Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

I love potatoes, in pretty much any form. French fries, baked potatoes, and now–roasted potatoes. It’s really becoming a problem.

The great thing about this specific recipe (which was a huge hit in my house) is how adaptable it is. Don’t like Rosemary? Sub in whatever spices/seasonings you want. I think next time we’ll try oregano. πŸ™‚

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1/2Β teaspoon kosher flake salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks. Ideally you would quarter them, but my potatoes were giant, I had to cut them more.

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, toss potatoes, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Make sure potatoes are spread out in a single layer.

3) Roast potatoes until they are brown and crisp, about an hour. Flip potatoes every 20 minutes until they’re done to ensure they brown evenly.

DH loved, loved, loved this recipe. I loved that it was super easy and pretty tasty. I served it with some grilled chicken (recipe to come later) and a simple salad, and it was a perfect weeknight dinner!

Recipe from Ina Garten.

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Baked Pita Chips

I know, I know…I am a slacker. I don’t mean to be. I get focused on work and school and the husband and suddenly I am four entries behind in this thing and dreading that I have to take the time to catch up.

But that’s what Sundays are for! So here goes.

I adapted this recipe for baked pita chips from Giada. You can find her version here.

Baked Pita Chips

Ingredients:

3 whole wheat pitas
1 Tablespoon olive oil
sea salt
pepper
oregano
Cayenne pepper
Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Cut pitas in half, then cut each half into 8 pieces. In large bowl place pita pieces and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat evenly. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne pepper. (I use about a teaspoon of each, you can use however much your heart and taste buds desire.) Toss again.

3) Place pita pieces on two large cookie sheets in a single layer. Sprinkle pieces with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

I served these with a simple salad. Nothing special, just lettuce, carrots, broccoli, onion, feta cheese, Italian dressing. Very good and very simple.

This recipe is perfect for leftover pitas, which I always seem to have. I can never finish a package in time, and this is a great alternative to just tossing the last couple pitas.

Asparagus!

One of the good things about not eating meat is that it forces you to try new foods. Since I stopped eating meat I’ve tried hummus, lentils, and all kinds of “new” (to me) veggies.

I decided to try an easy asparagus recipe. It’s almost a lie to call it a “recipe” since it’s basically just seasoning to taste and cooking. But here goes:

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

One bundle of asparagus
Olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder
red pepper flakes

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Cut off bottom of asparagus stalks and throw them away. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place asparagus on sheet.

3) Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to lightly coat asparagus. Toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.

4) Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring once during cook time.

I pretty much just decided to wing it with this recipe. I just took a recommended simple recipe (olive oil, salt and pepper) and added the garlic and red pepper to make it a little more interesting.

Chad really like this. I thought it was okay. I’ve also tried grilled asparagus and I think I’m just not a big fan of the vegetable in general. Maybe it’ll grow on me. πŸ™‚


Spicy Cajun Potato Wedges…

I love pretty much any form of potato and I am always on the hunt for a good oven baked fry. These are amazing. They actually got decently crispy, there was a spicy little kick to them, and they paired perfectly with a grilled veggie burger.

Spicy Cajun Potato Wedges

Serves 4-6
227 calories/serving

Ingredients:

2 lbs large potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons sunflower oil
2 Tablespoons fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub potatoes, leaving skin on, and cut each one into wedges.

2) Place in large mixing bowl, add oil, and toss until evenly coated.

3) In separate, smaller bowl, mix together bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic salt, paprika, pepper, and thyme.

4) Add seasoning to large bowl with potatoes and toss to evenly coat.

5) Arrange wedges in single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden and crisp.

**Recipe from The Vegetarian Cookbook.**

This is my new favorite fry recipe. So delicious. Plus it only takes about five minutes to prepare, then the oven does the rest of the work.

Next up, my first attempt at homemade spaghetti sauce. Keep your fingers crossed for me. πŸ™‚


Kiwi, Mushroom, and Tomato Salad

I’m sitting here watching the Academy of Country Music awards. Miranda Lambert just performed “The House That Built Me” which is my current favorite song. It’s a beautiful song, you should look it up on YouTube.

Now on to our regularly scheduled blogging. πŸ™‚

I am becoming rapidly used to the fact that our grocery store sometimes does not have the most basic of things. This time I needed watercress and, of course, they didn’t have it. I have never in my life used watercress, so maybe it isn’t a common ingredient, maybe it’s out of season, maybe…I have no idea. So I subbed in some other greens for this salad.

Kiwi, Mushroom, and Tomato Salad

Serves 4
64 calories/serving

Ingredients:

4 ounces watercress sprigs
2 kiwi fruit
4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 ounces tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
salt and black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil

1) Arrange bed of watercress in a bowl, then scatter kiwi, mushrooms, and tomatoes on top.

2) In small bowl, pour vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add the oil and whisk.

3) Just before serving pour dressing mixture over salad.

Chad really liked this meal. I liked the kiwi part of it and that was about it. I think part of my problem is that I cannot eat just salad for dinner. For lunch, sure. Pair it with something for dinner, okay. But just salad for dinner does not fill me up.

I also wasn’t a big fan of the dressing, but I didn’t think I would be. I don’t like vinegar or olive oil as a main component of anything.

This was an easy weeknight dinner though, and it came together in about 15 minutes, which was a bonus. Next time I’ll leave the dressing off mine and add some soup to the mix.

**This recipe was adapted from The Vegetarian Cookbook. I just got this cookbook a couple weeks ago and it is rapidly becoming my favorite.**

Baked fries

I originally set out to make homemade french fries. I was craving them, and I think Michael Pollan (<–that is a link to his website) is pretty much a genius when he says that you should only eat junk food if you make it at home. Mostly because how often are you REALLY going to feel like making french fries from scratch? Probably not often.

So, Michael Pollan=very smart. He’s an author and appears in the documentary Food, Inc. If you haven’t seen that, you should. Pollan also has a lot of other smart “food rules”. Maybe in the near future I’ll blog about some of them.

He isn’t a vegetarian, he doesn’t push for people to be vegetarian, he just talks a lot about the evolution of food, and how to eat what is good for you (a lot of fruits and veggies, less foods with preservatives, organic, and shopping local etc). It’s very interesting…at least to me. πŸ™‚

But, back to the fries. I wanted real french fries. The recipe I was going to use had ingredients to coat the fries in, then they were just supposed to be fried in vegetable oil. Sounds simple, right?

I cannot fry things. I have never been able to, so I don’t know why I thought this would be any different. I did a couple as a test run and they did not turn out at all, so instead I used the rest, seasoned them differently, and baked. They were AMAZING.

I eye-balled a lot of the seasoning, but here is the basic idea:

Baked Fries

*I don’t have a picture, my camera batteries were dead. But they looked like fries.**

Ingredients:
Serves 4-5

2 large baking potatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1) Wash and cut potatoes into fries.

2) Toss fries with olive oil.

3) Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Toss fries to evenly coat.

4) Spread fries onto two baking sheets (spray sheets with cooking spray to prevent sticking).

5) Lay a piece of aluminum foil over baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

6) Remove aluminum foil and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until fries start to crisp.

**All the seasoning measurements can be changed to suit your taste. As I said, I eye-balled it when we made these, so this is my best guess as to quantities.*

These fries were so good, and I was really surprised at how much I liked them. I had my heart set on crispy fried french fries, but I’m glad that didn’t work out because these were even better. Not as crispy, but still delicious.

Next time we make them I’ll try to remember to take a picture (and to have the camera battery charged).