Here’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.)
Baked Zucchini Fries (serves 4 as a side — unless it’s me, in which case it serves 1)
1-2 tbs. salt
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.