Hey Y'all! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. Mine has been filled with family outings to the zoo, long walks, a couple of naps, and shopping. I also had the opportunity to watch an eye-opening new show on ABC, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Did you see it? If you didn't see it or haven't heard about it, Chef Jamie Oliver is "taking on obesity, heart disease and diabetes in the USA, where our nation's children are the first generation NOT expected to live as long as their parents."
I found it absolutely fascinating. And disgusting. At one point in the episode, he brought in a handful of children to show them how processed chicken nuggets were made. You can watch a similar demonstration here. Basically, he took a whole chicken and cut off the breasts, legs, and wings. With the remaining carcass of bones, fat, and connective tissue, he cut it up into chunks and then pureed it in his food processor. Then, he added stabilizer, fat, and flavoring, shaped the concoction into "nuggets," breaded them, and then fried them in oil. Voila! Chicken nuggets.
I honestly had no idea that this is what I had been feeding my child on a regular (once or twice a week) basis. I decided right then and there, no more store-bought processed chicken nuggets, no sir-eee!
So today, I brought out my trust Baby Bites cookbook and found the recipe for homemade chicken nuggets. I didn't have all the ingredients, so I improvised a bit. It was so simple, and even though it took a little bit more time and energy than buying the stuff in a box, the peace of mind I have of knowing what exactly is going into my child's body is worth it. And they were delicious to boot! Here is the recipe in case you are interested in doing this for your family. It made about 30 nuggets that I froze in portions of about 5 nuggets each so that I can warm them up whenever she is ready for a meal. Bon Appetit!
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into nuggets
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup baby food oatmeal - (I told you I improvised right? Honestly, I didn't have enough breadcrumbs so I used some of Baby B's cereal. It actually worked great with the texture and it is fortified with extra vitamins - another plus!
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix breadcrumbs, oatmeal, cheese, and garlic salt. Dip nuggets into flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture. Bake on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray for 10 to 15 minutes or until nuggets reach an internal temperature of 165 deg F.
(Recipe adapted from Baby Bites, Bridget Sweeney, copyright 2007)