My husband and I are pretty different personalities in the kitchen. I often cling to a recipe for dear life, never straying. He almost never uses a recipe. I have always admired the way he takes whole spices and grinds them himself to make curry, never peeking at a recipe. Its different every time, but most of the time its delicious.
There is something rewarding about following the directions and creating a masterpiece. Kind of like paint by numbers. Its fun to follow the directions and use the pre determined colors. But perhaps I feel this way because I am not very good at painting. I could paint a pretty decent stick figure, but that’s about it. I think if I could do it more skillfully, I would rather paint an original master piece on a blank canvas.
Since I have started this blog, I have greatly improved at creating original recipes all of my own. No “adapted from” or “inspired by”, but completely from my own head. Sure, maybe someone has made something similar. I doubt my recipes are completely unique. But I have grown increasingly better at starting with a blank canvas and adding ingredients bit by bit until I like the result. I still use recipes a lot, but I have really come to enjoy experimenting with flavors and ingredients.
These cakes are one of those recipes. I had the veggies out on the counter and I just started chopping, not knowing what I was creating at first. I really wanted something that my 13 month daughter could hold and munch on, but I wanted it to include lots and lots of green veggies. These cakes are loaded with broccoli, edamame, spinach, zucchini, and green bell pepper. Kale salads and green smoothies don’t have to be the only way to get your greens! These cakes have an Asian flare and are especially yummy dipped in spicy mayo or spicy sriracha cashew cream. The sauce is basically a knock off of that divine creamy orange sauce that comes with many sushi rolls. I have included the recipe for both variations. They are very similar, but one is made with mayo and one is made with cashew cream. You could easily make the entire meal vegan by making the cashew cream variation of the sauce and omitting the egg from the cakes. It may not hold up quite as well, but it will still work. If you are wondering what in the world cashew cream is, check out my post about it HERE.
These green veggie cakes would be a perfect, healthy St. Patricks Day dinner! I like to just eat these cakes as they are and dip them in spicy sauce, but they would also be great as the patty for a veggie burger.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped very fine
- 2 C. broccoli florets, steamed (fresh or frozen both work)
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 C. frozen edamame, warmed
- 1 C. spinach
- 1 small zucchini, shredded or grated (I used the shred setting on my food processor)
- 3 TBSP. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 C. panko, plus more for coating the cakes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 tsp. celery salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 C. flour (whole wheat or all purpose both work)
- olive oil or sesame seed oil for cooking cakes
1. Prepare all your veggies. Start by putting the broccoli florets in the steamer or in a pot on the stove. In a separate small pan steam the frozen edamame for about 5 minutes. While they are cooking, chop up the onion, garlic, and green pepper. I threw these three straight into the food processor and gave them a couple good pulses until thee pieces were very small. You can use a knife, but a food processor definitely makes quick work of it all.
2. Add the ginger, edamame, broccoli, and spinach and pulse until combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Shred the zucchini with the food processor or a a box grater. Add it to the bowl and mix with a spoon or clean hands until all the veggies are combined.
3. Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, panko, beaten egg, celery salt, black pepper, and flour. Mix again until well combined.
4. Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil or toasted sesame oil over medium high heat. While the oil is heating, sprinkle a layer of panko crumbs on a plate. Using clean hands scoop out a ball of the veggie mixture and place directly into the panko crumbs. Press flat and flip to coat the other side. While still in the crumbs, shape into a patty. It may seem a little loose right now, but it will hold up better once you get it into the pan. Repeat with 3 or 4 cakes. Using a spatula, transfer the cakes into the hot oil and dial the heat down to medium low. Use the spatula to reshape the cakes if needed. I like to press the spatula against the edge of the cakes to smooth out the rough edges.
5. Let the cakes cook until crispy and browned. Flip the cakes and let them continue to cook until the other side is browned and crispy and the cakes are cooked through. While the cakes are cooking, prepare another round of the veggie mixture, replenishing the panko on the plate as needed. Continue this process until all of the veggie mixture is gone.
Spicy Mayo: Mix mayo and sriracha sauce at a 3 to 1 ratio. For example, 3 tsp. mayo and 1 tsp. sriracha sauce.
Sriracha Cashew Cream
- 3/4 C. raw cashews
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. lime
- 1 TBSP. sriracha sauce
- 3/4 to 1tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. sugar (optional)
1. Cover the cashews with hot water and let soak for at least 30 minutes, but up to 8 hours. If you have a really good blender, like a vitamix, you can soak them in cold water. I have a pretty piddley blender, so I like to soak my cashews for an hour or two in hot water.
2. Drain the water and pulse cashews in a blender with the 1/2 C. water, garlic, lime juice, sriracha sauce, salt, and sugar. Blend until smooth and silky. It will take a couple of minutes, so don’t give up until its smooth. If it is still too thick or gritty, add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired texture and consistency.
NOTE: If you aren’t familiar with Sriracha sauce, you need to become familiar because it is amazing. It’s the yummy red stuff in the squeeze bottle with the green lid and the white rooster on the front. You can find it at most grocery stores. Its basically chili pepper paste, garlic, vinegar, and salt. For both of the sauce recipes, feel free to increase the Sriracha sauce if you would like it more spicy. And decrease it if you would like it less spicy. We like spicy food in our house, but this sauce was mild enough for my one year old to love dipping her veggie cakes in it.
Here are some more St. Patrick’s Day recipe ideas:
- St. Patrick’s Day Pizza with Pesto and Potatoes
- Irish Soda Bread
- Green Pesto
- Green Three Pea Spring Salad