Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"However You Like 'Em" Broccoli Bites

I've made broccoli bites before.  The basic recipe is simple:  chopped broccoli, bread crumbs, egg, cheese.  I thought I would make them today, but switch it up a little bit.  My daughter, who has always been a good eater, is starting to get picky.  It's like she's a toddler or something!?!  Some days, I have to give her choice after choice until she will finally eat something, and it usually ends up being fruit.  She could eat fruit all day long, but veggies have started to not be her thing.  So I made these today with the HOPE that she would at least taste them.  Not only did she taste them, she ate 3 whole ones for her lunch.  A-maz-ing.  I didn't measure anything, so I'm just going to give you estimates, but feel free to change them to your liking.  In fact, this recipe is so simple, you can really change it up to however you like it.  Here are some ideas for variations:

Vegetable:  broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato, eggplant, spinach
Cheese:  mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, vegan cheese, jack
Flavorings:  cilantro & lime; Italian seasoning; soy sauce & ginger; cumin, chili powder & oregano

Here's the recipe I made:

2 cups steamed broccoli
1 cup steamed cauliflower
1 15oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Flavorings: see below

1.  Steam broccoli and cauliflower.  Finely chop in a food processor.
2.  Add beans to food processor to mix with veggies.
3.  Pour veggie/bean mix into large bowl.  Add panko, egg & cheese.
4.  Season as desired:  I divided my mixture into 2 bowls and seasoned with 2 different flavorings.  In one bowl, I added 1tbsp granulated garlic and 1 1/2 tsp onion powder.  In the other bowl, I added 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp curry powder & 1/4 cup orange juice (I added a little more bread crumbs to this one, too).
5.  Form veggie mix into golf ball size balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  (I've thought about doing this in muffin tins, too, and I think that would probably work!)
6.  Bake at 375F for about 25, turning over half way through.

After the bites have cooled, you can freeze them for another day.  Pop them out and warm in the microwave as you need them.

Okay, so here's the honest truth:  I didn't really care for these.  However, and that's a BIG however, my daughter devoured them, and that's all I care about.  I will try them again, with some different seasonings and hopefully they will turn out to be more pleasing to my palate.  I'm not discouraging you from making them, but I am saying to try out a variation that you'll like!  The basics are:  veggies, egg, bread crumbs & cheese.  So basic, with so many variations to try!  If you get a mix that you really love, please let me know! :)

 Proof that these broccoli bites are toddler-approved!  :)


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