Fiesta Friday Fun: It’s a Miracle!

Guess who is actually in the kitchen cooking this summer. ME! And I’m as surprised as anyone that I’m preparing meals. Go figure.

For those of you who don’t know me:

1. I do know how to cook.

2. I do not like to cook.

3. I have not cooked meals for over 3 years.

4. I have a good understanding of nutrition, I just don’t always choose to eat well ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

5. That all changed 3 weeks ago.b_1308293267417

I decided before we left on our 5 week vacation in Idaho that it would be a perfect time for Tim and me to clean up our eating act (no kids up here this year). I suffer from inflammatory problems in my joints and he has the same with his stomach and his asthma (and who knows what else that isn’t symptomatic yet). And we could both stand to lose some pounds.

I’ve long known what foods aggravate my system but have done a mediocre job of staying away from them. I get bored and don’t take the time to prepare interesting meals for myself. Tim on the other hand prepares dinners for himself and his sons (and sometimes me) when at home and doesn’t always pay attention to what does or does not aggravate his own body.

So for these next 5 weeks at least:

1. We are gluten-free.

2. We’ve reduced dairy (only a few cheeses now and then).

3. We’re refined sugar-free (using maple syrup and agave nectar).

4. We’re eating 3 meals a day and small snacks between (we’ve both been sporadic eaters – but tend to go overboard when we do eat).

5. We’re controlling portions…

6. I’m following it strictly (I’ve had lots of practice over the years with the Genotype diet – I’m type O non-secretor if that means anything to you), but hubby is going slowly as he gets used to a different way of eating.

Now to the fun part of the post (sorry for the long intro). I made sweet potato fries for the very first time in my life and they turned out great!!!! And just on the off-chance they would be edible, I took photos along the way so I could post the recipe to Fiesta Friday at Angie’s place, The Novice Gardener.

Our ranch house in Idaho is small… as in 600 sq feet. And the kitchen has only the bare basics. Talk about giving myself a challenge… small space, not used to the stove, only odds and ends in the way of cooking tools, not to mention all the alternative ingredients I’m not used to using… oh and add in high altitude too.

The kitchen after meal preparation... I can tell you doing dishes isn't much fun! lol

The kitchen after meal preparation… I can tell you doing dishes isn’t much fun! lol

First I had to learn how to cut the fries so I went online and found a few videos to get the idea… then I went through the drawers and found a decent knife.

Why are these sweet potatoes white? I had to google it... there are 16 versions (who knew) and these are Hannahs apparently.

Why are these sweet potatoes white? I had to Google it… there are 16 versions (who knew) and these are Hannahs apparently.

This is when I decided to take pics since they came out so pretty!

I went online to find a recipe and chose one from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries ala FireBonnet
Crispy sweet potato fries, gluten free and delish!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. Sweet potatoes - 1 per person
  2. 2 teaspoons of tapioca starch per large potato (original recipe used cornstarch)
  3. 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (or coconut oil) per large potato
  4. Herbs and spices of your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 2 large sliced potatoes are usually too crowded on 1 sheet, but it depends on their size. You may need an additional sheet. Set aside.
  2. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. With a *very* sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide. Place in ziplock bag (or bowl) and toss with tapioca starch. You want a nice thin coating. Pour the potatoes into a strainer to get rid of any extra starch. Discard the extra tapioca starch out of the bag (or bowl) too. Place potatoes back into the bag/bowl and add the olive oil and seasoning(s) of choice.
  3. Line the sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet. Try not to crowd them or else they won't bake, they'll just steam. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip. Place back into the oven for 10-15 more minutes. Make sure to rotate the pan to avoid uneven browning. Donโ€™t fret if the edges are a little brown, they will taste more caramelized than burnt.
  4. Turn the oven off and keep the fries inside as the oven cools down for about 30 minutes. This step will help the fries get crispier. Enjoy immediately.
Notes
  1. I used a spice mix of herbs, garlic and sea salt, but if you want sweeter go with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice etc. For spicy, cayenne pepper or chilli powder... the spice cabinet is your candy store!
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Meghan aka FireBonnet http://firebonnet.com/
I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch for the coating on the fries.

I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch for the coating on the fries.

I chose to use EVOL and Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning.

I chose to use EVOL and Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning.

I took the advice of another online cooking blog (sorry don't remember who) to put the oven racks high and put a sheet on each swapping then when the fries are turned.

