Chicken, Broccoli & Quinoa Balls - NZDadsChicken and Broccoli Bites or Broccoli and Cheese Bites have been trending on food blogs for a while now, and I have been wanting to try them for a while.

However my ‘fussy eater’ is weird about meat (unless it’s pulverised into a puree, masked with pumpkin or kumara), and is not a big fan of cheese. He’ll eat his ham and cheese sammies okay, but won’t eat cheese on it’s own, and didn’t seem too pleased with the cheese and veggie fritters that I made (but he loves my lasagne and tuna pasta bake, go figure?). Regardless, I was hesitant to try something, which was too ‘meaty’ or ‘cheesy’, but I am wanting to introduce more finger food, so I came up with these tasty morsels. Which he devoured, and completely ignored everything else which was on his plate. Luckily these are basically a complete meal in one, so he can just eat these for the rest of his life for all I care and I know he’ll be getting a balanced diet.

Best of all, they’re a hit with adults as well as children! Little ones can enjoy them plain or with a little tomato sauce, and for adults, add a teaspoon of chilli sauce to the tomato sauce for a flavour kick. Alternatively, you could serve them with spaghetti and a tomato sauce.

Ingredients (makes 40 balls):

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups of roughly chopped broccoli (florets and stalk – just remove the skin of the stalk)
  • 400 grams skinless boneless free range chicken
  • 100 grams haloumi cheese
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dried + 1 cup water, simmer for 10-15 mins)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius, and line two baking trays with grease proof paper.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to do a few ingredients at a time, then finish up the mixing in a large bowl.

Using wet hands, shape ping-pong sized balls of the mixture and drop them onto the lined trays.

Bake for 25 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway to ensure even cooking.

Cool and serve: with a tomato sauce (chilli optional), or with spaghetti and a cooked tomato sauce.

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