Playing with...oven fried vegetables

Today was one of those days when I came home from work, and just wasn't into cooking. Bridget was headed out for her senior prom, Kate was out for a movie, Molly was making her own tuna salad, the weather was dreary and I wasn't feeling inspired. However, my husband had different ideas. He was craving some fried vegetables we had made before from Giada's Everyday Italian (He always underestimates how much trouble a recipe is). I couldn't find the recipe, and frankly neither of us needs the kind of fat involved (kind of negates the health effects of having veggies in the first place!), so I sent him outside to smoke his cigar, and decided to play with food to make some oven-fried veggies (less trouble for me and less fat- there's a win-win situation!)

Since man cannot live by oven fried vegetables alone (despite what my husband says!), I needed to think up an entree and so I made a shrimp primavera with whole-wheat spaghetti. Both were fairly easy and turned out really good so I thought I would share. While most of my recipes have a story, this is a great example of an experiment that went well, so here it is. If you like fried veggies, you will love this lower fat version that turned out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This time I used mushrooms, zucchini and broccoli, but next time I think I will try some Vidalia onion petals.

Play with Food Better-than-Fried Veggies
Veggies that can be sliced thin (Zucchini, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, cauliflower);I sliced them about 1/4 inch and made them as uniform as possible. For tonight's meal for two I used 1 medium zucchini, 1 small head of broccoli and about 5 large mushrooms.

PAM vegetable spray

1 cup panko crumbs

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 cup buttermilk

Mix crumbs, parmesan, salt and paprika in a shallow plate or Ziploc bag. Spray baking sheet with Pam and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dredge veggie slices in buttermilk and then coat in crumb mixture and place coated slices in a single layer on Pam-sprayed cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (I have a convection oven so check periodically until the slices are crisp and brown). Serve with marinara or any other sauce you like!

Easy Shrimp Pasta Primavera

1 tbsp butter or olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

2 cups peeled shrimp (I used the peeled flash-frozen ones)

1/2 cup baby peas

1/2 lb pasta, whatever kind you like

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 jar prepared alfredo sauce

Saute veggies in butter or oil until transparent, add wine and peas and let cook down until all but a little liquid is left then add shrimp and alfredo sauce. Stir until shrimp turns pink. Drain pasta and stir in sauce. Top with grated parmesan cheese.


Susan said…
I too love "oven-fried" veggies. Have you tried cauliflower and eggplant? They come out really well too. Why not eat healthier when you don't have to sacrifice flavor?
Kristen said…
I love veggies cooked like this!
Deborah Dowd said…
Susan- I just tried your ideas this past Friday, and you were right, they were great!

Kristen- You know in the South we love fried food, but these are every bit as good, but without the fat (and quarts of hot oil!)
Rebecca said…
These sound great - I just love panko on almost anything. I make oven fried chicken like this, mixing dijon mustard with the buttermilk, then coating with the panko. The buttermilk gives it such a nice tang. Have you seen the flavored olive oil sprays? I have garlic and hot pepper, and sometimes a light spritz with one of them is good, too.
Deborah Dowd said…
Rebecca- THanks- I hadn't thought of the flavored olive oil sprays, but I'll bet they would add a nice touch! And I too am addicted to panko-they are light and crunchy!
i too love to cook in oven but have no idea how to start as i never tried to cook things in traditional oven though i used mocrowave oven

i though here you would explain how to fry in oven but unfortunately since its a novice step i believe you havent exagggerated on it