Crusted Vegetable Sticks Baked to Perfection.
Yeah, I know. There are way too many recipes for oven-baked asparagus, green beans and zucchini spears, but this one is different. It is my concoction, my way of doing it. A recipe that not only taste good but is good for you too.
You see, I made hamburgers the past weekend (okay, not so good for us but I did use whole wheat buns, okay?) and we just could not go the usual potato fries, not even baked. Nope - rarely do we eat potatoes anymore and when we do, it is gonna be one loaded dish, really good but bad. So instead, I opted for baked vegetable sticks. Now this recipe is, like I said, one that is good for you in the sense that it uses much better ingredients than most bake 'fried' vegetable recipes. It is one that I tweaked to our liking.
Give it a try. It is one which I will make many times over now that I have perfected it. Enjoy!
Oven Baked Vegetable Spears
I list a few ingredients with my version and an option for those not dieting
quarter pound each of fresh whole green bean and fresh zucchini
half pound of fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Egg-Beaters or 2 whole eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise or regular mayo
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon no-salt Cajun or Creole seasoning, divided
1 teaspoon low-salt seasoning blend (I like Badia Completa), divided
1/3 cup Japanese Panko, see note
Wash the green beans and trim the ends. Wash the asparagus and snap at natural breaking point removing the tough root end. Soak in ice water for about 15 minutes. Remove, drain and completely pat dry. Was the zucchini and cut away the ends; cut into strips about the same size as the green beans.
Using three wide shallow bowls, add the flour and half of the seasonings to one. Whisk the egg with the mayo in the 2nd bowl. Mix the Parmesan, sesame seeds, the remaining half of seasonings and Panko in the 3rd bowl.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Position wire racks on two baking pans. Spray with vegetable oil. DO NOT SKIP the coating of the racks. Dip the vegetable sticks in the flour, dip in the egg mixture and roll in the Panko mixture to coat. Place on the racks, not touching and place into the oven, center rack.
Reduce oven to 350 and bake about 15 minutes or until brown. Remove and serve warm
I served these with a Chipotle low-fat mayo combo sauce and a low-fat Ranch type dipping sauce.
Note: Panko is a better coating and is healthier than regular breadcrumbs, here's why:
- Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb made from bread without crusts. It has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breadcrumbs.
- Panko stays crisp after cooking, unlike other types of breading, which can get soggy.
- Panko is lower in calories, sodium, and fat and higher in fiber than regular breadcrumbs.