Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Best Fries Ever!

"You are what you eat", they say. I suppose there is some truth to that since I was feeling kind of sluggish the past weeks, low on energy and at times a bit irritable. I felt uninspired to do anything, even baking. I was feeling Bleh! It made me take a good look at the stuff I'd been eating lately - ice cream everyday (YES), cakes, even chips though I've never been a fan of it. In other words, I was feeling crappy because of all the accumulation of too much junk I'd been putting into my body for weeks. No wonder all my clothes feel tighter. I've gained some pounds from all that junk.

It's about high time I start turning my diet around before it becomes a chronic habit. These days, breakfast for me is a bowl of oatmeal with some dried fruits and nuts and lunch is mostly just salad and fruit. Dinner is the only time I eat meat and rice.

So I've been searching for some tasty but healthy recipes online and I came across these fries. You might be skeptical at first. I know how you feel but trust me.These fries are PHE-NO-ME-NAL! They're crispy but juicy inside, light, healthy and you won't even notice they're made of zucchini. Plus, they're oven-baked, not fried so that cuts a lot of the fat.

Dipped in your own favorite tomato sauce, these fries will convert even the pickiest eaters and veggie-haters. They're great as a side dish or as a light snack. You will never miss those unhealthy french fries again at any fast food restaurant.

1 medium size zucchini
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Dash Seasoning (or your choice of a mix of dried herbs or parmesan cheese)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil lightly brushed with olive oil.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise and then into skinny strips. 

Stir the panko breadcrumbs with the salt, pepper and Dash seasoning or mix of herbs. Coat the zucchini strips lightly with the cornstarch. Dip the zucchini strips next in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off and then roll the zucchini sticks in the seasoned bread crumbs, making sure they are properly coated. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and lightly crispy. (NOTE: Turn the fries halfway through.) Serve with tomato sauce /marinara sauce.

Tomato Sauce
1 small onion
1 small garlic
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp DASH seasoning or your choice of mix herbs

Saute the garlic until fragant in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until transparent. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the herbs/Dash seasoning. Add the water and let the mixture cook for 10 minutes. Adjust the amount of water if the mixture gets too thick.