Vodka Rice Cakes with Creamy Kale

First and foremost I must shout from the multiple rooftops of the internet that "I made Kale! And I liked it!" Of course I just r...

First and foremost I must shout from the multiple rooftops of the internet that "I made Kale! And I liked it!" Of course I just really smothered it in a creamy garlicky cashew sauce, so overall it was a team effort. At least cashews made a new friend in Kale today. It's a win for friendship.
Incidentally, the stars of the show are supposed to be the rice cakes. They are brown basmati rice, for texture and toothsomeness, and be real, health. The rice is tossed in a batch of vodka sauce and made into balls, then pan fried. Over the top is a chimichuri-style sauce. I fed this to two boys and they cleaned their plates. So I was naturally psyched.

The cakes aren't exactly stackable. The pan-fry step is just to get some crispiness. Don't expect rice cakes that you can flip around like pancakes. Their integrity is delicate, and that's how they are supposed to be. I have learned over the last couple years that if you want your veggie burger, rice cake, zucchini ball, meatball, or falafel to stay perfectly crispy around all sides, making the integrity of the cake stronger and portability much, much easier-- You gotta deep-fry that cake. And that is on my list of "Won'ts!" Sometimes blackening things under the broiler works out pretty well for the crunchy exterior you want, and I do that to my veggie burgers to achieve said crispiness. But I don't think these rice cakes need anything else! They are nice and creamy on the inside and a tiny bit crispy on the outside. 
Plus they look super fancy and stuff. Check it out.

Vodka Rice Cakes with Chimichuri sauce

For the rice-
2 cups brown basmati rice
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon salt.

For the Vodka sauce-
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can tomatoes
1/3 cup vodka
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup garlic creme sauce, recipe follows

Garlic creme sauce-
1 head roasted garlic
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nooch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Chimichuri sauce-
1 cup parsely
1 cup cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 jalapeƱo chile or other chile of your choosing
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

For the Kale-
1 head kale, large veins taken out.
4 cups water
as many cloves of garlic you can slice without losing your mind
juice of 1/2 a lemon.
1/3 cup garlic creme sauce

Start the rice first, by combining rice and broth in a pasta pot with salt, cover and bringing to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and let her rip for about 30 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
 Turn off the heat, but leave covered for about 20 minutes to steam the sticky bits off the bottom of the pan while you make the vodka sauce.
In a cast-iron skillet, sautee the onion with a little olive oil over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it looks translucent and soft. Add garlic and sautee another minute or so. Add tomatoes and stir in salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes about 4 minutes, lowering the heat to medium low. While this simmers, make the garlic creme sauce by combining all the ingredients in a blender and pureeing about 4 minutes. Using an immersion or handheld blender, puree the tomatoes and onions until a smooth sauce is achieved. Stir in the vodka and creme sauce. Turn off heat. Pour sauce over rice and stir. Transfer rice to a large bowl and spread the mixture up the sides a little, to speed the cooling process. You can refrigerate this bowl while you make the kale.
In a large cast-iron skillet, pile de-veined kale high. Pour in the water and cover. Bring to simmer, and let cook about 10 minutes, until the kale is wilted and slightly tender. Drain out excess water and heat pan to medium low. Toss kale with a little olive oil if desired and sprinkle garlic all over the kale. Using tongs, rotate the kale around the pan, so that the garlic cooks evenly. Do this for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat ad pour the garlic creme over the top and use tongs to coat the kale. Turn the heat off.
In the biggest pan you've got, you can pan-fry your rice cakes in. Heat it over pretty high heat with some olive oil spray in it. Form rice into fist-size balls and slightly flatten. Fry 6 at a time about 3 minutes per side, until lightly blackened. Remove from pan and plate. Only fry what you are going to eat, because uncooked rice balls can be frozen, and cooked later, plus they're too delicate to stack on top of each other and store in the fridge once cooked. 
Make the chimichuri sauce by combining everything in a blender and blending about a minute. Use a spoon to drizzle sauce over plated cakes.

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  1. Veggie cakes with two sauces, yeeeeehah!

    Vegan Fazool Blog
    MoFo Theme: Homesteadin' in in October!

  2. Yes, I guess there are 2 sauces! The vodka sauce is like the seasoning, and then it needs a little extra something to go on top too! Thanks for reading!