Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicken Rice Balls for Dinner Tonight

I am a big fan of Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious." It takes you through making veggie purees you can hide in foods. One of my kids favorites are the chicken rice balls. I have adapted it a bit to suit our tastes and like to serve it with marinara sauce and a veggie on the side so my kids are getting a double dose of veggies.

The purees are really easy to make. You can buy steamer bags from Ziploc or you can boil the veggies on stove top. Once they are steamed you blend them in a food processor or blender with a slight amount of water and they become purees. Usually you will need to use 1/4 to one half cup.  Each can be stored in a Ziploc bag and frozen and pulled out when you need it.

I am doing this recipe from my memory and they way I make it. Note: the sweet potatoes can be cooked in their skins in the microwave. I am using 2 for this recipe. Pierce with a fork. Microwave for 8-10 minutes. Puree with a bit of water til smooth.

Rice Balls
1 cup rice cooked in a rice cooker or stove top then chilled
1/2 c sweet potato puree
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts boiled for about 25-30 minutes
1 cup cheese shredded
1 egg
1/4 c milk or butter milk
additional 1/4 milk for egg wash
1 cup bread crumbs seasoned I like Contadina
PAM for spraying
salt and pepper about 1/4 tsp each

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Add chicken breasts to a food processor and grind for a minute until you get small pieces. Add chicken to chilled rice with the veggie puree, milk (I use skim), salt and pepper, and cheese. Mix until mixture is combined. You will be rolling these into meatball sized shapes. Usually 2-3 TBSP of the rice mixture makes one ball. Once all the rice is rolled into balls, dip into the egg mixture and into the bread crumbs. Spray a baking sheet with PAM. Place the rice balls on the sheet and give another spray of PAM over the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with marinara sauce. Makes 24 balls.

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