baked sweet potato fries for lunch

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  • Take as many sweet potatoes as you need.
  • Heat the oven to about 240C.
  • Peel. Slice (use a good kitchen knife and mind your fingers).
  • Lay the chips on a baking sheet – you want them to lay flat.
  • Coat with a tablespoon of olive oil or a light spray (I use frylight, it works and tastes fine).
  • Season with salt and pepper, and some kind of spice. Paprika is good.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, until crispy on the outside and squidgy in the midddle. 

When I was very little (being moved onto solid foods little) cauliflower cheese was, apparently, my favourite food. I say apparently because, for as long as I have known this ‘fact’, I have been completely unable to imagine myself voluntarily and happily eating a meal that was just cauliflower. Even cauliflower smothered with cheesy sauce. The fact that I know and accept is that I don’t much like vegetables.  I will eat salad and fruit till the end of time, but vegetables, not so much. I have willingly eaten peas and leeks for as long as I can remember. I have always eaten a spoonful of every other vegetable on the table, even once I left home, because that was what I was taught to do, and I’m still scared of my mother… Except for parsnip, which once brought on a bout of nausea and, yeah, let’s leave that alone.

And yet, of late years, I have started to voluntarily re-try and recalibrate my vegetable tastes. I suspect it started on my gap year, when I spent three months living with a vegetarian and eating a lot of aubergine and potato curry (there wasn’t a lot of vegetable choice in rural Romania by late November…) and has been sponsored by close friends who eat vegetables like I eat tomatoes. With and in everything.

The point of this whole little trip down vegetable memory lane is that I am baking sweet potato fries for lunch. Is a sweet potato a root or a tuber, or something else, by the way? I tend to classify them with carrots, parsnips, pumpkins and squashes, as things I’ve never liked at all. That still holds for carrots and parsnips, btw, yucky things. But for the others, well, things are changing.  I voluntarily want to make things with pumpkin in -admittedly, mostly baking cake and biscuit things, but I’m open to trying it savoury ways. I actively seek out sweet potato fries over regular fries. And now I make my own. My mum will be so proud…

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