Zucchini Pancakes with Salad

Today I had an absurdly enormous lunch at work because I participated in a tasting for the upcoming fundraiser I’m planning. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that I ate six hors d’oeuvres, two salads, two main courses, and four petit fours desserts, along with two glasses of wine. Needless to say, a big dinner was not in the cards tonight. Also, my hubby spontaneously decided to see a movie with a friend after work, so I didn’t have to worry about whether or not he’d be on board with a light dinner.

I figured a veggie-heavy meal would be the best idea, but didn’t have many fresh veggies on hand. Luckily, back on a random meal prep Sunday, I had grated and frozen two zucchinis with the idea that I could use it in the future to make zucchini bread, add it to a stew, or make zucchini pancakes. On my commute home, zucchini pancakes seemed like a perfect dinner option: loaded with veggies but still warm and comforting. Growing up, these delicious fritters were always a summer staple in my house, mainly because zucchini was overabundant in my parents’ garden and Mom cleverly made the versatile summer squash into everything. The pancake version was definitely my favorite.

Making a vegan version of this nostalgic dish turned out to be pretty easy. First, I generously salted the defrosted grated zucchini and let it sit for ten minutes. Meanwhile, I finely chopped a leftover bit of yellow onion and a clove of garlic, and zested half of a lemon. In a bowl, I mixed some flour, baking powder, cornstarch, paprika, and salt and pepper. Aften ten minutes, I covered and pressed the zucchini with the paper towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Then I added the pressed zucchini, onion, garlic, and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and mixed the batter with my hands. Once the batter was well mixed, I cooked the fritters in a skillet with olive oil on medium heat for three to four minutes on each side. A little bit of improvisation and knowhow helped these fritters come to be.

So now begged the question, with what do I accompany the zucchini pancakes? Most times that I order groceries, I order a bag of pre-mixed salad to use for either a few weekday lunches or a quick dinner side dish. For lunch, it’s a great working girl (or boy) hack, and usually you can find at least one brand that is on sale. This week I ordered an Asian Sesame Salad Kit, and I decided to have that with my pancakes. Just thinking about the nice crisp crunch of the cold salad with the warm soft zucchini pancake had me salivating. And let me tell you, it was just as delightful as I had hoped!

All in all, this dinner combination was the perfect amount of quick, easy, light, healthy, and delicious.

2 zucchini squash, grated
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Zest of half a lemon
½ cup flour
1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper
Bagged salad of your choice

Makes 2 servings

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