Zucchini Parmesan Fries

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What else can you do with Zucchini besides baked-roasting or grilling? That was precisely my thought when I saw a bunch of golden zucchini in the breakroom at work.

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Zucchini is a summer squash that grows abundantly in a short period usually couple of months after planting. It should be harvested and eaten while the skin is still soft. To cook the zucchini, just wash, cut and leave the skin on. It is rich in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin B6. It is also high in manganese, a mineral which helps the body process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose.

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One nice thing about living in the country and working with people who live in various farming communities or who own their farms is the fact that they bring and share their harvest to their workplace especially during growing and harvest seasons.

One day I would see boxes of organic apples, some days bags of cucumbers or squash. My boss even gave me some Italian eggplants from her husband’s garden. Who wouldn’t love free fresh food, right?

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Before I left work one day, I took home a couple of medium sized zucchini for this Zucchini Parmesan Fries recipe, which is basically zucchini version of (potato) French fries. And instead of deep-frying, I decided to bake the zucchini into crispy strips. No cooking oil needed; therefore no trans-fat or saturated fat and less cholesterol. Some people doubt if oven-baking can really cook food crispy. Restaurants do this all the time! The secret is in the temperature setting as well as in the batter.

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ZUCCHINI PARMESAN FRIES
Yield: 20-Piece Serving

Ingredients
* Zucchini – 1 medium, cut into strips (4-inch long)
* Ritz crackers – 3 cups, ground
* Egg white – 5 to start and add as needed (beaten)
* Parmesan cheese – 1 cup
* Spices: Parsley (2 tbsp), Onion powder (2 tbsp), Garlic powder (2 tbsp)
* Salt – 4 tsp
* Pepper – 4 tsp

Cooking Instructions
1. Wash the zucchini thoroughly then cut into strips.
2. Put the zucchini strips in a bigger bowl and season generously with parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese and ground Ritz crackers.
4. Drench each zucchini strip into the cracker-cheese mixture; then into the egg white and back into the cracker-cheese mixture until the zucchini is well coated.
5. Lay the zucchini strips in the greased or paper-lined baking sheet.
6. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
7. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
8. Take the baking sheet out of the freezer and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Served best as a vegetable side-dish or as an appetizer with any dipping sauce of your choice.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking! ❤
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