Thursday, August 1, 2013

McNuggets Gone Veggie!

As I've mentioned before, I grew up lovin' my Eggo waffles and tater tots for dinner, and stubbornly refused my step-dad Gary's gourmet dinners....

... I also had a hankering for fast food that I ate really often growing up.  People were amazed watching the tiniest, skinniest 6 year old chow down on a Big Mac... Yes, shameful I know.... especially since it went on into high school as evidenced below!

And for my mom and sister's, yes, I WAS the only person who requested McDonald's on our vacation in Italy... TRULY SHAMEFUL!

My very favorite though, by far, was McDonald's Chicken McNuggets (dipped in their honey packets.... and no, I have absolutely no idea where I came up with that combo?!)

While growing up and eating them once I started cooking (still non-vegetarian), I realized how yummy they were, but completely unnatural they look, felt, tasted... you just know there's somethin' that ain't chicken in those things!.... EWW on multiple levels!

For reals.... where would a breading like come from?! Planet lets-process-the-nuts-outta-this?!
So, in this house, McNuggets have gone Veggie style.

......And there are SO many great brands of meatless and vegetarian and/or vegan-friendly pre-made nuggets, but I wanted to give it a-go of my own for copy-cat week! :)

There are so many things I love about this copycat!

1. It's versatile in that you can completely mix and match what veggies you use (depending on what's in season or what you have on hand!)

2. It's easily easily turned vegan with 2 simple alterations.  Swap the egg with a vegan alternative, like almond/soy milk and omit or use vegan friendly croutons. 

3. It's so kid friendly and a way to get veggies into kids (note to self when I become a mom!, but for any momma' readers) by cutting them into fun shapes and even getting kids into the kitchen to help out!... "Chicken" McNuggets Kid's Meal gone healthy!


All of the veggies I used were seasonal, Indiana grown and organic from the local produce stand!

Organic Produce stand collection =) YIPEE!

Coach's Orders!
1. Rinse 2 lbs of red potatoes (skin on -- where the nutrients are!) and dice into small bites, then boil in water until fork tender. 

2. While the potatoes are boiling, cut off corn from the cob (or use frozen if you have it on hand, thawed). 

3. Largely dice 1/2 cup of squash, then zucchini, then and carrots. 

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and start with the carrots lightly coated in olive oil non-stick spray.

5. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then add zucchini and squash with more olive oil spray, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and roast for another 15 minutes. 

For the breadcrumbs, I made my own blend :) Such a good idea! Blend together equal parts seasoned breadcrumbs, peanuts and seasoned croutons in a food processor!

6. Add in the corn last and roast for a last 10 minutes.

Take out and let cool until able to handle 

7. While veggies are cooling, drain the potatoes and transfer into a large bowl and start to mash with a masher or a fork (NOTE: Don't put in a food processor), until fairly mashed up, but not too mashed, eyeball it!

8. Add veggies into food processor
and pulse until all minced up 

Add the mixed veggies to the potatoes and mix altogether!

Once it's all mixed together 
Add in a 1/2" layer and freeze for about 30 minutes

Take out of the freezer and cut out your desired shapes (fun ones for kids!)

Line up 3 bowls filled with:
 1) Flour then 2) Whisked eggs 3) Breadcrumb mixture
Substitute Almond soy milk for vegan readers!

Take each nugget and lightly coat in flour, then add to the egg mixture (I suggest using a fork to keep one hand clean) and then cover in the breadcrumb mixture!
Let any excess egg mixture drip off before adding to breadcrumbs!

Here you have 2 great options! Pop the extras in the freezer for another day and bake as many as you'd like to eat for dinna' with ya' french fries!

Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes on each side to brown.

Now THAT it was I call truly BREADED nuggets!

Don't you dare forget those french fries when you're doin' a McD copycat!

You know when you have a cravin', you'd drive back and demand your missin' fries in the drive through ;) 

Wash 3 medium/large potatoes (skin on!) and cut into as 1/4-1/2" fries, then soak in cold water for 15 minutes, then pat dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lay all fries evenly on a sheet tree and lightly coat with 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder!

Cook for 20 minutes, mix up and cook for a remaining 10 minutes.

Golden brown good!

Pile em' into bowl and let cool for a bit so ya' don't burn your tongue off.... not that anyone here has done that! HE!

Plate it all up and CHOW TIME!

... I present to you... 
McNuggets Meal, Veggie and Classy Style!

... and hey, I served my McNuggets with honey, so why not give it a shot and see what all the huff was about?!

Honestly, I wasn't crazy after all (... in regards to this combo!) cause' even veggie style, this was sublime!... and the Ketchup was just an added bonus :)

Savor these McNuggets my friends! (... and PS: I'm a McD@&*#^) by maiden name, so I mean, I've got roots here peeps!)

Crunchy from the coating and bake, oozing with good and fresh flava' and such a hit!.... Even my hubs finished off his plate before I even really had a chance to plate mine up!

ENJOY! And yes, the list was lengthy, but done in less than an hour & easy-peasy!


You can find me on:

Twitter: @IndysVeggieFix
Instagram: IndysVeggieFix

No comments:

Post a Comment