One of our favorite treats growing up were chicken nuggets. Especially the kind the babysitter would make. Something about the parental units being gone made those frozen nugs taste just so much better (even though they were probably stuffed full of all kinds of terrible things). We would snuggle on the couch and watch The Little Mermaid while dunking the nuggets in ketchup. Mmmmm delicious.
But now we are grown and realize that those frozen nuggets, and the Burger King and McDonald’s ones, were actually really terrible and we should never eat them again. What are we supposed to do when we want to have a cozy night in and relive our childhood and eat junk food while watching Disney movies, then? Thankfully, these Vegan and Gluten-Free nuggets exist to fulfill all our needs. While they may not “taste like chicken,” they are absolutely delicious and won’t leave us with a GMO/MSG headache in the morning (and they aren’t filled with pink slime).
Red Lentil Veggie Nuggets, recipe from Catching Seeds
For The Nuggets
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 medium carrots, chopped into large chunks
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped into large chunks
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
For The Breading Stations
- 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons honey mustard OR 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a pan with parchment paper and set aside
In a pot, add the lentils, 2 c. water, and 1 tsp salt. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain off the excess water and set aside.
Add the cauliflower, carrots, and onions in a food processor. Process until the mixture has been cut into small rice sized pieces.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the oil and the processed vegetable mixture. Saute until softened. Add in the frozen peas and cook until the peas are defrosted and all the water has cooked out of the mixture. Add the garlic, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, maple syrup, nutmeg, and 1 tsp salt. Stir to combine and set aside
Process the lentils in the food processor until they are completely broken down and form a paste. Scoop the lentil paste into a large bowl and add the cooked veggies. Stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the garbanzo bean flour and stir well to combine. Set aside.
Next, set up your breading station
In three separate bowls, whisk together the ingredients for each station. Line them up on the counter. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop some of the lentil and veggie mixture and form it into a nugget shape.
Coat the nugget with flour from station 1. Then quickly dip it in liquid station 2, letting any excess moisture drip off. Last, coat it with the breadcrumbs in station 3, pressing the breadcrumbs gently onto the nuggets to encourage sticking.
Place the nugget onto the baking sheet and repeat.
Bake the nuggets for 25 minutes, flip them and bake for another 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then serve with ketchup and whatever delicious sauces your heart desires.