Not-so-French Zucchini Fries

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I love fries. Oven-baked, fast-food, sweet potato, the list goes on… soggy, crunchy, big, small, smothered in ketchup, a little salt, a dash of pepper…. basically anyway is fine with me. As a toddler, I somehow learned to recognize the golden arches and would actually request “fries” if I saw the fast food restaurant so persistently that my parents would take the long route home to avoid any/all McDonald’s sightings.

I limit my fry intake now that I am more health conscious. I sometimes even choose fresh fruit over fries when given the option (gasp!). When I spotted this recipe, I knew I had to try it for 2 reasons. First, its fry-like. Second, my mom always has a field of zucchini in the summer. She has a pretty prosperous garden in general, but you would be hard-pressed to find a garden in MN that produces more baseball bat sized zucchini. Zucchini bread, grilled zucchini, zucchini muffins, zucchini side dishes, stuffed zucchini, zucchini for the neighbors and friends, zucchinis for our enemies… we are always in need of more zucchini recipes. So a recipe that combines my mom’s abundance of homegrown zucchini with my love for fries may just be the perfect solution.

Baked Zucchini Fries
Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

2-3 zucchinis, washed
2 egg whites, beaten lightly
1/2C bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
2T grated Parmesan cheese
1/2tsp dried basil
pinch of dried oregano
1/4tsp garlic powder
salt/pepper to taste (I didn’t add either)

Preheat oven to 425. Spray cookie sheet lightly with your favorite no-stick cooking spray. Cut zucchini into fry-like sticks. Set zucchini aside. In a bowl, beat egg whites with a touch of pepper and (perhaps) a smidge of salt. In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic powder. Dip one zucchini stick into egg mixture allowing the egg to coat the entire stick. Then place into bread crumb mixture turning until it is coated with bread crumb mixture. Place (artfully) on the cookie sheet. Repeat with all the zucchini. Bake at 425 for 25-30minutes until crispy, turning once halfway thru.

I really liked them by themselves, straight off the cookies sheet. I really LOVED them with this marinara sauce. I have tried a lot of different pizza/marinara sauce recipes and this one is the most “jar-like” in my opinion. It has a very concentrated tomato flavor and is easy to pull together if you are in a hurry. In all honesty, it is not my favorite pizza sauce recipe, but I really like it for this recipe.

Pizza Dipping Sauce
Source: Our Best Bites

1 6oz can tomato paste
6oz water (use the empty can!)
1 1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp dried basil
1/2tsp dried marjoram
1/2tsp dried parsley
1T honey (or sugar)
1/2tsp onion powder
1/4tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

See the above list? Throw it all in a bowl and stir. Taste. Adjust seasoning. It’s ready for dipping! Or a pizza! Or a spoon! (but that’s kinda gross so don’t do it.)

Get cooking!!!

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