Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Double Dark Chocolate Cookies

Cookies are an all too frequent treat around here. I am surprised that this is the first cookie recipe I have posted given the rate at which my children bake and consume cookies. These have quickly become one of my kids’ very favorite cookie recipes. But don’t worry. There are plenty more where these come from.

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder -we like dark cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips

Combine the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add the two eggs and beat until well blended. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Cook at 350 for 9 minutes.

Makes about 40 cookies.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mexican Style Brown Rice

I try to use brown rice because it is so much better for you than white. And it actually tastes like something -which is always a plus.

I love Spanish rice or Mexican style rice- whatever you want to call it. It is all the same to me.

I have discovered that I love the way this recipe turns out when I use instant rice. Did you know that instant rice comes in “Brown”? Well, it does. Is it as good for you as regular brown rice? I have no idea. I have read that the nutritional difference is insignificant. Can I prove it? No.

I like regular brown rice and the longer cooking time is worth it to me. But in the case of this recipe, I prefer the way it turns out when I use instant brown rice. The fact that it takes a lot less time is a huge side benefit.

Here’s the recipe:

2 Tbl oil

2 Tbl finely chopped onion

2 cups instant brown rice

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup salsa

Sauté the onion in the oil in a saucepan for about 5 minutes on low heat. Add the rice and stir for about 60 seconds. Add the broth and the salsa. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with your favourite Mexican dish.

I just love this stuff. Unfortunately for my diet, I can and do eat lots and lots of it! Yummy!

One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I love brown rice. White rice is not interesting or tasty. Unfortunately, my husband does not like brown rice and he does the grocery shopping. Tear. But maybe he will be more inclined to buy brown rice if it’s the instant kind. This recipe looks yummy. I will have to add it to our menu next time we have Mexican.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do-it-yourself junk food: Chicken Nuggets

Do-it-yourself junk food: Chicken Nuggets

One of my son’s -we will call him “Buddy” -is autistic. He is also an addict. He is addicted to processed foods. And I am not exaggerating. If he gets around the stuff he can’t control himself. He must eat it.

One of Buddy’s favorite places to dwell is Grandma’s house and partake of her chicken nuggets. To Grandma’s credit she has searched far and wide for the most natural chicken nuggets in the freezer section.

But at our house there are no chicken nuggets. For one thing, I cannot afford it. I would be destitute in about 4 days given the rate Buddy eats all that stuff. The other thing is, because he is autistic, I am trying to feed him as natural and healthy as possible. “Possible” being the operative word.

My geru, Michael Pollan, says you can make all the junk food you want as long as you make it yourself. That means from scratch, kids. Opening a box and putting it in the oven doesn’t count.

So in an effort to please my kid, I have been searching for a way to make nuggets from scratch that he will not turn his nose up at. I hit the jackpot last week. It wasn’t too hard so if he requests them in the future, I can probably force myself to do it again.

I actually made two versions of chicken nuggets and both were a hit. One is full of spices and a little more work. Buddy preferred these-of course. But he liked the blander, easier version too. The rest of the kids were split 50/50.

You can bake these, but Buddy wants his fried in oil. Seriously, I think the secret to these nuggets’ success is that I fried them in peanut oil. They were pretty tasty. And as long as deep frying is the exception and not the rule , peanut oil is a great oil for frying.

Herb Crusted Chicken Nuggets:

3-4 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts-partially thawed and cut into nugget shapes

Bowl #1:

1 cup flour

Bowl #2:

1/2 c milk

1 tbl lemon juice

1 egg, beaten

Bowl #3 (for the breading):

2 cups bread crumbs, finely processed in a blender

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp oregano

1/2 Tbl parsley

1 Tbl parmesan cheese

Here is what you do:

Heat 2 TBl of oil in a skillet.

Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, then the egg mixture, then the breading. Place in single layer in the skillet. Cook until golden brown and then turn over. Cook until the chicken is done. Repeat until you have used all the chicken pieces.

Drain on a paper towel and enjoy this kiddelicious treat with some non high fructose corn syrup ketchup or BBQ sauce!


