Most children dislike vegetables and love chicken nuggets. Try as you may to introduce veggies to their diet, they much prefer those nuggets. Problem is, those nuggets are loaded with chemicals and poor quality chicken. I know that was the case with my children when they were young and now my grandchildren. What to do? If you could make those veggies taste like nuggets, they might gobble them up. The recipe is a bit labor intensive but worth it to see the little ones eating with enjoyment and getting their good nutrition. Adults can enjoy them too. Be sure all your veggies are organic and go to it! I taste tested it with some of my grandchildren, both little ones and teens, even the ones who “hate veggies.” Here’s the recipe, adapted from a magazine called Relish, that comes with our local newspaper:
2 medium yams, baked and cooled
8 oz. frozen cauliflower, thawed and patted dry
10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (or fresh chopped)
1 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 eggs, divided
2 1/4 c, bread crumbs, either Panko or gluten free Italian flavored
1 t. Himalayan salt
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cayenne (optional)
Ketchup or honey mustard, for dipping
Peel yams and mash to smooth consistency. Pulse cauliflower and spinach in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix with mashed yam, adding 1/2 c. Parmesan, 1 egg, 3/4 c. crumbs, and spices. Preheat oven to 450 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat remaining eggs in a medium bowl. Toss remaining 1 1/2 c. crumbs with 1/2 c. Parmesan on a large shallow plate.
Using slightly dampened hands, form veggie mixture into 1″ balls and flatten slightly into nugget shapes. Dip 1 nugget at a time into egg, then crumbs, then place on baking sheets.
Bake 30 min, till golden brown. Turn once 1/2 way through. Serve with dipping sauce. 6 nuggets per serving. Nutrition per serving – 300 cal,42 g. carbs (yam is low glycemic however), 18 g. protein, 9 g. fat, 150 mg. cholesterol, 810 mg. sodium, 6 g. fiber, plus lots of vitamins and minerals in the veggies.
If you try it with your kids, let me know how it goes. If you love it, make a double batch while you have all the utensils out. It freezes well.
Yoga teacher and health coach