I had hoped to be able to post a beautiful Valentine’s Day craft that perfectly portrays the love the mini-ions and I have for each other. Then, reality happened. The mini-ions had zero interest in any craft provocation I set up, so I just went with it, scrapped any crafting hopes I had for this year with my eyes set for the future.
In the meantime, I made what I may currently consider the largest success I’ve had in healthy cooking for the mini-ions – vegetable chicken nuggets! I’ve tried this recipe a couple of times, with varied success. This time was truly my best effort, the mini-ions were just grabbing them off the cooling rack as if they were cookies!! I also made them in the shape of hearts in honor of Valentine’s Day!
The recipe comes from this blog, Intentionally Domestic – Crocodile Nuggets. Her blog is chocked full of really good information that I have whiled away many a nap looking through it. This recipe is great because it is another really flexible recipe. It takes some time and effort, particularly if you do it the way I did.
First, I made a loaf of bread using my favorite bread recipe, then shredded it in the food processor and toasted it until crispy in the oven.
Second, I roasted the chicken and let it cool (in this case, I had some leftover breast from a previous chicken roasting, then roasted four thighs and saved the skin and bones for bone broth). After it had cooled, I chopped it really finely in the food processor with a bit of bone broth.
While I was waiting for the chicken to cool, I cooked a head of cauliflower and two chopped carrots in bone broth until really tender. Once the chicken was ground up, I ground up the cauliflower and carrots with a bit of the cooking water.
I combined the rest of the ingredients, then using a small cookie scoop, scooped the mixture into a heart cookie cutter, flattened it out and lifted the cutter to leave the heart shape on the cookie sheet. This picture shows them cooling on the cooling rack where my mini-ions started swiping them as soon as they could get their hands on them! As I’ve played with this recipe before, I know that these go easily into the freezer, so now I’m fully stocked for about two weeks for Mini-ion #1’s massive nugget consumption! Here’s the recipe with my changes:
Intentionally Domestic’s Crocodile Nuggets
- 3 cups finely shredded, raw or cooked vegetables (I used a head of cauliflower and two carrots, cooked in bone broth)
- 4 cups finely ground, cooked chicken or turkey
- 4 cups breadcrumbs
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, optional (not optional in our house!)
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast (I used the crazy chia/flaxseed mix I found at walmart)
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Add some extra breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet, or add an extra egg if the mixture is too dry to stick together.
- Shape the mixture into patties. I used a 2-ounce cookie scoop to make it quick and uniform. Place on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes per side or until lightly browned.