Monday, June 18, 2012

Spinach Chicken Nuggets

I'm trying to get a little more creative in coming up with food for my little miss to eat. She has been eating sooooo much more since we ditched the formula, it is crazy.  It is hard to come up with a variety of things that 1) she can feed herself, since she won't really let us feed her anymore, 2) don't require her to use a spoon, because that just isn't working yet, and 3) she can chew with five teeth.

I borrowed Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook from the library hoping to find some inspiration.  Her basic concept is to puree veggies and sneak them into foods that your kids already eat; she usually lists multiple vegetables that can be used in each recipe as well. 

Since Addy seemed to like the chicken nuggets we had at her birthday party, I decided to try making a healthier version from the book. I had a giant container of spinach in the fridge that was on it's last leg, so I decided to use it for the puree this time. Matt also had a loaf of lite wheat bread that wasn't going to make it much longer, so I decided to use that to make the bread crumbs. I know a more nutritious bread would have made them even better, but I'm all about not wasting food.

So I tore the bread up in batches and toasted it in the oven at 300 degrees. 

When it was nice and dry, I threw it into the food processor. Voila, bread crumbs.

Meanwhile I took the spinach in batches and steamed it for a few seconds in a pan of water, and threw that into the food processor.

For the nuggets, you dip the chicken in the egg/spinach mixture, and then into the breadcrumb mixture (see the recipe for all the other stuff that goes in there). The spinach definitely made for a thicker coating, but it worked. Jessica's recipe said to then fry them in a pan, but I decided to just bake them in the oven to make them a little healthier.

The result turned out better than I was expecting. They crisped up fairly well and held together, which was what I was worried about.  As leftovers they definitely need to be heated up in the toaster oven; the microwave left them super soggy and gross. I stuck the rest of them in the freezer, and I think they will probably defrost fine as long as we stick with the toaster oven.

As far as a grade from Addy, based on how she ate them I would say she gave them a B+.  The only time she totally rejected them was when I used the microwave to heat them up, and I really do not blame her.  She generally eats at least two or three of them every time we've tried them. 

So overall, I think these nuggets are a good way to get some protein and extra veggies in her at the same time.  Jessica's book has also inspired me to use up those extra baby food purees we have in the freezer.  We'll see if I can get creative.

No comments:

Post a Comment