Veggie Nuggets

Makes 18-24 nuggets
For the nuggets:
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup grated carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (white or yellow)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

For the coating:
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp olive oil

Lightly steam the broccoli and grated carrots (this can even be done in the microwave – I recommend about 3 minutes, just until the broccoli is slightly tender but not mushy). Cool slightly. Chop the broccoli very finely — you could probably even pulse it in a food processor to do this, though I haven’t bothered, but it might be helpful.  In a large bowl, mix together the vegetables, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper, until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it into a ball.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Toss together the breadcrumbs and olive oil for the coating. Form the broccoli mixture into walnut-sized balls and then pat into “nugget” shapes. Set the nuggets into the coating mixture, turning gently and patting until they’re lightly coated with breadcrumbs. Place on the greased cookie sheet. Bake the nuggets for 12-15 minutes, until pale golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.