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Zucchini Fries That Aren’t Fried

IMG_3825Here’s a confession: I love fried food.

It’s a cruel joke that French fries, potato chips, and jalapeño poppers are so bad for you. Even though I am dedicated to eating healthy, I can’t deny I’ve stolen chips from my kids’ lunches (or from the basket of fries that I’d urged them to order).

I don’t have many recipes for fried food because I don’t fry things at home (the smell of burned grease and the oily mess just serve as big, fat, depressing reminders that I’m cooking up a big pile of, well, fat.)

And this is generally a healthy food blog.

But when I tried these zucchini “fries” I knew I had to share. First, they are baked in the oven, not fried. Second, they are crunchy and salty and delicious. Third, zucchini. Who doesn’t need more ways to cook zucchini, right? Oh, and they’re grain-free too.

I felt good about serving these with dinner. Truthfully, I was too busy gobbling them up to ask the kids if they liked them. And I didn’t really care. (I’m pretty sure they did though.)

IMG_3824Baked Zucchini Fries (serves 4 as a side — unless it’s me, in which case it serves 1)
2 zucchini
1-2 tbs. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal (also called almond flour)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional; can also use black pepper)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Wash and dry zucchini. Cut the ends off and discard. Halve them and slice each half lengthways until you have pieces a little larger than a French fry. Sprinkle zucchini with salt and put in a colander and allow to drain for up to an hour (it’s okay to skip this step if you don’t have time, but it makes the fries crispier). In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the almond meal, parmesan cheese, spices, and salt. Beat one of the eggs in another bowl. Dip each zucchini strip into the egg and then roll in the almond mix. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. It can get pretty gloppy, so have a couple paper towels ready nearby. Continue with the rest of the zucchini; when you run out of egg, crack the second egg into the bowl and beat. Bake for 18-20 mins., turning halfway through the time, until zucchini is tender and the coating is crisp and browned but not burned. Serve hot with an extra pinch of salt if needed.


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This post has 3 comments

  • Barb Garrison says:

    Yes please! Printed and ready to try out and I can actually eat these, despite all my food allergies/sensitivities. Yay! Also, while I agree that frying is generally icky and messy, I just wanted to share that I’ve lost 9 pounds adding healthy fat to my diet (coconut oil, lots of avocado, full fat coconut milk, coconut butter, avocado oil, olives, good quality organic butcher cuts of bacon and more meat, and just generally not freaking out at the sight of fat (non-processed that is). Weird – I know, but it sure is more satiating and helps me stay away from processed carbs and sugar! If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I never would have believed it.

    • Thanks Barb,
      You’re definitely right; in no way would I ever suggest we limit (good) fats! I just think think things cooked in highly heated vegetable oil are excessively greasy and can make you feel like a slug (not that I don’t enjoy them on occasion — and I do really enjoy them!). Fat has been exonerated as a cause of most of the health problems it was previously linked to (heart disease, diabetes, etc.), and hip-hip hooray for that, right?!

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Barb, career coach, health-conscious wife
Los Angeles, California