Friday nights at the Schuessler house are now called “French Fry Friday!” It’s the beginning of the weekend, and it means we are going to be having some fun! My husband works hard all week, and eating a hamburger and fries just seems like a “kick your feet back” kind of a meal. Dan still gets home kind of late on Friday nights, but he always has a burger and fries and family fun waiting for him! I love to make my own recipe for a meatless veggie burger along with cutting up my own fries, and seasoning them with whatever I'm in the mood for that night.
If you all are not fans of meatless burgers, lean ground turkey is a great alternative for ground beef as well. As far as the french fries, some nights I spice them up with cayenne pepper; other nights I use fresh garlic and rosemary!
I started making my own fries when I realized that grocery store french fries were a whole lot more than just a slivered potato wedge. When I read the label, I couldn't pronounce some of the ingredients on the packages. I knew that it was time to invest in a good knife so I could make my own! Also, when you spend 5 minutes cutting them yourself you save a lot of money. Potatoes tend to be pretty inexpensive! French Fry Friday includes yummy real potato fries!
I usually make 1 medium-size potato for each person and then cut up 1 or 2 extra, so that we can have some leftovers. Thus, I cut 3 to 4 medium potatoes into wedges – skinny string style, regular fry shape, (I even have a machine that turns a potato into a curly fry), or whatever shape you're in the mood for.
Slice up the potatoes and then spray a non-stick baking pan with olive oil spray. I then get a plastic bag and place the fries inside and sprinkle all of my seasonings into the bag. Generally, every batch has 1-2 cloves of fresh crushed garlic, sea salt and pepper. In addition, add whatever seasoning you want! Be creative, be brave. Cajun, rosemary, cayenne pepper, etc! Seal the bag and shake until the fries seem evenly coated with spices.
Arrange on the baking sheet and spray the top of the fries with a light spray of olive oil spray. Cook at 400 degrees until either they are slightly crisp on the edges or becoming slightly brown. Depending on the size of each fry and the thickness, the time could vary from 20 minutes to nearly 60 minutes. Pierce with a fork to make sure they are done before taking them out.
They are delicious and nutritious – not to mention easy! Remember, leave the skin on because that’s where the fiber and nutrients are found.
My only other tip is to buy organic potatoes! Dr. Oz recommends that a potato is a food that we all should try to buy organic. The extra money you spend will still be less than if you bought bags of pre-made fries! Organic sweet potatoes also make super delicious french fries! With all of this potato cooking, you can see why our Friday nights are so “spicy” and fun, right?
Meatless Veggie Burger
1 can of drained black beans
1 cup of cooked brown rice
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 diced onion
¼ cup of chopped, fresh cilantro
2 egg whites
1 tsp Chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Use a fork to mash half of the beans, leaving the other half unmashed. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Form into four patties. Either bake them in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or place in a pan lightly coated with olive oil. Be careful when you are turning them because vegetarian burgers do have a tendency to fall apart easily.
Cook on each side 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Serve with salsa and fresh avocado. Place on a 100% whole wheat bun or just eat plain with lots of goodies piled on top!