Sweet Potato Steak Fries

I have a confession to make: french fries are definitely a weakness of mine! Most of the time I just steer clear altogether, but I get really excited when I get the chance to eat them. Fries are unhealthy because of the high amount of oil they are cooked in, and the sodium. Also, white potatoes  aren’t as packed with nutrients as say, a sweet potato. One cup of cubed sweet potatoes has 377% the daily intake of Vitamin A, 448 mg potassium, and 4 grams of fiber. As the rule goes, the more vibrant the color, the higher the nutrients. I decided to use a sweet potato to beat my craving, and get a healthy dose of nutrients to boot!  My sweet potato steak fries are super fast and easy to make. They are great with a wrap, topped with chili, or with a burger. Below you will see that the measures for this recipe are given for an individual serving. Increase as needed.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 sweet potato per person, depending on size
  • 1 tsp Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBSP 21 seasoning salute
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp grapeseed oil

 

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise, and then into large 1″ wedges.  In a large mixing bowl, toss wedges with 2 tsp oil per potato. Add curry powder, ground cumin, 21 seasoning salute, and coarse sea salt and make sure all wedges are coated evenly. Spread wedges out on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning over wedges halfway through baking time.

 

*Baking time may vary depending on oven.

 

Out-of-this World Stirfry

Stir-frying vegetables offers a high heat, quick cooking alternative to frying and requires only minimal oil. Although many may associate stir-frying with only Asian cuisines, a wok can be used for nearly any occasion.You’ll want to keep your vegetables as close to raw as possible, yet palatable. Stir-frying gives just the right balance. This meal is measured to serve two, but feel free to increase as needed. I used tofu, but you can really use any protein you like. I’d recommend chicken or shrimp if you are looking for a meat alternative. Let’s get started!

You will need:

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups French green beans, fresh or frozen
  • 1 TBSP aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 cups rough chopped bell pepper and onion  mixture
  • 6 oz protein (I used crumbed tofu)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 TBSP Dry basil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • 21 seasoning salute (Salt alternative which is a blend of 21 herbs and spices)

1. In a medium-sized wok or skillet, heat olive oil, and add ginger and garlic on medium high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add protein and allow it to brown.

3. In your last step, add veggies. Add the green beans first and as they become tender, add bell pepper and onion mixture, pine nuts, and finally the dry spices.

4. Drizzle the mixture with aged balsamic and lemon juice. Cook for about 30 additional seconds and remove from heat.

This stir fry goes great with brown rice. With tofu, it is just 260 calories

Hoisin Noodle Stir Fry

I am a huge fan of pasta, but eating the variety of shapes and sizes has taken some getting used to over the years. Largely I choose either a cappellini or a short, rounded noodle. In the past, anytime I went to an Italian or Thai restaurant, I avoided all flat and wide noodles. I just felt they would actually taste differently! One day I tried pappardelle at an exquisite and warm Italian restaurant in Monterrey, California. The freshly-made noodles left me much more open-minded to try more! I then had spicy noodles at a Thai restaurant and I was completely hooked! These uniquely wide egg-based noodles leave not a thing to be desired!

Although the better part of the “no carb” craze is long gone, I think most of us know that simple carbohydrates are nothing to overdose on. Unused sugar turns to fat, and extra fat is rarely something to celebrate. When composing a meal, it is good to balance simple carbohydrates with complex ones like whole grains, and vegetables. Some have even said that vegetables should account for 50% of your food serving size, 25% for protein, and another 25% to be composed of simple carbs and fat. As the name implies, simple carbohydrates are simple for the body to break down and provide fewer healthy calories and not as long of an energy supply.

This very simplistic meal I have composed will provide all of the nutrients one needs, and all of the flavor the palate desires. Keep in mind that what makes stirfry so easy is its versatility. If you happen to not have some of the vegetables I list, use what you have. If you have special dietary needs, substitute as you find necessary.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of raw baby spinach
  • 1.5 cups of frozen or fresh French green beans
  • 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh edamame
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • minced ginger
  • soy sauce (light)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • 8 oz bag of pappardelle
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted cashews

1. Boil pasta according to directions and begin prepping vegetables to be cooked. Remember to cook pasta only to al dente and allow it to cool while you cook the vegetables.

2. In a large non-stick skillet or wok, add one tbsp of olive oil on HIGH heat. Once heated, add edamame and French green beans. Frozen, they should cook for about 5 minutes until almost tender.

French beans and edamame

3. Add 1 tsp of minced garlic, another tbsp of oil, and 2 cups of fresh spinach. Spinach wilts the fastest, so always cook this last. This should take only 2 to 3 minutes.

4. As spinach is nearly done, add 1 tsp of ginger. and 1 tbsp of the Hoisin sauce. Make sure it gets evenly distributed over the mixture.

5. When spinach is complete, turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to help the sauce combine more easily. Add cooled and rinsed pasta slowly to the mixture, meanwhile adding another tbsp of Hoisin to better coat the noodles.

5. Top with cashews and serve.

Serves approximately 4, To make this a proper vegan dish, please use egg-free noodles