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Gluten Free Zucchini Cakes with Greek Yogurt and Chives

Today is Monday and I’m in a hurry to get out the door (Mondays are always a rush day for me, what about you?  And the strange thing is, I worked yesterday, so this is more like a Tuesday!).I couldn’t leave without posting this wonderful recipe, which I actually made last year at this time and is on my list of “first things to make with our homegrown garden zucchini”.  I can still remember the first hot and cheesey bite, bursting with flavors in my mouth.  Yes, I’m saying this recipe was a huge success and a must-make this season.  Sure, it’s hot, but serve it with a cold salad and a cold beer, you’ll be fine.

I typically only post food that I really enjoy, but sometimes I post things that didn’t necessarily enjoy, but that I know others might.  This recipe is not one of those.  This is one that I enjoyed so much that I almost ate the entire batch in one day (yes, dietitians have “binge”-like episodes every once in a while too!).

 Zucchini Cakes with Greek Yogurt and Chives

(Modified from a recipe found in the Columbus Dispatch)

Makes: 18 cakes

Serves: 6 (each person gets about 3)

Ingredients

1 pound zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (or brown rice flour) **

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced onion **

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Olive oil for pan-frying

1/3 cups plain Greek yogurt

Chopped fresh chives**

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, omit the onion and add more flavor by using garlic-infused olive oil for the pan frying.  Also beware that the garbanzo bean flour may not be the best choice because of the oligos (the “O” in FODMAPs), so switch to brown rice flour, or your favorite gluten-free flour, if you can.  Also, note that chives are actually a type of onion that are free of FODMAPs!  They are indeed safe to eat.  And lastly, if you are intolerant to lactose, don’t add the Greek yogurt (although most people shouldn’t be too bothered by the parmesan and Greek yogurt because they are both very low in lactose).  These cakes are gluten free.

Directions

  1. Place zucchini in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Place a small plate atop zucchini to weigh it down. Let stand 30 minutes to drain.
  2. Wrap zucchini in clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Transfer zucchini to a bowl. Mix in flour, Parmesan and onion. Whisk egg and egg white together. Add to zucchini mixture along with pepper.
  3. Brush a nonstick skillet with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop zucchini mixture into skillet by tablespoonfuls. Use a spatula to flatten cakes to 2-inch rounds. Cook until golden about 2 minutes a side.
  4. Transfer zucchini cakes to platter. Top with dollop of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

This was one of those recipes that I wasn’t sure I would actually like as much as I did.My first bite sort of threw me off……they were so delicious I was actually shocked. I think the secret was the parmesan cheese.  There wasn’t a whole lot in the recipe, but it was just enough to make the flavors just pop in my mouth.  I highly recommend using a good parmesan cheese, rather than that from a canister that is tiny and powdered (ie: Kraft).  I mean, I love that type of parmesan cheese, don’t get me wrong, but this recipe needs some good fresh parmesan!

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1-serving (3 cakes)
Source: CalorieCount.com

You can use these as appetizers, or a side dish (the Columbus Dispatch, where I found the recipe, recommended dressing them up with some slices of smoked salmon, if you desire.  Yum!).   You could also have a couple more and make it a meal, why not?!  Imagine; add some fruit on the side and a cup of milk or dairy alternative, and voila, a nice balanced plate.  I can’t wait to make these again!

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