Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

with Pineapple Voodoo Sauce

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets with Pineapple Voodoo Sauce ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #spicy #cajun #chicken #nugget #recipe

Chicken nuggets like you’ve never had them before! Homemade chicken nuggets are soooo much better than any store-bought nuggets. In these nuggets, I snuck in some hidden vegetables (thank you, zucchini and carrots!) to keep the chicken perfectly moist, plus a bit of corn and creole seasoning and a crunchy corn coating to mimic those amazing hushpuppies they serve in the South. Serve these yummy nuggets with the spicy pineapple voodoo sauce to add even more heat to the fire! Or you could tone down the spices and hot peppers for kid-friendly chicken nuggets.

These chicken nuggets freeze and reheat nicely too! You can freeze them on a tray, then put them in a bag and stick in your freezer for later. Reheat on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray at 425 for about 10 minutes or until the coating is nice and crunchy. (If you listen closely, you can hear it sizzle.)

You guys, I have to confess I’ve never liked chicken nuggets. But I freaking LOVE these ones! For years, I have bought the most natural chicken nuggets I could find for my kids and they gobbled them right up. They smelled good, so occasionally I’d taste them, but I never liked the flavor.  Over the years, my kids (who are not kids anymore) have become disenchanted with the taste of commercial nuggets and patties. It became harder and harder to find any breaded chicken thing at the store that they liked. My son and I decided to try making chicken patties at home so he could have chicken sandwiches anytime he liked. I was SUPER excited when we cooked them up and we BOTH liked them! My boy enjoyed them for many a meal, switching out sauces, sometimes topping the patties with BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese, sometimes he would use marinara and mozzarella. And sometimes just ketchup.

I do have the chicken patties recipe in the backlog and someday I will have time to share it with you … but after making the chicken patties, I decided to try making chicken nuggets. Since I’m doing a Soul Food cooking class on Monday and most of the people who come to my cooking classes seem to really like spicy food, I decided to spice up the chicken mixture with some creole seasoning. I threw in some veggies, because we also try to keep our cooking classes healthy (to fit with the health initiative at work). Also, I baked the nuggets, which works marvelously! I think baking makes it so much easier, healthier and easier to clean up too.

For gluten free nuggets, use gluten free breadcrumbs. (Just toast and blend up your favorite gluten free bread.)

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 30 - 40 nuggets

Serving Size: 4 - 6 nuggets

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

Ingredients

    For the crunchy coating:
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed corn chex
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (for gluten free, use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • For the chicken mixture:
  • 2 lb. frozen chicken breast, thawed slightly and cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium zucchini (6 - 8 inches long), cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (for gluten free, use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning (salt free)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • For the pineapple voodoo sauce:
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks, with juices
  • 1 small onion, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 salsa or jalapeno pepper, stem removed, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped tobasco or habanero pepper (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the crunchy coating and put in a large, flat bowl.
  3. Put the ingredients for the chicken mixture except the corn into a food process and process until it's all evenly chopped and mixed together into a mush. Remove the blade and stir in the corn (or transfer to a bowl to mix the corn in).
  4. Take a large spoonful of the chicken mush and set it in the crunchy coating mixture. Sprinkle crumbs on top of the chicken, then gently lift it and turn it over to coat the little bit of chicken all over with crumbs. Set on the prepared pan. Repeat until the chicken mixture is gone or the pan is full.
  5. Spray the nuggets generously with cooking spray or cooking oil. Bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the nuggets and bake for 10 minutes on the other side.
  6. While the nuggets are baking, make the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients into a mini food processor and process until it looks like a sauce.

Notes

Greatly educe the creole seasoning and hot peppers if you are feeding anyone that is sensitive to hot, spicy foods.

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2017, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.

http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/hushpuppy-chicken-veggie-nuggets/

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets with Pineapple Voodoo Sauce ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #spicy #cajun #chicken #nugget #recipe

Creole Shrimp & Cheesy Cauliflower Grits

Creole Shrimp with Cheesy Cauliflower Grits ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #lowcarb #healthy #soulfood #recipe

Spicy shrimp in creole seasonings over healthy “grits” made with cauliflower and cheese, this low-carb entree is soul food that is packed with delightful flavors.

