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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 2
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into fry sticks
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp McCormick Fiesta citrus seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Volcanic Peppers Volcanic Dust 2
  • 1-2 dashes cinnamon
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After cutting potatoes, run them through cold water.
  • In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the cornstarch until completely covered.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil then add the rest of ingredients.
  • Rub in seasoning and oil with your hands so fries are well covered then spread out on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning fries once midway through cooking.
  • Finish under broil for 1-2 minutes and watch closely so they do not burn.
  • Remove from oven and serve as a snack or side dish.

 

Gobi Manchurian Spicy Cauliflower Fritters Recipe

I don’t know about you but I have dozens of bookmarked recipes in cookbooks and online that I’ve been meaning to try. There are so many great looking & great sounding recipes out there but the true test is when you make it yourself and all doubt is erased. What can I say, I’m a skeptic, I’ve tried so many recipes and sometimes they just don’t measure up to the photos or descriptions so I like to decide for myself if its a keeper or not.¬† This gobi manchurian, spicy cauliflower fritters recipe is one you will fall in love with over and over again!

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Cauliflower just never appealed to me. I always thought it was bland and one of those vegetables that just takes on the flavor of whatever its mixed with so I just never bothered with it. I usually passed up cauliflower until I had a pureed version of it in a dish as well as in other Indian spicy dishes. There are subtle flavors there but more importantly there are many healthy benefits one should not pass up. According to WebMD, “cauliflower is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, folic acid and contains a sulfur compound called isothiocyanate that protects health and prevents disease”. It’s also low in calories but I’m about to change that in a minute!

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I’ve mentioned this recipe to you before in one of my spicy roundup post and since I didn’t change anything about this it I won’t post recipe here but you can find it at Sinfully Spicy. I didn’t deep fry these but did use less than 1 inch of oil in pan and turned vegetables once they were brown on one side. I may try steaming the cauliflower next time, just a little though so they don’t have to fry as long. Soaking up the oil with lots of paper towels also helps too.

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This is a delicious, spicy dish that can be served as a side dish or do what I did and enjoy a bowl of it with refreshing coconut water or a chilled acidic white wine. The cauliflowers fritters are soft in the inside but have a nice crunch to them for a chewy bite. The flavors are bold and incredibly satisfying. I will definitely be making this again!

Fuel Up Before the Big Game with these Healthy Snacks

I don’t know about you but I often forget to cook for myself on days I’m prepping dishes for a big event. Do you do that? I usually get up, have my coffee, breakfast maybe, and then just go into overdrive trying to get everything done. With the Super Bowl next week, I’m sure most will spend the week planning, shopping, prepping and cooking to some degree depending on whether you’re hosting or just attending the big game. So do your body good and grab a few healthy, on the go snacks to fuel up before the big game. The goal is to live healthfully no? Having nutritional bars, yogurt, nuts and fruits will usually do because they’re quick and easy so I was very excited when the makers of one of my favorite nutrition bars, KIND, sent me a few samples to try. I was even more thrilled to learn that KIND has a couple of spiced up products like their Dark Chocolate Chili Almond, Cashew & Ginger Spice, and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan bars.
credit: KIND Snacks
These Nuts & Spices bars aren’t overly spicy but the heat in the Dark Chocolate Chili Almond bar is very pleasing. It’s a warm heat that comes from cascabel, ancho and habanero chiles and builds over time for a satisfying sweet, salty, nutty flavors with a kick. Another great thing about the ingredients is they’re all items you recognize, no funky preservatives or fillers, just natural goodness. I usually have a bar with water but this time tried something a little different for a well rounded meal. Just chop up a bar and sprinkle over yogurt and fresh blackberries or any fruit you like!

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The Healthy Grains Clusters is another great product from KIND and there are so many ways to enjoy it. You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to a cup of clusters and mix it in with your pancakes or muffins batter, or oatmeal to get in extra nutrition and give you energy for hours.
credit: KIND Snacks
I love these products for their variety of flavors, their crunchy and chewy textures and because I know I’m putting something healthy in my body.The¬†new Healthy Grains Bars, Clusters and KIND Plus bars include super foods like quinoa, amaranth, chia seeds and a variety of healthy fruits and nuts. Here are just a few things to note about KIND products:
  • All Natural
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • High Fiber & Protein
  • Low Sugar & Sodium
  • Gluten Free

It’s a no brainer for healthy snacking, just fuel up before things get crazy busy.

Note: This post was in no way a paid or sponsored review. I only share with you products I consume and enjoy.

