Dreena’s Kind Kitchen

I’ve been a fan of Dreena Burton’s cookbooks for many years. As someone who gets excited whenever I see her Plant-Powered Kitchen e-newsletter arrive in my inbox, I jumped at the chance to review her new book Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day when BenBella Books sent me a copy.

If you’re familiar with Dreena Burton you’ll know she is a busy mom who knows balance is needed when making delicious meals that are not only healthy and easy, but will please the palates of kids. This cookbook delivers on all counts and will appeal to vegan families, as well as those who have to cook for mixed omnivore/vegan/vegetarian households.

I have a method when I do cookbook reviews. I always read the book from cover to cover and make a list of which recipes I’d like to try for my review. However, with Dreena’s Kind Kitchen I had a really hard time. I found my list of delicious-looking recipes kept growing and growing.

Oil-Free Zucchini Fritters? Truffle-Salted Nut Cheese? Nummy Brownie Bites? Yes, to all!

I settled on the Zucchini Fritters. I figured most people are up to their eyeballs in zucchini this time of year and would welcome a new way to use it. Unfortunately, most zucchini fritter recipes call for eggs, and often require a lot of oil for frying β€” not vegan, nor healthy. But, Dreena’s version of zucchini fritters is vegan, and oil-free (and gluten-free!) making them the perfect tasty and nutritious appetizer or side dish for any meal.

I hope you enjoy the recipe below and make sure you keep an eye on my Instagram page as I cook my way through the rest of the delicious recipes on my list!


Zucchini Fritters from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen

Picture from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen from BenBella Books

I created this recipe when we were growing our own zucchini one year. Now, those zucchini can’t grow fast enough to keep up with how much we love this recipe! Whether you opt for yellow or green, you don’t need to peel the zucchini for this recipe; simply grate on the large holes of a box grater, or feed through the grating blade of a food processor.

Makes 7–8 fritters, serving 3 as a light meal or more as an appetizer (see note)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon tahini

3 cups grated zucchini

¾–1 cup chickpea flour (see note)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)

3–4 tablespoons chives or sliced green onions (green portion only)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dill seed (see note)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Stir together the lemon juice and tahini. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients and pour over the lemon-tahini mixture. Combine with a spoon or spatula until you have a uniform mixture. As the zucchini releases moisture (from the added salt), the chickpea flour will absorb that liquid. Allow mixture to sit for 15–20 minutes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop a portion of the mixture (about 1/4 cup), and transfer to your skillet. Use a spatula to flatten into a fritter shape. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to cook all the fritters in two batches. Cook on one side for 3–4 minutes, until golden. Flip and cook for another 2–4 minutes on the second side, until golden and cooked through. If the fritters are browning too quickly, reduce the heat to allow the centers to cook more fully.

Serving Suggestions: These make a light meal or a lovely side dish. Serve with a vegan sour cream (or a nut cheese thinned with a little water), or even simply with ketchup or a balsamic reduction.

Flour Note: Depending on the moisture in the zucchini, and how it measures grated, you may need more/less flour. I like ΒΎ cup; it yields fritters that are still moist with the zucchini but hold together just fine. You can always start with ΒΎ cup and adjust with a touch more flour if you like as you start to cook. More flour will yield firmer patties.

Dill Seed Note: Dill seed beautifully accents these fritters. If you don’t have it, I wouldn’t substitute fresh or dried dill weed. Instead, try substituting 1/4–1/2 teaspoon cumin seed or fennel seed.

Appetizer Note: Shape these into smaller fritters for appetizer or nibbler portions. You can serve each with a small dollop of vegan sour cream or a drizzle of a balsamic reduction.

Published by anewdayvegan

Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, and Rouxbe Culinary School's Professional Plant-Based Cooking, and Forks Over Knives programs. www.anewdayvegan.net

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