I feel like I’m being naughty, taking time to blog when I have so much homework to do, but I need to get this recipe up! You guys, I’m taking yoga teacher training and there is SO much to do. I love all the things I’m learning … I am growing as a person as I do this, but I have to admit, it’s really hard to adjust my already-busy life to fit in yoga teacher training. I knew I would have to cut down on blogging, but I feel like I’ve had to completely eliminate it in order to get everything done. My recipe backlog is growing like crazy, although I have a hard time finding time to take photos too.

Yet I am grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to take this training from my favorite yoga teacher. Grateful for the new journey. Grateful for the new perspective on life and the way it opens up so many new directions for me. Grateful to be learning how to share my love of yoga. Grateful to be finding my voice. Grateful for those who are supportive and want to attend my classes once I’ve finished. Grateful for my “test” students who have volunteered to try out my classes while I work to polish them.

I’d better get going on my homework … must do at least a little something each day and today I’ve done nothing so far and it’s almost bedtime. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Personally, I like the cauliflower grits better than regular grits. I think they have more flavor … and hey, they are so much better for your body.

I took inspiration from a lot of talented food bloggers to make this happen.  I am grateful for all of them, too … and grateful to the guy at work who casually mentioned that we should have a Soul Food cooking class at work, so then I set to making that happen. Shrimp & Grits really needed to be on the menu, but I wanted a healthier spin on the classic recipe.

Here are the blog posts I used for inspiration:

Creole Shrimp with Cheesy Cauliflower Grits

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 - 4 servings

Creole Shrimp with Cheesy Cauliflower Grits

Ingredients

    For the shrimp:
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon low salt creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon bacon salt (or smoked salt)
  • 1 lb. large frozen peeled shrimp, thawed
  • For the cheesy cauliflower "grits":
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, core removed, cut into florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bacon Salt or smoked salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-salt creole seasoning
  • 6 Tablespoons fat free half & half (or regular half & half ... or coconut milk)
  • 2 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
  • 2 oz. finely shredded Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix together all of the "shrimp" ingredients except the shrimp in a medium bowl. Toss the shrimp with the sauce. Cover and let marinade at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Put the cauliflower and garlic into a food processor and pulse until everything is chopped fine.
  3. Over medium heat, warm the butter or olive oil until hot, then add the cauliflower and garlic. Stir well. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the cauliflower is tender, then uncover and stir in the wine, seasonings, half & half, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. Cook until the mixture resembles the texture of grits, seasoning with salt & pepper to taste, adding more cream if needed to get the texture right. Set the grits aside while you cook the shrimp.
  4. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the shrimp and cook for just a few minutes or until the shrimp has just turned pink.
  5. Serve the warm cauliflower grits topped with the shrimp and sauce. Garnish with fresh thyme, oregano or parsley leaves, if desired.

Notes

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2017, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.

http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/creole-shrimp-cheesy-cauliflower-grits/

Creole Shrimp with Cheesy Cauliflower Grits ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #lowcarb #healthy #soulfood #recipe

This recipe was shared with Pretty Pintastic Party.

Bulgur Corn & Asparagus Salad

with marinated feta, toasted pecans & dill pesto

Bulgur, Corn & Asparagus Salad w/Marinated Feta & Dill Pesto ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #asparagus #bulgur #salad #recipe

A hearty, yet lively and healthy, salad celebrating the springtime flavors of asparagus and lively sunflower dill pesto, tossed with nutty, chewy bulgur, peas and sweet corn, and topped with toasted pecans and marinated feta.

I almost don’t have words for this salad … it’s just something that popped in my mind. I had this feeling that you should be able to use bulgur for something other than tabbouleh. I wanted to try a bulgur salad with something else … I had asparagus on hand from my mom and dad’s prolific asparagus bed and some bulgur and marinated cheese in the fridge … and so this beautiful thing just happened.

And it was delicious. I could eat this salad forever. I do encourage you to take the time to make marinated feta (it only takes a few minutes to make … a couple hours to marinate), but if you are not so inclined, you can make this salad with regular feta.

