Nuggets are quite a popular item to order at fast food restaurants here in the States, especially for kids. Besides the flavor I'm sure the shape and size of this finger food gives it more appeal. There's something fun for children and adults about dipping and eating little nugget size food I think. I didn't realize until I started playing around recently with more veggie alternatives that these little nuggets were possible to make and taste pretty darn good. They're a great "meatless Monday" option if you follow trends like that in your home or just want a healthier option to feed your family without all the guilt of traditional nuggets.
Broccoli & Cauliflower -The Veggie Power Duo
Broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables that are a powerful duo in whole food because they contain "glucosinolates" which are considered to have anti-cancerous properties. Is there a better reason to experiment cooking with these flowering heads than that? Besides that potential benefit they are rich in many other vitamins and fiber. Even if you don't care for the taste of either of these vegetables, you might actually like eating them this way.
These nuggets are a great way to sneak more veggies into your kiddos without much resistance. If they don't like broccoli or cauliflower from past experiences just keep your mouth closed until they try a bite. We do this a lot in our home only because kids are always judging everything by their looks. Put their favorite dip next to the nuggets, hopefully one not too loaded in sugar and just give them time to observe and slowly taste. They might surprise you.
Vegetable Nuggets vs Chicken Nuggets
There's no comparison really, I know. They taste completely different and make you feel different for obvious reasons. I have watched too many documentaries and read too much to enjoy eating the chicken ones anymore. I was however that kid who enjoyed them very much growing up. I didn't eat them a lot, but they were an occasional treat when going out to fast food restaurants. I now refuse to feed the chicken ones to my kids, unless there is absolutely nothing else to eat. I don't think I really need to expand on my reasoning too much.
We've all heard about how much better it is to eat our veggies than something like fast food nuggets, but in case you still have a love and hunger for traditional nuggets, you might want to check out Food Inc.
As for these vegetable nuggets, I think they are very enjoyable and you'll feel good knowing exactly what's in them; whole veggie goodness for your body!Print
Broccoli Cauliflower Nuggets
These are some delightful little vegetarian nuggets to please kids and adults. Serve with an organic ketchup, marinara or even a yogurt dip. Makes 25-27 nuggets. Easily double recipe if you need to make a big batch. You can freeze extra too. Defrost in fridge overnight a short reheat in the microwave.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 16 minutes
- Total Time: 46 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 1x
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
- ½ bunch of broccoli, washed and cut into small florets (about ¾ lb after stems cut off)
- ½ head cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets (about ¾ lb)
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (other preferred orange or white cheese would be fine)
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp granulated garlic
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
Kitchen Tools Used
- Steamer basket with pot
- Food processor with "S" blade
- *Large Baking sheet lined with parchment paper in baking
- *Griddle or skillet if browning and pan frying
- Olive oil to just coat griddle or skillet
- Boil water in pot that fits a steaming basket.
- Place florets in steaming basket and once water boiling in pot, place basket covered over pot.
- Steam florets for 8-12, till knife slides through a thicker floret easily. (check every minute after 8)
- While the florets are steaming prep and gather breadcrumbs through garlic in a large mixing bowl and combine.
- Once florets are done, remove basket from pot and set aside to cool slightly. After about 5-10 minutes add florets to food processor with "S" blade in 2 or 3 batches to quick pulse florets til mostly chopped, but not too fine. (4-5 pulses should do)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees or griddle at 325-350 degrees at this time (baking and skillet/griddle cooking directions below)
- Scoop out chopped up florets onto clean kitchen towel and squeeze out excess liquid into sink.
- Once all florets chopped in processor and squeezed out add to large mixing bowl with seasoning mix and combine well.
- Add whisked egg to mixture and combine once more.
- Using an approximate heaping tablespoon, form nugget sized rounds, about 2" in diameter and ½" thick at the most.
Baking Directions (They will not brown as much this way, as shown in picture, but it's a matter of preference)
- Place nuggets on parchment paper lined baking sheet about an inch apart
- Bake for 16 mins, flipping over half way through
Pan/Griddle Fry Directions
- Place nuggets on pan just coated lightly with olive oil (I drizzle oil or griddle and spread throughout carefully with bunched paper towel)
- Cook till lightly brown, about 8 minutes, then flip and brown other side
- Keep cooked nuggets warm in 170 degree oven or on a plate covered with clean kitchen towel till ready to serve.
Serve with an organic ketchup or a yogurt sauce
- Serving Size: 1
Kitchen Tools Used in This Recipe
Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic Stainless 4-Piece 12-Quart Pasta/Steamer Set
Cuisinart DFP-14BCN 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel
Wolfgang Puck Indoor Electric Reversible Grill & Griddle
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Big Sheet
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