There are days when you don’t feel like cooking.

You spend the morning writing, you spend the afternoon not buying a dress at the mall, you do a conference call, you head to a meeting, and you think: I’m hungry, but I don’t want to put any effort into it. You don’t want to cook, but you want to eat (you always want to eat), so you pull something out of the fridge or off the counter, be it an apple or a cookie or a large piece of bread, and it is enough.

There are many days like this. Maybe most days are like this.

slicing zucchini

On the better of these many days, you come home and you see a zucchini on the counter, one you bought at the farmers market—the same farmers market that you will miss come winter, if only because it puts fresh and local vegetables in your kitchen each week—and you think with your lazy heart that you’d like to eat it without much work. So you slice it into rounds, and you sauté them on the stove in coconut oil and butter until they’re crisp and golden, like little chips, and you pop them in your mouth, one by one, as quickly as they cook, until they’re gone.

fried zucchini

Fried zucchini is delicious, you think to yourself, and you wonder if you should blog about it. Because you have a food blog, remember? You, who don’t feel like cooking sometimes, have a food blog where you post new recipes and tell the world about them, as if you’re some kind of source inspiration or creativity. It’s kind of like how you who have a writing business don’t feel like writing. Or how you who just chopped off all your hair wish you could put it into a high ponytail.

Maybe these contradictions should bother you, at night before you fall asleep or in the morning when you lay in bed, listening to the birds chirping outside your open windows, a fall-like breeze blowing inside. Maybe they should bother you when you’re planning to go shopping again, probably to not buy a dress again, the way that contradictions do.

But today is not one of those days, as most of them aren’t, and so instead you think how nice life is these days, how rich you are in time—time to spend thinking or writing or not cooking and not buying dresses—and you post another everyday recipe that’s less like a recipe and more like a method, something people could easily do with eggplant or potatoes (cooking slower, longer) or maybe you wonder how tomatoes would be, and you console yourself by saying, tonight, tonight, we’ll experiment! We’ll make Thai food! But for now, there’s this.

Fried Zucchini
The only real secret here is the combination of coconut oil and butter. Of course you could use olive oil. Or just butter. Or just coconut oil. But I am telling you, they’re something really nice about coconut oil + butter and the way the flavors meld.

1 fresh zucchini
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper

Slice zucchini into thin rounds. Heat coconut oil and butter (like maybe a tablespoon of each) in a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini slices and salt and pepper them. Cook for a few minutes, turning as needed. When they’re done, they’ll be nicely browned and a little crisp. Remove to plates lined with paper towels to cool. Enjoy!

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Hannah

    I’m a photographer who sometimes doesn’t feel like photographing and a baker who sometimes doesn’t feel like baking. It happens.

    Fried zucchini is one of my moms favorite things, mine too, if it’s cut thing like yours. yum.

  2. Hannah

    Make that cut thin, not thing. ha! :)

  3. Maria

    I’ll admit, I’m so sad that zucchini season is coming to a close. I’m also sad that my jar of coconut oil in the medicine cabinet gets way more use than the one in the pantry.

    I love how crispy/chewy these look – one of my favourite textures!

  4. Jacqui

    i just went grocery shopping yesterday, the entire time thinking “less than 2 weeks until wedding = do NOT want to cook.” i bought stuff for simple salads, omelets, easy pastas. sometimes we NEED these no-brainer meals just to stay sane, ya know?

  5. rachel

    mm. i made zucchini for lunch today! grilled! and i like friend eggplant made just like the recipe you posted mmm. good stuff.

  6. The Duo Dishes

    So nice that these are not breaded but still fried. The coconut oil is a nice touch. Butter’s always welcome of course. :) They’d be great on a veggie sandwich.

  7. Maddie

    Word, Shannalee. This week, all of my dinners will be the following: red wine, baguette and goat cheese, and a 5-minute preparation of a random veggie from my CSA bag. It’s all I have the mental energy to make.

    Our eating practices reflect what’s going on in our lives, so I think that waxing and waning kitchen inspiration is normal. (That’s what I tell myself, anyway.) Enjoy those zucchini chips!

  8. Lis

    Funny–I just picked up one of my favorite cookbooks, Lidia’s Family Table, after having not used it for some time. First recipe I found: fried zucchini. She cuts it lengthwise, fries, rolls them up, and sticks toothpicks in them. She also says they’re great stuck into a sandwich.

