Imagine my surprise when I received an email from my daughter’s preschool teacher informing me that “Meat Day” was approaching and students would be offered a variety of different types of meat to sample, and since my daughter wouldn’t be eating it, would I please send in a snack for her that day? She continued on by stating that she had no idea what we ate in exchange for meat, but I was welcome to send in a sample for the kids to try if I so desired.
Does anyone else find the idea of “Meat Day” a bit bizarre? I certainly appreciated the heads-up, but I wish the kids could have had a “Fruit Day” where they sampled different fruits and made a chart of their favorites. It also bothered me that the meat they were sampling was deli luncheon meat slices. As I mentioned in this post, luncheon meat is one of the five most dangerous things you can feed to your child. Sodium nitrate, listeria, sodium, corn syrup, fat and cholesterol are all among the potential dangers.
My family doesn’t eat commercially-made meat alternatives like veggie burgers or vegan hot dogs; I prefer to make them myself so that I know exactly what we’re eating. So I made chickpea nuggets, one for each student and teacher, and sent them in with my daughter. I’m told they were a success! The recipe is from the Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook by Lindsay Nixon.
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning mix
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp no-sodium veggie broth powder or no-chicken broth powder (OR, if you use dried chickpeas you've cooked without salt, you can use this homemade veggie broth powder)*
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp vegan mayo
- 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
- ⅓ cup vital wheat gluten
- 3 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until they look like crumbs.
- Pour into mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients except gluten and water. Mix until well-combined, then add gluten and water and mix again.
- Knead dough a few times and then let rest for a few minutes.
- Form the dough into little nugget shapes and place on greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake for another 10 minutes. Flip, then bake 5 minutes, and if needed, flip again and bake 5 more minutes. Basically, just bake them until they are firm and golden brown.
*Note: If you use canned beans and a broth powder containing salt together in this recipe, it will be very salty (I know; I tried that first). Definitely stick to either using canned beans and a no-sodium broth powder or pressure-cooked dried beans with a broth powder containing salt.