Easy Chicken Nuggets:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, partially thawed and cut into nugget shapes

Bowl #1:

1/2 c milk

1 tbl lemon juice

1 egg, beaten

Bowl #2:

2 cups flour



Dip cut up chicken pieces in first bowl, then second bowl.

Heat about 2 Tbl of oil in a skillet. Place in a single layer and cook until golden brown. Turn over and cook until done.

Repeat process until you have cooked all the chicken.

Simple and way better for you than McDonald’s.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Mother's Curse

When I was a kid, I was quite possibly the pickiest eater on the planet.

More often than not, I was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for myself for dinner, rather than eat whatever concoction my mother had slaved over.

I was even picky at fast food restaurants. Have it your way? Heck, yes. Hold everything except the burger, cheese, and the bun.

I detested vegetables, except for carrots-raw thank you, in the form of a stick. And corn-smothered in butter. And potatoes-baked, also smothered in butter.

I was devastated to later learn that corn and potatoes are actually not vegetables.

Fruit? Apples and pears. That was it.

Casseroles, gravy, beans? You were quite possibly trying to kill me.

I even removed all the toppings off of pizza. Wiped the sauce off with a napkin and then ate the crust.

The list could go on and on and on.

Of course, Hostess Ding Dongs and hot dogs were not on the list. Junk food was my friend, as you may recall.

It has taken me many years to repent of my ways and overcome my childish fears.

When I was in college I succumbed to actually eating gravy. It was peer pressure. As we waited in line at the cafeteria, I was assured by one of my dorm mates that gravy was from heaven and should not be missed. There was no turning back after that first bite. Gravy was instrumental in my gaining the freshman 15 that year.

Thanks a lot, Melanie.

My husband convinced me that I would truly love shrimp-deep fried, of course. Whatever! But I trusted him.


Thanks a lot, honey.

There were definitely some foods I could have continued to live without. But the fact that I now eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and yes, even the dreaded legume, has been a good thing. I am most definitely healthier.

Now for my kids.

When I was no doubt frustrating the heck out of my own mother, she would say to me (often), “I hope you get 5 just like you!”

I have 8 kids.

I have 4 kids just like me.

But the youngest is just a baby and the odds are not in my favor.

Thanks a lot, Mom.


  1. Jessica
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Mom had a few picky eaters, as I recall . . . And payback is a terrible thing. :)

  2. Heather
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Hey Jen, (friend of Heather’s here) so what do you recommend to moms’ of kids who are picky eaters? I’m not that way, never have been, but my son is. I always offer the healthy stuff and try not to nag, but can he really live on PB&J forever? Would love to hear from the “kids” perspective!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Barbeque Sauce

Barbecue season is upon us and so I thought I would share my favorite home-made barbecue recipe with you. I hate store bought BBQ sauce. It is always full of questionable ingredients.

This recipe only takes a few minutes to make and keeps in your fridge for several days. It fits nicely in a mason jar and can be used on burgers, ribs, chicken, for dipping, etc. My favorite way to eat it is cooking it with slow roasted pork. Yum!


1/2 large finely diced white or yellow onion

in 1/2 cube of butter for about 5 minutes


2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 cup lemon juice

4 Tbl Honey

2 Tbl Worcestshire sauce

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

3 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

3 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Let simmer over low/medium heat for about 15 minutes.

This is really more of a tangy sauce, not spicy. It will seem a little spicier if you just taste it than what it will be on anything you put it on. Increase the honey for a sweeter sauce.

I would love for you to share your BBQ sauce with me-or any recipes for that matter. Don’t forget to write me at foodophelia@gmail.com

One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for posting this. Josh likes making his own BBQ sauce, so we will give this a try.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Sprout is a Baby Plant

Many times I have passed by the alfalfa sprouts at the store and thought to myself, “ I should just do that myself”.

So I never bought any but I never grew any sprouts at home either.

That is until now.

Who knew that is was so easy?

