Rice Balls (with Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash)

My ward recently started a recipe group that meets once a month. This month's theme was Deceptively Delicious and I picked the Rice Balls to give a try. I believe the recipe comes from the book deceptively delicious, but I was just emailed the recipe, so I'm not sure on that.
They were actually very tasty (crunchy outside and warm, gooey inside) and of course healthy too, but they were messy to make. I probably won't make them again for awhile just because of the work that goes into them, but when Preston is ready to start feeding himself I'll probably bust them out again.

1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
Nonstick cooking spray
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 lb. chicken cutlets, rinsed and dried (I used 1/4 c. of canned chicken)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 c cup sweet potato puree (I used sweet potato baby food, 1 large jar)
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup lowfat (1%) buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup spinach or broccoli or butternut squash puree (I used baby food again, 2 small jars butternut squash)
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs (you could make these gluten-free by using gluten free crackers or bread)

-Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and the pepper, and cook until no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Cut the chicken into chunks and place them in a food processor or blender.
(if you use canned chicken you can skip all that)
-Add the sweet potato puree, cheese, salt, and the buttermilk, and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cooked rice. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil.
(I prepared up to this point the night before and stuck the balls in the fridge until the next day when I finished them)
-In a shallow bowl, beat the egg and vegetable puree with a fork. Put the crumbs in the bowl. One at a time, dip the rice balls in the egg mixture, then roll them in the crumbs to make an even coating.
-Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add the rice balls and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally and spraying with cooking spray, until browned and crisp all over. Serve warm.