Kid-approved meals: Chicken nuggets, apple pie fries, popcorn balls

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From the Todayshow.com Kid-approved meals: Chicken nuggets, apple pie fries. Give your children something they’ll truly enjoy for dinner. Here, “iCarly” star Reed Alexander (Nevel) shares his take on kids’ favorite, chicken nuggets, some healthy and delicious sweet apple pie fries and yummy chocolate peanut butter fudge popcorn balls.

Recipe: Kewl chicken nuggets from the todayshow.com

Reed Alexander

Ingredients
  • Kewl chicken nuggets
  • 1 3/4 pound of raw boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into medium-sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup of egg whites
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of crushed cornflakes cereal
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons of dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons of dried savory
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil spray (for spraying a pan and baking sheet)
  • Honey mustard dip
  • 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Light oriental dipping sauce
  • 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
Preparation

Chicken nuggets
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil spray. Set aside. Lightly spray a large pan with extra-virgin olive oil spray and set over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

2. Thoroughly mix the whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, the crushed cornflakes cereal, the chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, the dried basil, dried marjoram, and dried savory, the garlic powder, the sea salt, and the ground black pepper together in a large bowl or baking dish.

3. Dip a chunk of the chicken into the egg whites and then into the breadcrumb and cereal mixture. Coat the chicken in the mixture well. Place on a plate. Repeat the process with each chunk of chicken.

4. When all chunks of chicken have been well coated in the breadcrumb and cereal mixture, place them into the pan for 3 minutes per side, or until a brown, crispy crust has formed on the outside of the chicken.

5. Remove the chicken nuggets from the pan and place on the baking sheet.

6. Bake the chicken nuggets for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through and then enjoy!

Honey-mustard dip
In a bowl, thoroughly mix the Dijon mustard and honey.

Light oriental dipping sauce
In a bowl, thoroughly mix all of the ingredients — the extra-virgin olive oil, low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame seeds, minced fresh ginger root, and minced fresh garlic.

Serving Size

Makes approximately 5-6 servings

Recipe: Apple pie fries

Reed Alexander

Ingredients
  • 1 medium-sized sweet red apple (Fuji apples cook really well!)
  • 1/2 +1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons of raw sugar
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • Canola oil spray (to lightly coat pan)
  • Peanut butter (optional – for dipping the hot apple pie fries)
  • Honey (optional – for dipping the hot apple pie fries)
Preparation

1. Lightly coat a pan with canola oil spray, and raise to medium-high heat on the stovetop.

2. Slice the apple into steak-fry-shaped wedges, and place the wedges into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a small bowl, combine the ground cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice, and the raw sugar and sea salt.

4. Pour the spice mixture formed in Step 3 over the apple wedges in the large mixing bowl, and toss the wedges to completely coat them in the mixture and to ensure that the flavorings are evenly distributed.

5. Place the flavored apple slices into the preheated pan, and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, turning the apples approximately halfway through the cooking process. (KewlTip: Be careful not to overcook the hot apple pie fries, so as to preserve the natural flavor, sweetness, and crispy crunch inherent in the raw apples!)

6. While the apple wedges are cooking, place the peanut butter and honey in small separate bowls for dipping the hot apple pie fries into, if using.

7. When the hot apple pie fries have completed cooking, remove from the pan and serve. Dip them into the peanut butter and honey.

Serving Size

Makes approximately 5-6 servings

Recipe: Kewl and chewy chocolate peanut butter fudge popcorn balls

Reed Alexander

Ingredients
  • 8 cups of air-popped popcorn (see below for instructions on how to prepare air-popped popcorn)
  • 2/3 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of chocolate extract
Preparation

1. Place the air-popped popcorn in a large heatproof mixing bowl.

2. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients — the honey, creamy peanut butter, raw sugar, water, unsweetened cocoa powder, and chocolate extract. Set over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

3. Allow the honey-peanut butter-chocolate mixture to come to a boil, and boil for roughly 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.

4. Remove the saucepan and the mixture from the heat.

5. Pour the hot mixture over the air-popped popcorn, and, using a wooden spoon, toss the kernels with the mixture until each one is completely coated.

6. Allow the mixture to cool slightly on the air-popped popcorn until it is not too hot to handle with bare hands. When it has cooled to such a temperature, form approximately 34 popcorn balls, working quickly, by rolling a small amount of popcorn in the palms of your hands until the popcorn has formed a sphere. Place the kewl and chewy chocolate peanut butter fudge popcorn balls on parchment paper to further solidify, and to ensure easy removal.

Tips

An easy method to make air-popped popcorn is to place 3 tablespoons of unflavored, “unpopped” popcorn kernels in a clean paper bag. Fold the top of the bag over itself to form a roughly 1/2-inch fold. Seal the bag by closing it with a small piece of cellophane tape. Place the bag in your microwave, ensuring that the folded side is facing upward, and cook on the “High” heat setting for approximately 1 minute, 45 seconds. A great technique to gauge when most of your popcorn is popped and it is time to remove the bag from the microwave (even if the 1 minute, 45 seconds has not yet completely elapsed) is to listen to the time between pops. If there are more than 5 seconds between each sound, it’s time to remove the bag and dive in! Note: Adjust the duration of time in which you microwave the popcorn kernels according to the heat and strength of your microwave!

Serving Size

Makes approximately 34 kewl and chewy chocolate peanut butter fudge popcorn balls

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