chicken(less) protein nuggets
Raising two vegetarian kids, I am hyper aware of protein intake. Everyday my kids are served eggs and a legume of some sort, but when they turn their noses up at those, I wish that I had a sure way they would get their protein...a chicken nugget of sorts. Something that is always sitting in the freezer, waiting for that day when your kid only wants to eat bananas and it's nearing bedtime and they need a good filling dose of protein that you know they will scarf down no matter what.
So I have been playing around with different vehicles for protein packed bites that they will eat every time (which is is a challenging task, considering I have a 3 and a half and a 1 year old!). My kids like the tofu and pea nuggets that I have on the blog, but there are still occasions she will turn them away. But I think I have found the perfect protein nugget solution!! They are made of quinoa, red lentils, and tofu...a serious bite of goodness for plant-based kids.
The babes can't get enough when I serve them and for my husband and I, they are a total comfort food. Served with ketchup, it's hard to tell what's in them :)
1 cup red lentils
1 cup quinoa
3 cups veggie broth (or salted water)
1 package sprouted soft tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or parm cheese)
1 egg (or vegan egg)
1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup semolina flour (or flour of choice!)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in lentils and quinoa. Cover, lower to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Add cooked lentils and quinoa to a bowl. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, egg, and salt. Mix well with a fork, breaking all the tofu as you go, or hit it a few times with a hand emulsifier. Stir in flour and breadcrumbs. The mixture will be very wet.
Heat 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Spoon drops of your batter into the pan. They will be all sorts of different shapes, which helps make them seem more like chicken nuggets! Fry on each side for about 4 minutes, or until they have a nice golden crust (or in my case today, some golden, some extra toasty).
This recipe will make 25-30 nuggets depending on size. Our family of 4 polished them off in one sitting. But if you have leftovers, they will freeze well in a ziplock bag to be pulled out for a quick meal!