Perfect Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Chipotle Aioli

Sweet potatoes and I have a long standing commitment and loyalty to one another. Usually 1-2 times a week I am either peeling, roasting or sauteing these things. I love to use them in soup, toss in a salad, throw them in a frittata or make fries. The recipes are endless though.

I prefer sweet potatoes over white potatoes because they’re more nutritious and filling. SP’s contain almost double the fiber of regular white ones, a boatload of antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, & E, beta-carotene and massive amounts of potassium. They can be prepared so many different ways, but my favorite way would be eating them as good old fashioned fries. I love to dip them in a spicy chipotle sauce that I tend to make on the reg’. Although the true base of an aioli is made from mayo, I still call my chipotle sauce with greek yogurt an aioli because of the texture. Plus it reminds me of an aioli so that’s what it shall be called. The kick of chipotle is perfect with the sweetness of the potato. See ya later ketchup. Get in the kitchen and start peelin’. These really are the perfect fries.

oiled up sweet potatoes

roasted sweet potatoes

roasted sweet potatoes & chipotle aioli

 

Perfect Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Chipotle Aioli
 
Ingredients
FRIES
  • 2 large sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into fries, make sure they are similarly shaped so they cook evenly (see photo above)
  • 2 TBSP of EVOO a.k.a. extra virgin olive oil (I used garlic infused oil)
  • S&P
AIOLI
  • 1 large canned chipotle pepper + 1 TBSP of juice from can; de-seed the pepper (I used the La Costena brand - can be found in your grocer's Mexican food aisle)
  • ¾ C. of Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
*SOAK THE CUT UP SWEET POTATOES IN A BOWL OF WATER FOR 2 HOURS. LEAVE BOWL ON COUNTER (soaking isn't mandatory, but if I have time I like to release some of the starch)
*WHILE THE POTATOES SOAK, MAKE THE AIOLI AT THIS TIME SO IT CAN CHILL IN THE FRIDGE AND THICKEN UP BEFORE SERVING. JUST THROW ALL OF THE AIOLI INGREDIENTS IN A SMALL PROCESSOR AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH. REFRIGERATE. (if you like it hotter, add an extra chipotle pepper to the mix)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment or tin foil. Remove sweet potatoes from bowl of water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  3. Add fries to the baking sheet, toss with the EVOO and make sure every fry is covered. Sprinkle with S&P.
  4. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes flipping over once halfway through. Turn oven to broil at the end and broil for 2-3 minutes for extra caramelization.
  5. Serve with the chilled aioli. Try not to eat all of them in 2 minutes!

 

 

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Tips for a Healthy 4th of July Weekend

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The Fourth of July holiday is always a super fun filled day/weekend of family, friends, food, drinks and fireworks. You can still enjoy all of the above without sacrificing the healthy habits you have been working so hard to maintain. Enjoying a holiday and making healthy choices CAN be accomplished! See some of my tips below.

  • Indulge, but be conscientious. If you want slathered ribs along with Granny’s mac & cheese at a BBQ later in the day, don’t panic. Enjoy the meat & mac, but pay attention to the portion you are eating and try not to head back for seconds. Also be sure to load up on a healthy breakfast and lunch full of nutrition & fiber so that you stay full longer until the main event. Try eating meals such as:
     
    BREAKFASTavocado toast with a fried egg, steel cut oatmeal or quinoa with a touch of maple syrup & fruit, veggie loaded frittata, or greek yogurt with honey & mixed nuts
     
    LUNCH – tortilla pizza stacked with vegetables, salad with shredded chicken & black beans, a whole grain wrap with chicken and veggies, or sweet potato chili

 

  • Easy on the finger foods. All those trips to the garage buffet can add up quick. If you do want to snack a little, grab a small plate and fill it up with the veggie and fruit tray options, low fat cheeses or the chips & salsa. Limit yourself to one plate so that you have enough calories to spare for dinner.

 

 

  • Hydrate! If you drink alcohol, be sure to alternate an 8 oz. glass of water in between cocktails. It’s so easy to get dehydrated when drinking and especially if you’re going to be out in the sun.

 

 

  • Instead of standing around in the pool, get a game of pool volleyball or basketball going. Grab a football and toss it back and forth with someone. Swim some laps or play with the kiddos. Just move.

The fourth of July is a time to celebrate and be with the ones you care about most. Now go and make some healthy memories this weekend 🙂

If you are looking for some delicious crowd-pleasing recipes for the party you are hosting or attending, check out these links below.

Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles
Easy Baba Ganoush
Caprese Grilled Chicken
Hawaiian Turkey Burgers
Lemon and Dill Barbecue Salmon Kabobs
Easy Grilled Vegetables
Pink Grapefruit Margarita

 

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Friday Four 6.26.15

peaches honey and greek yogurtLoving the combo of peaches, honey and greek yogurt. I just swirl the honey into my yogurt, slice the peaches and then dip them in the yogurt. Purdy good!

 

jurassic world movie poster San-Andreas-

I enjoyed back-to-back weekends of summer blockbusters at the theater. I saw both Jurassic World and San Andreas in 3D recently. Both movies were obviously SO intense, action-packed and a little overwhelming because of the 3D effect. I went into San Andreas thinking it might be a little cheesy, but to keep an open mind. It was actually so good and makes me want to never move to California now. The special effects of course were amazing and I’m a sucker for The Rock. Jurassic World transported me back to my childhood and the feelings I felt when I watched Jurassic Park in 1992! It was so frightening and uber loud in the theater that I sat on the edge of my seat the whole time. I thought it was an amazing movie and I’d see it in 3D again…in fact both of these movies must be seen in 3D to get the true effect. By the way, holy Chris Pratt these days….


