Friday, February 13, 2015

Reinventing Sides: Zucchini Fries

I love zucchini. I'll eat it raw, grilled, sauteed or baked. Have you seen people substituting their pasta noodles for zucchini noodles? I need to buy a gadget that will let me do that because, yum. However, E does not share my love of zucchini. The only way I can get him to eat it is if I hide it. So if you're in the same boat, this post is for you.

I found the recipe for zucchini fries awhile back on one of those healthy kids websites (I thought I pinned it, but I can't find it now). I've also tried using green beans, but they don't work nearly as well as zucchini. You're basically coating your veggies in panko crumbs and baking them so they're crunchy. They take a little time to prep, but they're totally worth it in the end.

For the three of us, I use two nice-sized zucchinis or three small zucchinis. You want to slice them into strips like fries. The easiest way is to cut each one in half horizontally and then make your slices vertically. You want the green skin to be on each piece so you'll get roughly 16 pieces per zucchini depending how big you slice them (again, think fries). The bigger the slices, the less crunchy they'll be.

Next, prep your bowls. You need a bowl with one beaten egg and a bowl with panko crumbs mixed with Italian seasoning. You take each piece of zucchini, dip it in the egg, remove the excess egg, dip it in the panko until it's coated on both sides and put it on a cookie sheet (I line mine with foil because it gets messy). Repeat until all of them have been dipped. Right before you put it in the oven, do a quick sprinkle of kosher salt over all the zucchini slices.

You can find panko crumbs in the Asian food aisle at your grocery store.

Ready for the oven. 

Put them in the oven (425 degrees F) for 10 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, take them out and flip each zucchini. You could probably use a spatula and shuffle them around, but I use tongs. I want to make sure I flip each one and you don't lose as many panko crumbs that way. Put them back in for 8 minutes. Then pull them out and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on them. Bake two more minutes or until they're golden brown and crunchy. Enjoy!

Does anyone else have a kid-friendly zucchini recipe they'd be willing to share? I'm all ears eyes.


Zucchini Fries (click here for printable recipe)
2-3 zucchinis
1 cup panko crumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning (more or less depending on your preference)
1 large egg
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Slice your zucchinis so they resemble fries. I cut mine in half horizontally, then do vertical strips. Next, beat your egg and set it to the side. Combine your panko crumbs and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl. Next, dip each slice of zucchini in the egg (remove excess egg with your fingers) and then coat in the panko crumbs. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Once all of your slices are on the cookie sheet, sprinkle kosher salt on them. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out the cookie sheet and flip each zucchini slice (I recommend using tongs). Put them back in the oven for 8 minutes. Take out the tray and sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese over all the slices. Put it back in the oven for two minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Enjoy!

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