Sprouts are so incredibly good for you. The nutrients of grains, seeds, and legumes are increased many times when they are in their sprouted state. Sprouting is easy and is a good skill to learn should their come a day your supply of greens are limited. Some of you hoarders of wheat (like me) may be interested to know that you can sprout that stuff.

Another interesting thing to note about sprouts is that many of the proteins are broken down, which makes them easily absorbable by the body, even for those with weak digestive systems-should that be an issue.

There are Six Rules of Sprouting:

1. Rinse Often

2. Keep them moist, not wet,

3. Keep them at room temperature

4. Give them plenty of room to breathe

5. Don’t put too many in one container

6. Keep them covered (no light)

So far, I have only tried alfalfa sprouts but I will be expanding my repertoire and report on my endeavours here.

In the meantime, here is a step by step pictorial tutorial.

Try this at home.

Alfalfa Sprouts-high in protein, essential amino acids, and eight digestive enzymes; vitamins A, C, B complex, D, E, and 4 minerals; iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Step one:

Put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of alfalfa seeds in a wide mouth mason jar.

Step 2:

Fill it up with water and place cheesecloth on top of the jar. Use rubberbands to hold the cheesecloth in place.

Let the seeds soak overnight on your counter top (about 8 hours).

Step 3:

The next morning, drain the water out of the jar.

Rinse the seeds with water and drain.

Tip the jar upside down and at a slight angle to allow the water to continue to drain out.

Loosely cover the jar with a dish towel. The point is to keep the light out but the air flowing.


Rinse your seeds 2-3 times a day repeating the instructions in step 3.

Do this for about 3 or 4 days or until the sprouts are the length you desire.

Step 5:

After the final time rinsing and draining, divide the contents into two mason jars, replace the cheesecloth with mason jar lids, and place the sprouts in the refrigerator.

Use them within about 3-4 days.

You can eat them on salads or sandwiches or anything you like. You can even put some in your homemade bread recipe (add when you put in all the wet ingredients). My favorite way to eat alfalfa sprouts is in a pita with some chicken, lettuce, and parmesan cheese. Yummy!


  1. Posted June 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

    It great to make sprout at home. We normally make moong beans sprout, the one use in Chinese cooking. I have to try different bean now. It sounds healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Posted June 16, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Tes, I’ve only known moong beans as “mung” beans. Nice to know the Hindi name. I was going to say that mung/moong bean are my favorite sprouted bean, very tasty. And sprouted wheat-also delicious unless you let the sprout get too long then it tastes like grass. (How do I know what grass tastes like?)

  3. Rachel
    Posted June 16, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I’m not sure I like sprouts! Maybe I should try them again to see for sure.

  4. Jessica
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Trying to do sprouts myself seems like a recipe for disaster. I can’t imagine ever being able to remember to do all these steps over the course of many days, because you know, I am forgetful. However, thanks for the info on the nutritional qualities of sprouts. I had no idea. And I do like sprouts so now I have greater impetus to buy and eat them. I liked the tip on putting them in bread too. Very smart.

  5. Ellen
    Posted June 20, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Hi Jen, Just a comment that might simplify the process a tiny bit. If you don’t have cheesecloth lying around your house, an old, clean nylon stocking works for the top the same way. I love sprouts!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

O, Pioneer!

