Japan was absolutely amazing, and certainly changed my mind regarding Japanese cuisine – I used to think I wasn’t really a fan, but my mind has thoroughly been changed. I will definitely do a post on Japanese food and recommendations, but don’t want to delve into that until I’ve got all my photographs uploaded. So in the mean-time, I have a new healthy snack recipe: This is my method for making delicious but highly nutritious oven-baked sweet potato fries.
Lucy’s Exotic Oven-baked Sweet Potato Fries
1 sweet potato (or more… depends how many fries you want)
1. Chop up your sweet potato into thin sticks. Leave the skin on – the skin adds a lovely texture to the fries and also includes wonderful fibre.
2. Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees C. Pop a dollop of coconut oil onto a baking tray and place it into the oven while it pre-heats (this will melt the coconut oil, so it is liquid).
3. Once the oil is liquid, bring the baking tray out and lay the sweet potato sticks onto it. Using your hands, toss the sweet potato around in the oil and sprinkle a healthy amount of paprika, salt and pepper on top. Scoop the sticks around a bit more (your hands are going to get very greasy and salty doing this, but that’s all part of the fun!)
4. Pop the tray back in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes (or as long as it takes for the fries cook all the way through – test by prodding with a fork and ensuring they are soft).
I had my sweet potato fries with an epic Lucy Salad, whilst watching episodes and episodes of Revenge. A good evening was had by all.
I’ve eaten a lot this evening. It’s been a binge day. But thanks to my rule of not buying any bread/potatoes/sweets/crisps for my own flat, the worst I could binge on was buttered rice cakes… and I certainly did that, after my celery dipped in salsa, oatcakes dipped in pesto and corn thins dipped in almond butter. However, the most delicious thing I ate were these wonderful bowls of vegetables, otherwise known as the “winter side-dishes” (even though they played the role of protagonist in my mealtimes today).
Firstly the spinach:
I got the idea for this from my favourite food porn website. Firstly I fried a small handful of pine-nuts and a small handful of raisins in about a teaspoon of coconut oil. Then I steamed a whole 240g bag of spinach, drained it, chopped it up and added it to the pan. All the ingredients were sizzled around a little, salt and pepper was added, and voila. Delicious and nutritious.
The second dish was the hot mushroom and carrot dish:
A large carrot was grated, and a box of mushroom were sliced. An onion was fried in a small dash of olive oil, and a chopped chilli pepper was added. Then the mushroom and carrot was added, along with a handful of cranberries (keeping it festive, and adding a bit of tang to the dish). A dash of worcester sauce and a slop of teriaki sauce joined the party, and finally a generous teaspoon of paprika was thrown on top. The bowl was garnished with some chopped coriander, and I was ready to go.
After successfully baking my chocolate zucchini cake last weekend, and seeing how beautifully moist vegetables make cake, I was eager to try a different veggie-bake. I read a few blogs and heard beetroot-and-chocolate as a combination crop up a lot, so I settled for making that. What I didn’t really compute until I was halfway through making this particular recipe is that it avoids all the typically “nasty” ingredients. As well as being half vegetable, there is no sugar, no butter and no flour. Hard to believe. Honey is used to sweeten, cocoa powder provides the dry substance and coconut oil (my favourite!) acts as fat. And yet the end product is gorgeously rich, goopy and sinful-seeming. My flatmate and her boyfriend returned home just in time to sample some straight from the oven and on tasting it they emitted sounds I only thought I’d ever hear coming through the bedroom wall…
In short, it was a marvellous success and very easy to make. Click on the above picture to be taken to the original recipe page. I promise to stop talking about cakes for a few weeks now.
P.S. Forgive me father for I have sinned. I created a “healthy” cake, and then made it part of a very unhealthy cake. A good friend of mine, Eric, moved home to America today and he had a leaving dinner last night. I promised to take something sweet to eat. I wanted to send Eric home in style (and I’ve been watching a lot of The Great British Bake-off) so I was inspired to do something crazy. What I made was a double layered cake – carrot cake on the bottom, chocolate-beet cake on the top, enough buttercream frosting to drown a small village in the middle, and enough rich dark chocolate icing to smother a sumo wrestler above. I put 5 small carrot sticks right on the top though, so that rectifies the situation right…? Here is my creation: