In praise of spinach

First, look what Slouching Mom nominated me for:

My site was nominated for The Blogitzer!

Way cool.  It is for the blogger who demonstrates the best writing ability.  You can click to vote for me, if you like.  Maybe that will convince publishers that someone other than Slouching Mom likes my writing. 

Now, for the real reason you clicked here today:

Spinach-apple-chicken nuggets 

As I mentioned, the spinach is optional, should you have a child who will inform you that he does not eat green foods.  Also, if you get your chicken from a butcher, you can have him run it through the machine to grind it.  Saves you lots of time.  It only took me four months of making these nuggets to figure that out. 

3 slices whole wheat bread

2 or 3 large skinless chicken breasts

2 or 3 skinned apples

Three or four handfuls of washed baby spinach

2 beaten eggs

Flour

1) Toss the bread in the food processor and make bread crumbs.

2) Puree the apples and the spinach, remembering that using too much produce will make the chicken too watery to form into nuggets.  Do this before even touching the chicken breasts or they won’t get totally processed, leaving flecks that prompt your pre-schooler to inform you that “something’s in there.”  Remove the processed apples and spinach to a bowl.

3) Chop up the chicken unless your butcher ground it for you.  Either way, puree the chicken.  You want it was ground up as possible.

4) Put the apples and spinach back in the food processor with the chicken and blend them all together.

(This is the point at which you can probably hand it over to the thirteen-year-old who is learning how to cook, as suggested by Melody.  The next part of the process is totally gross for adults, which means it would be incredibly fun for a thirteen-year-old boy.  Should you have none handy, you’ll have to do it yourself.)

5) Form the rather soupy mixture into nugget-sized pieces.

6) Coat lightly in flour.  Then dip in eggs.  Then coat in bread crumbs.  If you have a child who cannot eat eggs, I guess you could try it with milk, instead.

7) When you have finished making the nuggets and washed your hands twenty-seven times to recover from your Lady-Macbeth-goes-Julia-Child feeling, gently brush them with olive oil.  Flip with a spatula and brush the other side.

8 ) Bake at, say, 400 degrees.  Flip after ten minutes or when browned.  They usually take about 15-20 minutes to bake, but it depends on how much spinach or apple you used. 

Once you cool these puppies, you can wrap them in foil to freeze – I freeze them six to a pack: 2 for Zach, 4 for Ben.  Then, reheat in the toaster oven.

 

Bonus Recipe – Spinach That Your Child May Eat

As much as the last recipe was a pain in the ass, this recipe is easy

 “You can’t say he’s picky,” my friend tells me.  “He eats spinach.”  This is true.  Zachary does eat spinach.  The key is to start them on this recipe early – say eight months old or so. 

Olive oil (maybe a tablespoon or two)

Cumin, curry powder, cinnamon to taste

Small dash of nutmeg if you have some

Can of chickpeas, rinsed

Cup or so of raisins

Big honkin’ tub of baby spinach

 

1)      Heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add spices and cook for a minute to blend

2)      Cook chickpeas in oil (stirring frequently) till they start to soften

3)      Add raisins plus almost a cup of water (say 7/8 cup, if you need an exact amount)

4)      Cook for a couple of minutes to plump

5)      Throw in the baby spinach, cover.  Stir every few minutes till it does that magical thing spinach does when it reduces to a fraction of its initial size.

6)      Puree till smooth

7)      Freeze in portions

I hope none of this gave you the impression that I slave over foods for my kids.  This is it.  All I’ve got. 

14 responses to “In praise of spinach

  1. spinach and raisins in one recipe? when does the child next …erm…pass stool? Or do the chickpeas offset that?

    Thank you. Printing now.

    And congrats on the nomination. I confess I tried last year to navigate the necessary enrollment to vote and gave up.

  2. Congrats on the nomination…now I have more competition (LOL)!

    And thanks for the recipe. I will happily and gladly share in some that someone else makes. 🙂

    But it does look great…you really did well with that.

    Julie
    Using My Words

  3. I’m going to make my own nuggets this very weekend! Woo!

    P.S. You can also buy your own grinder from a restaurant supply place. We grind all of our own meat for Italian sausage and such. It pays for itself after about 10 uses, I swear.

  4. Nice to meet you Emily. Thanks for the compliment, most kind.

    I shall come peruse your little world here s’more.
    🙂
    /jo

  5. Thanks – both sound good.

  6. yes, congrats. all i got last year was a hottest mommy blogger nod, and that just didn’t sound talent based. BUT, you, you, girl are money. pure talent.

  7. Spinach and mozzarella quesadilla works in my house, too. So long as the spinach is cut up finely enough and there’s enough cheese. Then again, my child is more like Benjamin than Zachary in this department, so maybe he’s not a good example.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  8. We love anything with spinach and mozzarella – we have made quesadilla’s like that before, but it’s been a while. These recipes sound wonderful, thanks. See ya. Kellan

  9. Congratulations on the nomination and thanks for the recipe!!

  10. Twenty Five Days

    Wow. And all I get is spaghetti and sausage. I’ll have to put Laura on this PDQ.

  11. Voted!

    I’m gonna have to try those chicken nuggets. Although I’m a bit afraid of them actually liking them….

  12. i am always amazed that people buy their meat at a butchers. I never do anything but buy it prewrapped from the case at the grocery store. I am sure you get better stuff from a butcher, but I just have no clue!

  13. I always thought I loathed spinach until I grew up and discovered it doesn’t just come in frozen bricks with the texture of a wet mop!

    Congrats on the nomination, and good luck!

  14. Wow! So many extremely cool things in just one post…
    catherine