You Heart What You Eat: Cheesy Veggie Nuggets |

You Heart What You Eat: Cheesy Veggie Nuggets

Tera Johnson-Swartz

— Chicken nuggets or frankly any type of nugget is pretty much a given child favorite no matter where you're from. Maybe it's the convenient easy to hold sizes or the McDonald's branding over the decades that have attracted kids to request them on a near daily basis. In our house, we avoided fast food nuggets at all costs, but became attracted to a particular brand I found at the grocery store in Tennessee called Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets a few years ago.

Veggie Patch is a vegetarian brand and loads it's nuggets with veggies and protein I have yet to find in another brand locally. It wasn't until we moved to Colorado that I became forced to find a recipe or work with one that would satisfy my Veggie Patch withdraw and still be easy enough to actually make on a regular basis for my son and daughter, probably the two most judgmental taste-testers out there.

This recipe has been changed and manipulated many times to meet whatever veggie we had on hand, but primarily is loaded with spinach, zucchini or broccoli. I love that there are only six basic ingredients, but more so that the vegetables are top priority. I often find myself snagging a couple for lunch for myself and don't feel ashamed while munching on them. And for the record, we usually make a triple batch that we freeze so that we only have to reheat on an as needed basis. It still tastes lovely and holds together nicely.

Cheesy Veggie Nuggets

  • 1 cup shredded spinach

  • 1⁄2 cup bread crumbs

  • 1⁄2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1⁄2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 1⁄2 tbs. water
  • 2 1⁄2 tbs. olive oil

  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

If using broccoli, zucchini or another crunchy vegetable, cook to soften then drain and chop well. Combine vegetable with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

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Form the mixture into nugget shapes and place them onto parchment paper or press them into pre-greased mini-cupcake molds. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes turning halfway through the cooking time.

Serve warm and enjoy!

YOU HEART WHAT YOU EAT is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you'll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you'd like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

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