I rarely eat deep-fried food but who doesn’t love deep-fried zucchini sticks with ranch dressing? So what’s a girl to do when she wants the flavors but not the calories? She designs an alternative and voila, Zucchini Parmesan Bake is born.
The deep fryer is not your friend. Deep frying triples the calories of the food you are frying and the high heat actually changes the chemical structure of the original food. For example, a boiled potato houses a complex carbohydrate that is absorbed more slowly than sugar which is a simple carbohydrate. In general complex carbohydrates are healthier than simple carbohydrates because they are slowly released from the gut and cause a slower release of insulin. When you deep fry a potato to make French fries the high heat converts the complex carbohydrate into a simple carbohydrate which in turn gives you an addictive sugar rush like candy. So save calories, reduce the fats and skip the deep-fried foods.
If you are gluten free or if you want to reduce the carbohydrates in this recipe, try ground almonds as a substitute for panko. Enjoy as a vegetable serving or as an appetizer. I usually throw this in the oven along with a baked fish dish or with a pan of beets or kale for roasting.
Zucchini Parmesan Bake
• Cooking oil spray
• 2 medium zucchini thinly sliced, about 2 cups
• 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Pepper to taste, no need to add salt when using a salty cheese
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a shallow 8 inch tart or pie plate with oil.
Slice zucchini into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Arrange zucchini in a double layer. Sprinkle with cheese. Toss panko with the olive oil place over the cheese layer. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. The top should be brown and the zucchini will be crisp tender and delicious.
Serving size is 1 cup
Kcal: 265 Carb: 17 gm, Protein: 15 gm, Fat: 16 gm
Weight watchers pp – 7 points