I remembered falling asleep last night thinking about waking up in the morning to write about possibilities. As soon as my eyes opened, I grabbed my journal and pen, gave a quick tummy rub to Ziggy the Fluffy Dog, and settled myself at the kitchen table ready to write. Possibilities. Thanks to Merriam Webster, we know that possibilities are the abilities or qualities that could make SOMEONE or SOMETHING better in the future. How great is that word? I love possibilities!
Out of the right corner of my eye I noticed two chips smack dab in the middle of a yellow pear painted on the side of my favorite fruit and vegetable bowl. Nestled between two overripe avocados and a cara cara orange was a zucchini. I love zucchini!
So many recipe possibilities! I could keep it simple and take out a sharp knife, grab a cutting board, and cut 1” rounds. EASY. Yet where to go from there? Steam it in a bit of water, drain, toss in coconut oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a hot oven? Spice it up by dicing the zucchini in tiny little pieces sauteed in olive oil with onion and garlic then sprinkled with red chili flakes for some heat? I could slice it in half and make a stuffed boat by scooping the seedy body and mix it with cheese and bread crumbs, topping it with a pretty red marinara to brighten it up and bake. The life of a zucchini has endless possibilities!
Not only can it be pureed into a warming soup or fried up to be dipped in a zesty ranch, BUT…now it can be… wait for it… SPIRALIZED. The spiralizer has opened a world of possibilities for a zucchini. My perfect green vegetable has now become the amazing zoodle! Take the zucchini to the spiralizer, grab the handle and twist. How fun to see the adorable, curly swirls of zucchini cascading down into the bowl. Sometimes I let them be long green ropes, other times they are cut into manageable pieces of string - like noodles. Zoodles!
I think I am just like a zucchini. I think I am like the zoodle. I think I have embraced my ability to make something better for the future. Whether by changing it up with a move across the country, mixing it up by writing a cookbook or spicing it up on TV cooking segments. Like the humble zucchini, I am full of possibilities. And like the zoodle, I too want to be fabulous - only even better!
Baked Parmesan Curly Zucchini Fries
● olive oil spray
● 1/4 cup cornstarch
● 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
● 1 cup panko bread crumbs
● 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano or romano cheese, finely grated
● 1 1/2 tsps dried oregano
● 1 1/2 cups zucchini, spiralized
● salt to taste
● Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray.
● Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Place egg whites in a separate shallow dish. Stir together panko, parmesan and oregano in a third shallow dish.
● Chop zucchini noodles into 5- or 6-inch-long pieces. Working in batches, dredge the noodles first in cornstarch; shake off excess. Next dredge in egg whites; shake off excess. Lastly, dredge in the panko mixture; shake off excess. Arrange noodles, spaced apart, in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Coat generously with cooking spray.
● Bake until golden and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.
● Remove from oven; sprinkle with salt.
● Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.