Monday, November 16, 2015

Oven Roasted Zucchini Spears




My plans have a strange way of going awry.  
Do you remember my Superfood Burgers post? 
This recipe was supposed to be published the very next day, because it is sort of a continuation of that post.
But it took 45 more days for me to hit the publish button!

Okay! I had some health scare. My chronic pancreatitis had stirred its ugly head but things are under control now. And it wasn't very severe to begin with. I refuse to make my health issue an excuse. Wasn't it the main reason I started this blog! Not to get bogged down by illness but to continue living and not merely existing. 

Let me confess. I was depressed. Again. 

I had grand plans this Durga Puja, which was mercilessly shattered by this sudden health scare. I was sad to begin with and all the celebratory pics thronging the social media, didn't help either. No wonder suicides rated are high during the festivals and holiday!

Being a true blue Cancerian, I keep my trusty shell handy and retreat to it, the moment the tides aren't favorable. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and kept all the Whats App chats on mute. It might sound insane and crazy, even rude and weird to many, but this is how I cope. Cutting myself off from the outside world helps me heal. And I'm unapologetic about it. 

I have no intention to of stereotyping the Cancerian. Not all Cancerian are as moody and emotionally vulnerable as me. 

All this said and done, let me quickly clear off my drafts folder, before I disappear again! J


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Coming back to this recipe, this crispy, crunchy, tender zucchini spears are oven roasted to perfection. They are deliciously addictive and the perfect munchies for healthy burgers.

Garlic, aromatic dried herbs, Parmesan and a dash of smoked Paprika (I am obsessed with this stuff) - Can you ever go wrong with this combination

Nutty, smokey, crispy, crunchy - OMG! I can polish off the entire tray by myself. And I have! 
(Shhh.. dont tell Sam or Sid)
I do make another batch by the time they get back home! 

No wonder the sweet lady at the checkout counter gives me the stare, looking at my produce shopping!

The recipe is pretty simple, in a large bowl add the Parmesan, the herbs and spices. Add the zucchini spears. Swoosh around to coat and then oven roast it till nice and crispy. 

It doesn't get any easier than this! 











We love these zucchini spears. And not just with our burgers. I have served them as appetizers and as after school snacks too. It is really addictive. If you have a green thumb and are reeling under the bountiful produce of zucchini, this is the perfect recipe to use them up.  


Recipe Snapshot: Roasted Zucchini Spears

Serves: 3 serving
(1 serving = 6 Spears)

What I used:
Zucchini - 3 medium sized, cut into quarters lengthwise

Garlic - 2 fat cloves, finely minced
or 
Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp

Dried Thyme - 1/4 tsp
Dried Oregano - 1/4 tsp
Dried Basil - 1/2 tsp
Smoked Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 cup, grated
Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Parsley - a small handful, chopped for garnish

What I did:
1. Preheat the oven at 400F.

2. Spray a cooling rack liberally with cooking stray and place it over a foil lined cookie sheet. 

3. In a large bowl, or a zip lock bag, add the washed, pat dried and quartered zucchini spears. add the oil and toss so that the oil coats all the zucchini spears.

4. Add the grated Parmesan, dries thyme, oregano, basil, minced garlic cloves (or garlic powder), smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Toss again to coat all the spears with the Parmesan-spice mixture.

5. Arrange the spears on the cooling rack, in an even layer.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, till the zucchinis are tender, yet retain a crunch. For that extra golden and roasted flavor, put it under broil for 2-3 minutes. 

7. Place the roasted zucchini spears on a serving platter and sprinkle a small handful of chopped parsley for some added freshness and color. 



Diabetic Platter:
Zucchini is one of the very low calorie vegetables; provide only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers.

Zucchinis have anti-oxidant value (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity- ORAC) of 180 Trolex Equivalents (TE) per 100g, the value which is far below to some of the berries, and vegetables. Nonetheless, the pods are one of the common vegetables included in weight reduction and cholesterol control programs by the dieticians.

Furthermore, zucchinis, especially golden skin varieties, are rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the body that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

Courgette hold relatively moderate amounts of folates; provides 24 µg or 6% of RDA per 100 g. Folates are important in cell division and DNA synthesis. When taken adequately during early pregnancy it can help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.

It is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart-friendly electrolyte and helps bring the reduction in blood pressure and heart rates by countering pressure-effects of sodium.

Fresh fruits are rich in vitamin A; provide about 200 IU per 100 g.
Fresh pods, indeed, are good source of anti-oxidant vitamin-C. Provide about 17.9 µg or 30% of daily-required levels per 100 g.

In addition, they contain moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

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