Zucchini & Herb Fritters
Two weeks to go, and the reality of us having a new little human in a few weeks’ time is starting to set in. We’ve decided to keep the gender a surprise this time (although we did get a sneaky peek in one of our scans, so have an inkling…). But it’s certainly been an easier process this time round in terms of preparation – pretty much nothing new needed! We’ve pulled out all Mila’s old clothes and bassinet, so we’re pretty much ready to go. Even if the potential ‘he’ ends up wearing pink fairy t’s.
Now more than ever though, I’m focussed on quick and easy recipes. I know what it’s like to finish work at 6 (ok 7), get home, have negative 10 minutes to make dinner, and be grappling as to what might be feasible outside of spag on toast.
Luckily, there are a number of options out there these days to make dinner a quick and easy process. Using a combination of these easy options, while still ensuring you’re getting the best nutrition you can, is your best bet. Some I’d suggest you consider include:
- A plant-based food delivery service – you get sent a box at the beginning of the week with all the ingredients for a set number of meals, then cook them yourself at home.
- Benefits: easy, still cooking your own meals and you know exactly what’s gone into them
- Negatives: more expensive, often lots of plastic packaging, some recipes you might not like, portion sizes are sometimes off, and you still have to spend 20-30 mins cooking
- Plant-based convenience foods – this includes things like tofu sausages, tempeh nuggets, and vegan pies. They’re all good options to have in the freezer. Quick and easy, and as long as you make a big salad to go on the side (or an optional dollop of gut-loving sauerkraut), you’ve got a pretty well-rounded meal.
- Benefits: easy, quick, tasty, kids/partners will approve, a good 1-2x weekly option
- Negatives: not for every-day, often more processed than making from scratch
- Plant-based takeaways – there are some amazing options out there these days, and take-out no longer only means Maccy D’s or fish and chips. When I say “takeaways”, I’m talking about Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Turkish. There are bountiful plant-based options available from each of these tye outlets, just be sure to select something heavy on the vegetable content. Better yet, instead of “taking-away”, I recommend sitting in! Not only do you not have to wash dishes, you’re also not using any plastic. We do “takeaways” at least 2-3x per week, but always eat in to avoid the plastic conundrum. If you do choose to “take-away”, take your own reused/old plastic containers.
- Quick and easy plant-based recipes – from this BLOG!! Yes, I hope that at least 1-2 nights per week, you’ll be able to set aside 20 odd minutes, to make yourself a healthy home cooked dish. That doesn’t mean hours slaving away at the stove! These Zucchini Herb Fritters are the PERFECT example of this.
- Benefits: cheap, easy, home-made, delicious, know what’s in your food, easy when you’ve got a trusted resource like our blog to refer to!
- Negatives: have to shop for your own ingredients, can take a bit longer, have to make an effort, have to get over your lack-of-confidence-in-the-kitchen barrier and give it a go.
In honour of option #4, let’s hit that 1-2 per week goal, and get into these fritters! A quick trip to the markets, then 20 minutes in the kitchen, and these little stacks of heaven are all yours. Come join me!
These simple Zucchini and Herb fritters fit the quick and easy bill perfectly. They’re a recipe I’ve been making versions of for a number of years now, and are one of my top three favourite fritter combos alongside my Spiced Cauliflower Fritters, and my Corn, Capsicum and Chilli Fritters. If you’re trying to eat more plant-based meals (then first off you’re awesome), you definitely need to get a good fritter under your belt. Luckily they are a cinch to make, require only one bowl and pan, and can be done in under 20 minutes.
Zucchini, courgettes… the abhorred childhood vege
Zucchini are on their way into season shortly, so shortly you’ll find them cropping up cheap at your local farmers market or organic produce store! The key to adding them to fritters is to grate them, not blend, as you still definitely want some texture in there. If you blend you’ll end up with a watery goop which won’t properly set in the pan. Don’t worry, if you grate you’ll be fine.
Zucchinis are one of those veges I abhorred as a child. They always seem to turn out sloppy and slimy, right up there with mushrooms (at the time). Now I can’t get enough – they are so versatile, both raw in salads (slice thinly with a mandoline or a spiraliser – I love these ones here and here respectively), panfried in stir-fries, lightly sauteed, or grilled on the BBQ. They have a very high water content so great for rehydration, and this also means they’re low in energy density or calories. Don’t let this fool you however, as they make up for it in the vitamin and mineral department. Zuchinnis have 7% potassium (helps control blood pressure), 20% vitamin C (enhances the immune system and is an antioxidant that offsets cellular aging) and 10% vitamin B6 (helps with energy conversion). It comes in both green and yellow varieties (you won’t see the yellow ones at supermarkets, but organic markets or gardens yes), and is also referred to as a courgette, summer squash or Italian squash.
Once again these fritters are highly adaptable, using whatever herbs you have on hand. If you don’t have fresh herbs you can use dried, or you could even switch the herbs for a spice blend of cumin, chilli, curry, corainder or garam masala. As for toppings, I’m a big proponent of the creamy + sweet/salty/tangy + crunchy formula. So layer some avocado, guacamole, my Creamy Cashew Aioli, or tahini; dollop some relish or chutney; then sprinkle some nutritional yeast, my Cashew Parmesan, or sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seeds on top. A squeeze of lemon or lime on the side makes it a little fancy, and then partner with whatever seasonal salad you like.
Wishing you a wonderful relaxing weekend, and til next week, stay happy and well.
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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
Zucchini & Herb Fritters
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 1/2 c zucchini grated and packed, ~3 zucchini
- 1 c chickpea/besan flour
- 1 c water
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, rosemary
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes in 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
- Mix in a bowl with the zucchini, chickpea flour, herbs, salt and water.
- Pan fry 1/4 c scoops in the remaining coconut oil over a medium heat until the edges start to dry out (around 3 minutes), then flip and cook on the other side. Make sure the heat isn’t too high or your fritters will burn.
- Place on a plate in a 50°C oven to keep them warm while you cook the remainder.
- Serve with vegan aioli, relish, avocado and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Here are some of my other favourite toppings for these fritters: Guacamole, Creamy Cashew Aioli, tahini (white or black), relish/chutney, nutritional yeast, Cashew Parmesan, sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seeds.
- You can make your own chickpea flour by simply blending up dried chickpeas in a high powered food processor until they’re the consistency of flour.
- If you have a food processor with a grating blade, or a Thermomix, use that to speed up the grating process.