A couple weeks ago my husband, our two youngest kids, and I visited the vast state of Wyoming. My husband had a seminar he was attending in Casper and we joined him on his trip to keep him company.
On the way home we stopped at an important Historical Site. Have I mentioned that I am a Mormon? Well, Martin’s Cove is a place we reverence as hallowed ground. It is a place where a company of handcart pioneers sought shelter from an early winter storm. Many people lost their lives here, but miraculously, many more survived.
At Martin’s Cove you can take a handcart and make the 5 mile round-trip trek from the Visitor’s Center to the cove.
Given our pioneer heritage, my husband and I felt we had to seize this opportunity.
And so, on a hot and windy day we set out with our 3 year old and our 1 year old.
After going only about 1/2 mile, I was starting to have second thoughts. Everyone else on the trail were turning back. I wondered how I, an asthmatic, was going to fare on this trek. Would the wind and the unfamiliar vegetation aggravate my asthma? How much of a climb was I going to have to make?
I looked at my daughter who was already starting to get cranky. I looked at my restless little boy who was already trying to climb out of the handcart. Did I really want to deal with this, not knowing if I was physically capable of just making it myself?
I looked at my husband, who was cheerfully pulling the handcart while I walked behind trying to keep my little boy from falling out on his head.
I thought of my ancestors who had crossed the plains seeking religious freedom in an unknown territory. If they could do what they did, surely I could walk 5 miles.
And so, we pressed on.
And it was a beautiful, spiritually moving experience.
As I hiked to the cove, I felt strong. I wasn’t worn out. I wasn’t huffing and puffing. That was a marvel to me.
Had I set out on this journey just a few short months ago, I doubt I would have made it. I would not have been physically prepared.
On this day, I felt profoundly grateful that I had made the decision about 4 months ago to get serious about getting in shape.
I run or lift weights every morning. I really push myself. And often times, I hate it. I am trying to break bad eating habits and fill my body with food that nourishes. It has been incredibly hard work for me to be where I am right now and I still have a long way to go. But I keep going because I know that I need to. There are too many things I need to be able to do in this life that require me to be as healthy as possible.
I might not have the same experiences as my pioneer ancestors but I have my own life challenges and trials. I need to be preparing myself spiritually and physically for all that lies ahead.
Post script
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we Mormons believe the Word of Wisdom to be scripture. Sometimes referred to as the “Mormon code of health”, the revelation contains many beautiful blessings for those that keep it. This blessing has been especially meaningful to me as of late:

That we “shall run and not be weary and shall walk and not faint”.
To read the rest of the Word of Wisdom, click here.

One Comment

  1. Rachel
    Posted June 16, 2010 at 11:44 am
    You’re so awesome!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adventures in Gardening

The last few weeks we have slowly been getting our garden in.

I had the goal to have it all planted by June 15th.

I still have to plant corn, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, spinach, and peas.

Yes, I am a little late on this.

But what else is new?

I was born late.

Really, I was.

About two weeks.

It seems like my lot in life is to be late.

This may have something to do with the fact that I am really disorganized.

But I keep trying.

As you know, I am a Mormon.

Mormons are really into self-reliance and being prepared.

Therefore, we plant gardens.

“We” generally speaking. Not all Mormons plant gardens. But we are counseled by our Prophet to do so.

And so, every year our family makes an attempt at a garden.

Some have been more successful than others. This year we are in a new house, a house which has been built up on a foundation of shale infested soil.

And because I am so unorganized, I had no idea until I had already invested much time and money that our soil is quite possibly, the most rocky soil known to man.

Do you think I gave up?


I am stubborn like that.

My husband hauled in 20 year old sheep manure. I went to the greenhouse and bought multiple bags of organic compost and organic soil activator. My son tilled it all in. We are planting the garden in terraces and are in the middle of putting a water line in so we can actually have water. And we have been picking out rocks by the wheelbarrow-full.

It has been a daunting task.

(And is the major reason why I took a week off from blogging)

Do you think anything will grow in my garden?

Besides rocks, I mean.

Stay tuned to find out.


  1. Anne
    Posted June 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

    You may be too late for peas and spinach. They are a cool weather crop. Many root crops are usually cool weather too. Depends on what grow zone you are in, but usually peas are planted very very early spring and beans are warm loving summer crops. Spinach may bolt right away with the heat (or if the ground dries it triggers them to bolt).. but you can save the seeds from them and plant them in late summer into fall when you plant garlic. Another one you can somewhat over winter with protection is kale.

    Good luck to you!

  2. james5555
    Posted June 14, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Looks fantastic! Is it an organic garden. I love that you have a self reliance mindset. Great stuff, keep it up!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

The thing about spinach artichoke dip is it is one of those foods that doesn’t look very pretty. Especially when you forget to take a picture of it because you are too busy stuffing your face and then remember and pull the leftovers out of the fridge and hurry and snap some quick pictures of it before you are tempted to eat more.

