Brown Rice & Broccoli Cakes Salad

I have terrible luck with dinner cakes/patties. First it was the tuna burgers that turned into a tuna salad, and now these brown rice & broccoli cakes. I just can’t get my cakes to bind together – sometimes I take the blame wholeheartedly, since if I’m trying for a low-carb meal I’ll be stingy with the breadcrumbs. This time, though, I’m at a loss as to why these guys just did not want to hold up. I’m thinking that an egg would help next time.

If you move past the fact that they really didn’t want to stay together, though, you’re faced with a really delicious recipe – which is why I’m taking the time to tell you about it. They’re not greasy or heavy like a cake that may be heavily sautéed in oil would be, and they’re full of savory flavor. Plus, they’re easy and relatively quick to make. I did make some substitutions, using polenta (corn meal) instead of bread crumbs because I didn’t have any of the latter, and didn’t feel like taking the time to grind up a piece of bread for just 2 tablespoons’ worth of crumbs. Maybe this was my downfall – for all I know, cornmeal is just not meant for dinner cakes the way bread crumbs are. Or, maybe the simple process of scaling down the recipe for 1 serving was enough to through the consistency of the dish out of whack. I also used about ½ of a small onion instead of the shallot, and subbed in red wine vinegar for the balsamic.

If you like broccoli, I would definitely encourage you to give these a shot. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did. If you’re making the mixture and it’s not feeling particularly cohesive, try adding something like an egg or other notorious binder. I did notice that they were loose before cooking them, but wanted to follow the recipe instructions the first time around, just in case they did something crazy like firm up while cooking – after all, it does say at the end to let them sit for 10 minutes after cooking to solidify a little more. Since they didn’t, though, I’m here to tell you not to fear experimentation. Go with your gut, and I hope it works out. They really do taste amazing, otherwise I wouldn’t be wasting your or my time with the recipe. If you can get them to stay together, you’ll have yourself a really excellent meal!

Lastly, because I did tweak the recipe and because I also did have trouble getting the cakes to bind, I’m not going to post my version of the recipe here. It might be safer for you to go with the original, or take the risk and refer to my substitutions mentioned above. Good luck – and may the force be with you (and in your cakes)!

Brown Rice & Broccoli Cakes, courtesy of Healthy and Gourmet

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