I just got home from a 9 hour day. I don't want to cook. I don't even want to think. I know if I eat pizza, though, both my wallet and my body will be sad. What's a girl to do? There are plenty of options out there for getting some real food into your body pretty quickly but it's best if you've done a little work first Most "quick" recipes actually require some prep work, and all quick recipes require you to have at least thought about them beforehand. And then there's zucchini fritters - but more on that later.
My two main go-to meals when I've got no time are quesadillas and soup. Soup is filling, warming, nutritious and ever so forgiving. Kelly the Kitchen Kop blogged about the nutritional wonders of bone broth as well as gave us directions for making stock, and Carrie over at the Thrifty Oreganic wrote up some great "recipes" for throw together soup. I like to sautee up some onions and spices, throw the meat and broth on top and let that simmer while I change my clothes or take the dog for a walk. Then I'm a little more relaxed when it's time for dinner. With leftover rice, canned beans and decent tortillas in the fridge quesadillas take only minutes. I especially like both soup or quesadillas topped with sour cream and homemade sauerkraut.
Today, though, I want to share with you a brilliant fast food dish - zucchini fritters. I originally got the idea from the Joy of Cooking and have been making it for years. The great thing about this recipe is that really all of it, except the egg and the cast iron skillet, are optional.
Sliced or grated onion
Flour (white or whole wheat)
Salt and pepper
* Good to have, but optional:
Cooked brown rice and/or bread crumbs and/or crumbled crackers
Crumbled feta cheese or some other crumbled or grated cheese.
* Even more optional:
Dried green herbs (try herbs de provance or thyme)
Chopped fresh green herbs or green onions.
*Grate zucchini and toss with onion. Add in rice or cracker crumbs and salt, pepper and and any other add ins like cheese or herbs. Crack an egg in the bowl and mix around real good. How much egg you need depends on how big your zucchini is (and how big your egg is) - I would say one 1 cup of zucchini to 1 egg, but that is a very rough guestimate.
*When the veggies are all incorporated in the egg then add a tablespoon of flour. Mix around until thats incorporated and then maybe add another. I would guess I usually add 3 tablespoons of flour to one egg, but again, rough guestimate. If you don't add enough flour the fritter doesn't hold together as well, but it's still totally edible.
*Heat up your cast iron skillet (what? you don't have a cast iron skillet?? Then get off the computer and go buy one. At a thrift store. Seriously.) and melt some fat in it. I like bacon grease, or coconut oil. We're not deep frying here, just lubing up the pan.
*When the skillet is good and hot dollop the batter into the hot fat. When the bottom is nicely browned and the top starting to look dry flip it. Cook till the bottom is browned. Serve with ketchup, ranch, mustard, chutney or ice cream. Not really, but maybe... :)
These guys really take just a few minutes, and just a few ingredients. The eggs and zucchini are real food with real nutrition as is cheese if you use it. Brown rice, especially if cooked with bone broth, and the onions are also nutritious. Using white flour is probably actually nutritionally preferable in this case because we aren't doing anything to neutralize the phytates. It's only a couple tablespoons split up between the fritters so I don't worry too much about it. And we here at Real Food, My Way love frying things in good fats like bacon grease and coconut oil. We know we're getting a good nutrition boost when we cook food that way.
Remember - this "recipe" is really, really loose. Don't have zucchini but do have lots of leftover rice? Make rice fritters. Have leftover cooked greens? Greens fritters. Mashed potatoes? Mashed potato fritters! Don't forget to add the bacon to those ones! Tuna or canned salmon? Call them "cakes" instead of "fritters". No food in the house except frozen corn and an egg? Sounds like corn fritters to me.