On my quest to achieve my ideal beach body for this Summer- I’ve been scoping out recipes for healthier alternatives to what could otherwise be considered not-so-healthy meals and snacks (sadly, there is no comparable substitute for cheesecake. Sigh.) My research has been eye-opening, to say the least- because not only did I never fully realize just how many variations there can be for different kinds of foods- but I also never imagined that “healthy” versions of that food could taste even better than the originals!
Case in point: these zucchini fries- a lighter, less artery-clogging alternative to regular greasy, fattening French fries- but still pack a crunchy and flavorful punch without making you feel gross or remorseful after you eat a bunch of them.
Best of all? They don’t take long to prepare at all- making these my new favorite quick-time snack when I need something to munch on in-between meals or if I’ve got people coming by and need to whip up something fast and/or outside-the-box.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
* 4 medium zucchini
* ¾ cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to finish
* ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 eggs
* 2½ cups panko bread crumbs
* ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
* ½ teaspoon garlic powder
OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
2. Trim the ends from the zucchini, then cut in half width wise. Cut in half again, then cut each piece into 4 fat wedges (you’ll get about 16 wedges per zucchini).
3. In a large, shallow bowl, mix the flour with the salt and pepper to combine. In a second large, shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. Finally, in a third large, shallow bowl- mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan and garlic powder to combine.
4. Working in batches, dip each piece of zucchini first into the flour mixture, then into the egg, then into the bread crumbs. Transfer the breaded zucchini to the prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake until the breading is golden brown and crisp- approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Season with additional salt to taste and serve immediately!
I admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I made these fries- but I was pleasantly surprised the second I tasted one (and then proceeded to eat an embarrassing amount of them in one sitting.) The zucchini still tastes fresh and crisp after baking- but the breading gives them a nice salty and crispy finish. The fries are filling- but not in a bad way.
I’m addicted- and I’ve already planned on experimenting with this recipe a little more and incorporating some summer squash into the mix the next time I cook up a batch of these!