Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

I wanted a really yummy side for this meal that I’ve been daydreaming about for a week (post coming soon). I wanted something crunchy, but after the holiday, I couldn’t bear the thought of something heavy or deep-fried.

 

Enter crispy, baked zucchini fries. Now, before you raise and eyebrow- these were so delicious I haven’t stopped talking about them. However much you plan to make? Double that. Freeze what’s leftover and thank me later. I bet you you’ll love them and I bet you’ll use these techniques on whatever veggies you have laying around (string beans, peppers- hello!)

 

You want to season the fries generously. You will be doing the three-stop dredge (flour, egg, panko). Instead of frying these, we will line them on a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake them on high heat until crispy and golden brown.

 

These taste so good you will forget that they are good for you! Low-carb, baked vegetables.

 

Insert heart-eye emoji.

Throw in the pig emoji too.


Ingredients:

(This recipe can easily be scaled up or down, there are very few precise ingredients here. This is just what I did for dinner tonight.)

 

1 large green zucchini

1 large yellow zucchini

Flour

Egg

Panko

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Paprika

Cooking spray or olive oil


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425.
  1. Cut the ends off of your zucchini.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half.
  3. Slice them length wise into about four slices ¼” to ½” thick.zucfrieszuchfries2
  4. Slice these into about 3-4 “fries”.
  5. Place your “fries” into a container and season them generally.
  6. Allow them to rest as you continue to prep your dredging station. Flour, panko and egg are not measured. I eyeball it. But always, ALWAYS use less than you think you will need. You can always add more if you need it. However, if you use too much you’re not pouring that flour back or that panko back into the containers. That’s gotta go in the trash. I try to minimize waste where I can. Use less, you can always add more-rule of thumb. Note: Liquid will likely accumulate in the zucchini container due to the salt; if so, simply drain the liquid.zucfries3
  1. A few at a time, place the “fries” into the flour and coat evenly.
  2. Then place them in the egg and coat evenly.
  3. Toss them in the panko and coat evenly. Press the panko gently into the “fries”.
  1. Place them on the baking rack until you are ready to go.zuchfries4
  2. (Note: if you do a large amount, these can be frozen (and kept frozen) until you are ready to use them. If you are baking these from the freezer, simply follow the remaining steps. Do not thaw.)
  1. Before baking, spray generously with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Optional: sprinkle with sea salt or coarse kosher salt.zuchfries5-copy
  1. Place the baking rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.zuchfries6zuchfries7zuchfries8

These are best fresh, piping hot from the oven.

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

I love a flavor-packed dish with these flavors. You really can’t go wrong with garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy, sesame, etc. Tossing these ingredients together with brown rice noodles and veggie noodles (carrot and zuchinni), you’ve got a super light salad that can be eaten hot or cold.

It’s delicious as part of an entree, a side or a light lunch!

 

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

 

Noodle Salad

1 package of brown rice noodles, cook as directed

1 large zuchinni julienned, (invest in a mandolin slicer w/ attachments or vegetable spiralizer)

2 carrots, julienned

 

Sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, grated

1-2 inch ginger, grated

2 tbsp water

juice and zest of 1 large lime

3-4 tbsp of peanut butter, creamy or chunky

2 tsp of sambal

1 tsp of fish sauce

½ tsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of rice vinegar

½ tsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of light brown sugar

 

¼ cup chopped cilantro, to finish

 

 

  • Cook rice noodles following package directions.
  • In a large bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk vigorously until well combined. Taste and add ingredients as needed (I wound up adding a bit more ginger and crushed red pepper).peanutpeanut3
  • Using a mandolin slicer (or vegetable spiralizer), shred your zucchini and your carrots.peanut2
  • Drain noodles and reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Put noodles back into pot, add shredded vegetables and sauce
  • Using tongs, toss to combine
  • This can be served hot, warm or cold.mealmeal2meal3

 

Leftover sauce can be loosened with more lime juice or water and used as a salad dressing! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Simple Black Bean Dip

Super simple, packed with flavor and good for you! Can’t beat that.  This dip makes for a great appetizer or a middle of the afternoon “geez, I need to nosh on something before dinner snack”. I’ve heard…..

dip

2 cans of black beans

2-3 cloves of garlic

Lime

Worcestershire sauce

Rice wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt

Crushed red pepper or jalapeno

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Chili powder

Cumin

Olive oil


  1. In a food processor, place 1 medium red onion, 2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans, 2-3 smashed cloves of garlic, the zest of a lime, the juice of the lime, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a splash of rice wine vinegar or white balsamic (trust me).
    *(Some recipes call for sweating the garlic, onion and peppers in a pan dip2before pulsing. This is also an option.)
  2. Add a liberal pinch of kosher salt, crushed red pepper or chopped jalapeno, ½ tsp of garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder and a tsp of cumin.
  3. Pulse the food processor while adding about a tbsp. of olive oil.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish or ramekin.dip4
  5. Eat with tortilla chips or raw vegetables.

 

 

 

dips

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

#TT: Shrimp and Avocado Plantain Cups

As much as I love a quick and simple recipe, I generally loathe the videos that circulate on a certain social networking site. I saw a recipe similar to this and I was inspired. I changed a lot, for instance, baked cups as opposed to twice baked….something-or-others. I added a lot more flavor (and seasoning, ofc.) and upped the health-factor with more veg and some beans.

These can be eaten as a snack, an appetizer (great accompaniment for my simple black bean dip) or as a meal, just load up your plate and dive in.

 


(12 qty)

You will need: a mandolin slicer, cupcake pan and a microplane

 

3-4 large green plantains

Kosher salt

Pepper

Red onion

One large, ripe avocado

Can of black beans, rinsed

2 limes, 1 zested, 1 for garnish

½ lb to 1 lbs of deveined and peeled shrimp

Medium tomato, chopped

Olive oil

Smoked paprika

Chili powder

Cumin

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Bunch of cilantro

Seeded and chopped serrano pepper (optional)

Cooking spray

 


 

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Peel your plantains and cut in half, across.

(PLEASE BE CAREFUL, USE YOUR GUIDE, DO NOT CUT YOUR FINGER TIP OFF. IT’S NOT FUN. TRUST ME)Using your mandolin slicer on the lowest setting (thinnest), slice your plantain as many times as possible.

 

In your cupcake pan, spray with cooking spray.

Layer your plantains inside the pan, cut into pieces as needed (pictured below). Spray with cooking spray, salt and pepper.

cup

Bake 15-30 minutes, begin checking for crisp, golden brownness around 15 minutes and every couple of minutes after until ready to be pulled.

In a small bowl, add your shrimp and a couple of tbsp of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Season liberally with smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. Sauté on med-high heat until cooked through.

Reserve 12 whole shrimp and chop up the remainder.

In a large bowl, combine your chopped red onion, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, lime zest, chopped tomato and chopped cooked shrimp. Squeeze the juice of your lime and toss gently to combine.

cup2

After allowing your cups to cool, remove them from the pan.

cup3

Fill your cups with your mixture and top with whole shrimp.

cup5cup6

The filling can be served warm or cold. If there is any leftover, toss it with some baby greens and have a quick, NOM-worthy salad.

cup7

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved