Category Archives: Avocado

Zucchini Fritters

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Zucchini

Summers home are boring. They’re exciting at first because it’s nice to be catered to by your parents and be back with your high school friends but then you realize that the place you grew up, or at least where I grew up, is exactly what it was when you left: a little town with nothing to do but eat. Today I was bored and super hungry after a long work out, (to counter act all my eating,) so I decided to make myself something filling. I’ve made salmon burgers/salmon cakes before, so I kind of went off of that recipe-style. We had two zucchinis in the fridge so I figured, what the hell? Sometimes no ideas at all turn into something delicious, apparently.

Ingredients:

  • Two small zucchinis
  • 1 1/2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of Cayenne Pepper spice
  • 1 tsp of Rosemary
  • Pepper to taste

You’ll need a cheese grater with a fairly large grate. I also used a garlic press – NOT necessary but it made things so much quicker and easier.

 

What To Do:

1. Preheat your oven, with baking sheet inside, to 400 degrees.

2. Use the large side of your cheese grater to grate both of the zucchinis. This gets very messy, (maybe that was just me,) so do it over your sink into a colander. After they are completely grated, sprinkle the slices with salt in order to drain it. Leave it sitting for 5-10 minutes while you prep the breadcrumbs.

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3. Pour the breadcrumbs and seasonings into the bowl. This was the fun part for me! I used my mother’s garlic press to break down the garlic clove. Normally, I would chop it up and throw it in but this press saves times and dishes (ugh). All you have to do is put the clove into the press and squeeze it right into the bowl! Boom. Mix all of this together and move it to a bigger bowl that the zucchini will fit in.

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4. Now, return to the zucchini. Shake the colander and individually squeeze, handful by handful, each portion of the zucchini. I didn’t do this, but I would recommend that you immediately put that dry handful into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and seasonings. Once all the zucchini is in the bowl mix this all together.

5. Beat the egg, then add it into the mixture. Mix everything together really well!

6. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and spray it with cooking spray. Form the zucchini into medium sized balls. I was able to make about six and placed them on the sheet. Flatten them with your palm and they’ll flatten out more so.

7. Cook the fritters for 25 minutes, flipping half-way in between. As it comes to end of the cooking, use a spatula to press the fritters so a little more moisture comes out onto the sheet while they are still in the oven. After the time is up, remove them!

 

You can literally serve these with ANYTHING. I’ve seen recipes that serve fritters with salsa, guacamole and other sauces. I decided to go classically me and make a greek yogurt based dip. I squeezed half of a ripe orange into about a cup of yogurt and put a little dry mustard in. It was a little bland, but the cooling quality of it made it good, regardless, with the fritters.

These were healthy is absolutely delicious. They came out super crunchy and kind of reminded me of latkes!

Stay healthy in wealth,

S

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Avocado and Asparagus Fries – YUM

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195e370cb38111e1aebc1231381b647a_7   e6b262bc407311e2949722000a1f90e1_7Above are just two different occasions when I made avocado fries. The first picture is actually the first time I ever made them for my boyfriend!

I have made avocado fries and asparagus fries multiple times and each time they have been mouth-watering. They are a perfect side for any dish, particularly when you’re eating fish or burgers, or better yet, a mix, salmon burgers!

The best part about this recipe is that it isn’t limited to avocados or asparagus. Recently, the idea of making veggies into “healthy fries” has been blowing up all over Pinterest and food blogs. This post is  jumping on the bandwagon! I LOVE avocado fries because of the crunchy outside and soft, tasty inside. I’ve also come up with a signature Sriracha sauce, (which isn’t too hot because I’m a pansy when it comes to spicy food…) which is perfect to pair with any kind of fries.

First things first, there are two ways to make these fries. They are delicious both ways but the first way takes a little more work and is a little less healthy.

Frying

The first way to make these fries is to fry them in canola oil on the stove in a frying pan. As always, heat the pan first (keep it on medium-high heat or the fries will burn quickly,) then add about an inch of oil. It just occurred to me that you could probably use coconut-oil, too, which would add flavor but remember, coconut oil, like avocados, has a lot of fat, so be precarious. If it’s that kind of week, hey, what’s stopping you? In order to see if the oil is ready, let a drop of water fall into the pan. The oil will sizzle and pop and then you will know that the pan is ready. After breading, add your veggie fries. Let them sit on one side for about 5-7 minutes or until they are golden brown. Beware, sometimes the oil will splash and it is very HOT. Stand clear! After they’ve browned, flip the fries onto the side that has been facing up. Even when these fries burn a little bit but that doesn’t make them taste bad, especially if you don’t mind the taste or mask it with the sauce. Once the fry is browned on both sides, take it out of the oil and put in on a plate that is lined with paper-towels in order to absorb oil.

Baking

This way of cooking is the healthier option and it takes a lot less work and attention. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place a baking sheet inside. Once the oven is hot, take out the sheet and pour a couple lines of olive oil onto it. Spread the oil around so that it covers the entire baking sheet. Place each of the fries onto the sheet and sprinkle oil on top of them (don’t go crazy, remember this is healthy!). Cook the fries for about 10-12 minutes on one side and then check them. Make sure they’re browning properly, then flip each fry so the other side cooks. If you feel like you need to add a little more oil, feel free. After they’re done, take them out, turn the oven off and plate them.

Okay, so back to the original breading of the fries and the ingredients.

Here’s what you need for 2 people for Avocado Fries:

  • 2 avocados (The recipe works best when the avocados are JUST ripe and are still a little firm. If they’re too soft, they will fall apart when you’re breading them.)
  • Breadcrumbs (Panko or Original..I like to use both)
  • Seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Salt) – I tend to just throw seasonings in, I’m not picky. If you know you don’t like something, then don’t put it in.
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • Olive Oil/Canola Oil (Depending on which method you use)

For asparagus fries:

If you want to make asaparagus fries, I usually about 15 stalks of asparagus and cut them into halves. With this vegetable, you have to make sure to cut off the bottom of the stalk, which is not typically ripe enough or edible. To tell where to cut, try bending the stalk and wherever it seems like it will snap, that’s where you should cut. Then cut that stalk in half, which just makes it easier to coat and bread in small dishes, if you want to keep them whole, that’s up to you. If you have asparagus that’s wilting, take it out of the fridge, sprinkle some water on it, then wrap it in a paper towel. Put the bundle back in the fridge for about 3 hours and they’ll firm up! The best part is, once they are breaded, they won’t even taste like they were wilting in the first place. Follow the same steps as you would for avocado fries but because of the shape, they’re a little harder to fry in the pan. I normally use the baking method.

Breading

In order to prep for the breading of the veggies, take out three bowls. Put the flour in one bowl, the a mix of the bread crumbs and  seasonings in another bowl and the egg (beaten), in the last bowl. If the large egg is smaller than you expected, add a splash of milk. Make sure not to add so much because it will water-down the egg bath too much. You just want enough liquid egg so that you can cover all your fries. Cut the avocados in half, pop the seed out, then slice them in vertical fry-like shapes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven at this point if you are planning on using the oven method. Do each fry individually. Start with the flour and cover the fry completely in a light coating of it. Shake it off so there are no clumps. Then move to the egg bath and cover the fry, again shaking off excess egg. Move the fry into the breadcrumb and seasoning mix and coat the fry completely. Place it on the baking sheet if you plan to bake the fries, and then repeat this step until all of the fries are done.

If you plan to pan-fry the fries, I recommend that you bread all of the fries first, then move on to frying. The veggies fry quickly so it makes things easier.

There, your fries are done!

This side can really be paired with any type of simple condiment, like ranch or a mayo, but after trying a few I’ve come to the conclusion that this sauce is my favorite. As I said earlier, I am a huge baby when it comes to spicy food. For example, I love sushi but I avoid wasabi as much as possible! Sriracha is a delicious type of hot sauce and in small doses, I can handle it.

Depending on how many fries you make, you can adjust the recipe. This amount is for the 2 person serving the avocado fry recipe listed earlier called for.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise (I use the olive oil based one or a light mayo for health benefits)
  • 1 tbsp of Sriracha.. feel free to add more if you can deal with it!
  • 1 tsp of spicy mustard
  • 1 tbsp of Ranch dressing
  • A dash of pepper

Mix everything together in a small bowl and dip right from there! Sometimes I add a little lime juice to the sauce, too. This is just a simple sauce and it can be easily altered depending on your mood and your tastes. If you come up with something else that tastes good, let me know!

Happy, healthy eating!

S

Coconut Oil Chicken and Mango-Avocado Salad

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Coconut Oil Chicken and Mango-Avocado Salad

I have recently developed an obsession with coconut oil after finally jumping on the organic-hippie bandwagon and this is one wagon I am never getting off. Although semi-expensive, a large, mayonnaise sized jar of the oil will easily last you a couple months and it is certainly worth it. I not only use the solid oil to cook but I also put in on my skin (especially when sunburned!) in my hair and on my nail beds. If you have yet to try it, I highly recommend getting as addicted as I am.

This was my first time cooking with coconut oil so I decided on something easy; breaded chicken. Tallahassee, Florida is by far the most humid and sticky place I have ever lived and come summer, it is comparable to what I can only imagine the Sahara dessert feels like 24/7. When eating a hot meal like cooked chicken, it is necessary to cool your palate down with something else. In this case, I chose to pair the crispy chicken with a light and citrusy mango-avocado salad.

What you need:

  • Jar of Coconut Oil (You will only use a couple tablespoons!)
  • 4 Defrosted chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup of Cheerios
  • 1 Cup of Breadcrumbs (Panko or Original!)
  • 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds
  • A plastic bag full of Flour
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Small Mango
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Red or Yellow Onion
  • A few cilantro leaves

ALWAYS Allow your frying pan to heat up on the stove on medium heating before adding anything else. I recently learned this from another food blog and it has saved my frying pans and my food from a lot of unwanted damage! After it is heated, add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil. To be truthful, I did not measure it at all…but use as much as you need to cover the bottom of the pan and you should be fine.

Beat the egg in a bowl and add some milk to thin it out. Set this bowl aside. I chose to add cheerios to the breadcrumb mix because when they’re flavored, (honey-nut for example), they add a little something to the chicken. If you don’t completely pulverize them and they remain in larger chunks, they add more of a crunch. Mix the cheerios with the breadcrumbs and whatever seasonings you prefer. I added a little garlic salt and pepper. Toss these all together in a bowl and then add the chia seeds. If you haven’t read about the health benefits of cha-cha-cha-chia seeds, do it NOW!

After the chicken was completely defrosted, I put the individual pieces into the bag of flour and shook them until they were completely covered. Then the chicken went into the beaten egg-milk mixture and finally, pressed into the breaded mix on each side. Put the chicken into the hot oil and cook on both sides until they are browned and cooked all the way through. It took about 15 minutes for me and I at one point I even covered the pan to ensure faster cooking.

While the chicken was cooking, prepare the citrus salad. I used it as a bed for the chicken so I spread it over a plate instead of in a bowl. I wanted to call it a salsa, but really it was much more individual pieces of fruit mixed together than a sauce. Slice the mango in half (around the middle seed) and made sure to cut all the skin off. Cut both the avocado and mangos into half inch pieces and plate them. Keep the mango and later squeeze some of the excess juice over the chicken after it it cooked. Next, cut up the onion in similar sized pieces. I used yellow onion, only because it was what was in the fridge, but a red onion would be equally delicious and will add extra sweetness to the dish if used. I added the chopped onion and mixed the three together, creating a bed to lay the chicken on.  Tear up and add a few leaves of cilantro to the mix to give it a kick of flavor. I also salted this salad a little. Salting brings out the sweet flavors in fruits like watermelon, pineapple and mango.

Do not let your chicken burn but make sure it is crisped to your liking! I prefer mine extra crispy and it took about 15 minutes all together to cook.

Remove the  chicken from the pan and if you’re a good doggy-mom like I am, you’ll serve your happy pooch the remaining coconut oil/chicken grease over their dry food. I’ve never seen Bodie eat so quickly and now he’s enjoying the health benefits of coconut oil, too!

I decided to garnish the chicken and salad with a light sauce, mostly because I wanted to avoid adding more seasoning or salt to the meal. I had eaten half of a vanilla Oikos greek yogurt for lunch and added a little dill weed and lemon juice to the rest of the yogurt in the container. I mixed this together to made a quick, light and healthy sauce that I used to top the chicken breasts Not only did this add some richness to the dish but it was nice and cold on the hot meat!

This is how it turned out. Next time I promise I’ll take step-by-step photos!

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I’d love to hear what other kinds of sauces or substitutions you add if you try to dish so please let me know!

Happy, healthy eating!

S