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Rice & Vegetable cakes with Avocado-Yogurt sauce and Wilted Spinach

As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m a big fan of simple meals and clean flavors. I make quick meals for my lunch, as I eat alone. Dinner is the elaborate meal in our house. This recipe is just something I made yesterday, with the things that were available in my refrigerator! The inspiration for these rice cakes came from the risotto cakes I saw on Food network a long time ago. Actually, I didn’t think much about the risotto cakes because (1) I rarely make risottos (2) Why would I have leftovers when I make risotto (it is too darn delicious to be left over!) (3) I would never make risotto just to make risotto cakes (would you??!!). So, that recipe was off my mind. Today when I was wondering what to eat, I felt like eating a risotto cake and treat myself to a nice lunch! I started about with some ingredients that I thought would taste nice and almost like a risotto cake and here is the recipe!! It was delicious. I had a bag of chopped frozen veggies which I threw in. You could do the same or use any vegetables of your choice. There is no restriction, be as creative as you want to be!!

But I have to warn you, these cakes are best served hot, from the griddle to the plate. I served mine with some spinach wilted with garlic, an avocado yogurt sauce and a cucumber-tomato-parsley salad. I did feel like I was dining at a restaurant!! The meal was ready in 20 minutes!! Can you believe that! Of course you have to have leftover rice to make this, and I usually always have some :) I used basmati rice, but any rice would be fine. Actually brown rice or any short grained rice would be even better!!

Ingredients:
Serves 2

For the rice vegetable cakes:


Cooked rice – 1 cup (I used basmati, but any rice would do just fine)
Mixed Vegetables – 1 cup (carrots, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and summer squash)
Garlic – 1 large clove (chopped)
Onion/Shallots – 2 Tbsp (chopped)
Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp (or more to taste)
Parsley – 2 Tbsp (chopped)
Salt – to taste
Parmesan cheese – 3 Tbsp
Cheddar cheese – 1/4 cup
Cream cheese – 2 Tbsp (optional, makes creamier cakes)
Salt & black pepper – to taste
Dry breadcrumbs – about 1/4 cup (to coat the cakes)
Oil (preferably EV olive oil) – 2-3 Tbsp

For the wilted spinach:

Spinach – 2 cups (chopped)
Garlic – 1 large clove (sliced)
Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt & black pepper – to taste
Oil – 1/2 tsp

For the Avocado Yogurt sauce:

Avocado – 1 small
Yogurt – 1/4 cup
Lime juice – 1 Tbsp
Salt & Black pepper – to taste

To serve:

All of the above and some hot sauce!! I love Sriracha.

Method:

For the rice vegetable cakes:

  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and saute the garlic and onion until the onion in tender. Add in the thawed vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the red pepper flakes and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Heat the rice in the microwave. Add the cooked vegetables, all the cheese and parsley to the rice. Adjust salt/pepper and mix well. When you mix while the veggies and rice are hot, the cheeses melt and bind the rice together,thus helping you in shaping the cakes.

Tip: Add a couple of Tbsp mozarella cheese if you have some at home. Adds extra creaminess!

  • Divide the rice-veggie mixture into 4 portions and shape each portion into a flat cake.
  • Heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Coat both sides of the cakes in bread crumbs and place gently on the pan. Cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, adding oil as required.

While the cakes are cooking, lets make the spinach and the sauce real quick!

For the spinach:

Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for 30 seconds and then add in the chopped spinach. Add salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is just done (wilted), about 3-4 minutes.

For the Avocado Yogurt sauce:

Mash the avocado pulp with a fork just like you are making guacamole. Mix in the yogurt, lime juice and salt & pepper. Done!! How easy was that!!

Cucumber-Tomato salad:

Combine the cubed cucumber, tomato, chopped parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Done!!

To serve:

Spoon some wilted spinach onto the serving plate. Place 2 cakes on top of the spinach. Serve with the salad and the avocado-yogurt sauce on the side! Don’t forget the hot sauce on top for a kick!

And here’s a bite! Want some???

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