Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

This post is generously sponsored by Mahatma Rice

Even if you haven’t been counting down the days until March Madness 2018, you have to admit that there’s one major bonus to the NCAA basketball tournament: lots of good food. The usual party appetizers of chips and dip are getting an upgrade this year, though, thanks to some help from Mahatma Rice. 

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Just picture it: all the Southwestern flavors of your favorite gluten free burrito bowl sandwiched between two fluffy sweet potato rounds. While the caramelized sweet potato slices, creamy avocado and hearty mashed black beans are certainly tasty, the real star of this dish is the homemade vegan rice cake featuring Mahatma's Jasmine rice.

Mahatma Jasmine Rice is an authentic, long grain rice imported from Thailand. There are no additives, and as you see on the package, Mahatma's Jasmine Rice is certified gluten free, which makes an especially perfect grain for people with celiac disease like me. Jasmine rice is also known for being floral and soft, even after being chilled. After a little pan-frying in the skillet, though, these gluten free rice cakes are delightfully crispy on the outside and soft in the center.

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Throw in some spices and fresh herbs like cilantro, and you might find yourself eating these rice cakes plain or as replacement “chips” with guacamole, salsa or hummus. Trust me...I've been eating these gluten free rice cakes for three days straight now, and I'm still as addicted as when I took my first bite!

Ready to use Mahatma Rice in an epic March Madness appetizer? Gather the simple ingredients listed below.

Ingredients for the Gluten Free Rice Cakes:

(Makes 14 small patties; double or triple the recipe for a larger crowd).

1 cup cooked and cooled Mahatma Jasmine Rice (find the closest store selling Mahatma rice near you by clicking here)
1 TBSP gluten free all-purpose flour
1 TBSP aquafaba or the juice from canned chickpeas (subbing in 1 TBSP of egg whites would likely work as a substitute binder, but I have not tested this non-vegan option)
Spices and herbs of choice (I suggest oregano and cilantro for a little southwestern flare)
Enough oil to lightly coat the skillet

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Ingredients for the Sweet Potatoes Rounds:

Two medium to large sweet potatoes 
Oil of choice 
Spices of choice (optional) 

Optional Burrito Bowl Extras: 

Lettuce, roasted veggies, (vegan) cheese sauce, avocado, tomatoes, salsa, meat, beans or hummus (like the mashed black beans pictured throughout this post), etc. 

How to Make Your Burrito Bowl Bites:

Begin by cooking your Mahatma Jasmine Rice according to the instructions on the container. (To find the closest store selling Mahatma Jasmine Rice, you can use this handy dandy link). Then, you want to let your rice cool (for optional rice cake stickiness and malleability) for at least a couple of hours. I cooked my jasmine rice the night before I wanted to make these gluten free appetizers, and the rice binded perfectly! This is also a great recipe for any jasmine rice you may have leftover from a stir fry, sushi bowl, etc. 

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Next, it’s time to roast up your homemade sweet potato rounds! If you’re looking for gluten free bread alternatives that won’t have guests feeling deprived, sweet potato rounds are always my first choice. Plus, they add a ton of flavor to your meal and they’re super simple to make.  First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is warming up, wash your potatoes and cut them into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. However thick you like your taters, just try to cut them all consistently so they will cook evenly. Put your potato rounds on lined baking sheets, spray or rub a little oil on your rounds, sprinkle on spices if you want any, and pop your sweet taters into the oven for around 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Once your rice is cooled, you can get rolling...them into patties, that is! Add one cup of cooked and cooled jasmine rice into a mixing bowl, along with your choice of spices and herbs, the flour and the aquafaba. Knead the mixture well with your hands until everything is well-incorporated and the “batter” feels sticky to the touch. If it’s too dry, add a little more aquafaba. If it’s too wet, add a pinch more flour. 

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Now it’s cooking time! Start heating a nonstick pan with a little cooking oil on medium-high heat. Then, scoop up around one tablespoon of the rice mixture and roll it into a flattened patty between your hands. Place it in the skillet (you should hear a sizzle!), and keep repeating until you’ve filled your pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes on one side, then flip and do the same on the other side. If you want extra crispy rice cakes, keep adding a little bit of oil (just a drop or two!) when you notice the pan is dry. You’ll know the rice cakes are done when they’re slightly tanned and crispy to the touch. 

Depending on how many toppings you want to pack into your burrito bowl bites, you can begin prepping those while your rice cakes are cooking. Some of my favorite toppings for these are avocado (that creaminess), lettuce (that crunch) and a homemade 5-minute black bean hummus (for a hit of vegan protein). For the vegan hummus, I simply blended up a can of black beans with a little oregano and lemon juice, but you can also just use mashed black beans or whatever other protein you have on hand. 

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Since I happened to have some roasted zucchini handy, I added some slices of those on as well (you know I love my zucchini!), but other topping ideas could include sliced tomatoes, fresh or canned salsa, or a hearty glop of guacamole. As an added bonus, you can also prep ahead a lot of this vegan appetizer ahead of time. Rather than spending a lot of March Madness in the kitchen, cook the rice, sweet potatoes and any bulk toppings (like hummus or salsa) the night before. Then, all you have to do is pan-fry up the rice cakes, throw your burrito bowl bites together and dig in.

This is the first time I've gotten to try Mahatma Jasmine Rice, but based on how delicious this gluten free recipe turned out, it definitely won't be my last. So whether you're going to be busy rooting for your home team during March Madness 2018 or will only attend March Madness parties for the food, I hope you decide to score a slam dunk on appetizers (there had to be some kind of basketball pun included in this post, right?) and try out these gluten free and vegan burrito bowl bites!

Burrito Bowl Bites with Crispy Rice Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan)

*I received free products and monetary compensation in exchange for spreading the word about Mahatma Rice. However, I only partner with brands and products that I personally believe in, and all opinions, photographs and recipes are my own. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac!*

Are you rooting for anyone in particular this March Madness? What's your favorite appetizer or way to enjoy Mahatma rice? Tell me in the comments!


Popular Posts