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Monday, March 30, 2020

Broccoli Tots

The original recipe for today's ego thrasher came from Produce for Kids. This is one of my favorite recipe sites for simple and fun, yet healthy recipes. I've actually made this recipe before, in my previous life as a grocery store dietitian, as well as several others from this site. I'm sure we'll be seeing more recipes from Produce for Kids show up on RAG.

The previous recipe, Coconut Raspberry Fingers, hurt my ego quite a bit. Not only did I forget to add the baking powder, there was a nice thin uncooked layer of egg at the bottom. So, this time, I decided to use a recipe I've done before, modified to be gluten free. This will help fluff up my bruised ego, right? HA HA. 😭

The RAG modified recipe is below, as well as my final star ratings. Once again, these ratings apply ONLY to the modified version of the recipe I made. In no way do these stars represent the original recipe.

Final star rating
Taste: *** (3 stars - edible)
Texture: *** (3 stars - edible)
Easy to Make: **** (4 stars  - I've impressed myself)
Overall rating: ***.3 (3.3 stars - edible)

ingredients for broccoli tots on a table. ingredients include cornmeal, frozen broccoli, potatoes, and spices
What I used to make the broccoli tots

Broccoli Tots
Serves 4 (8 tots per serving)

cooking spray
2 russet potatoes
1 (10 oz) bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 large egg
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 400℉. Line baking pan with aluminum foil, spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Wash potatoes well, then slice and cube into chunks. Put into a stock pot or deep sauce pan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. 
  3. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Add bag of broccoli, then cover and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes at a low simmer. Drain water from broccoli and potatoes. 
  4. While potatoes and broccoli are on stove top, in a large bowl stir together egg, cornmeal, seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
  5. Add potatoes and broccoli into a food processor. Process until finely grated, and pour into bowl with cornmeal mixture. Stir well to combine. 
  6. Using a spoon, scoop tots into mounds and place on lined baking sheet. Lightly smash tops to make them flat. You should have around 32 tots. 
  7. Place in preheated oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven when tops are golden brown. 

Nutrition info per serving (calculated by hand)
1 serving = 8 broccoli tots

235 calories
3g fat
     0.5g saturated fat
303mg sodium
47g carbohydrate
7.5g fiber
1.5g sugar
     0g added sugar
6g protein

Recipe Source: Modified recipe by Recipes Are Guidelines www.recipesareguidelines.com. Based on an original recipe from Produce for Kids. 

Notes for Next Time: This should be an easy recipe. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES, DEAR READER. First, I cooked the potatoes and broccoli for way, way too long. They were too soft, so instead of ending up with "finely grated," I got "thick soup." This does not bode well for making nice "mounds." So, at this point, my cooking prowess went off the rails. I doubled the cornmeal, dumped spices in willy-nilly, and screamed at the potatoes to get thicker. The cornmeal kind of worked. In the end, it's the reason there's so much fiber in this recipe. DEFINITELY will keep a closer eye on the potatoes and broccoli as they cook - either I need to cook them for less time or cut the potatoes thicker. Or both.

The tots did end up cooking nicely with lightly golden browned tops. The first set, I forgot to smash the tops, so they were nearly impossible to flip over. But the second batch ,I remembered, and they were a lot easier to flip. I also sprayed the tops with cooking spray to prevent them from sticking to the foil after the flip. This caused....a lot....of smoke. 😒

In the end, the flavor was actually fine. I thought they tasted like gluten free chicken nuggets. The next time I make this, I might try 1/2 cup cornmeal and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Even though I quadrupled the spices from the original recipe, I felt the cornmeal overpowered anything else in the tots. Less cornmeal should help alleviate that. I might also try a bit of chili powder or Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb. It just felt like it was missing something, but I couldn't quite place what. The tots dipped well with both ketchup and light ranch dressing. Not bad plain, either, just a little dry.

My ego did not recover trying this recipe. I might need to re-evaluate why my normally awesome cooking skills are failing in every way possible. Have people always just been nice to me and spit their food in a napkin when I'm not looking? Are my tastebuds broken?

oak table with green glass chalice and a plate arranged with ketchup, light ranch salad dressing, and broccoli tots. behind is a nice spring setting with a wooden bunny and pink flowers.
You can't see me waving my arms around to get the smoke out of the kitchen before the smoke alarms go off.

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