 

Spicy Recipes Roundup: Comfort Foods

Hi everyone! I’m starting a new weekly series titled “Spicy Recipes Roundup” where I’ll feature some of the best spicy food recipes around the web! This new feature will showcase five spicy recipes from some of my favorite magazines and food blogs so you don’t have to go scouring the web looking for great spicy recipes. To get things started I’m kicking off this week with spicy comfort foods to warm your soul, just in time for those chilly Fall nights!

 

1. This Curry Chicken Pot Pie recipe from Alton Brown looks great! Since I like things a little extra spicy I would double the curry and ground pepper then toss in a chopped scotch bonnet pepper while cooking.

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2. This is one hearty and “meaty” Vegetarian Chile from Food52, add extra heat if you like but boy is this an awesome recipe if you want to go meatless!¬† 3. Try this Smokey Chipotle Meatloaf from Delicious on a Dime cookbook from the All You magazine editors. The chipotles in adobo sauce will kick up this classic recipe.

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4. Shrimp fra Diavolo is one of my favorite things to order at Italian restaurants, it’s flavorful, hearty and spicy so I just drooled when I saw this Lobster fra Diavolo version from the From Away blog. Go ahead and double the red pepper flakes seasoning in recipe or add an entire sliced serrano chile pepper! 5. Stir fry may not scream comfort food to some but for me a steaming bowl of this Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry is what I want on a chilly night.

 

Thanks for checking these out and let me know if you make any of them. What are your favorite spicy comfort foods?

Light and Crispy Spicy Tortilla Pizzas

As you know I picked up a few fatalii peppers recently and here is what I made, light and crispy spicy tortilla pizzas! Ok, no real cooking involved but it’s a great way to enjoy these powerful peppers and they are¬† super quick and easy to make. I find that the best way to get a good sense for how to cook with a chile pepper you never tried is to enjoy it raw. This way you’ll know more or less what foods to pair it with in the future. A few slivers of the fatalii chile peppers on these pizzas is enough to make your mouth burn but also not so much to mask the other flavors. However, let’s keep it real, these chile peppers will definitely make your nose run and your mouth will burn for a good 30 minutes or so but isn’t that what we spicy food lovers seek? The thrill and the anticipation always makes my mouth water even if there is some regret afterwards but no, not regrets this time…

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I love making these tortilla pizzas, they’re super easy and perfect for when you only want to snack or have a light lunch. It’s also a great way to enjoy these wonderfully spicy chile peppers and the flavors in a pizza without all the carbs, calories and fat!

 

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In the Mediterranean style pizza above above I just sliced a few tomatoes, no sauce needed, topped with crumbled feta cheese, basil and a few slices of fatalii chile peppers. The feta has a very sharp flavor but the citrus in the peppers blended nicely with this pizza. For the pizza below I used spicy marinara, fresh mozzarella, sliced red onions, basil and topped with sliced fatalii chile peppers. This wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be since the fresh mozzarella helped tame some of the heat but it was my favorite of the two!

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These tortilla pizzas are light, crispy, packed with flavor and very healthy…well unless you eat a half dozen of them which isn’t too difficult!

Panzanella Bread Salad with a Spicy Twist

Looking for a no-cook recipe you can toss together in less than 15 minutes? It’s hearty, rustic, vegetarian and hardly takes any effort at all. I first saw Lidia Bastianich make panzanella bread salad years ago in one of her visits to the Italian countryside. I don’t remember her recipe exactly but she basically tossed a few ingredients into a bowl and mashed them all up with her hands. So simple, so easy and so delicious I had to make this panzanella bread salad with a spicy twist!

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Panzanella is a bread salad made with tomatoes and popular in the Tuscan region of Italy. The bread is soaked with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil and basically that’s it!

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I added chopped cherry peppers that I pickled some time ago and it gave the panzanella a nice tangy, spicy flavor. It’s not over the top spicy but if you want it spicier you can add your own pickled hot peppers. Adding a little of the pickled juice will work as well but that’s entirely optional.

panzanella-ingredients

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Take all the ingredients and mash them up for a bowl of zesty Tuscan flavors! You have to try this one, it’s sure to be a hit at your next event! Have you made panzanella before? If so, what are your favorite combinations? Please, chime in!
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Spicy Panzanella

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread cubed
  • 1 lb ripe cherry tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled cherry peppers chopped
  • 4-5 large basil leaves torn apart
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Add bread to a large bowl and toss in tomatoes, cherry peppers, basil, drizzle in olive oil and vinegar. Add just a pinch of salt & pepper.
  • Mix all ingredients with your hands and squish everything together so all is well mixed.
  • Serve in a large bowl and have as a side or main course.