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Meat-Eater Makeover: Good & Hearty Vegetarian Broccoli-Cheese Nuggets

It’s not that my kids don’t like broccoli.  It’s just that there are only so many ways you can serve it before you start feeling a bit of broccoli overload.  Of course, we steam our broccoli and serve it with a lemon-butter sauce.  We chop it up and make broccoli slaw and broccoli salad, we serve it in soup and on top of potatoes.  It seems, no matter how we serve it, broccoli is always a side dish or an add-in, never the main attraction to a meal.  Well, these lovely broccoli-cheese nuggets are ready to change all of that.  Popping with incredibly rich flavor, easy to make, and beloved equally by vegetarians and canvivores for their hearty appeal, once you make these broccoli-cheese bites, you may never go back to serving broccoli as an afterthought at your dinner table.

Broccoli Cheese Emerald Nuggets
To make this recipe delicious and fun to eat, our family cuts them into diamond-shaped bites. Their bright green color lends itself to the shape–offering a great opportunity for you to talk with your family about how vegetables are ‘gems’ for our daily diets.  Talk about the importance of fresh fruits and veggies for overall health, then enjoy watching your family relish the flavor of broccoli as you sit down to this delicious dinner!
1 (12 ounce) bag frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
2 eggs
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup italian breadcrumbs
Place thawed broccoli and eggs in a blender.  Blend until pureed.  Pour puree into a large bowl, and stir in the cheese and salt.  Spread half of the breadcrumbs onto the surface of a large cutting board.  Press puree on top of the breadcrumbs, pressing it down until it’s approximately 1/2″ thick.  Spread remaining breadcrumbs on the top of the broccoli-cheese mixture.  Use a pizza cutter to slice nuggets into diamond shapes.  Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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