I think it’s a pretty well-established rule that if you give your kids something to eat that has a cool name, they are about 87% more likely to eat it. I banked on this theorum with my recipe for Swiss Chard Scramble, which goes over much better if you call it Green Eggs.
Likewise, this recipe for zucchini is much more likely to be eaten if you call them coins. My three-year-old is still a little confused by the name (“they’re not really coins, are they Mommy?”), but he’s intrigued enough to try them, and once you can get them into the kids they generally like them. My six-year-old has been eating them for years– literally.
I like this recipe because it uses a vegetable that isn’t that commonly fed to kids– at least, not in my world. After five nights in a row of broccoli, it’s nice to have a change.
- one medium zucchini
- one egg
- 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
- olive oil spray
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350°. Cut the zucchini into coins about 1/4″ thick. (If you have a mandoline, it makes this process much faster and your coins more even.) Whisk the egg in a low, wide dish and add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Mix the fresh breadcrumbs, flaxseed meal and cheese together in another low, wide dish.
Dip each zucchini round first into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture, and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with all other rounds. When all the coins have been breaded, spray each one with a little olive oil and grate a little more Parmesan on top.
Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes, turning the coins over once halfway through. When you turn them, you can also spray the other side with oil and grate Parmesan on them, but it’s not necessary.
I like to make my own breadcrumbs for a couple of reasons. First, fresh ones are much softer and make for a nicer crust on the coins. Second, you can make whole wheat ones easily from whole wheat bread– I just take the heels of a loaf, which no one will eat but me, and grind them up in the food processor. The only whole wheat bread crumbs I’ve been able to find in the store are panko crumbs, and they are generally too crunchy for this dish. Finally, you can add the flaxmeal and the cheese to the processor and it’s all mixed up just right.
I usually bake my coins in the toaster oven because it heats up more quickly and I’m usually only making enough that they fit on the toaster oven tray.
Once the coins are cooked, the zucchini gets nice and soft inside. So you’ve got crispy outside and soft veggie inside. It’s yummy.
Let me know if you try it and if your kids eat it!