Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

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“Mom! It’s the first star of the night! Make a wish!” my daughter whispered for the third night in a row. The first night, we were sitting at a baseball game, surrounded by an end of summer breeze, the smell of hot dogs and popcorn floating on the edges of the night air. I wished for a million more perfect summer nights at the baseball park. I tried not to be greedy. I really wanted to wish for a million and one of them.

The second time she prompted me to wish on a star was the very next night. The boys were riding scooters in the driveway, my daughter sucking her left thumb, leaning lazily on my arm. “Mom! Make a wish!” she squealed, pointing at a pinhole of light in the blackening sky. I wished for a million more moments with my seven-year-old leaning lazily on my arm, sucking her thumb, watching the boys slide their scooters across the driveway. As far as I can figure, it’s not too much to ask that little girl of mine to stay seven for another 2,739.2 years. Really. That’s a perfectly reasonable request.

I was tucking the kids into bed the very next night, when my daughter asked me to close the window. “It’s too cold,” she shivered, “can you get me an extra blanket, too?” I walked to the window and started to close the pane, then saw the evening’s first star. “Lyssy,” I whispered, “Look what I see.”

“Mom! It’s the first star of the night! Make a wish!”

And so, I did. As the chill autumn breeze wisped it’s way into the room, I wished for the strength to let go of my wishes. To let myself move through all the seasons of my life with grace and peace, knowing that I’ll be ready to say goodbye to the summer sun, to ballpark greens, to scooters in the driveway when the time comes. Trusting that I’ll be ready for autumn just as the first leaf falls. I closed the window and kissed the summer goodnight.

As I turned to smooch my Lyss to sleep, she whispered excitedly, “Mom! I made a wish for my birthday! I’m going to be eight soon, you know.”

Yes, punkin. I know. But for now, you are seven. It is summer. Let’s not wish these precious days away.

And I kissed her seven-year-old cheeks goodnight. Three times.

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Chicken & Veggie Nuggets
These are so simple to make, they truly don’t take much longer than pulling a bunch of frozen nuggets out of the freezer and cooking them for 18-20 minutes. Because all this recipe requires is blending the veggies, mixing them into ground chicken, and coating them in bread crumbs, before baking, you’ll be tremendously surprised when you get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Better yet, it’s a dinner that your kids will absolutely adore. I just so happened to like these light tasting nuggest, too. And, I am not a chicken nugget fan, so that is say a LOT. if you’re short on time, try cutting the nuggets into diamond shapes, rather than stars. No matter how you slice them, these veggie chicken nuggets are a win-win dinner for everyone at your kitchen table!
1 (14 oz.) package California Veggies, thawed
1 egg
1/2 lb. ground chicken
1 tsp. onion salt
2 c. panko bread crumbs
Salt & pepper to taste
Put the veggies and egg in a blender. Blend until pureed. Pour puree into a large bowl. Add the ground chicken and onion salt. Mix together with a fork until well mixed. On a large cutting board, spread a thin layer of the panko crumbs, salt and pepper them lightly. Spread chicken mixture on top of the crumb mixture until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Sprinkle more panko crumbs, salt, and pepper on top of the chicken mixture. Use a cookie cutter to cut the chicken into star shapes.

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Transfer to a cookie sheet which has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or just until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with ranch dressing or barbecue sauce.

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Stouffer’s sent me a copy of Todd Parr’s adorable new book, Let’s Fix Dinner, which compliments the company’s Let’s Fix Dinner Challenge. It’s an incredible program, and I urge you to check it out and join in on the fun.

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Leave a Comment & Win!
I’ve got one copy of the book & a set of matching placemats for a lucky commenter. Tell me your favorite fast-fix family meal and you’ll be eligible to win the giveaway.

Disclaimer: Stouffer’s provided me with the giveaway items, but did not in any way compensate me to publish positive commentary about the book, Let’s Fix Dinner, or www.letsfixdinner.com. All opinions published are my own.

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48 Responses to “Chicken & Veggie Nuggets”

  1. 1

    cbhoff on September 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm Reply

    Those look good… Maybe we'll make them in a few nights. My fave lately has been a simple crispy chicken with panda express orange sauce and jasmine rice. Fast and yummy.

  2. 2

    Gridiron Girl on September 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm Reply

    What a super cute idea! My kids are going to love these. We are currently on a pasta kick, our favorite being cheese stuffed ravioli with a three cheese spinach pesto cream sauce.

    Love your blog! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration.

  3. 3

    A SPICY PERSPECTIVE on September 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm Reply

    Too cute! And I love that you secretly squeezed in some veggies!

