As I have mentioned before, my 2 year old daughter is already a budding vegetarian and it is quite a task to get her to eat any meat other than hot dogs and chicken nuggets. I know that she needs to eat more protein (and I don’t think hot dogs are the answer) so, I’ve been trying to come up with a healthy recipe for chicken nuggets that have less sodium, fat and preservatives than the kind found in the freezer aisle.
I’ve called these “green” chicken nuggets, not because they are earth-friendly, but rather in the sense of Green Eggs and Ham. The addition of spinach and green onions not only gives these nuggets an unusual hue, but also provides some extra vitamins and nutrients. My daughter LOVED these nuggets and they had enough flavor to be an appealing meal option for my husband and I as well. I may even try forming this mixture into larger patties for chicken burgers. These can be made gluten-free by substituting Tamari for the soy sauce.
Green Chicken Nuggets
Makes about 18 nuggets
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 teaspoon honey
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1. Place half of the chicken in the bowl of a food processor along with the spinach, green onions, garlic, egg, salt, soy sauce and honey. Pulse for a few seconds or until the chicken is finely chopped, but not pasty.
2. Add the rest of the chicken and pulse quickly, just until the chicken is coarsely chopped and ingredients are well combined.
3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. It is important to keep the heat fairly low because the soy sauce will cause these nuggets to brown very quickly.Â Scoop up scant tablespoons of the chicken mixture and add them to the hot oil. Continue to fry until the chicken is cooked through and the nuggets are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Repeat with the rest of the chicken mixture.
4. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and serve warm with dipping sauces, if desired.