For meat based cakes I use about 1 lb. of raw meat with some shredded or chopped veggies (done in the food processor). For veggie based, about 3 - 4 cups veggies.
You use two add-ins:
1. Dump in a handful of oatmeal or a slice or two of double-the-fiber bread in the food processor along with the veggies and/or meat. Or add whole grain flour to the mix until you reach desired consistency.
2. Mix with a couple of eggs
You want to scoop out a large dollop on griddle or skillet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Flatten to about a ½" and lightly fry on each side. (About 3 min. each side - or 'til cooked through, as in the case of meat).
Cheese is an optional add-in and can even be added on top after flipping (this is what we do here on part of the batch of cakes since cheese is usually not an indulgence I allow myself, but all my guys love.)
Our favorite cakes are zucchini (just shredded zucchini w/ a little onion mixed with the egg and flour), confetti veggie cakes (pictured) (shredded potato, carrots, squash, onion, peppers - whatever else I have on hand! with egg and flour), tuna cakes (canned, drained tuna with various veggies, bread crumbs and eggs), and turkey cakes (ground turkey, various veggies, bread crumbs and eggs). (The turkey ones are great on the grill as well! - Form into patties as you would a hamburger).
Have you ever made cakes for dinner? I think your kids would like the sound of it at least! They may even ask for syrup on them like our little Will! ;-)