Here we go – Phase Two of the Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment. Before you dive into Phase Two, check out the first phase, where I chopped, steamed, roasted, and pureed all of the vegetables that will be used in this experiment.
Now that I’ve got a fridge and freezer full of pureed vegetables, it’s time to try cooking something with them!
The first recipe I will try takes advantage of pureed beets. Beets are new to me – I’ve never eaten them before, so they’re officially New Food #10 that I’ve tried in 2010. I certainly didn’t expect to hit this New Year’s Resolution within the first month of the new year! That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying new foods, though.
I chose to use the beets first because there aren’t many recipes in the Deceptively Delicious cookbook that I wanted to try that use beets. This recipe could optionally use pureed spinach, sweet potatoes, or broccoli.
First up in this cooking adventure: cut up a chicken breast into chunks. This, too, is new to me (and almost earns an Adventures in Chopping designation!) I’ve never cut up a raw chicken breast before. I’m not much of a fan of handling raw meat. It makes me think of where it comes from, and being an animal lover, I’ve always had a bit of a hard time reconciling my love of animals with my enjoyment in eating meat. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose (though I do feel better about my meat choices since switching to eating organic meats. At least this chicken wasn’t a genetically modified FrankenChicken).
I got out my One Big Knife and sliced up the chicken breast. (The recipe calls for a pound of chicken breasts, but I only had 1 thawed, so I went with that).
Next, I mixed up the bread crumb mixture. Wow, it smelled delicious!
I cooked the nuggets 3 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other. I may have needed to go a little longer over slightly lower heat, as my breading was starting to burn. They smelled great, though!
At long last, all of the chicken nuggets were cooked, and it was time to give these puppies a day in court.
The obvious thing here is, well, they’re red. I can just imagine a picky eater shunning these nuggets because they look weird. I’m guessing that the best bet, color-wise, would be to make these with pureed sweet potatoes instead, to get the closest match possible to the color of the chicken and breading. (Green nuggets from broccoli or spinach would look equally weird, I suspect).
However, this isn’t about looks so much as it is about taste – at least for me, as I’m getting pretty used to eating funny colored things that happen to taste good.
So, I sat down with my funny looking chicken nuggets and a cup of ranch dressing, and…
Nom nom nom!
They were mighty, mighty good! No sign of beets in the flavor. I could eat these chicken nuggets all day long! So, despite having eaten beets tonight, I still could not tell you what they taste like – and that’s A-OK with me!
In conclusion, the first Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment, Beets Edition, was a success.
What stealth ninja vegetable will I try next? *dun-dun-duuuuuuuun!* You’ll have to wait and see!