Greek Zucchini Fritters (vegetarian Keftedes?)


I was craving Keftedes (Greek meatballs, which have fresh mint in them) for some reason.  As I was seeking out a recipe I came across a recipe for zucchini ‘keftedes’, or zucchini fritters.  This delicious vegetarian option contains feta (a brined cured Greek sheep’s/goat’s milk cheese), fresh mint, and fresh dill or fennel.  Dill and fennel are in the same herb family, so feel free to substitute and interchange the two.  The recipe called for dill.  I had fennel, so I used the tops off those.  I was VERY pleased.


  • 1 med-large zuccini
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup minced leek
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh fennel (the feathery top part–or dill)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fine grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs–probably could sub for your own bread crumb mixture)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Tzatziki for dipping 🙂

How to prepare:

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Grated Zucchini

Grate the zucchini, using the larger holes on the grater.  You will need to get the moisture out before making the fritters, as zucchini carries a lot of water.  You might know this if you’ve ever tried to make zucchini bread and it’s turned out sloppy and too moist.

The recipe called for grating it onto a clean kitchen towel, which I did.  It then said to sprinkle the coarse salt over the zucchini and let it sit for 30 min-1 hr.  I didn’t wait, and this still worked.  Wring the kitchen towel out as much and as firmly as you can, many times, to squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the zucchini.

Put the zucchini in a medium bowl and add minced leek, garlic, mint, fennel or dill, lemon peel, and black pepper.

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Use Fennel in place of dill if you have it! delicious

*To chop your fresh herbs, consider getting one of these nifty tools — herb scissors! A very welcome gift from my mom (  They have four blades and reduce waste on fresh herbs by allowing you to chop them quickly and easily right into your mixing bowl. I loved having these for all the mint/fennel recipes I made this day.

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Chopping the herbs with herb scissors

Stir in panko and egg, then the feta.

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Mixing all the ingredients together

Mix, and then form into 2″ patties, and place on a baking sheet that you can place in the refrigerator to chill.

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Zucchini friters made, ready to chill for an hour

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Zucchini fritters before cooking

Chill fritters at least one hour . I chilled them for 3.
Add 1/4 ” of grapeseed oil (has a high smoke point, so it’s good for frying, plus it’s healthier than many other oils) to a nonstick frying pan, and heat.

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Frying zucchini fritters in grapeseed oil


Add the zucchini fritters and fry for several minutes on each side until light golden brown.  Check to make sure they aren’t sticking shortly after adding these to the pan.

Place fritters on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
Serve with tzatziki, greek yogurt, and fennel or dill garnish.

These turned out so DELICIOUS I think I will make these again, but in a much bigger batch.  I got 14 fritters out of this batch.

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Finished zucchini fritters! YUM!

May 3, 2011
Food, Kitchen Gadgets, Recipe


Amazing coconut veggie stir-fry


I’m not sure why this turned out so freaking amazing, and there’s probably no way to exactly replicate it but you can try, and make your own combinations.. most ingredients are interchangeable ..


Here are some tips from yours truly:

  • Veggie ingredients == whatever is in your fridge.  Though I do recommend a combination of leafy, crunchy,  and sauce-soaking veggies.

Here’s what I mean by that, with some examples:
Leafy == kale, Swiss chard, leafy Chinese broccoli, spinach
Crunchy == broccoli, Chinese broccoli, carrots
Sauce-Soaking == broccoli florets, squash, zucchini

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Chinese Broccoli

1. diced garlic
2. diced fresh ginger
3. diced leek (sub onion if you DARE, but it’s my enemy)

In fact, I frequently keep a tub of all these things chopped in my fridge as I can make a lot of dishes with them..

  • Things that pack punch (flavorful veggies)

1. Fennel (why should you eat fennel? cancer-preventing, vitamin c-providing, fibrous awesomeness described here)
2. ?? help.  I’m sure there are more


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Fennel (if you don't know what it looks like). You can eat the whole thing! So delicious and healthy.

  • Things you can always add at the end of the cook time

1. Water chestnuts
2. Baby corn
3. Button mushrooms or regular mushrooms
4. Bamboo shoots

  • Things to top/garnish with

1. Fresh herbs (Thai basil is tops.. then cilantro/regular basil/parsley etc.)
2. Crunchy raw veggies like cucumber, radish, sprouts or snow pea shoots


I like to boil diced sweet potato or white yam until soft and then add it to the stir fry.  This makes the dish creamier and sweeter without artificial sweeteners or fattening dairy products.  It works best if the sweet potatoes start to crumble or fall apart in the stir fry


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Boiling sweet potatoes to add sweetness/creaminess to a stir fry


Ingredients (in this stir fry):

  • 4 carrots
  • 1 whole bulb/stalks of fennel
  • 1 zucchini
  • 5 stalks of Chinese broccoli
  • 1 whole bunch of colorful Swiss chard
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced ginger
  • 1/3 cup diced leek
  • fresh Thai basil
  • spices/sauces: paprika, hot curry powder, ground black pepper, basil, turmeric, hot sesame oil, soy sauce.  Don’t be afraid of spices.. add hot ones a little at a time so you don’t ruin the dish. On a big pot of food like this remember it will take a lot of spice to add flavor.  Experiment.
  • **Coconut powder (to taste), 1/2 cup stock (chicken or veggie) and 1/2 cup water (or just 1 whole cup water), 1 Tbsp corn starch (for thickening)

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    Coconut powder from the H Mart in Catonsville


**I like coconut powder because you have more control over the amount you want in your dish and can add to it little by little, which also controls the ABSURD FAT CONTENT in a can of coconut milk (read: 57 grams of fat per cup…at least it is good fat).  I dislike it because you then need to make up for the creaminess.  This was accomplished with extra liquid such as chicken broth and water combined with corn starch.  Not a lot was needed as this was more of a stir fry than a curry.



  • Chop all your veggies.  Keep your harder/crunchier veggies in one bowl and leafy in another.  This way everything can cook to a desired doneness without overcooking certain vegetables
  • Start boiling your diced sweet potato on one burner.  Let it boil for 5-10 minutes until soft and then set aside.
  • Start your stir-fry with a suitable oil.  I like Grape seed oil.. it’s healthy (as far as oils go), and has a high smoke point.  Add as much to your wok or pan as you need (PS you need a BIG pan or wok for this many veggies..)
Grapeseed oilIMG 0905 225x300   Amazing coconut veggie stir fry
  • Add your garlic, and leek and saute for a minute.
  • Add all your crunchy veggies.  Saute for 5 minutes or so with the heat fairly high.
  • Add ginger, hot sesame oil, and leafy veggies and continue to saute.
  • As veggies begin to wilt, add the sweet potato, spices (to taste), stock, and coconut powder
  • Once you have the flavor right and the veggies are ready to eat (still a little crisp hopefully), add a little water and corn starch to thicken it just a tad.  It helps the spices stick to the veggies, I’ve found.
  • You can top your stir fry with garnishes or more fresh herbs.  Lots of Thai basil is highly recommended.
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Veggies being sauteed


EAT.  Go to bed.  Repeat.  This should make about 4 full meal portions, depending on how hungry of a person you are, and if you’re going to go seek rice because you require some form of classic ‘carb’ in your meal or if you need more filler…  etc etc, but this is delicious on its own!

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Awesome veggie stir fry / curry-like dish



April 7, 2011
Food, General, Recipe