Well folks, we’re back from Texas! Back from the sunshine and 80 degree weather, back from the copious amounts of brisket and salsa, and back to our “regular” lives. I have to say, as much as I resent the fact that it is, in fact, SNOWING RIGHT NOW outside my window, I love coming back home after being away. Back to my own bed, back to Oscar (our cat, and the official Bowl of Delicious mascot), and back to my cooking routine.
Oscar is pleased as punch about our return, albeit slightly resentful of the abandonment. This is the look that says, “I am obviously far too handsome for you to leave, and you better not do that again. Now, pet me.”
Oh, Oscar. You cut to the core of me. (name that movie!)
Back to the food. These chili garlic sweet potato fries with lemon garlic mayo take only 5 minutes (!!!) to prep! They are DELICIOUS- the smokiness of the chili powder and the sweetness of the sweet potatoes is very tasty on it’s own, but outstanding when paired with the brightness of fresh lemon juice mixed with mayo and garlic. I insist you stop everything you are doing and make these now!
Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you eat a meal, no matter how much you eat, you are still craving something after? Well, there is a theory behind this. When you satisfy your need for multiple different tastes in one meal, you are left feeling more satisfied after a smaller amount. This is extremely helpful with portion control. And for a girl who loves, LOVES food, portion control can often be a struggle for me.
There are six tastes outlined in this theory, which stems from Ayurveda (an ancient system of natural medicine that originated in India): Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, and Astringent. It makes a lot of sense, right? If you don’t have anything sweet in your meal, you are GOING to want ice cream after. And if your meal doesn’t have enough salt, you may grab the potato chips as a supplement.
I won’t go into too much detail about this theory (visit this website for more information), but I will say that these sweet potato fries and lemon garlic mayo hit four of the six tastes, and will leave you mighty satisfied for a side dish.
They are salty. They are pungent from the chili powder and the garlic. They are sweet from the starchy potatoes. And, they are sour from the lemon juice. Pair them with something that hits the other two tastes (we had Quinoa, Mushroom, and Zucchini Veggie Burgers), and you’ve got a well-balanced, healthy meal that will fill you up and leave you satisfied.
The method for cooking these fries is the same as with your basic crispy oven-baked fries. Just cut up a well-washed sweet potato into long pieces. (Leave those skins on! They are healthy for you and full of fiber. Unless you are a masochist that actually enjoys peeling potatoes, in which case, go on with your bad self.) Then, coat with olive oil and spices in a bowl, mix until evenly coated, and lay on a parchment covered baking sheet, making sure they are spread out evenly. Roast at a high temperature until crispy and cooked.
Note: Sweet potatoes have more liquid than white potatoes, so they will take a bit longer to roast and may not be *quite* as crispy.
The lemon garlic mayo is a real treat: just mix lemon juice, mayo, and freshly minced garlic. If you want a healthier, lighter version of this addicting dip, just substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo. I make this mayo dip whenever I make oven-baked fries, and frequently use it as a spread on sandwiches and burgers.
Chili Garlic Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Garlic Mayo
- For the fries:
- 1 sweet potato sliced lengthwise in both directions to form french fry shapes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the mayo:
- 1/2 cup mayonaise*
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix all ingredients for fries in a bowl; stir, using a spoon or your hands, to coat evenly.
- Spread evenly on baking sheet so the fries do not touch; bake for 35-40 minutes (or until browned and crispy).
- Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for lemon garlic mayo in a small bowl, and refrigerate until needed.