Growing up, I had a love hate relationship with vegetables. My mother was a wonderful chef. She'd have all sorts of tasty vegetable dishes up her sleeve -- stir-frys dotted with black fungus and lotus buds, soft succulent shrimp sautéed with fresh pea sprouts, and my absolute favorite: steamed bokchoy stewed with earthy, shiitake mushrooms.
Then there'd be moments when she'd have these sudden parental flashes and decide that she had to throw in some "healthy-fare" in between all the tastiness. I never understood it but I remembered how much I hated it. She'd pull out all sorts of gross combinations -- bland, boiled cabbage, a big bowl of steamed broccoli with zilch on it, and my worst nightmare: lettuce with ketchup.
Even worse, my mother would sit there and whole heartedly try to convince me how delicious it was. "Why you no like the lettuce with ketchup?? Lettuce have the crunch crunch and ketchup add a little sweetness! Soooo healthy for you…"
Lies. Sad, terrible, lies. But I knew it was much easier to just eat the lettuce than argue. I left the ketchup. My soul couldn't take it.
My point is, vegetables don't have to be gross. When prepared correctly, there is nothing tastier. Don't torture yourself, or your future kids.
Treat yourself to these sweet potato fries -- there's not much to this recipe: just sweet potatoes, oil and salt. Just make sure you don't over crowd the pan when baking. Be sure to cook it at a high temperature and most importantly, remember to flip your potato wedges half way through or else you'll end up with some sweet potato fries that are burned on one side.
You can even make these loaded and add melted cheese, fresh veggies and cubes of avocado or keep it simple and serve it with a healthy fresh herb yogurt dip.
BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES
(makes 3-4 servings)
- 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cleaned
- 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
- coarse sea salt to taste
- 1 Tablespoon spices if preferred (cayenne, chile powder, or cinnamon and sugar work well here)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Cut potatoes in half horizontally and once again lengthwise. Cut each half into 4-5 wedges and place onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt (and spices).
Make sure no pieces are on top or touching each other and that all the wedges are evenly spread out on the pan. If you have wire cooling rack, you can place this over the baking sheet and place the wedges on top for crispier fries.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Half way through, be sure to flip potato wedges. Return to oven and bake until pieces are well browned. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
While the fries are baking, make your yogurt dip.
*** You can freeze any leftover fries on a baking sheet over night. Package frozen sweet potato fries into individual sandwich bags. You can easily reheat these in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 F or microwave for a quick snack.
HERB YOGURT DIP
(makes 1 cup)
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 lemon wedge
- handful of fresh herbs (I used cilantro, parsley and scallion)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
In a small glass container, mix yogurt with fresh herbs. Squeeze lemon wedge and taste with salt and pepper. Serve alongside baked sweet potato fries.
Leftovers can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 6 days and can be used on top of fish or as a dipping sauce for vegetables.