French fries hot from the deep fat fryer: so delicious, so clogged with oil, so coated with HFCS-laden ketchup, so not good for you.
We learned to love nonfat Greek yogurt, which we happily substitute for the copious amounts of not-good-for-you sour cream of earlier days. We learned to love nonfat milk instead of whole milk, with the happy side result that whole milk now tastes like half-and-half.
So, we wondered, could we learn to love some version of baked French fries?
We found that baking potato wedges in the oven with olive oil and Italian herb seasoning made us happy and feeling better about eating “fries.” We found a ketchup based on low-glycemic agave instead of high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar.
We also found that we enjoy dipping or covering the baked wedges with salsa (but check the label and be sure the salsa isn’t sweetened with sugar—an ingredient that only belongs in fruit salsa).
Finally, we really prefer oven baking to the hot spattering mess of deep fat frying. That’s why baked “fries” is the Tip Of The Day.
You can substitute sweet potatoes for the russets. (Do you know the different types of potatoes? Check out our Potato Glossary.)
RECIPE: BAKED FRENCH FRIES ALTERNATIVE
1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F.
2. SLICE potatoes lengthwise 3/4 inch thick, then cut each slice into ¾-inch long pieces. Place in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with herb seasoning and salt; toss to coat evenly.
3. ARRANGE potato pieces in a single layer on nonstick baking sheet or a baking sheet coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until potatoes are golden brown, turning once after 15 minutes. Serve immediately, with optional salsa for dipping.
Yield: 4 servings.
ITALIAN HERB SEASONING RECIPE
Blend all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.
Use on other vegetables or rice, in green salad, meat balls, meat loaf, pasta sauce and other Italian recipes.
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