Man oh man did I love fast food chicken nuggets as a kid. My favorite was from McDonald’s and then Wendy’s as I grew older. Obviously, I wouldn’t be caught dead in either one of those places now. I recall the last time I had Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets. It wasn’t that long ago actually.
I believe it was August of 2010. We had just got off a plane in the middle of the night and I was starving so we made a stop at Wendy’s drive-thru on the way home. I’m not sure why I remember this. Perhaps because it was my last fast food feast. A few weeks later I decided to be a vegetarian.
Sure, there are some great vegan chicken nugget products in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store. Great for convenience anyway. Almost all of them are made from soy though. There is only one brand I have found that is soy-free and nut-free (they might be gluten-free too, but I don’t remember). That would be the Whole Foods store brand, 365. They were delicious. They were also expensive for the amount that comes in the bag. My fix is a lot cheaper and hopefully a little more healthy.
Full disclosure: little tummy wants nothing to do with these nuggets. Don’t take her word for it though. It has nothing to do with the taste because she won’t even attempt to put one in her mouth. It’s just that she’s 1.5 years old and she likes to refuse certain foods just to irritate me. I know she will love them one day… when she decides to try them.
Not So Chicken Nuggets
vegan, soy-free, nut-free, oil-free, gluten-free option*
makes 25 to 30
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup rolled oats (*use gluten-free)
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans OR 1 can, drained and rinsed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chicken seasoning blend (I use this Penzey’s seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- juice from half lemon
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (*use gluten-free)
- 1/3 cup fine ground cornmeal mixed with 1.5 teaspoons chicken seasoning
- Combine all ingredients, except the bread crumbs and cornmeal mixture, in a blender or food processor. Blend on low until well mixed with very few chunks if any at all.
- Empty contents into a mixing bowl and stir in bread crumbs. The mixture should be wet, but still hold together with no problem.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Place cornmeal mixture in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture and form into a flat nugget, about 1/3″ thick. Coat both sides of nugget in cornmeal mixture and shake off the excess. Place on the parchment. Repeat this until bean mixture is all gone.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Flip nuggets halfway through. They should be a light golden-brown. Serve with your favorite condiment, such as some ketchup mixed with Cholula. They are best eaten right away, but can be stored and reheated, if needed. Enjoy!