  4. 4

    Brooke on September 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm Reply

    Can't wait to try these! Our favorite fast fix is Hash. We usually mix in some type of meat with potato slices and any type of veggie we have on hand. We also do different seasonings, using ranch, garlic, plain ol' salt and pepper or even a can of rotel. Then you fry it all up in a pan with a dollop of butter. Easy, yummy, and versatile.

  5. 5

    The Ottley's on September 8, 2010 at 10:32 pm Reply

    Love. Love. Love Todd Parr! Love! (Just to reiterate! :) )
    Our favorite fast fix is chicken tacos. Slather thawed chicken up with chili powder, grill. Put on tortilla shell with cabbage, cheese, tomatos, avacado, etc. Yummo!

  6. 6

    Jill @ Jill Can Blog on September 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm Reply

    I'm going to try these! I love sneaking vegetables into my kids' food.

    Our favorite fast fix dinner is spaghetti.

  7. 7

    Belinda on September 9, 2010 at 1:10 am Reply

    Will be making these. Thank you.

  8. 8

    Rose on September 9, 2010 at 4:13 am Reply

    The patties look great. I would love to make them just with veggies.
    Our fast fix is Chips and salad, yummy and not too much work. Or roast vegetables with couscous.

    Rose

  9. 9

    stacey on September 9, 2010 at 5:03 am Reply

    These look so good, and cute, too! Our fast fix is "soup with pasta" – just pasta in tomato soup, usually with veggies and fruit and maybe a grilled cheese if we've got a couple more minutes.

  10. 10

    katie b on September 9, 2010 at 7:52 am Reply

    My kids would gobble those up in seconds!

    Our favorite fast fix for dinner is anything BREAKFAST. Lately it's veggie and cheese omelets with mini blueberry muffins. (I keep my own muffin mix on hand and add the wet ingredients, lemon zest, and blueberries. Muffins in 5 minutes!)

    Or sausage pancakes with homemade buttermilk syrup. It's more like dessert, but it's sooo good.

  11. 11

    Adria on September 9, 2010 at 8:16 am Reply

    This looks like loads of fun to make!
    For those of us not in the US could someone please tell me what sort of vegetables are found in the California Vegge Mix? Thank you :)

  12. 12

    Anonymous on September 9, 2010 at 9:22 am Reply

    Taco are our quick fix meals, and one that all of us love. With a couple picky eaters it's hard to find one that we all love!

    Shilo

  13. 13

    Bree on September 9, 2010 at 11:18 am Reply

    Spaghetti and Meatballs. I always have some homemade meatballs and sauce in my freezer.

  14. 14

    Christa on September 9, 2010 at 11:52 am Reply

    Such a great idea. I am really finding it hard to get my kids to eat their veggies. Both of my boys will eat broccoli, so I figure that counts for a lot, but it gets old. They won't eat corn and carrots?? I have weird kids.

    Any ideas for school lunches that incorporate veggies with these limitations–the boy will not eat raw vegetables. I've been sending in vegetable soup which he will eat, but would love to change it up a bit!

    As for a go to meal, we have bachelor casserole (that's what my husband called it!). Browned ground turkey or beed mixed with frozen vegetables and macaroni and cheese (white cheddar, if we're feeling adventurous!).

    Love you. Love your blog and thank you for reminding me how fleeting these precious days are with my babies. Its so easy to get focused on the daily grind and lose touch with the daily beauty in our routines that I will surely miss when they're gone!

  15. 15

    Skye on September 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm Reply

    I'm not joining the giveaway but just wanted to say this was a beautiful post. :)

  16. 16

    Alyjean on September 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm Reply

    I love those "nuggets". So cute cut into stars.

    My fast fix is a spinach and feta fritatta with skillet potatoes. YUM!

  17. 17

    Nik on September 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm Reply

    Aw stop it. You totally made me cry and now my make up is running down my cheeks. :( Silent reader but I had to post that your entry was one of the sweetest I have ever read. My girls are 9 and 7 and my boys are 28 months and 10 months. Time is going by way too fast.

    Thanks for the recipe. I hope to try this out soon.

  18. 18

    The Baldwin's on September 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm Reply

    our fast fix meal is stacky-uppies…mini corn tortillas layered with ground beef, enchilada sauce and cheese, topped with lettuce. yum!

