Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mmmmm, French fries.

Did I get your attention? Thought so.

If you're anything like me, you love French fries but hate the calories (and the guilt) that so commonly come with them. But you indulge, every so often, because life is meant to be lived and French fries are meant to be consumed. On occasion. Once in a while. Blah, blah and blah. But dang nabbit, French fries are effin' good.

That's what you think if you're anything like me. So let's come together and tip our hats to those little sticks of salty goodness and love (with a side of ketchup, of course). But let's only tip those hats just a little bit. Tip fully, however, to these little sticks of no-salt delightfulness you can make at home. In fact, I made them at home for lunch today:

No deep fryer required. For real. These babies were baked. And guess what? They're made of zucchini wedges, rather than potato wedges. But I bet you could use potato wedges if you wanted to—they'd just take longer to bake. And the sauce? A combo of low-fat sour cream, garlic and Frank's Red Hot. So good, I wish I had come up with the recipe on my own. What you see above is loosely based on a recipe for Oven-Fried Squash Spears that I found in Clean Eating (June 2011). Here's my version of it:

Squash Fries with Spicy Garlic Sour Cream
2 egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
2 slices of wheat bread, chopped in a food processor
1 tsp. garlic powder
A healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper
A couple shakes of Cayenne pepper
1 zucchini
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream, sliced into spears
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp. Frank's Red Hot (or equivalent)

1) Preheat your oven to 450F, then prepare to make a bit of a mess.

2) Put the egg whites and milk in a large bowl, then whisk until combined. Set aside.

3) Slice the zucchini into semi-thin, fry style wedges. Put them in the bowl with the egg white mix, stir with a fork to cover. In a shallow dish, combine the bread bits, garlic powder and peppers. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

4) This is where it gets dirty: Grab a spear, roll it in the breadcrumb mix, then place it on the pan. Some will cover easier than others. I found it worked best if I pushed one side into the mix, then flipped it and pushed the other side into it. But I inevitably ended up rolling the last few because my fingers got so sticky.

5) Once finished, bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Rotate, then bake another three minutes. Prep the sauce while they're baking...

6) It couldn't be easier: Mix the sour cream, garlic and Frank's in a bowl. Done and done.

7) When all is done, simply enjoy!

According to the magazine, a single serving clocks in at 80 calories and 3 grams of fat. If you ask me, that's a side dish worth enjoying. Sorry...rather, that's a French fry worth enjoying.

Question: Have you turned anything other than potatoes into French fries? (I kind of want to try making some baked pickle wedge fries at home. Don't knock it. It tastes better than it sounds. Last question: when you give into your French fry craving, to what restaurant do you inevitably go to?

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my giveaway! You just might win a prize pack from Fiber One featuring the new 80 Calorie cereal! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Friday, July 29, 2011).

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