8 Foods That Shouldn’t Be Nuggets (Slideshow)

We’re not sure who thought these were a good idea
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When is a cookie not a cookie? When it’s a nugget. A new restaurant in New York called The Nugget Spot sells only nuggets, and for dessert they sell pretzel-coated, deep-fried chocolate chip cookie balls. There are fewer foods more perfect than a chocolate chip cookie. Odds are this doesn’t improve on it. 

8) Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When is a cookie not a cookie? When it’s a nugget. A new restaurant in New York called The Nugget Spot sells only nuggets, and for dessert they sell pretzel-coated, deep-fried chocolate chip cookie balls. There are fewer foods more perfect than a chocolate chip cookie. Odds are this doesn’t improve on it. 

7) Macaroni and Cheese

Again, a perfect food that doesn’t need to be nuggified. Plenty of restaurants these days are taking macaroni and cheese, shaping them into balls or nuggets, then breading and frying them. First of all, you’re adding fat and calories to an already very unhealthy food. Second, you’re not improving on anything, you’re just frying it. Here’s a test: fry up one batch of your nuggets, and then take the same macaroni and cheese, put it in a gratin dish, and let it get bubbly under the broiler. Then tell me which one tastes better. You’re welcome. 

6) Dinosaurs and Stars

Whose idea was it to shape chicken nuggets into dinosaurs and stars? There’s something almost unsettling about eating food that’s just so blatantly fake. Trust us, no kid is going to turn away a plate of chicken nuggets because they’re not shaped like dinosaurs.  Just feed them the classic version (or better yet, something with a modicum of nutritional value). 

5) Quinoa

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If you’re going to be eating a healthy grain, there’s no need to try to make it look unhealthy. And really, why go through the trouble of trying to form quinoa into a nugget? It’ll just fall apart. Embrace the quinoa and forget about the nugget. 

4) Chik’n

Not chicken, mind you, chik’n. This meat substitute is available in just about every freezer aisle, and really has no purpose existing. It’s meat-free, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not gross. Take Qourn’s version, for example, which is made with mycoprotein extracted from a microscopic fungus and has caused people to go into anaphylactic shock, pass out, and vomit uncontrollably. Morningstar Farms’ are made with soy protein, which sounds a bit more palatable but still nowhere near tasty. Either stick with the real thing, or quit cold turkey. You gave up meat; you can give up fake meat, too. 

3) Spinach

For some reason, companies like Veggie Patch and Dr. Praeger’s decided to take spinach, add fillers and oil, and shape it into a patty. Is this really the best way to get kids to eat their vegetables? Each Veggie Patch nugget contains two grams of fat and 40 calories, so it’s not like they’re super-healthy. You know what the best way to get kids to eat their vegetables is? Make them eat their vegetables. 

2) Broccoli

Same deal. By nuggifying a vegetable, you take everything that’s natural about it and throw it out the window. There’s nothing wrong with broccoli. Just eat some. 

1) Chicken

The one that started it all. Dr. Baker likely had no idea what he was unleashing onto the world, but before the nugget if you wanted a chicken you usually bought it whole, or cut up into pieces at the butcher shop. After nuggets came mechanically separated chicken, pink slime and all the other nasty byproducts of trying to scrape as much meat from the bones as possible and then grinding it up so you can’t tell what other nasty stuff made its way into the slurry. While there’s no denying the chicken nugget’s status on top of the food chain, there’s still a lot of junk in there that you really shouldn’t be eating. If you must, at least make them at home and bake instead of fry them. Here’s a good recipe.