GO Raw snacks
New snacks by GO Raw!! I’m really liking this brand and have been taste testing all of the different varieties and flavors. I really like that there are minimal ingredients, they’re organic and non-GMO and also gluten free.
 

Love with Food Subscription BoxDon’t forget about the Love with Food giveaway ending tomorrow at midnight. To enter, just subscribe to this blog or if you’re already a subscriber, leave a comment below in this post or the original Love with Food post and let me know what your favorite healthy snacks are. Winner will be picked via www.randompicker.com. Good luck!!

 

Have a great weekend…the last one in June!

 
 
 

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Grilled Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

I’ve been eating a lot of ground chicken lately. I’ve been craving it in fact. I love to make chicken burgers multiple nights a week. I usually just season the patties and eat them with my favorite stone ground mustard on the side and I’m happy. However, the other night I actually felt bored with the simplicity of my typical patties. I wanted to jazz them up and give them a little life. I looked in the fridge and saw that I had kalamata olives, feta, red onion, cucumber, swiss chard, lemon and greek yogurt. My thoughts began to wander with what type of burger I could create out of that. Then I started having crazier thoughts….perhaps I could make little Greek meatballs instead of the usual burgers on my agenda? I could add a tzatziki sauce and my plan would be genius. So that’s what I did. I grilled the meatballs and paired them with the cool & creamy tzatziki sauce and it was delicious. The punch of lemon juice in the sauce with the salty feta in the meatballs was a perfect marriage. I plan to make these again soon when my husband isn’t out of town for work – poor guy missed out on them. Give this recipe a try and see how just a few tweaks and additions to a normal, average meal can be bumped up to the next level. 

P.S. I’ve never been a fan of the word “meatball.” It sounds so aggressive.
 

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

 

Grilled Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce
 
Ingredients
Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 - 5 oz. container of greek yogurt
  • ¼ C. of cucumber, remove seeds and finely dice
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of fresh dill, minced
  • ¼ C. of feta cheese
  • ½ lemon, juiced
Meatballs
  • 1 lb. of ground chicken
  • ½ of a red onion, diced finely
  • 1 stem of swiss chard, remove from stem and chop into small pieces (feel free to use kale or spinach instead if you prefer)
  • ¼ C. kalamata olives, diced
  • ¼ C. feta cheese
  • 3 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano or parsley
Instructions
***Make the sauce first so it can chill in the refrigerator while you cook the meatballs.***
  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until completely mixed together. Place in the fridge.
  2. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet or cutting board. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until everything is blended together. Roll into 12 meatballs and place them on the parchment paper. Put the meatballs in the freezer for 20 minutes to help them harden and then they won't fall apart when cooking.
  3. Remove meatballs from freezer. Heat an oiled grill pan on medium heat. Cook meatballs on one side for 8 minutes. Flip to opposite side for another 8 minutes. (you want nice grill marks). Grill the meatballs on their sides as well for 2-3 mins each side.
  4. Remove from pan and serve with the tzatziki sauce.

 

 

 

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Love with Food Subscription Box Review and Giveaway!

Love with Food Subscription Box

I love a good subscription box, but I hadn’t subscribed to one in a while. I was beyond excited to see a recent deal on Amazon Local for a 3 month subscription to Love With Food for $21.00, a steal. Love with Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Snacks are free of zero trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors & flavors and high fructose corn syrup. Love with Food offers different levels of membership and after the 3 month period of my Amazon local voucher concludes, I can stay on the same Tasting Box plan or upgrade to the Deluxe or Gluten Free box. If there is a snack that you absolutely love and need more of, you can purchase the full size version off of the Love with Food website.

Love with Food Subscription Box

Each monthly box is shipped with a theme inside. The June box is “Saturday in the Park.” The snacks included were the following:

  • Northwest Trail Mix by Emily’s
  • Fruit Strips by Sunripe
  • Crazy Hot Popchips by Popchips
  • Everything Savory Bar by Sheffa
  • Rosemary Artisan Crackers by La Panzella
  • Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle by Brownie Brittle
  • Classic Ice Tea Candy by Bali’s Best
  • Chocolate Banana Health Bar by Kutoa

Love with Food Subscription Box

I was happy that 5 out of the 8 snacks were gluten free as that is a new adventure I am embarking on…(I will post about why I am going gluten free in the near future) I think the box was well worth the $7.00 I spent for it. My favorite snacks were the Health Bar and the Trail Mix. My least favorite was the Savory Bar…it was too dry and lacked flavor. I was surprised to see Popchips in the mix because I don’t consider those gourmet or unique, but I went with it. They were tasty and I had never tried that hot flavor before so it was a win.

I squeal with delight when I receive packages in the mail…packages with food inside make me the happiest though which is why I would recommend subscribing to the Love with Food subscription box. It’s an easy way to discover new snacks that you might otherwise overlook at the grocery store. Plus it’s affordable and they donate one meal per box to a food bank. Use this link to save 40% off your first box!

I have an extra subscription box that I will be giving to one lucky subscriber!! All you have to do is subscribe to this blog and if you’re already a subscriber, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite healthy snacks are. Winner will be chosen at random through www.randompicker.com. Giveaway ends on Saturday, June 27th at midnight. Good luck!

 

 

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