Life Video

Better than before: Crispy panko-crusted zucchini fries are the healthier snack we're serving for the big game

A lightened-up take on one of our crispy faves.

A lightened-up take on one of our crispy faves

Whether you’re watching from stadium seats, the middle of a crowded pub or at home on the couch, there tends to be one constant to game day no matter how the score shakes out: a whole lot of fried food. And while we love indulging from time to time, the arrival of Canada’s new food guide has us rethinking our grub ahead of the big game this year. Enter, these irresistibly crispy Parm- and panko-crusted zucchini fries. What makes them “better than before”? They swap carb-laden potatoes for a nutrient-dense veg, trade traditional breading for a lighter mix and bake right in the oven rather than being dunked in the deep fryer. Oh, and they’re paired with zesty roasted red pepper sauce for all your dipping needs, too.

Watch the video below and check out the recipe for a healthier approach to game day noshing that comes together quickly and still hits all the right buttons.

Zucchini Fries with Chunky Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

A lightened-up take on one of our crispy faves. 1:03

Ingredients

Zucchini Fries:

  • 2 whole zucchini (1 medium size zucchini makes 16 fries)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish

Chunky Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 roasted red peppers, or 1 cup finely chopped red peppers
  • 1 cup (or 1 398 ml can) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425F degrees.

Slice the zucchinis into ½-inch thick, 3 ½-inch long pieces. Set aside.

Set up a breading station. In the first shallow bowl add the flour, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. In the second bowl whisk the buttermilk and eggs together. In the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs and cheese and mix to combine.

Take a wedge of zucchini and dredge it first into flour, then into the buttermilk/egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumb mix. Place it onto an oiled parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Continue breading the zucchini in this order until baking tray is full.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes, turning half way through baking, until the zucchini fries are crispy and golden brown. Let cool slightly and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with a roasted red pepper tomato sauce.

Make the roasted red pepper tomato sauce while the zucchini fries are baking. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, roasted red peppers, the whole can of tomatoes and liquid, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, bringing the sauce up to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, pulse to puree the sauce to your desired consistency (slightly chunky or smooth).

Transfer the dip to a serving platter with zucchini fries. Garnish fries with finely chopped parsley.

Servings: Makes 6-8 servings

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