If you follow me on any social media sites, you know that I’m one of of those people that loves to post photos of food on my pages. Yes, in fact my love of posting “foodporn” started years ago, and was pretty much a segue for me into writing about food online. I post photos of all kinds of food, both savory and sweet, on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. The photos are mostly of fun dinner dishes I’ve made or completed baking projects that I’m proud of.
This recipe post is the result of a random food picture I recently posted on my personal Facebook page. I made these Sriracha-glazed chicken wings that had turned out as delicious as they were pretty. In my opinion, those spicy wings were a successful food experiment and were definitely a dinner dish worthy of a picture post! I made this Parmesan-crusted squash dish to go along with them.
The wings were the star of the dish for me, but as it turned out my friends and family were way more interested in the baked squash that was on the plate. I had people asking for the recipe on the post itself and I had a couple of emails from friends asking for directions on how to make “that squash”. Needless to say, recipe requests like that just make my day! I responded with the quick version of the recipe in the comments of that post, but I decided a full recipe post might be more helpful.
|This is the Sriracha-wing and squash “foodporn” pic I posted. This night I used both zucchini and yellow squash.
This was a recipe I started making a couple of years ago when I was following a low-carb diet. Dishes made with a Parmesan cheese crust are popular ones for those that follow a low-carb lifestyle. The first dish with a cheesy crust I ever made was with baked chicken tenders and I’m fairly sure I had gotten that recipe on Pinterest.
Those cheese-crusted tenders were a huge hit with the family. Surprisingly, even my kids liked them. That’s a big deal, because my picky kids rarely like anything new on the first try! It was a really great recipe. There are several similar chicken tender recipes on the web now, and I’m genuinely not certain which one I used. But, I adapted that Parmesan-crust idea to work with squash to satisfy a really intense craving I had for a carb-loaded, squash casserole!
One of my favorite casseroles in the world is a good Southern, baked squash casserole topped with crunchy, crushed, buttery Ritz crackers. Obviously, on a low-carb regimen, Ritz crackers are a no-no. The Parmesan-crust I had used on those tasty chicken tenders seemed like it might be a workable substitution.
After I figured out how to make the toppings stick using a little bit of oil, it quickly became a staple on the menu here. Even though I’m no longer following a low-carb diet, I use these cheese-crusted squash spears regularly as a substitute for French fries. Honestly, I look forward to them way more than than I ever did French fries.
Also, I use this method for both zucchini and yellow squash, or sometimes both at the same time. The kids still won’t eat squash in any form, but the hubs and I just love it!
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into fourths (or slightly thinner, if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried, Italian seasoning (I use McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian, I swear by it!)
- 1/2-1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft brand)
2. Using a basting brush, generously coat the zucchini with olive oil. Mix your dry seasonings, everything except the cheese, together in a small bowl. Evenly season each zucchini spear. Then, sprinkle generously with the Parmesan cheese.
|And, yes, my fingernails are blue here. I was repainting our bathroom on the morning I decided to make this post.
|But, it’s not just any blue, it’s a fabulous, tropical color called Seabreeze Teal. Love it!
3. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Then raise the oven temp to 420° and place dish back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and lightly coat zucchini with more oil and more cheese. Bake for about 10 more minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.