Lightened-Up Oven Fries

May 16th

My hypothetical day of calorie free eating would include french fries at lunch, dinner, and for several snacks. Not the seemingly healthier steak fry – I want the McDonald’s ones. They definitely have the best fries. Well, studies have shown that people who eat more potatoes generally tend to be a higher weight. The poor potato – it gets such a bad rap! The potato itself is a healthy vegetable, full of vitamin C. It’s what we do with the potato that leads to a problem. Obviously, baking the potato is a much better option than deep frying it in a vat of oil.

I’ve attempted oven fries many times in the past, but was often left wanting. With a light spray of olive oil the fries were too dry and didn’t crisp up well. With a hefty does of oil or butter it worked better but I might as well have just gone to Micky D’s as they were no longer a “lighter” swap.

I’ve heard of using egg whites to coat the fries, and just last night finally gave it a go. I was very happy with the result! The egg whites served as an excellent “glue” for the salt and spices, working even better than olive oil. The fries were crispy, well browned, and delicious! I haven’t squirted a ketchup pile on my plate for what seems like years; this was happy eating!

Make sure you start by cutting the fries very thin – this will help with the crisping. Also, liberally spray your foil with nonstick spray to ensure your fries don’t stick. Why use foil on the baking sheet? Just peel it off and throw it away when you’re done – no need to clean the pan!

These fries would go very well as a side for any fish (I served them last night with salmon and roasted broccoli). Also great for a barbecue – if you are grilling burgers and dogs outside then you can easily make these fries in your freed-up oven. Serve with salad or cubed watermelon for an easy night of entertaining!

Lightened Up Oven Fries

Serves 4

Adapted from Self Magazine

2 large Baking Potatoes

2 tbsp. plain breadcrumbs (if you only have “Italian Style”, use them)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 egg whites

Nonstick spray

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Spray foil liberally with nonstick spray.

2. Slice potatoes ¬†into very thin fries – as close to McDonald’s size as possible. Place fries in a large mixing bowl.¬†Start by cutting the potato in half lengthwise, and then mimic that lengthwise slice to make 1/2 inch slabs of potato. Cut each slab into 1/2 inch thick fries. Fries should be long and thin.

3. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, chili, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

4. Whisk egg whites in another small bowl until frothy. If you have liquid egg whites in the carton, you would use 1/4 c. worth.

5. Pour egg whites over fries in mixing bowl and mix with hands to coat fries evenly. Sprinkle with spice mixture and mix with hands again to coat the fries with the spices.

6. Spread the fries as evenly as possible on the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally (once or twice during the cooking process). Serve immediately.

173 calories, 1 gram fat, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams protein per serving