Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Got a craving for spicy foods and also trying to eat healthy? Make these spicy baked sweet potato fries recipe to keep that waistline nice and trim. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and a great source for antioxidant vitamins like beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C. They’re considered a superfood because one single potato is packed with so many nutrients. The best thing about them is they’re filling and taste great either¬†roasted, baked and have a natural mild sweetness that goes well with many spices. When we think of spicy foods what usually comes to mind are high caloric, fried, cheesy foods but there are many ways to eat healthfully and still enjoy great tasting spicy foods.

sweet-potato-fries

sweet-potato-fries2

These fries are pretty spicy. The volcanic dust I used from Volcanic Peppers is aptly named so proceed with caution! ūüôā This pepper powder is made with ground up¬†habanero and bhut jolokia (Ghost) peppers so what you’re getting is pure, natural heat. Another great tasting spice I used was the new Perfect Pinch Fiesta Citrus seasoning from McCormick made with chile pepper, cumin, lime, garlic,¬†and other seasonings for a mildly hot and smoky flavor. A couple dashes with cinnamon brings all of this great flavor together for a nice snack or side dish.

spicy-sp-fries

One of the main complaints you’ll hear about baking sweet potato fries is that they’re not crunchy or crispy enough. The trick to getting that crispy fried texture is to toss the sweet potatoes in cornstarch when seasoning. They won’t get as crispy as the fried version but it’ll be close enough. Besides, they tasted so good it really didn’t matter to me if some were a little wimpy, the spicy, flavorful heat helps too.

sweet-potato-fries3

Another way to get around that soggy fry is to bake them thoroughly, then finish them in broiler¬†for a couple of minutes. Just watch them closely because¬†they’ll easily burn.

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into fry sticks
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp McCormick Fiesta citrus seasoning
  • ½ tsp Volcanic Peppers Volcanic Dust 2
  • 1-2 dashes cinnamon
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After cutting potatoes, run them through cold water.
  2. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the cornstarch until completely covered.
  3. Drizzle in the olive oil then add the rest of ingredients.
  4. Rub in seasoning and oil with your hands so fries are well covered then spread out on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning fries once midway through cooking.
  6. Finish under broil for 1-2 minutes and watch closely so they do not burn.
  7. Remove from oven and serve as a snack or side dish.

 

Three Spicy Dips for the Superbowl

Who doesn’t like a great dip for the Superbowl? Here are a few recipes I have made that are both easy and satisfying. You can serve these with tortillas chips, pita chips, potato chips or crudites.

First on the list is the Jalapeno Popper Dip. I love jalapeno poppers but do not eat them often because well, it’s got a load on fat in it and it’s fried. In this dip version you’re shaving off quite a bit of fat but still keeping that great spicy flavor. When I made this the last time the bowl was practically licked! This recipe called for mayonnaise but I replaced it with plain yogurt and you really can’t taste the difference. Also, if you’re really watching your weight just dip a couple of chips and step away, no matter how tempting it is to hog the bowl.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Ingredients:
1 8oz pkg of reduced fat cream cheese, soften
1/4 cup of plain yogurt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reserve a 1/4 cup for topping
4-5 jalapenos, chopped into small bits
1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp of butter, melted

Mix soft cream cheese, yogurt, 3/4 cup of cheddar and jalapenos in a bowl until well blended. Transfer to an oven safe bowl. In a separate bowl mix breadcrumbs, remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and melted butter and sprinkle over the jalapeno mixture. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20  minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies.

Next up is the classic guacamole. Use fresh ingredients and keep it simple.

Classic Guacamole

Sometimes I’ll add half of a diced small red onion which gives it a nice bite but it depends who’s coming over. My sister can’t deal with onions and so I leave them out just for her. Other than that I really don’t like to mess with this recipe too much because its just perfect this way.

Ingredients:
3 Haas Avocados
2 ripe plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1-2 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon

Add avocado to bowl and break into cubes with fork, add chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, salt & pepper, lemon juice and blend well. Do not over mix since guacamole, it should be chunky and not runny. Serve right away or place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of guacamole, press down to get all the air pockets out and refrigerate. The lemon in the guacamole from browning but placing plastic wrap on top of the guacamole helps as well. If it does turn brown a bit just scrape the top layer off and it will be fine.

Finally, this dip is amazing and very hot and spicy. You can serve anything with this. I even puree the mixture to use as a condiment sauce.

Creamy Chipotle Dip

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
4 chipotles peppers in adobo sauce, chopped finely
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended and serve with your favorite chips or vegetables. If you don’t have Greek yogurt you can use regular plain yogurt. The Greek version is a bit thicker and makes dip a bit more dense.

Products I’m Loving Right Now: Infused Olive Oils

I got this infused olive oil as a birthday gift last month and have been using it on practically everything. I’ve made my eggs with it, drizzled it on bread, sauteed brussel sprouts, pan fried my black bean veggie burgers (so good!), fried wontons, you name it. This will even be good drizzled on salads and fish. It’s one of those versatile oils that can be substituted when ever you want to add a pop of flavor. This olive oil is bright with citrus notes and not exactly spicy at first but give it a few seconds and the heat blossoms in your mouth! My initial thought was “another dud” like so many products out there jumping on the spicy foods bandwagon and failing to deliver but this infused olive oil doesn’t disappoint.

Citrus Habanero Olive Oil from Olive-n-Grape

You can’t buy these online yet since company is working on their online presence but you can call them directly and order over phone or take a drive to New Hope, PA if you’re in the area. New Hope is such a gorgeous, picturesque village that you can make it a day trip and enjoy the other specialty shops and restaurants. I’ve been there in the Fall during the changing leaves and it’s breathtaking.