Is there a more delicious food on the planet than French fries? Seriously...perfect for snacking, salty but delicate, and a great accompaniment to most meals (even filet mignon...although we just call them pommes frites when they garnish a fine dining experience).
Fries do have a caveat to them though, and it's not exactly what you'd think. Sure, over-consumption negatively affects the waistline, and some of them have been morphed into chemical-laden versions of themselves. But did you know eating fried potatoes immediately introduces oxidants into your system? As much as we strive to enjoy antioxidant-rich foods to keep cancer at bay and our skin beautiful, when we intake oxidants we immediately reverse and negate the hard work we've been putting into eating healthfully. All of those healthy cells we've been nourishing get attacked and broken down by free radicals, which is lame. Because of those truths, I created an alternative to combat my love for the fry...
Provencal Carrot and Parsnip Fries!
After preheating the oven to 400 degrees, I started working on the 3 medium carrots and one large parsnip seen here. Once peeled, I cut them into thirds and chopped them into large matchsticks. (Depending on parsnip size, you might have to work around the core and compost it.)
Next, I combined 1/2 tsp of dried thyme from the garden, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp granulated garlic, a good grind of black pepper, and 1/4 c Panko breadcrumbs for crunch. I tossed the veggies in a scant 1/4 c sunflower oil to give the seasoning something to adhere to. (Please don't use vegetable oil or the dreaded Canola oil...these are so refined and full of chemicals and GMOs that they do more harm than good to your food. Stick to sunflower, safflower, coconut, or olive oil for cooking.)
Here's a great trick to keep your fries from needing to be flipped halfway through cooking: place a cooling rack inside of your baking sheet! This keeps the food elevated so the heat can circulate, and it's a less risky maneuver that keeps you from getting burned. This size "fries" cooked for exactly 20 minutes at 400.
Pair with a sauteed flaky white fish and some broccoli steamed with a little granulated garlic, salt, and pepper in the steaming water, and you have a healthy dish full of Omega-3, beta-carotene, iron, and fiber. Delicious alternative, and a great way to sneak veggies into your routine. Enjoy!
Till next time,
Dallas Farmer Gal