Fry, Don’t Cry: Fried Veggie Dishes That Won’t Make You Feel Guilty

Fried food can put even the most health-conscious at odds with themselves. While no one would question the deliciousness and crave-ability of fried food, it gets a bad rap in the nutrition department. Take away some of that notoriety by substituting these veggies into classic fried food dishes.

Eggplant Fries

Eggplants are crazy healthy, with a single serving offering high amounts of fiber and antioxidants. The veggie is particularly dense too, making it a great substitute for regular potatoes in french fries! If you want to make the dish even healthier, try using chickpea flour in lieu of standard flour.

Fried Okra

A bona-fide classic, fried okra is one of the longest running fried vegetable dishes and for good reason; okra gains a deeper, more rewarding flavor when cooked and looses its polarizing “sliminess.” With this dish, we’d recommend pan-frying rather than deep frying; you’ll be able to protect the integrity of your okra better with the former, plus you’ll have a healthier finished product!

Broccoli Tater-Tots

If you’re cooking for kids, it can be tricky to create dishes that appeal to budding taste buds without sacrificing nutrition. Luckily, broccoli tater tots are here to save the day. Balancing the crispness of tater tots with the famed health benefits of broccoli, this dish is a favorite with kids and adults alike. For best results, blanch the broccoli beforehand to keep it green and crisp. 

Fried Artichoke Hearts

In any form, artichoke hearts hold a special place in our hearts. Although artichoke hearts are typically roasted, coaxing them in flour and then pan frying them creates a crunchy, appetizing take on the classic side dish. Fried artichoke hearts are actually fairly popular in middle-eastern cuisine, so don’t be afraid to incorporate spices or sauces from that region!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites 

A vegan take on buffalo wings, buffalo cauliflower bites are surprisingly nutritious. Containing roughly 1/3 the calories of buffalo wings, this dish adds a crispy exterior to the traditional heft of cauliflower, creating a finished product that feels right at home next to a game day brew. Feel free to experiment with different types of dipping sauces like ranch or blue cheese too!