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Healthy Chicken Nuggets & Pasta Salad

A Kid-Friendly Lunch They Will Actually Eat

After being homebound for several months, many parents feel frustrated by their children's eating patterns—snacking has become America's favorite past time. As we prepare to head back to school, it's time to return to healthy eating. 

Through their Healthy School Lunch Program, the owners of Catering Solutions, Rebecca and Kim Hassouna of Bridgewater serve healthy lunches daily to over 50 schools and daycare centers across the state. 

As families prepare for the new reality of going back-to-school, the concept of well-balanced and healthy meals is a challenge many parents grapple with. 

“It’s best to look at a well-balanced day as opposed to a meal. We encourage our own children to think about what they’ve eaten and use their snacks to make up for deficiencies. The grains always seem to work themselves out between meals and snacks, but extra proteins and fresh veggies and fruits are always good,” says Rebecca.

Integrating vegetables their children like can be difficult, but there are workarounds. 

“A very nutrient-dense vegetable that doesn’t get much credit is pumpkin. It can be served savory or sweet and is filled with vital minerals and nutrients. It can be served on its own as baby food or included in baked goods like pumpkin muffins." Rebecca continues, "We even use it in the batter of our chicken nuggets."

Below Rebecca and Kim give us their healthy chicken nugget and pasta salad recipes. These staples are kid-friendly and can be served room temperature, so no need to worry about having to heat them up at school. Prepare a batch on Sunday night for the kids to eat all week. They're so good you'll find yourself digging in as well. 

Chicken Nuggets 

2 ½ pounds raw chicken breast, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes

2 eggs

4 ounces carrots

4 ounces pumpkin puree

½ teaspoon allspice

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs

1.       Boil carrots in water until very soft.  Mash carrots and cool.

2.       Combine prepared carrots, pumpkin, eggs and allspice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.       Prepare bowls of each of the following: bowl 1 – whole wheat flour, bowl 2 – vegetable/egg better, bowl 3 – seasoned breadcrumbs.

4.       Dip each chicken piece into the 3 bowls in order.

5.       Place prepared chicken on a sheet pan sprayed with oil. Chicken nuggets should be separate.

6.       Bake at 500 for 7-10 minutes until browned. 

Pasta Salad 

4 oz bow tie pasta

2 whole zucchini, sliced and chopped

1/2 cups diced sundried tomato

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup drained chicken peas

1/2 cup chopped fresh mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup of your favorite vinaigrette

fresh herbs such as basil finely chopped

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Let cool.

2. Sautéed chopped zucchini with olive oil in a hot pans until just blistered. Let cool.

3. Combine pasta with zucchini, tomato, black olives, chickpeas and cheese along with the vinaigrette.  

4. Add fresh herbs and serve.

To learn more about their Healthy School Lunch Program, catering, grocery delivery service and their pop-up, lobster roll restaurant, visit mycateringsolutions.net

  • Rebecca & Kim Hassouna