Bulgur Corn & Asparagus Salad with Dill Pesto, Feta & Pecans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Bulgur Corn & Asparagus Salad with Dill Pesto, Feta & Pecans

Ingredients

    For the bulgur:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • For the asparagus:
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (for more flavor, use oil from marinated feta)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped fresh asparagus
  • 2 - 3 green onions (with tops), chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • About 3 Tablespoons sunflower dill pesto (recipe here)
  • For the top: marinated feta cheese & toasted, chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Put the water, salt & bulgur in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to mix. Cover with a plate and microwave for about 8 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and stir, noting the state of the bulgur. Cover again and microwave for 3 - 8 more minutes, depending on how much more water the bulgur needs to absorb. Test the bulgur by tasting it to see if it is done to your liking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the olive oil and green onions. Saute until the asparagus is crisp tender and still bright green. Remove from heat. Stir in the cooked bulgur, then stur in the frozen corn & peas. The heat from the cooking and the cold from the frozen corn & peas will balance out, thawing the frozen and cooling the heated ingredients. One Tablespoon at at time, add the dill pesto, spreading it out over the salad, then stirring it in.
  3. Top the salad with a bit of crumbled marinated feta and some toasted pecans and enjoy!

Notes

Can be stored for several days without the feta and pecans in a covered container in the fridge.

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2017, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.

http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/bulgur-corn-asparagus-salad/

Bulgur, Corn & Asparagus Salad w/Marinated Feta & Dill Pesto ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #asparagus #bulgur #salad #recipe

This post was shared with Pretty Pintastic Party.

Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad

with marinated feta, toasted pinons (Pine nuts) and lemon avocado crema

Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad w/Feta, Pine Nuts & Lemon Avocado Crema ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #easy #shrimp #asparagus #dinner #recipe

A super simple, yet super scrumptious, easy summer meal that’s on the table in about 30 minutes. Faster than take-out and oh so much better (and better for you)!

I first made this salad a little over a month ago. back when my daughter’s graduation was looming and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything ready for the big event. If you haven’t ever experienced this phenomenon, it’s a little like nesting (that thing new parents do when the new baby is almost here) in reverse. There are a lot of crazy emotions involved, from joy to pride to tears, and it all feels so BUSY, kind of like getting ready for a wedding. All of these things are now in my past … thankfully. Daughter has graduated (although we haven’t yet received the diploma) and life has kind of settled down (except, you know, there’s the normal craziness of all the fun summer activities … and pressure around the “what comes next” conversations, not to mention the thank you notes, which neither of us are any good at.)

Anyway, the salad: I made it, I photographed it, I was all excited to post it, when I discovered that there was a smudge on the camera lens (long after the salad was gone) and the pics were all pretty much fuzzy garbage. It took me this long before I had time (and the ingredients) to make the salad again. Yes, it’s just as good as I remember. I really do recommend going to the extra trouble of marinating the feta cheese. It’s SO worth it!

Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Avocado Crema

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: About 2 servings

Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Avocado Crema

Ingredients

    For the asparagus:
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil (or oil from marinated cheese-recipe here)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.)
  • Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the lemon avocado crema:
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled & pitted
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons light mayo
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • A few fresh tarragon, rosemary, and basil leaves (or other fresh herbs)
  • For the salad:
  • About 18 large pre-cooked frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 1 - 3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts (pinons)
  • 1 - 3 Tablespoons crumbled feta (best if from marinated feta - recipe here)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the asparagus with the oil and sprinkle liberally with seasoning and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the asparagus is bright green and crisp tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. In a handi chopper or mini food processor, add the crema ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. To make the salads: Lay the roasted asparagus lengthwise on the plate (or chop it up and use it as a bed for the shrimp). Top with about 9 shrimp per serving, then sprinkle with pine nuts and feta and drizzle with the avocado crema. Enjoy!

Notes

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2017, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.

http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/shrimp-roasted-asparagus-salad/

Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad w/Feta, Pine Nuts & Lemon Avocado Crema ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #easy #shrimp #asparagus #dinner #recipe

This post was shared at Amaze Me Monday, Meatless Monday and Hearth & Soul Bloghop.

Beef Bruschetta Buddha Bowl

Beef Bruschetta Buddha Bowl ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #easy #dinnerinabowl #recipe

Beef (or venison) slow cooked in juices until fall-apart tender, served on a bed of spinach with a bruschetta tomato mixture, farro, and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzled with bacon ranch dressing on at the end for even more flavor, this pretty buddha bowl is full of colors, flavors, protein and, as any good buddha bowl should be, loaded with nutrients.

