Crispy Zucchini Sticks with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce

/// July 30th, 2014

Crispy Zucchini Sticks with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce I haven’t always been the biggest fan of zucchini, but this year I’m doing my best to embrace the Summer squash with open arms. And you know what? It’s been surprisingly simple. I started with baby steps – if you haven’t tried this 20 minute spicy sriracha shrimp and zucchini lo mein, well, go check it out now – and I’ve worked my way up to enjoying it on a much larger scale. Are you a fan of zucchini? Even if you’re not, I highly suggest reading on! I’ve got some cheesy, crunchy, super crispy zucchini sticks that might just twist your arm over to their side ;) Bonus: They’re lightened up and dare I say… healthy! They also involve a spicy marinara dipping sauce situation that’s sure to please.

Crispy Zucchini Sticks with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce These zucchini sticks were born from a major craving for french fries, and my new favorite game, working with what you’ve already got on hand. I used whole wheat panko crumbs and a little parmesan cheese to ensure a super crispy, flavorful exterior, and woo-boy did they deliver! I also pan fried the zucchini sticks first – in just a little olive oil – before baking them in the oven. The extra step of pan frying may seem a little annoying, but I promise you it’s an important part of the process, and will guarantee you crispy, golden zucchini sticks that aren’t one tiny bit soggy/mushy/etc.

Crispy Zucchini Sticks with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce In other news: we’re moving this week! So posting will be just a little off… I promise I’ll make it up to you… there are some epic treats in your very near future ;) xo

Crispy Zucchini Sticks with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs

5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce

5 tablespoons whole wheat flour

4 medium zucchinis, sliced into 2 x 1⁄2 -inch sticks

4-5 tablespoons olive oil, more/less as needed

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup classic marinara sauce

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425°(F).
Place the bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and pepper in a large, shallow dish. Mix the ingredients with your fingertips until well combined; set aside.

Beat the egg and sriracha in a large shallow dish; set aside.

Place the flour in a large shallow dish.

Dip the zucchini in the flour – shaking off any excess flour, then in the egg mixture, and then in the bread crumb mixture. Repeat for all cut zucchini sticks.

Heat a very large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add breaded zucchini sticks, a few at a time, and cook for 4 minutes on one side.

Turn the zucchini and slide the skillet into the preheated oven. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and golden. Sprinkle with salt and parmesan if desired and serve immediately with the sauce.

For the sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet. Add pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds, add in sauce and warm for 5 minutes. Serve warm with sticks.

Sunday Suppers: Caprese Stuffed Shells

/// July 27th, 2014

Caprese Stuffed Shells Recently there has been some major pantry cleaning going on around these parts. We’re moving in just 4 days (I really should be packing…) and I’m on a mission to use up all of the random odds and ends I discovered lurking in the darkest corners of our cabinets. It’s like I’ve found a whole new world of lost food! Has this ever happened to you right before a move? It’s like… where did all this stuff come from?  Continue reading

Blueberry Power Smoothie

/// July 26th, 2014

Blueberry Power Smoothie I don’t know about you, but I feel like these sweet Summer days are just flying by! Can you believe July is basically over?! And as much as it pains me to say it, I know August will slip between our fingers just as swiftly. That’s just how Summer is! Fun and fast. With that in mind, I’ve been focusing on finding us a few go-to recipes that are quick, nourishing, and of course, delicious. Continue reading

Jalapeño Popper Cheeseburger Pizza

/// July 26th, 2014

Jalapeño Popper Cheeseburger Pizza is up on the blog! http://bakerbynature.com/jalapeno-popper-cheeseburger-pizza/ I make no secret of my love for pizza. I’m a diehard fan through and through! But sometimes (read:all-the-times) I’m in the mood for an extra cheesy slice (extra jalapeños, please!), while my better half is in the mood for something, well, a little meatier. Something a little more substantial. He’s the kind of guy who likes dude food. And I’m ok with that. Continue reading

The Best Philly Style Italian Hoagies

/// July 26th, 2014

The Best Philly Style Italian Hoagies I’m the kind of girl who loves me a sandwich all day/everyday – but I really LOVE them when they’re in hoagie form! Just typing the word hoagie gets me excited!!! All the meats… and cheeses… and tangy vegetables!!! Oh. And don’t forget about finding a good roll. All serious hoagie connoisseurs know the first step to building a solid sandwich is starting with a soft but crusty bread base! It’s worth seeking out. Continue reading