Vegetarians and Meat Lover's Unite

Being a pescetarian—who, shhh, does indulge in pork on ocassion—and married to a commited carnivore, it's not often that we agree on what to cook. But, there are those times when David concurs that we need to eat more greens. And today is one of those days.

One my favorite "go-to" dinners, when I'm not in the mood to cook, is to roast or saute some veggies and serve it with a baked potato or baked sweet potato. It's light, full of color (which means lots of good vitamins) and yet, satisfying. Of course, David will generally grill some chicken or some other meat, and that's fine. We're both happy.

I also love to make zucchini cakes, which truly can be a meal into themselves, and a salad for dinner. I first had them at Whole Foods several years ago and bought them a few more times, until I realized that I could certainly make them at home—and save money, change the ingredients, control the amount of salt and no longer be at the mercy of Whole Foods!

In September 2007, I used a recipe I had pulled from the May 2007 Bon Appetit magazine, made a few changes and have loved it ever since! Although zucchinis can be bought at the store all year long, they're in season in Texas from summer through fall and they are abundant, which means we eat tons of zucchinis in this form, as well as roasted, grilled and in zucchini bread! 

If my carnivorous husband loves these, I feel certain the carnivores in your world will love them as well.

Buen provecho!

Zucchini Cakes
Adapted by The Cowgirl Gourmet from a recipe in the May 2007 Bon Appetit

Print Recipe

These can be served as an appetizer, entree or side for 4 people along with a salad, another side dish—and even meat!

2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 3 medium zucchinis)
1 teaspoon of salt, Kosher, divided (1/2 teaspoon for grated zucchinis and 1/2 teaspoon to add with wet ingredients)
1 large organic egg, beaten
1 large organic egg yolk (with white set aside in case you need to add more moisture)
1/2 cup (or more) all-purpose flour or brown rice flour (if you are gluten-free)
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, diced (optional)
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced (1 slice)
1/4 cup, green or red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A little chopped basil, if desired

1/2 cup EVOO (approximately, you may need more)

Place grated zucchini in a sieve or colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and place over a large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Press out excess liquid until you can't get any more. (I put the zucchini in a thin kitchen towel to squeeze out the liquid.) Place zucchini in a dry bowl.

To the zucchini, add the beaten egg and egg yolk, 1/2 cup flour, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in parsley, corn, green onion, yellow onion, green and/or red peppers, basil and/or garlic (both of which are optional) and stir until combined. If batter is still very wet, add more flour 1 spoonful at a time. If batter needs more moisture, add the reserved egg white.

Heat 4 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop by heaping tablespoons (or to the size you want) into the skillet and flatten a bit with the back of the spoon. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes on each side, adding more EVOO as needed. Transfer to paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper.

For an extra zing, I top mine with a dollop of chipotle-lime-mayo which I make by adding 2 teaspoons chipotle juice or 1 chopped chipotle to 2 tablespoons canola mayo and the juice of 1/2 of a small lime. But be sure and add the chipotle in small portions so you can adjust to your personal taste...I like things zippy. You can buy a small can of chipotle and refrigerate the leftovers in a plastic container for several months. You could also just use a dollop of sour cream.
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