Monday, March 26, 2012

French Fries Don't Have to Be Bad...

I'm on a health kick right now for many different reasons-the main reason being that I'm in my late 20s and I want to do the best I can to set a healthy lifestyle now so it's easier to follow as I get older.  The other reason-I'm going to Mexico in May and I want to look AWESOME!  ;o)

I have an amazing hubby that was blessed with some fantastic skinny genes and who can eat whatever he wants and still look great.  I, on the other hand, only have fabulous skinny jeans that can only continue to look fabulous on me as long as I stare at carbs and cupcakes from afar.

As I attempt to lose my last 10 pounds heading in to May, I have been faced with a dilemma: how do I cook  food that the hubby will love and that I can actually eat too (and not gain 2 pounds each meal)?  Luckily, I married a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, so as long as there is a big piece of steak, chicken, fish, etc. next to some kind of starch and possibly a veggie, I can usually "WOW" him.  Typically, I just eat the meat and veggies and skip the starch, but it was Friday, and I wanted a potato, too, even though I was watching my carbs.

So, my compromise was ditching the deep fryer and package of frozen, seasoned grocery store fries, and making my own homemade, baked fries.  AND!  They turned out great, and I was able to have some without feeling guilty!  I did skip the fry sauce (ketchup, mayo, seasonings), but the fries were so deliciously seasoned, I was perfectly happy dipping them in the left over balsamic vinegar that had run off my salad to mingle with the fries.

Finished Product:  Oven-Baked, Homemade Seasoned French Fries
with a homemade fry sauce (the fry sauce was NOT healthy)

I will warn you.  These fries take some time, so plan for a good hour of prep (20 minutes) and cooking (40-55 minutes).  I started these fries at 5:00 and timed everything so dinner would be ready at 6:15.

First, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F, and grabbed a cutting board, potato peeler, knife, bowl, spices, and oil, and set everything out on my island.

This is how I prep...

I peeled and cut up two large russet potatoes, which was more than enough for the two of us.  Then I "measured" out some spices into the bowl and covered the bottom of the bowl with oil.  I use grape seed oil because it seems to get the best health and wellness reviews.


This is where the fun begins, and by fun, I totally mean messy.  I had to have the hubby photograph because my hands were a little too oily to operate my iPhone.

I threw in all of my potato spears into the bowl and tossed the potatoes until every single one of the spears was coated in oil and spices.

I actually have issues with getting messy,
but this was totally worth the amount of soap I had
to use to get the oil off my hands!

After the potatoes were nicely coated, I arranged them on a baking sheet so that they weren't touching (as best I could).  In the future, I will heavily coat the pan with oil or use a silicone baking pad because these little guys stuck to the pan pretty bad.  Hey, live and learn, right?!

They smelled sooooo insanely good, even before
they went into the oven!

I placed the potatoes on a lower rack in the oven and let them back for a total of 55 minutes.  When I checked them at 20 minutes, I went ahead and placed some foil over top so they didn't get too crispy on the outside before they were done.  I continued to check on them every 10 minutes until they were perfect.

Here's my finished plate:  Grilled pork chop, side salad with O/V,
3 oz. french fries, and a glass of red wine. My whole dinner
had less than 25g of carbs!

Oven-Baked, Homemade French Fries

2 large Russet Potatoes (makes enough for 4, 3-oz. servings)
Grape Seed Oil (approx. 1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons)
Seasonings to taste
Note:  I used: Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Season All, Minced Garlic, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper this time around, but you can season your french fries however you like!

-  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
-  Rinse, dry, and peel potatoes
-  Slice potatoes into spears or desired sizes
-  In a large mixing bowl, throw in seasonings and add the oil
-  Toss the potato spears in the oil, adding more seasonings as needed, then arrange the spears on a greased or lined baking sheet in one layer 
-  Bake on a lower rack in the oven for a total of 40-55 minutes, first checking at 20 minutes and then every 10 minutes after that.  I did end up covering the sheet with a loose piece of foil after 20-30 minutes so that the fries wouldn't burn on the outside before they were completely finished.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I love fries and have been depriving myself since starting Weight Watchers to prep for my wedding this fall - I think these might satisfy some cravings when they start calling :)