Let me talk a little about my Ma. I wanted to post one of her recipes in honour of her upcoming birthday on December 2, when she would have turned 67. She’s been gone a little over 9 years and I miss her every day, but more so on her birthday. But then I didn’t have the jicama for her beetroot & carrot salad (ok, she did not normally even put jicama in it, but I do, and she would have appreciated that…) So rather than just do the pictures without it, I decided to change gears and give you another recipe entirely. Ma would have laughed, and definitely approved! She would have also loved these seasoned fries.
After my mother had cancer the first time (when she was 32… THIRTY-TWO, PEOPLE!!!), she radically changed her diet. No more processed food. Period. (And this is from a lady who had been addicted to Twinkies & McDonald’s!) Very little sugar, red meat, or dairy. As she progressed through the rest of her life, she slowly eliminated more things from her diet- all refined sugar, all dairy, all additives & preservatives, MSG, wheat, artificial colours & flavours… and loaded up on veggies, veggies, and more veggies, whole grains, fruits, legumes, nuts, & seeds. She had a dehydrator, food processor, & Vitamix to make whole-food, plant-based eating a reality for herself long before the “clean-eating” movement ever started. The way she ate preserved her health and likely prolonged her life, but given how little was understood about the relationship between the food we put into ourselves and the health we get out, it could have also isolated her quite a bit. She could have found it very difficult to eat out, at a friend’s house, at potlucks, etc.
But Ma was rarely daunted by this. She brought her own food on outings, she cooked huge dishes to bring to potlucks (of course hers were always the first to be devoured), and she always brought something to share when eating with friends. My mother was a giver… of food… of love… of joy.
I wish sooooo much I could talk to her right now and tell her she was right. About EVERYTHING!! Everything she believed about food and good health is playing out in the research to point us in the direction of a whole-foods, plant-based diet. In the years since Ma’s death, I have slowly but radically changed my diet from a fairly typical meat-based American diet to a low-sugar vegetarian (mostly vegan) eating style. It wasn’t “hard” to make the changes, and I feel better and fitter than ever at age 45.
My mother and I always got so much joy from cooking together, and she is my inspiration in the kitchen. So often I think of her when I’m developing a new recipe, and I smile over how much she would have loved it. Fancy or simple, Ma adored good wholesome food. These oven fries are the epitome of that: simple baked potato wedges coated with a vegan crumb mixture similar to the Cheesy Kale Chip coating. It takes these spuds to the next level, folks! Crunchy, nutty, garlicky, a bit spicy… you won’t be able to keep your hands off ’em. And the spice coating isn’t just for flavour- it also sneakily turns this “side dish” into a complete protein what with the nutritional yeast, nuts & seeds packed in there. And if that’s not good enough for you, how about the fact that it’s also loaded with fiber, B vitamins, & healthy fats? Brilliant!
Ma would have adored these oven fries that were also a main dish… it would have made her feel like she was “cheating the system,” and that always made her feel delightfully smug. So, my sweet little Mommy, this recipe is for you… even though it’s not your beet salad like I wanted.
Seasoned Oven Fries
Nutritional yeast is dried, deactivated, yellowish flakes derived from the single-celled organism S. Cerevisiae. It is very different than active baking yeast so don't substitute! Nutritional yeast can be found in health food stores or sometimes in "health food" aisles of well-stocked grocery stores. If you are not vegan, you can substitute parmesan cheese.
- 4 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed & sliced into wedges
- 1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T. raw or roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 T. roasted cashews
- 2 T. almond meal
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ t. garlic powder
- ¼ t. each salt & black pepper
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 220 C (450 F.) Toss potato wedges with olive oil and set aside.
- In a mini food processor, pulse sunflower seeds and cashews until a coarse meal forms. Add remaining ingredients (almond meal through cayenne pepper) and pulse again to combine.
- Distribute seasoning mixture over potatoes, then toss to coat. You may not use it all, but it keeps well in the fridge.
- Place potato wedges on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip with a thin metal spatula. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until browned and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.
8 thoughts on “Seasoned Oven Fries”
Mmmmm! Glad to see French Fries are back in the menu – these are better than any other fries I’ve had before!
Mark, I’m so glad you and the kiddos loved them!! Yup, they can make their way into the regular rotation! xoxo
These were so yummy! I got to try them the other day and wow! I am going to try with the kids this week to see what they think. I will let you know how it goes.
Sarah, thanks so much for the endorsement… 🙂 I think your family will love them as much as mine do- let me know!! xo
Oh how I miss your sweet mother! She has always been an inspiration to me. I can’t wait to try these fries in her honor. I feel certain that they will become a staple in our potato eating household! Thanks for sharing your recipe and your memories!
Thanks so much, Aunt Amy, your comments always warm my heart! She would laugh to know I posted a recipe she never actually made… but she WOULD have loved it!! I hope you guys do too! 🙂 xoxo
So nice reading about your thoughts and memories of your momma! Do you have siblings, or were you an only child? I am excited to try these. They do look like it is cheating eating!
Thank you, Debra! You’re so sweet! I have an older brother, only 18 months older so we’ve always been very close. I hope you love these fries… we have them all the time in our house. 🙂 xxx