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Category Archives: Side Dishes

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Zucchini Chips

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A couple weeks ago, I saw a recipe on Pinterest for baked zucchini chips, and WOW, these were amazing. They were a perfect replacement for potato chips when you’re craving a salty snack, and of course, way lower in calories. I think I have made these at least five times since I found it. Ten million thanks to the blogger who posted this recipe. You can find it here. You are a hero in the Herron household.

I have been experimenting with different ways to flavor these and have found my favorite. We love spicy BBQ chips in this house. We can pretty easily down an entire bag in one or two sittings. So that was my inspiration for this. I think they turned out really good, but it could easily be changed to appeal to different tastes. I’m sure if you google “zucchini chips”, you could find thousands of different ideas.

So, after making and enjoying these zucchini chips many many times, my BRILLIANT husband had the genius idea of trying them in the dehydrator. He just made beef jerky a couple weeks ago, so I guess he had dehydrating on the mind. If you’re not an appliance junkie (like my husband), this can easily be done in the oven. I will tell how it’s done, or you can click on the link above.

What you need

  • Zucchini
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Season salt 
Slice your zucchini as thin as you can possibly get it. This is a lot easier if you use a mandolin. It helps keep the slices a uniform size, therefore allowing them to cook consistently. It also makes the process considerably faster.
I am pretty sure my mandolin cost about $15 at Walmart, so it was no significant investment, but most definitely a worthy one.
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See? Nice thin, even slices. It would have taken me forever to cut them like that on my own.
Next lay the zucchini slices in the dehydrator and season them with the spices listed above, or those of your choice. Make sure you go light on the spices, especially the cayenne. The zucchini really shrinks up a lot once it dries out, and will get very concentrated. If you put too much cayenne, you will be drinking a lot of milk along with your chips.
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Turn your dehydrator on to 135 degrees and walk away.
I only did two layers, which was 2 zucchini worth when I made it this time. It took 2.5-3 hours. I started checking it after the first hour or so because I really wasn’t too sure how long it would take.
You will know it’s done when it looks like the picture below. The zucchini slices will be nice and crisp, just like a real chip. There’s no harm in taste testing along the way too. They still taste pretty good, even when they’re not done yet.
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This was slightly easier, and tasted slightly better than cooking them in the oven. The best part was, I didn’t have to have my oven on for almost 2 hours when it is 100+ degrees outside. They came out a little bit crisper than they do when I make them in the oven. It’s also nice to use the dehydrator because you can make more at a time. I can only ever seem to fit one zucchini worth of chips in my oven.
If you want to use your oven, it’s pretty much the same steps….
Preheat the oven to 225
Slice, coat with cooking spray, and season.
Bake for 45 minutes, flip, and bake for another 30 minutes or so.
In the oven, I found the closer the chips are to the bottom, the better they turn out.
I did not use cooking spray on half of the dehydrated zucchini and both halves turned out exactly the same. I had no issues with sticking, so I don’t think it’s necessary if you are taking that route.
And yeah, I ate two zucchini worth by myself in one sitting. Don’t judge, they were delicious. Just make sure you make a lot.
 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Side Dishes

 

Baked Zucchini Parmesan Strips

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I am starting to think that Justin and I might have a slight obsession with zucchini. It is making a weekly appearance at our dinner table lately. Sometimes more than once a week. This recipe was adapted from several different recipes I have seen all over pinterest lately.

What you need

  • 2-3 Zucchini
  • 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut the zucchini into strips.
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I used three, and the two of us had no problems at all downing it.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, and line with your chopped zucchini. Spray the top of the zucchini and coat with your seasonings and cheese. When I ate this I was really wishing I had used more cheese so feel free to be generous with it.  Flip the zucchini over and do the same thing on the other side.
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Bake them for 15=20 minutes.
Last, turn the broiler on for another 5 minutes or so. Just long enough to get the cheese nice and browned on top.
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It will look like that after you pull it out of the oven. Like I said, this really would have been better with more cheese, and maybe some oregano or italian seasoning. It was still tasty, and a fairly low calorie side to dinner. We will most likely have the same thing with tomorrows dinner.
 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Side Dishes

 

Cauliflower “Macaroni” and Cheese

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So Justin and I are still sticking to the low carbs thing, and I am seriously missing some pasta and potatoes. (Truth be told, I snuck to spaghetti while Justin was out of town earlier this week, but that’s another story). Anyways,we have been reading all about cauliflower and it’s versatility. We’ve read about cauliflower pizza crust, lasagna, and of course macaroni and cheese. 

This was so good and SO easy to do. It was still a little bit higher in calories than I would like, but definitely lower than your typical mac n cheese. We did not come up with this recipe on our own, this was a Dr. Oz recipe. You can go to the original link here. 

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/original-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-casserole

We didn’t change much, just used low fat cheese and cream cheese. I am not one for low fat items so I was a little bit hesitant about going this route, but it tasted delicious. 

What You need

  • Large cauliflower head
  • 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 oz of low fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of low fat cheddar cheese (plus extra to top)
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Break the cauliflower into florets and boil for 5-10 minutes, just long enough for it to be slightly tender

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Once it’s tender, drain the cauliflower thoroughly and pat dry. We learned the hard way that this step is really important. My cheese sauce ended up slightly runny, so really make sure you get all the extra liquid out. After that, put the cauliflower aside in a baking dish. 


Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Once it’s simmering add the cream cheese, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once that is melted, add the cheese and stir until creamy. 

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Add the cheese mixture to the cauliflower. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. The cheese should be slightly browned and bubbly. 

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Once it comes out of the oven, it should look a little bit like this…

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See all the bubbly cheesy goodness? All that with low fat cheese and cauliflower. Who knew?

After eating this, Justin and I decided that next time we are going to try it with milk or half and half to cut back on some of those calories. Hopefully it will turn out just as good. 

We served this along side of ham and okra. The cheese sauce the oozed all over the plate tasted pretty good on top of both. Just in case you were wondering! 

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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Side Dishes