Just a warning: this recipe is intense. Do you get a thrill from eating spicy foods? If so, stick around. However, if you can barely stomach mild salsa, you may want to step back a few feet… a little more…
This recipe showcases a spice that I’ve only recently taken a shine to: cajun seasoning. You know how your mouth waters when you smell hot sauce? Cajun seasoning kind of has the same effect. I love it for that.
At one point while I was creating this recipe, I realized that a dipping sauce would make this recipe totally awesome. Not only would it create another dimension of flavor, it would also cool off my mildly suffering tongue. Hurts a little, but tastes so righteous.
And you may be wondering where in the world I got the idea to make “ranch dip” using red pepper hummus. I dunno. I’m a nut. When crazy things like that occur to me (like attempting to make some sort of candy out of zucchini, or yearning to get both beets and avocado into a superbly moist chocolate cake) and the sensible part of my brain says “Nerp, that’s impossible bro,” I kind of tell logic to take a hike.
And I gotta tell you, the absence of logic in this recipe paid waaaaaay off. Way.
So, don’t be scared to try new things. Give this one a shot, if you dare! 😀
Zesty Cajun Zucchini Fries with Red Pepper Ranch
Makes about 4 servings of fries and 1 cup of dip
For the fries:
2 small zucchini
¾ cup whole wheat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 tbsp seasoned salt
1 ½ cups vegan egg replacer
2 cups regular or whole wheat panko bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
¼ cup Cajun seasoning blend
1 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp garlic powder
For the dip:
1 cup roasted red pepper hummus (that’s about one 10 oz container of store-bought)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp parsley (dried)
2 tsp dill (dried)
4 tsp cider vinegar
A few good cranks of salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Spray rimmed baking sheets (I used two) with olive oil spray and set aside.
Cut the ends and peel the skin off your zucchini; discard the ends and peels. Using a knife or crinkle-cut blade, cut your zucchini into French-fry size wedges (about 4 inches long and 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick). Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour and seasoned salt. Put the egg replacer in a second bowl of the same size. In a third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning, cayenne and garlic powder. Place the bowls on your counter side by side from left to right in this order: zucchini sticks, flour, egg replacer, breadcrumbs.
First, dredge your zucchini stick in the flour mixture, then coat it with the egg replacer, then coat it in the breadcrumbs, and finally put it on your sprayed baking sheet. Repeat this process with all the other zucchini sticks.
Bake zucchini fries for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until crispy.
While your zucchini sticks are in the oven, make the dip by placing the hummus, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill, cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process for about 1-2 minutes, until thoroughly mixed.
Refrigerate until fries are done. Once fries are done, serve the fries and dip together and enjoy!
So, let’s make the comment section of this post real interesting: what kooky food did you almost not try because it seemed off-the-wall, but ended up loving once you tried it?
Let me know, let me know!