’s nothing really ‘wowing’ about them, but they’re good. I think a pinch of poultry seasoning would have gone a long way in upping the taste. The texture left a lot to be desired though since the cakes were kind of chewy. I was glad that I didn’t make these when Doug and Sophie weren’t home because I don’t think they’d have cared for that.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d add a half teaspoon of poultry seasoning (or a pinch each of sage, rosemary and thyme).
Yellow onion: $.79
Vegetable stock: $2.45
Brown rice: $2.19
Cheddar cheese: $2.99
Broccoli, Cheddar and Brown Rice Cakes Recipe
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¾ cup unsalted vegetable stock (such as Swanson)
- 12 ounces fresh broccoli florets, cut into ½-in. pieces
- 1 (8.8-oz.) pkg. precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
- ¼ cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅜ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces preshredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided (about ¾ cup)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Sliced green onions (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add stock and broccoli. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes.
- Heat rice according to package directions. Combine broccoli mixture, rice, panko, mustard, pepper, salt, and ½ cup cheese in a large bowl. Stir in eggs. Divide and shape broccoli mixture into 8 (2½-inch) patties. Arrange patties on prepared pan; coat patties with cooking spray. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Top with remaining ¼ cup cheese, and bake at 450°F for 4 more minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with green onions, if desired.