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

 

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing and Crispy Garlic

One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is RAW! You don’t have to cook everything and they’re just as delish. Last year I came across a recipe that called for shaved brussel sprouts. I was a strictly roasted-garlicky type of girl but that changed that evening.

I grabbed a bag of sprouts at the market last weekend and I was reluctant to just toss them in the oven. This week has been full of balsamic, so it seems, and I continued with this recipe.

It’s pretty quick and you customize it as you wish! Add carrot, nuts, herbs- use what you have! 

Note: I made a small batch, you can easily adjust this to make a larger batch.

 

2 1/2 cups of whole brussel sprouts, shaved on a mandolin slicer

4-5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp of olive oil

 

Dressing: (again, this was a small batch- if you need help making a larger portion, shoot me a comment)

1/8 cup of olive oil (plus leftover from the garlic)

pinch, each, of kosher salt, pepper and crushed pepper

tsp of dijon

tbsp of honey

2-4 (matter of preference) balsamic vinegar

 

Using your mandolin slicer, carefully shave your brussel sprouts. (If you’re like me and you hate to waste food, pop the stumps into a ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer. Use them the next time you make veggie broth!)brusselbrus8brus2

Preheat a pan over medium-low heat, add your olive oil and your garlic.

Stir frequently. Do not take your eyes off of the garlic, it can burn quickly. Browned garlic? Big yes. Burned garlic? You’ll never forgive yourself.

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Once the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon. The garlic will crisp up!

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In a small tupperware container, or a Mason jar, add the dressing ingredients (don’t waste that leftover oil from your garlic. It is loaded with garlic flavor, add that in too!!). Shake up thoroughly. Easiest way to make a dressing, hands down.brus6brus7

Pour over your shaved brussels and toss to coat.

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Serve  topped with the crispy garlic.

Thank me, later!

 

NOM!

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Veggie-Packed Spicy Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is one of those meals that you whip up and you know you won’t have to worry about dinner for a couple of nights. It’s also one of those meals that allow you to load up on veggies! If you punch up the flavor, even the most anti-veg person will devour a serving or few.

 

Yields 15 lasagna rolls

 

Ingredients:

Box of lasagna noodles

5 Spicy Italian sausage

small yellow onion

half of a green bell pepper

1 large zucchini

3 large carrots

1 pack of frozen chopped spinach

pint of reduced fat ricotta

4 cloves of garlic

Garlic powder

Italian seasoning

Kosher salt

Crushed pepper

Your favorite tomato sauce

Your preferred shredded cheese

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
  3. Boil the lasagna noodles.
  4. Using a mandolin slicer, create zucchini ribbons and carrot ribbonsrolls2
  5. Defrost spinach
  6. Brown your sausage or other ground meat (this could be a omitted for a completely vegetarian recipe)rolls1
  7. Add chopped garlic, onion and pepper, cook until just softened, season with salt and pepper.
  8. Drain your noodles, should be al denterolls3
  9. Remove the meat and veg from the pan and drain in a strainer or a paper towel
  10. Drain spinach, season with salt, pepper and about 1 tsp garlic powder.
  11. Season ricotta with 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp kosher salt and a pinch of crushed pepper, mix to combine
  12. Take one noodle and “paint” ricotta mixture using a spoon or a spatula
  13. Lay carrot ribbons, sprinkle spinach, sprinkle meat mixture and top with cheeserolls4
  14. Tightly roll the noodles uprolls5-copy
  15. Nestle a zucchini ribbon overtop, repeat until your pan is full. My pan was 13×9 and that fit 15 rolls. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt over your ribbon-wrapped rolls. rolls6
  16. Top with your favorite tomato sauce (I used 2 parts canned diced tomato and 1 part canned crushed tomato that I seasoned it up using my go-to’s: kosher salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, Italian seasoning, pinch of sugar and a dash of fish sauce).
  17. Generously top with your preferred shredded cheeserolls8
  18. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes then uncovered until bubbling and the edges start to brown.

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rolls11

 

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved