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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Togarashi Zucchini

I like creating simple recipes that take little time or effort to make. Sure, sometimes I mix things up with a more-involved recipe, but most of the time my ideas are ludicrously simple.

Like most of you, I'm willing to wager, I've got a Pinterest full of very ambitious ideas I really just don't have time for. But they are inspiring, and I love browsing through and finding these bloggers who invest some serious time into creating amazing things.

This blog isn't one of the ambitious ones. But I'd like to think it's one of the real ones.

I work full-time in a very physically and emotionally draining career. When you've had to wrestle an aggressive 130lbs dog and euthanize someone's childhood friend within 20 minutes of clocking in to your shift, it's hard at the end of the day to want to prepare anything for dinner.

Most workdays, I have to have dinner done in less than 10 minutes (including clean-up) or it just won't happen. Especially when I get off work at 9:30pm and have to be back at 7:30am.

Therefore I rely a lot on easy-to-make entrees, pre-made sides, and fresh veggies that require no preparation in order to get things on the table fast. Here's one of my go-to sides that requires
little-to-no clean up and is healthy to boot!

Shichimi togarashi is one of my favorite spice mixes. You can take a plain chicken breast and make it something exciting just by sprinkling it with some shichimi. Here I use it to make a flavorful side dish that takes less than ten minutes (prep work AND clean up included, if you prepare it like me).

Togarashi Zucchini

2 medium-to-small zucchinis
shichimi togarashi
non-stick cooking spray (PAM or similar)

Preheat your oven with broiler to 450°F, or set your toaster oven to broil (my preferred method since my oven doesn't have a broiler and hates me). Wash the zucchini and cut in half both lengthwise and widthwise. From there, cut each piece in half lengthwise or even thirds, depending on how thick your zucchini is, so you have pieces that resemble steak-cut fries. Place skin-side down on a broiler sheet (if using your broiler) or on the toaster oven broiler sheet covered well in aluminum foil to minimize clean up. Spray with cooking spray (you could also use olive oil) and broil for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini is browned on top. The zucchini should still be slightly crunchy, about halfway cooked through. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle generously with the shichimi togarashi to taste. I like it spicy!

This is a great quick recipe because it's a) low calorie b) cheap c) fast. If you use the foil, all you have to wash is your knife and cutting board, and I won't judge if you eat it off paper plates. I paired it with some store-bought char sui bao (BBQ pork buns) for a super quick dinner that had less than 500 calories and took less than 10 minutes to prepare, even with my super slow knife skills.

See Also:
Nasu Dengaku
Reito Mikan
Caprese Sandwich

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