  19. 19

    Wahzat Gayle on September 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm Reply

    I am so looking forward to trying this dish… Of course I have to find the gluten free alternative to the bread crumbs I am thinking quinoa flakes hmmm I do think my son will love this.
    Our favourite fast fix family meal is simply pasta sauce with minced meat and pasta (rice noodles for the son) They love it and it is super quick and easy :)

    Oh why do these little girls love to rush thing… my 7year old is already planning her birthday party and it is all the way in January! (I do love parties so I understand though)

  20. 20

    Anonymous on September 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm Reply

    My fave fast fix dinner is hot dogs in croissants
    strezo@sbcglobal.net

  21. 21

    Camille on September 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm Reply

    I love Sloppy Joes as a quick fix. They are delicious, and well, quick.
    I would love to win this!!!

  22. 22

    Camille on September 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm Reply

    Oh my these look so much better than the Dino-Nuggets I usually fix for dinner, which ironicall is my answer for what I fall back on for a quick dinner fix! (shame on me) :)

  23. 23

    The Mickelsens on September 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm Reply

    Pancakes. Whenever i neeed something quick we whip some up on the griddle, add some fresh fruit and we are ready to eat!

  24. 24

    Leta on September 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm Reply

    Love this post so much. My go to quick meals are breakfast for dinner, cheese quesadillas, tacos, meat loaf, spaghetti or the good ole frozen pizza.

  25. 25

    Melissa on September 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm Reply

    Can't wait to try these. My fast fix meal is chicken tacos w/ the chicken that is already pre-sliced and just needs to be microwaved!

  26. 26

    Krista B. on September 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm Reply

    What a cute idea!! My quick fix meal is homemade "sloppy janes" (I use turkey, green pepper and other healthy yumminess, hence the jane vs. joe) with sweet potato fries.

  27. 27

    Tina Bowering on March 7, 2011 at 7:35 am Reply

    I LOVE Todd Parr! We just ordered a bunch of his books for my clinic. I’m a speech-language pathologist and I do speech and language therapy with preschoolers. He’s so great!

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  29. 28

    LooksTOOYummy on March 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm Reply

    What brand is the California Veggies? Do you know what veggies it includes and about how many cups? Thanks!! I really want to make this

    • Brooke replied: — March 16th, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

      Sure! California veggies are cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. You could add in fresh ones, but they’d need longer to cook. Toss in about a cup of each kind of veggie and you should be good to go!

  30. 29

    Sarah on March 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm Reply

    I thought these looked really cute but when I made them, they just did not look like these pictures – it looked like way too many veggies in comparison to the chicken. The consistency wasn’t right. I quadruple checked the amounts of each… any suggestions on what I might have done wrong?

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  33. 30

    Laura on September 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm Reply

    I had the same problem that Sarah had. Mine had too many veggies to chicken I think. Is the recipe supposed to say 1 lb. of ground chicken instead of 1/2 lb.?
    Thanks!

  34. 31

    Tracy on February 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm Reply

    I am making these as I type (they are in the oven) and the batter was SO runny! There is no way I could have “rolled” them out to cut with a cookie cutter. I just rolled them in balls and then rolled them in breadcrumbs. They look fine and smell good. Hope my 14-month-old twins (who recently have gotten vege picky!) like them!

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  36. 32

    Christian Friborg on November 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm Reply

    My son would surely love this. I bet he’ll ask me to make this recipe everyday!

  37. 33

    Mrs Smith on January 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm Reply

    My son is allergic to eggs, is there anything I could substitute for the egg in this recipe, or could i leave it out all together? I understand it is for binding, but not sure how else to bind everything.

  38. 34

    Jentastic on January 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm Reply

    OMG these were SO GOOD!! My husband said they tasted like spring rolls. I used a 12oz. bag of the steam fresh California veggies and nuked it for about 4 and a half minutes. I let it cool before processing and added salt, pepper, and onion flakes (couldn’t find onion salt). I also added a bit of garlic powder. I used a whole pound of ground chicken instead of 1/2 pound and it came out perfectly for pressing and using cutters on. This was a hit and I will most certainly be making them again!!

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  43. 35

    rigina on December 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm Reply

    I used more chicken than the recipe stated a full pound, added 2 teaspoons of paprika (for flavor and color), a cup of parmesan, and when the nuggets were baking I blasted each side with PAM so they were golden in color as well.

  44. 36

    Jesús on February 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm Reply

    Wow! looks great! I tried to do it. But the mix was like that a puree and I couldn’t shape. I added the same amounts. What did I do wrong?

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  46. 37

    April on June 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm Reply

    Any suggestions on making them gluten free? Also, has anyone tried making them in advance and freezing them?

  47. 38

    chatting room on September 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm Reply

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that
    this site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably
    be back again to read more, thanks for the info!

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