Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

My MIL is like the plant whisperer. So, I wasn’t surprised two weeks ago when bags full of summer squash started appearing on my doorstep. Seriously, these things were huge…and plentiful. But I was stuck in a rut. A zucchini rut.

When the dark green squash lands in my kitchen, it  always met one of three fates:

1. Being sliced into rounds, topped with Parmesan cheese, and baked;

2. Shredded up and baked into some form of zucchini/vegetable bread; or

3. Shredded or diced and hidden in various casseroles to trick my kids (and husband?) into eating more veggies.

While I love all of these uses for zucchini, I knew there had to be some sort of unheard of zucchini greatness out there to help shake things up and pull us out of our rut.

I don’t normally fry our veggies, but when I saw this recipe I immediately decided I was making an exception. The hubs took one bite and couldn’t believe that something so delicious could be made from just zucchini and onions. They reminded of a crispier version of potato latkes. They’re great plain, but the spiced mayo makes a perfectly paired dip adding just the right amount of tang & spice. We served the fritters as a side with dinner, but they would also make a great light lunch.   Looking for a way to rise out of your own stagnant zucchini or side-dish rotation? Is your bounty overflowing with the green garden veggies and you need to get creative to use them all up? Whatever your reason, you can’t go wrong with these. Just look at them. Gorgeous, isn’t it? They taste just as great.

Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters

recipe adapted from Family Feed Bag

vegetable oil for frying
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup diced onion
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Mayo

1 cup prepared mayo
1 tbsp lime juice, lemon will work as a substitute
1/2 tsp chili powder

4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters with chili lime mayo

1. Pour the oil in a skillet so that it is half an inch deep and turn the heat to medium.
2. While waiting for the oil to heat up, combine the zucchini, onion, and eggs in a large bowl. Stir the mixture to combine. It may get a little frothy, but that’s ok.
3. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir to combine
4. To finish the batter,  add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and fold it all together.
5. Once your oil is hot (dip a spoon with some batter on it into the oil to test, if the oil starts bubbling in contact with the batter, it’s ready) you can drop the batter a tablespoon at a time into the oil, frying for 2-3 minutes per side. If you want a more substantial fritter, form the batter into loose ‘patties’ and fry in oil 3-4 minutes per side.
6. When the centers are firm, remove them from the oil and allow the to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
7. To make the dip, simply combine the prepared mayo, lime juice, and chili powder in a small mixing bowl and stir it all up.

Ranch Glazed Carrots

I swear, Pinterest can be my best friend, or my worst enemy. Just depends on the day. I’m always coming across a recipe here, a recipe there that I know, I just know, has to be dinner tonight. And I’m cooking so I get to make what I want, right? But later, usually while I’m pulling out ingredients, that rational part of my brain starts functioning again, and it reminds me that dinner needs to be more. I actually have to make sides and stuff. Not just the 5-star main dish I had my heart set on. Bummer.

Carrots and ranch area a match made in heaven, so I thought ‘these have to be amazing, right?!’ What’s better than having the flavors you love from your favorite dressing in an easy to make side dish that’ll have you wanting to eat your veggies?  These are a perfect summer side, well in our opinion, they’re really good anytime of the year. Just five minutes is all you need to make this savory-sweet glaze for cooked carrots.

Ranch Glazed Carrots

4 Sons 'R' Us: Ranch Glazed Carrots

recipe adapted from Eat At Home Cooks

1 pound baby carrots
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 envelope (or 2 1/2- 3 tbsp) dry ranch salad dressing & seasoning mix

Directions

1. Cook the carrots in 1 cup of boiling water until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Drain the carrots & place them back in the warm pot.
2. Add the butter, brown sugar & dry dressing mix to the carrots and toss to coat.
3. Mix until evenly combined and the carrots are well glazed. Serve warm (but still serves well chilled as leftovers)