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Parmesan-Crusted Zucchini Wheels

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 2 servings

Total carbohydrates: 3 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

This recipe is easily doubled, which is good, because you will need to double it if you’re trying to make enough to actually serve instead of just gobbling them off the baking sheet (my teenagers can eat an entire pan of these before they even cool down). I want to call them “chips,” but they’re not really chips; they’re tender squash slices topped with a crackly, cheesy crust. You can make them as a nutrient-packed finger food, or you can serve them on people’s plates, as a dinner side, to be eaten with knife and fork. Either way, just don’t skimp on the cheese. And do feel free to add a slice of pepperoni and/or a teeny spoonful of tomato sauce under the cheese, and then you can call it pizza.

Ingredients

Olive oil spray (or olive oil)

¼ cup finely grated parmesan (ideally freshly grated)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon paprika or (if you like smoky) smoked paprika

1 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 425° F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then lightly spray or brush the paper or foil with oil.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the cheese, salt, garlic powder, and paprika.

3. Arrange the zucchini slices close together on the sheet, and sprinkle the parmesan mixture over it evenly. Use your fingers to organize the topping a little bit, pressing it out to the edge of each slice and redistributing clumps as needed.

4. Put the baking sheet in the middle of the oven, set a timer for 15 minutes, and check the zucchini when it rings: you want the cheese to be bubbling and browning and the squash to be tender. This will likely take another 5 or 10 minutes, but you just want to make sure the cheese doesn’t end up burning along the way. Serve right away or at room temperature.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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