    It must be fate that I make them. Thanks for reinforcing the urge! : )

  9. Tim

    I agree with Maddie, word, Shanna, word.

  10. Alicia

    Do you have any idea how often I go to shop and come home with nothing? More often than when I go to shop and do come home with something, that’s for sure. The whole “not buying a dress” part cracked me up. My mom makes fried potatoes all the time, I’ll have to tell her about the coconut/butter combo. And FYI, you absolutely ARE a source of inspiration.

  11. Dana

    So many of the tastiest things in life come from little full moon slices in a pan…

  12. kickpleat

    You inspired me to buy coconut oil, so I’ve got some in the cupboard & wasn’t sure how I should use it first. Our CSA has given us zucchini out the ying yang, so I’ll be making this tonight. I’m excited! Thank you.

  13. Shannalee

    Hannah, Oh, and you’re such a good photographer! That actually makes me feel better. : )

    Maria, So how do you take it medicinally? Just like a teaspoon at a time or something? I’m fascinated!

    Jacqui, Can we just talk about the fact that here we are, less than two weeks from your wedding, and you’re not only reading blogs but commenting here? You get big blogger points for that one. I’m so excited for your wedding!!

    Rachel, Good for you and the kiddos! Vegetables are so important!

    Duo Dishes, I know! I have to admit I enjoy the breaded ones, but these were so nice and light. And still crazy tasty!

    Maddie, I will tell myself that too, then! Well said.

    Lis, Really? It was in a cookbook even? Vindication! Thank you!

    Tim, Word indeed!

    Alicia, Really?? We will have to commiserate Thursday. I swear I went to every store within a 30-mile radius and some outside it. Bah. I consoled myself by saying how much money I wasn’t spending. : ) And FYI you are very kind.

    Dana, : ) I like the way you said that.

    Kickpleat, Hooray! It’s great as a sub for butter in baking (or maybe half the butter, which I do a lot), great for roasting veggies, great for smoothies. Hope you get lots of use out of your jar!!

  14. Niki

    I have never used coconut oil before… Mostly b/c I don’t like coconut. But does it taste like coconut?
    What’s so bad is that I can totally make a meal out of a couple of zucchini’s cooked just like this. In fact, I did that a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t feel like cooking, so I sliced some zucchini and sauteed them. Not quite as crispy as yours, but yummy, nonetheless!!!!

  15. Jen

    I’m new to your blog, but I love it already! I was looking for a hummus recipe and I made your roasted garlic hummus which turned out great! We had it as a snack with Sun Chips and Triscuits. Then we made the zucchini for dinner. I’m not sure I got the zucchini right but whatever I made tasted good either way. :) We live north of Chicago and I go to the Libertyville Farmer’s Market a lot, it’s my favorite up here of the ones I have been to.

  16. molly

    As to the hair, I think it ROCKS. For what it’s worth.

    As to the zucchini, we’ve been inhaling a Heidi Swanson twist, similar to this, topped with chopped almonds and dill or parsley. It’s been creeping in to my dreams. You are right; it is goooood.

    As to the writing, bird by bird, baby!

  17. heather @ chiknpastry

    I’ve never used coconut oil either, but i can’t imagine it would turn out badly when zucchini and butter are also at the party :).

    i think we all totally get it on the “not wanting to do X”. and with today’s weather, i would have been totally content at home, in bed, doing nothing!

  18. Shannalee

    Niki, It does taste faintly like coconut although the more I use it, the less I notice the flavor. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of in making zucchini a whole meal! Me too. Me too.

    Jen, That’s great to hear! I could go for some hummus right now, since you mentioned it. : ) Great to meet another local, too!

    Molly, Ha! Thank you so much – I have been missing my long hair this week, so it’s super encouraging to hear your kind words. And bird by bird is RIGHT. Oh, I needed to remember that.

    Heather, Exactly!

  19. Shannon @ bakeandbloom

    That’s great! I can’t wait to get my zucchini seedlings in the ground (I just got a bunch of hierloom seeds in the mail) Now I will know what to make.

  20. Shannalee

    Shannon, Gardening is so exciting! Are you going to start your seedlings outside right away? I wish I lived where you do then – I’ll have to wait until next spring!

  21. Philip

    I do have to say that this was an amazing dish!!!! Lite and crispy. Sprinkle a little sea salt on it and this is better than Jay’s Potato Chip – Can’t stop eating ’em!!!!!!

  22. Shannalee

    Philip, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to tell us!

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