The other night I wanted a treat. I had to go out to a fancy dinner event where I knew there was likely not going to be any food that I could eat, because of my restrictive gluten free, egg free, predominantly paleo diet, and I didn't want to be sitting there eating boring, simple food while everyone else ate their special food.
However, I was relatively pressed for time and couldn't be spending hours in the kitchen trying to come up with an equivalent of what they'd be serving, and price, obviously, was a factor as well.
Trying to come up with a simple but delicious and frugal meal for myself, I went with baked spicy sweet potato fries (made with sweet potatoes I was gifted with), honey mustard pan seared tuna steak (frozen section of the supermarket), and garlicky (from frozen) green beans, with a (free) mango for dessert, and my homemade alcohol on the side. It was quite the perfect meal- I didn't feel like I was missing out at all, and it was easy on the budget and made very quickly too.
The sweet potato fries were so amazing that I've made them a few times since- here's the recipe so that you, too, can have this delicious and easy to make dish. And once you've made it a few times, you can make it even more easily, because the ingredients can be eyeballed instead of measured and it will sill come out great.
Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, EasyIngredients:
2 trays of sweet potato wedges (about 6-8 sweet potatoes)
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2-1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, hot paprika, or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons oil of choice
1. Chop your sweet potatoes into wedges or fries. If your sweet potato is really large, your wedges may be enormous, which will affect the texture of your fries. The smaller they are cut, the crispier they will be. For a medium sized sweet potatoes, I cut them into wedges 1/8 the circumference of the sweet potato (in other words, I quartered them, and then halved each quarter.) For very fat sweet potatoes, after doing this, I cut then in half again lengthwise so each piece wasn't too big, but it really doesn't matter so much. The most important aspect is that your fries are a uniform size, so they finish cooking at the same time, and you don't have some burnt while others aren't fully cooked.
2. Mix the spices and salt together until uniform. If you like quite spicy, add a full teaspoon of hot pepper, or even more- 1/2 teaspoon will keep these mildly spicy.
3. Pour oil over the fries, and then add the spice mixture.
4. Use your hands to spread the oil and spices all over the entire batch of sweet potatoes, so that the flavor is all over each fry equally, and you don't have some extra spicy and some mostly flavorless.
5. Spread out the fries on a lined baking tray so that each fry touches the tray and doesn't overlap another.
6. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until fully cooked and starting to get crispy, checking periodically. If you want, flip them over midway, but I don't bother.
You can make this with white potatoes or carrots the same way, for a delicious but different dish.
Are you a fan of spicy? What would you make if you wanted to make a nice meal for yourself without expending a lot of time or energy?
Does this look like a dish you'd enjoy?