I like to refer to myself as a "part-time vegetarian," as there are definitely foods that I won't go without (eggs, salmon, sushi to name a few!), but for the most part I find a plant-based diet to agree with my system better. BUT, that's just me!
With this in mind, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate veggies into foods that our family enjoys but in a healthier presentation...and also serve up veggies differently (poor Baby M has had sooo many peas + carrots meals that I often feel bad for him! His Mama is so boring sometimes). So these Broccoli Tots are dedicated to him!
These tots were inspired by Baby M's little finger grabbing, my husband's love for anything you can pop easily into your mouth, and this recipe from Gimme Delicious for baked tots. I decided to do some tweaking in true FitFatFoodie fashion!
The result: a healthy bite sized snack or side dish (2 bites for the little man!), that we had trouble putting down! Baby M loves food in general, but this was the first time he literally cried when I said, 'all gone.' Toddler crying for more broccoli? I'll take that as a win!
A FEW TIPS:
- If you can find it, look for riced broccoli in your produce section; it will save you time! I like this inexpensive option from Trader Joe's. Make sure it's fresh and crunchy! If you can't find it, you can blanch frozen or fresh broccoli florets
- Add your eggs in last. This will allow you to taste your mixture safely to ensure it was seasoned to your taste.
- Freestyle your seasoning: Since broccoli alone is relatively bland, it provides a nice base for whatever you choose!
- Mixture will be wet: I was tempted to add a lot more breadcrumbs to make the mixture stick better...but don't! It will make for a fluffier tot.
2 cups uncooked riced broccoli or broccoli florets
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/3 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or any shredded cheese...tofu or nutritional yeast are good vegan subs)
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used gluten free panko, but regular breadcrumbs will do)
3 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro are good)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper, or lightly greasing the pan.
2. Boil a few inches of water and then blanch the riced broccoli or florets for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and drain well! If using florets, chop them finely.
3. Mix the broccoli with the chopped onion, cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs and seasonings. Once seasoned to your liking, add in the eggs.
4. Scoop out a tablespoon or so of the mixture and form it into a tot-like shape and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for about 15-20 tots.
5. Bake for about 17-22 minutes, flipping them over half way through the time.
The tots should be crispy, but light.