It is only fitting that this recipe follow my last post “Why I Hate Food“. This is one of those foods that if I do not severely limit myself on, I will get fat-gain weight.

I love spinach artichoke dip. This fact is truly miraculous when you consider that as a child I could have been crowned the “World’s Pickiest Eater”. If you had tried to feed this to me when I was a kid, I would have thought you were trying to kill me.

I now know better.

On the rare occasion we eat out, my husband and I are always tempted to order the spinach artichoke dip-which seems to be all the rage these days. So I wanted to learn to make my own of course.

After looking at several recipes online, I decided to just make up my own. I do not like mayonnaise and nothing will convince me otherwise. I object to sour cream and pre-made Alfredo sauce on several levels. So the only thing I could do of course was use yoghurt.

Yoghurt, how I love thee.

This dip was so good that even my friend Eileen loved it. This is saying a lot because she is 10 times the cook I am.

Spinach Artichoke Dip


2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

in 1/4 c butter

Stir in:

1 tsp of sea salt

3/4 tsp of pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


10 ounce bag of frozen chopped spinach

14 ounce can of artichokes, drained and chopped

cook until tender (about 5 minutes)


8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup of plain yoghurt

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese (or romano etc), shredded

Cook until thickened, about 10 plus minutes

Serve warm. Eating this with artisan bread is my favorite but you can also eat it with tortilla chips or pitas.

One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    You don’t like sour cream? I find that heartbreaking.

    I love spinach and artichoke dip. Are you shocked? Apparently, if you drown vegetables in enough fat, I will crave them. Go figure. :) We’ll have to try this. I

    P.S. I have some recipes I need to send you to post on here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why I Hate Food

So, I once said (okay, maybe it was more than once) that I have a love/hate relationship with food.

The reasons I love food are obvious.

It tastes so good, keeps us alive, helps create memories, etc.

But I also sometimes really hate food.

Of course, you all know by now that I hate “food-like substances”. But that is not what I am talking about.

I hate food because it makes me fat –oops, I mean, gain weight.

(I have some people very close to me who object to the use of the word “fat” so I am trying to be sensitive to that fact)

The reason I don’t like to gain weight is really not a vanity issue.

I am so over that-well mostly.

The real reason I do not like it when I am overweight is I feel terrible!

I have eight kids to keep up with and I am getting older by leaps and bounds.

I wish I could leap and bound.

I feel so old and worn out sometimes.

But the biggest issue is this:

I have asthma and the heavier I am, the worse it is. (This is something I know is true for me. I am not speaking for all asthmatics)

Have you ever had to wake up several times at night and give yourself breathing treatments and think you are going to die?

It is not fun.

But you know what is fun?


I really like it.

A lot.

I love food.

And I hate it.


  1. Amy
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm


  2. Rachel
    Posted June 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I know just what you mean sister. Although I must admit that I am not over the vanity part of gaining weight. I wish.

  3. Jessica
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I have a slightly different love/hate relationship with food — I love food that is bad for me and hate food that is good for me. Actually, I like some good food, but I don’t love any good food.

    I’m really trying to do better. I’ve bought a supply of somewhat healthy food to eat at work and Josh and I are cooking at home a lot more. I’ve been going for walks at work, although I didn’t go on one today. I’m trying to get in the habit of tracking my food and exercise on Spark People with some success. I thought I did so good on my meals today, but alas, I went 100 calories over. DANG! Need to lose 20 pounds before September 25 . . .

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Power of Will

I once had someone tell me that I had more will power than anyone she knew.

I guess the reason she said that is because she knew of my 5+ year abstinence from sugar.

She made the comment after I refused some tantalizing dessert she was offering me at a church function.

My first thought was that she didn’t know me very well.

I was flattered by her comment but mostly taken aback. Self-control is something I struggle with. Are self-control and will power synonymous? Maybe not. Maybe they are two different things.

You see, I do not feel like I have very much self-control as I am downing my 7th piece of pizza-something I do every weekend-even after I say to myself, “I am not eating more than 4 pieces of pizza tonight”.

