Veggie Rice Bites
This month we’re bringing you delicious baked veggie-infused rice balls! Between packing lunches and planning dinner, this Fall has been kicking our behinds a little bit. We knew we needed a kid-friendly recipe that we could make ahead of time, and then pack for lunches, snacks at the park, or heat up for a quick dinner. What we love about this one, is that these baked rice balls are so finger-friendly, and are loaded with veggies, whole grains, AND protein! Practically a complete meal!
½ cup short grain brown rice
1 tsp salt
½ cup butternut squash puree
¼ cup grated parmesan
1/2 egg, beaten
½ cup grated steamed cauliflower (or other vegetable)
optional 1 cup panko
optional protein (such as shredded chicken)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse the uncooked rice in a food processor or blender in short bursts until the grains are broken up and roughly half of their original size. Then add the broken rice to a small pot with 1 1/3 cups of water. Bring everything to a boil, add the salt, then turn heat down to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes. While the rice cooks, gather your other ingredients together.
Once the rice is done, transfer it to a mixing bowl and add the cauliflower (or other grated vegetable), the butternut squash puree, the parmesan cheese, any protein you choose, and the egg. Put the entire mixture into the freezer for 10 minutes. Now that it’s chilled, roll the rice into 12-15 small balls and place on a oiled baking sheet. Work quickly, and place the balls back in the freezer for a few minutes to chill again.
Meanwhile, if you decide to use the panko, pour the flakes into a shallow bowl and roll each ball in the panko before the final chilling. Once the balls are chilled, put the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove, let cool, and enjoy!