A few months ago I posted my favorite oven baked french fry recipe…that one was great (it was for steak-cut fries), but I’ve been experimenting with oven baked fries since then and this recipe is even better…it turns out thinner, crunchier, crisper fries with way more flavor. The secret is par baking the potatoes in the microwave for a couple of minutes in a garlicky oil and then coating them with a spicy cornstarch mixture before baking them in the oven. It sounds a lot more involved then it is…it’s actually simple, fast and definitely worth trying. It is also very forgiving, so feel free to experiment with different spices and quantities…as long as you dry the potatoes well after soaking, and keep an eye on them as they cook, they’ll come out great. Pair the fries with a super-melty cheesburger topped with caramelized onions and you’ll never want to go out for burgers and fries again, ’cause it doesn’t get an better than this.
Quinoa (keen-wah). If you haven’t tried it, you really should give it shot. It’s a pseudocereal with a slightly nutty flavor, which makes it a great alternative to rice. Quinoa is extremely nutritious and has a very high protein content (12%–18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians, vegans and athletes. Unlike wheat or rice, which is low in lysine, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it an unusually complete protein source. And the best part about it is…it tastes great! For this recipe, we prepared it like you would rice and mixed it with sautéed vegetables and caramelized onions for a quick, delicious healthy meal. You can use any vegetables you like in this dish…everything seems to go well with quinoa and you can find it just about anywhere these days…Nature’s Earthly Choice is a great brand.
Everyone loves french fries, but deep frying at home is messy and the clean up sucks. These oven baked fries are just as tasty, a little bit healthier and way easier to make and clean up after than the deep-fried variety. The secret is the pre-soak that removes some of the starch and helps the fries to crisp up on the outside while staying tender and moist on the inside. Pair these with my Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings and you have a great finger-licking good, faux deep-fried, quasi-healthy meal that everyone will love. If you prefer thinner, crispier garlicky oven baked fries, please click here.
Another simple, healthy snack that you’re guaranteed to love – a great alternative to potato chips (although they’re really good, too!)
Tear the kale leaves into approx. 2″ bite size pieces (discard any thick stems)
Wash and dry the pieces thoroughly (a salad spinner is best for this)
Toss the dried leaves with the ¼ cup olive oil and ¾ tsp of kosher salt, coating all pieces well
Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350˚ oven for about 10-13 minutes ’til crumbly and crisp
Let cool and serve…
If you like, when you remove them from the oven, you can also sprinkle the crispy kale chips with some lime zest, cayenne, lemon pepper, Parmesan, chile powder, garlic powder or just about any other flavor or mix of spices, to add a personal touch.
This fantastic recipe is originally fromA Spoonful of Ginger by Nina Simonds, a cookbook based on the Asian philosophy of food as a health-giving entity. According to the author, the secret is in the Chinese holistic approach to food and its balance: countering yin, or cooling, foods, with yang, or hot, foods and neutralizers like rice and noodles. But don’t just try this recipe because you buy into the Chinese philosophy (although a lot of it makes sense…I mean, they have been cooking for over 4,000 years. In 2005, the oldest intact noodles yet discovered were found in Lajia, China and were estimated to be over 4,000 years old…but I digress)… just make it because it is one of the most delicious, satisfying and authentic tasting recipes I’ve found for homemade Chinese food, while still being relatively easy to prepare…and, believe it or not, it even manages to make tofu taste great!
If your tired of the same old baked potatoes or french fries (although I don’t understand how anyone could get tired of french fries) here is a simple recipe for preparing baby red potatoes that not only taste incredible…moist and creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside…but also look really great on your plate. Try and get the smallest red potatoes you can find…that way you have a much larger crispy to creamy ratio in each bite! And although they’re delicious right out of the oven, definitely try them with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of green onions…it really rounds out the flavor.
Leave it to Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island to show us the best way to peel a potato. Every Thanksgiving, we make a ton of mashed potatoes for 40 people and the only thing we don’t look forward to is peeling all those potatoes. Well thanks to this video from Mary Ann, it looks like next Thanksgiving that won’t be a problem. Now if we can just get the Professor to invent an easy way to deep fry a turkey without burning down the entire neighborhood.
BTW, if you really want to do it the authentic “Mary Ann” way, here are the Red Silicon Gripper Tongs she uses in the video. They’re great for using with non-stick cookware and they’re heat resistant up to 600° and dishwasher safe.
OK…I personally could care less whether this is high-carb, low-carb or no-carb…all I know is that it tastes (and looks) great, is really simple to prepare and you can just pop a slice in the microwave for a quick breakfast. If you happen to live with someone who cares about carbs (like I do), the best thing about this dish is that you can really enjoy it together (you don’t have to fake it)…it’s that good! If you want an even healthier version, just substitute Eggbeaters for the eggs. And for a great variation, replace the onions with a cup or two of caramelized onions…it really adds a ton of flavor to the quiche.
Please click here for a printable copy of the recipe.
Caramelized onions are terrific on everything… pizza, burgers, hotdogs, chops, steaks, brisket and are delicious in scrambled eggs, quiche or mashed potatoes….they even make an interesting (and delicious) dessert when served on sliced apples with a side of cheese. In fact, they’re great all by themselves…I guarantee you’ll find yourself eating them right out of the pan.
I think that I first read about this technique for caramelizing onions in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine years ago and have been using it ever since.
When onions are cooked low and slow for an extended period of time, the natural sugars in the onions caramelize, imparting an intense sweet flavor and a beautiful deep mahogany color.
Caramelized onions can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.