The other day, I cheated on my diet-BIG TIME! Did I mention I was on a diet? The kids requested Kim’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast. Guess who ate two even after a commitment to only eat sugar on the weekends? Guilty. See? No self-control.

Later that night I ate several homemade chicken nuggets, homemade seasoned fries, and a peanut butter chocolate shake for dessert.

I had the goal to lose two more pounds this week.

At this rate that goal is slipping into the realm of impossibility.

Unfortunately, my lack of self-control is not limited to food. I also have this seeming inability to live within a budget, frequent episodes of inserting my foot in my mouth, and the all too frequent moments of hollering at my children.

But you know, even though I do not seem to have a lot of self-control, maybe I do have will power. There are many days that I would much rather stay in bed. But I don’t. I get up and “go to work”. There are a lot of times that I just want to give up, but I don’t. I keep going.

So yes, I guess I do have will power.

Just not any more than anyone else you know.

One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I guess Ihave willpower, too, since I am at work today. But not enough willpower to force myself to work instead of reading your blog. :)

Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Here it is:

My first product review.


Last week I accompanied my husband on his business trip to Casper, Wyoming. We took our two youngest with us and had many adventures.

But one of my favorite parts of the trip was eating these cookies. (Sorry, I only have a picture of the box. By the time I thought to snap a photo, I had already finished them off).

These cookies are incredibly yummy and apparently addictive.

I have found myself thinking about them a lot since our trip.

Needless to say, I about blew my diet.

Yes, I am on a diet and one day, I will tell you all about it.

But back to the cookies.

While the kids and I visited Wal-mart, my three year-old requested cookies.

Normally, I do not buy store-bought cookies because-uh-yuck!

Why buy store bought cookies when home made taste so much better and are so much better for you, etc?!

Unless you are away from home with no access to a kitchen.

Or whatever…..

Sometimes you just have to buy store bought stuff–even cookies.

Okay, I didn’t have to buy the three year- old the cookies.

But she is just so gosh darn cute.

And the truth is when I saw these Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies I was intrigued.

And tempted.

No high fructose corn syrup

No hydrogenated oils

No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors


This is rare in the cookie aisle at your neighborhood grocery store.

So rare, in fact, my local grocery store doesn’t sell them.

But hopefully yours’ does.

Because if you get a hankering for a cookie and you are not at home…

I highly recommend these!

Unless you do not want to blow your diet.

In which case you should probably just buy some baby carrots.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Do-it-yourself junk food: Seasoned French Fries

According to my food geru, Michael Pollan, you can eat all the junk food you want as long as you make it yourself.

The theory behind this bold statement is this:

1. If you are making it yourself, that means from scratch. That means it is made from natural ingredients (you know, with things you can pronounce) which means it is going to be more healthy for you. And that means it isn’t really junk.

2. If you are making your own “junk food” it is going to be more labor intensive than just opening a box or a wrapper. Therefore you probably aren’t going to be eating these yummy treats all the time. So it is all good.

One of our very favorite homemade junk foods are these seasoned fries. These are pretty simple to make, especially if you have a french fry cutter and a highly motivated 15 year old boy to help you get the job done.

In fact, these are so easy, we might make them a little too often.

Seasoned Oven Fried Potatoes

6 large potatoes, washed and cut into strips

Set in a bowl of cold water until ready to use

Combine and pour into gallon ziploc bag or bowl:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 T grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp pepper

Drain the potatoes if you put them in water. Next pour the strips into the bag or bowl and coat potatoes well with oil mixture.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cook in a preheated 425 oven for about 20-30 minutes, turning over once.

This makes enough fries to fill up one baking sheet. With our large family, we usually double this recipe and make two sheets. Our favorite potatoes to use are red potatoes. Choose your favorite and try not to eat too many!


  1. Jessica
    Posted June 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Is the whole pan too many? You know how I feel about french fries. :) When we tried to make sweet potato fries at home, they didn’t turn out too well. Maybe it is time to try again.

  2. Rachel
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    These sound delicious. We will have to try these.