I took the advice of another online cooking blog (sorry don’t remember who) to put the oven racks high and put a baking sheet on each swapping then when the fries are turned.

This is how they turned out. I was worried I'd overcooked them by leaving them in the oven (and will watch more closely the next time) but they didn't taste burned at all, just nice and crunchy.

This is how they turned out. I was worried I’d overcooked them by leaving them in the oven (and will watch more closely the next time) but they didn’t taste burned at all, just nice and crunchy.

iPhone 7-4-14 452

They were a big hit with the hubby and our guest for dinner… and ME! I had to grab another pic quickly before they were gobbled up.

 This recipe is only one of many I’ve tried over the last week (I want to keep Tim interested and satisfied so he’ll stay on the program). Many of them have turned out better than I ever expected and I’m even enjoying cooking (gasp). I guess when you cook with love miracles do happen.

As always I am so pleased that you visited. Your comments warm my heart and put a smile in my day. :D  And happy 4th of July!!!!

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23 thoughts on “Fiesta Friday Fun: It’s a Miracle!

  1. Pingback: Fiesta Friday Fun: FireBonnet Cooks for the Family

  2. Meghan Post author

    Thanks Sylvia! I just made a sweet potato shepherd’s pie yesterday and people gobbled it up (including kids). I used the orange ones this time and they are so beautiful. I forgot to get pics tho… next time!

  3. Meghan Post author

    I did bring some Trader Joes brown rice penne pasta and I thought it was good. I’ll check out the one you mention when I get back. And yes, Tim is a pasta kind of guy so it will be good to have alternatives. Also good to know TJs has sweet potato fries… it would be good to have if I need a quicker version. Thanks!

  4. Meghan Post author

    Thanks Mr. Fitz! I need to get used to the size since our new motorhome kitchen is even smaller. And with that one I’ll have to learn to cook in a convection oven. It really is a darling vintage kitchen and I’m forced to keep it clean! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Meghan Post author

    Since it was my first try at sweet potatoes, I thought maybe I had the wrong vegetable! That’s why I had to Google it. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  6. Meghan Post author

    I know right? Me? What the heck… it must have been the Fiesta Friday influence. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for keeping an eye out for recipes for us.

  7. Meghan Post author

    Truly sweet… ๐Ÿ˜‰ People are still talking about them… I need to make more, this time with the orange sweet potatoes.

  8. Pingback: Random Moments of Delight #27: Let Them Eat... Pumpkin Muffins

  9. Sylvia @superfoodista.com

    Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday! I love sweet potatoes so much! The ones I buy are usually orange, I didn’t come across these white looking ones in my store yet. Anyways, sweet potatoes are definitely healthy and these fries look scrumptious! I am sure your family and everyone at the Fiesta loved them! Thanks for joining! Sylvia

  10. Meghan Post author

    I agree! I grew up on it too. I don’t think my mom had any sugar in the house… all molasses, honey and real maple syrup (as in from our trees). And fresh grown veges… (which she froze for winter).

  11. nharvey

    PS… If you’re avoiding gluten and enjoy pasta, Trader Joe’s has an excellent version made from brown rice and quinoa. I like both the flavor and the texture of these. I’m guessing you probably don’t have a TJ’s near you now, but maybe when you get back to CA you can check it out.

  12. nharvey

    My brood LOVES sweet potato fries, and so far I’ve resorted to Trader Joe’s version. Thanks for the recipe, I will have to try these!

  13. A Home Cook

    We laughed when we realised the O diet is the meat and three veg menu we all grew up on in the 1960s and ’70s. It’s what my hubby prefers if given a choice, not because of the tastes, but because it’s what he feels best on.

  14. Meghan Post author

    Isn’t that interesting! I’m lucky in that Tim and I are both O’s. We’ll see how it all works… nothing too strict or he’ll never stick to it when we get home. I am liking that my hips and back don’t hurt when I am on it… and that I feel nourished. I’m hoping hubby will feel nurtured and nourished as well.

  15. A Home Cook

    You can have so much fun trying different tastes. My hubby is O and I’m A: so we would have a very interesting time of trying to follow the blood-type diet too strictly. That said, we both have gravitated to the appropriate foods anyway, so there must be something in it.

  16. Sue

    Look at you, this is awesome Meghan!!!!! Keep up the good work!!! I will keep my eye out for good and easy recipes for you both!!!!

  17. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #23|Happy 4th of July! | The Novice Gardener

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