It was Father’s Day weekend and my son and I were pondering what to do for his dad. Daughter was away (and really, not much help in the matter). My son thought we should make their dad some no salt chex mix (as he can’t have much salt in his diet), so I pulled up the recipe from the last time we made him spicy no-salt chex mix and my boy set off to make that. But we wanted something more to give him for this momentous occasion. I put my mind to it and remembered how much he likes venison, but he doesn’t have a supply of venison available to him anymore. I suggested this to my son who thought it was an excellent idea. So we dug through the freezer in the garage and picked out a wide variety of venison for him.

This meant we had to really dig as the freezer is not an upright, but rather an old-school chest-style freezer where things tend to settle to the bottom and get forgotten. I found several packages of venison that had done just that, some marked as old as 2007 and 2008. I decided these needed tossing, but as I gathered some of these ancient pieces of meat, I thought to myself: could I possibly cook any of this in some way that would taste good? Most likely not, but hey, it was worth a shot, right? I threw out the ones from 2007 and 2008, but kept a few of the packages from 2010.

Since this impromptu mission resulted in the cleaning/purging of the freezer, I continued my cleaning in the fridge, stumbling across some hoisin sauce and a jar of pork juices (complete with fat!) from one of my shoulder pork roasts that smelled completely delicious. I decided that all these things were meant for each other and I tossed them all in the crock pot, which, I decided, was the most likely method to render my ancient meat edible. The green onions had been gathered from my dad’s garden just the day before and were threatening to take over my fridge since Dad had encouraged me to take “a bunch of onions,” so I used some of the excess onion greens to make a lovely bed for my elderly venison.

As it turned out, the meat was not only edible but really quite good! So then I had the puzzle of what to pair it with. I chose to use some lovely colorful sweet tomatoes that I’d purchased at Aldi and some marinated feta from my fridge … plus fresh spinach from mom and dad’s garden and a bit of farro (also from Aldi) to make myself a delightful little buddha bowl.

If you don’t have ancient bits of venison in your freezer, count yourself lucky and use beef or fresh(er) venison in its place! If you don’t have pork juices in your fridge waiting to be used, then substituting beef broth would be quite suitable. If you want to add some fat to ensure your beef is tender and delicious, add 1/4 cup olive oil. If you want a smoky flavor, add a Tablespoon or two of natural liquid smoke.

Beef Bruschetta Buddha Bowl

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Beef Bruschetta Buddha Bowl

Ingredients

    For the beef:
  • Several green onions, chopped
  • 5 - 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 - 6 small beef or venison steaks or chops
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • About 1 cup beef broth or juices (with fat) from cooking pork
  • For each buddha bowl:
  • Fresh spinach
  • 1 piece of cooked beef, roughly shredded, tossed with cooking juices
  • About 1 cup fresh sweet heirloom garden tomatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar reduction
  • 2 - 3 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  • A sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and salt
  • About 1/3 - 1/2 cup cooked farro
  • Several cubes of feta cheese, crumbled
  • Bacon ranch dressing (from this recipe)

Instructions

  1. Make a bed of green onions in the crockpot and add the cloves of garlic. Put the meat in the crockpot, then drizzle with hoisin sauce and broth or juices. Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 8 hours. Once cooked, let sit in the juices for at least 30 minutes before removing from the crockpot.
  2. To make the buddha bowls, make a bed of spinach in the bottom. Top with shredded beef. In a separate bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar reduction and basil, then sprinkle with freshly ground salt & pepper. Add the tomato mixture into the bowl and then the farro and feta cheese.
  3. Drizzle with bacon ranch dressing, stir to mix the flavors and colors, and enjoy!

Notes

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2017, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.

http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/beef-bruschetta-buddha-bowl/

Beef Bruschetta Buddha Bowl ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #easy #dinnerinabowl #recipe

This recipe was shared at Foodie Friends FridayWeekend PotluckWhat to Do WeekendsWhat’s for Dinner Sunday, Amaze Me Monday, Busy Monday, and Pretty Pintastic Party.

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