What’s For Lunch? Chickpea Nuggets {recipe}

by rachel on October 20, 2010

in Tot Food

I had fun in the Bento world this week.  (We also had fun in the “homeschool/preschool world . . .and I’ll get around to posting about that soon.  Promise!)

First, I made a “By the Light of the Harvest Moon” Bento.

(yes, I enjoy crazy names/themes)

  • Harvest Moon (colby jack cheese)
  • Happy Skull (steel cut oatmeal, shaped using an egg mold; black olive facial details)
  • Jack-o-Lantern on a pile of bones (Mandarin Orange on Banana Chips)
  • Mummies (Turkey wraps and black olives “shriveled faces”)

Then, we had a “On the Road” (aka – Snack time) Bento — which the kids ate while we were out shopping.

  • Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
  • Freshly diced Pears
  • Colby Jack Cheese
  • Turkey

THEN, I decided to try the Chickpea Nugget Recipe that Shannon (What’s For Lunch at Our House) posted a few weeks ago.  Of course, I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so I had to improvise a tad (I’ll post my version of her recipe below).  The kids STILL loved them and totally thought they were chicken nuggets.

(Mama tried them too and was surprised to find they were pretty tasty)

ChickPea Nuggets –
AKA Fool Your Kids Into Eating Fiber and Protein “Nuggets”

  • 2-3 slices of bread (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp of Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend
  • 1 can of Chickpeas, drained & rinsed (or about 2 cups of pre-cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 Cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 TB Olive Oil
  • 2 TB Greek Yogurt
  • 1 TB Balsalmic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper


Set your oven to “broil” and place the bread slices on a cookie sheet place; broil/toast for 3-4 minutes per side or until brown and crunchy (like a crouton).  Remove and let cool.

Use a food processor to turn the toasted bread into bread crumbs and then add 2 tsp of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb blend; mix, measure out 1/3 C of the bread crumbs and set aside.

Whisk the olive oil, greek yogurt, vinegar, and Italian seasoning together until well blended. Set aside.

Mash the chickpeas, removing and “large” pieces of skin — don’t worry about removing all of them (just the really big ones!).  Add the shredded carrots and all remaining ingredients (including the 1/3 C of bread crumbs and the oil/yogurt mixture).

For each “nugget,” take 1 tablespoon of the chickpea mixture, roll it into a ball, and then flatten and shape into a nugget.

Place the nuggets on either a parchment or foil lined baking sheet — if you use foil, make sure to lightly grease it with olive oil or cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for around 18 minutes, turning the nuggets at the half-way mark.  Remove and let cool slightly before serving to your kiddos!

***Don’t be tempted like me to add extra bread crumbs OR to coat the nuggets in more bread crumbs.  I did this on about half of the nuggets and realized it will only make them too dry.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan @MNMSpecial October 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I love the bento names. Looks delish, I’ll have to try this out. Thanks for the bread crumb tip too.


Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy October 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I’m sure my kiddos will love them.

On a side note, have you tried Tofu nuggets?


Alison October 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Oh my goodness! That is ADORABLE! I need to be a good mom and make this for my son. He may think I’m some weird mom than.


Shannon October 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I wanna try these! Must remember to go buy. I wonder if I could make a lot and put in the freezer if they like? Would they keep?


rachel October 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm

I asked the lady who created the recipe and she hadn’t tried freezing them yet — I bet they would freeze! But, I’d probably warm them up in the oven not the microwave.


Bar7Ranch October 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I just LOVE that harvest moon, and everything else in that bento!!


Rhea October 23, 2010 at 4:45 am

Oy, Rachel. You make me look bad…you are so creative and fun. Can I send my kids to your home school? LOL


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