You probably would never guess that I actually cook things besides sweet treats, but...I do! In fact, I love vegetables. In fact, until I was pregnant with my youngest, I was a vegetarian for nearly 15 years but some how that little baby inside me drove my mind to the brink of insanity with one thought: "fried chicken," until I gave into the urge and ate it, and I haven't looked back since. So vegetables have a special place in my heart (along with crescent rolls ;) ). Zucchini (or squashes in general) is one of my favorites, and since my beloved grater has returned from its hiatus, zucchini is being sneaked into a lot of foods (though my kids both tend to eat a lot of veggies without sneaking them in).
I recently made these grilled zucchini and corn cakes and they were so yummy. Alexis kept telling me while I was cooking them, "Mommy, I don't like zoo-candy, I don't want to eat zoo-candy" but the second she saw her baby sister eat that "zoo-candy" she had to try it too, then she ate almost three of these.
She really liked the dip that I made to go along with them. Of course she did, what kid doesn't like to dip things? This was a really simple recipe too, I just experimented a little until I got the right flavors and consistency I was looking for. What's best is that you can probably take this recipe and tweak it fairly easily to your own tastes.
For example, this batch did not have red peppers in it - I thought that might be a little strong for the girls, but next time if I made some just for the grown-ups, I would definitely add a little diced red pepper and feta cheese chunks. We love feta around here :)
Anyway, what you need for these is:
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian style)
1 large egg
1 medium-large zucchini (run through the fine grate of a hand grater this makes about 1 1/2 cups shredded)
1/2 cup whole kernel yellow corn
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
a few pinches garlic salt (or even better, 1/2 finely diced fresh garlic clove, then salt to taste)
For the dip (so easy!):
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh chopped dill (or dried from the spice aisle)
First, run your zucchini through the fine grate on a hand grater. You can eye ball the final amount (it should be on the fuller side of 1 1/2 cups) so you don't need to dirty another bowl, but you can always take it out and measure if you need to. Then add bread crumbs and stir thoroughly so most of the bread crumbs become wet with the zucchini. Add your egg and mix together well with a fork, making sure to break the yolk and spread evenly through mixture (you could use 2 egg whites in place of 1 egg if you prefer). Add the Parmesan cheese, soy sauce, and corn and mix thoroughly again. Add a few pinches of garlic salt (or fresh chopped garlic and salt) to taste (Remember: the soy sauce and Parmesan both add a slight flavor of salt to the mixture so it does not take too much).
Heat a lightly greased griddle or pan to 325*F. I always use a good quality extra virgin olive oil to coat my cooking surfaces but cooking spray will work too.
Using an ice cream scoop or reliable spoon of roughly that size, spoon out blobs of your veggie/bread crumb mixture onto your griddle and smash them down a little to form patties.
Grill on each side for about 7-9 minutes. I chose the longer time because I like my grilled food a little on the crispy side, but by no means were they burnt, so if you prefer a little burn you could even go longer.
What's important about cooking these is to cook them all the way through since they contain egg. If you are using the proper temperature, the outsides will be a nice brown color and the corn kernels will start to brown as well. Serve immediately.
In the meantime:
Mix together thoroughly your sour cream and dill for your dipping sauce.
There are a ton of serving options for these. We ate them just like this, with forks, and dipped them into the sauce. You could also serve them as a side dish. You could serve them on top of a fresh salad, or on a bun with lettuce and tomato, and the sour cream dip in place of mayonnaise/ketchup/mustard.
I love how versatile these are and how much zucchini my kids will consume while eating these :)
Eat your veggies as well as your chocolate!