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In case my other post didn’t fully express my love for potatoes, allow me to reiterate:  I love potatoes.  Baked, mashed, cubed, waffled, sliced…it doesn’t matter.  Point me in the direction of a potato and I’ll eat it.  I’ve found that potatoes and oil go together like…um…tasty potatoes…

My mind wandered for a moment-I’m back now.  I feel my body is responding well to the dietary tweaks required by the McDougall diet so I’m looking for ways to re-make my favorite foods while cutting the fat and salt.  Fortunately, my family is extremely supportive and, when my mother suggested oven fries and I said yum but I need them oil-free, my mother responded to the challenge.  She lined a baking sheet with parchment paper which she then gave a light spray of cooking oil.  She sliced yukon golds into fry-size slices then tossed them with garlic powder, chili powder, and a touch of salt.  Another light toss on the parchment paper and in to the oven they went.

The fries smelled amazing while cooking and the end result looked wonderfully crisp.  But, how did they taste?

They didn’t need olive oil to crisp and the spritz of cooking oil was enough to make the spices stick.  The garlic and chili powder was a tasty combination but I did notice a lack of salt.  With a Veganaise and dill dip, less salt ceased to be a deterrent.   I think version 2.0 will need a little more spice but this version of the oven fry is one I can definitely get used to.  With the cooking oil the fries aren’t 100% oil free but I noticed a substantial difference with the fries not being cooked in a layer of olive oil.  I didn’t do any checking or math so have no idea how much the fat content was reduced.

There is a lot of contradictory information out there; especially when it comes to veganism, low carb v low fat, whether a dietary change is going to result in something so restrictive it can’t be followed, or whether you choose wrong and end up causing health problems.  I admit, no caffeine, very little sugar, and limited amounts of fat didn’t sound like something I could do at all.  But, I’m almost completely caffeine free and have more energy than I imagined was possible without my morning two cups, I’m enjoying whole fruits and am also finding the things I used to enjoy too sweet, and I can live without cooking my food in olive oil.  The McDougall diet isn’t so much ‘going without’ as ‘learning a new way to have it’ and it’s encouraging when a favorite can be made with less oil and be just as satisfying as the original.  I think, with a few more experiments, the oil-free oven fry will be better than the original.

I have more potatoes so will get experimenting.  I think I’ll have my next batch with one of these veggie mac ‘n cheese recipes posted.  I had no idea there were bloggers out there that had Mac ‘n cheese Mondays.  I think that’s a brilliant idea and I’m going to have my own mac ‘n cheese Monday with oven fries.  I could use quinoa pasta, and I need some veggie bacon, and I could sub the sour cream with white miso paste.  Time to get cooking.

First in a long line of healthier fries.  No, that's not an oxymoron.

First in a long line of healthier fries. No, that’s not an oxymoron.