The food police would cuff me in a millisecond for my terrible eating habits. Every January, I try to turn a new leaf and eat healthy, but I fail within days of making my resolution. My palate is so not refined that it could be considered coarse. I just really love greasy pizza and fake cheese, okay?
One thing vegetarians, carnivores, and everyone in between can agree on is that comfort foods are imperative for sanity. In each individual’s diet, there’s at least one food item that can pull us out of our darkest of days.
There are countless excuses to eat, and the easiest foods to grab seem to be the least healthy options. I chose three go-to snacks that typically give me post-consumption guilt, and I substituted a healthier option, the sweet potato, in for a major ingredient.
PHOTO: Lex Kelly
1—Fries. If you don’t like fries, I don’t trust you. Cut a sweet potato into long, thin rectangles, and evenly coat them in corn starch if you prefer extra crispiness. Spread them out on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over the entire spread, and add any preferred seasoning besides salt. Adding salt during this stage will minimize the crisp-factor of your final product. Bake the fries for 10-15 minutes on each side at 400 degrees. You’ll know they’re ready when the edges start to brown. Take them out and then add salt… or don’t if you’re healthier than I am.
2—Nachos. Another fan favorite. Chop the sweet potatoes into thin discs to mimic chips. Turn them around in olive oil on a baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then for another 10 minutes on the flip side. And now for the fun part: add tomatoes, cheese, beans, and basically anything else that brings your nachos to life. Go the extra mile and make some guacamole. Once you dress the chips with colorful accessories, bake the nachos for another two minutes to melt everything together.
3—Cinnamon sticks. What kind of junk food connoisseur would I be without dessert? Cut the sweet potatoes into long slices similar to the fries and coat them in corn starch. Bask them in olive or coconut oil, and add your desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Toss the fries around until each has a fair share of sugar. Once again, place the cinnamon sticks on a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side at 400 degrees. While waiting for your masterpiece, gather marshmallows or fluff spread to make your dessert even sweeter.
Sweet potatoes have a lot of health benefits. There’s more fiber, vitamin A and C, and less carbs and calories; however, the best part about each dish is that you can eat a whole tray and not feel guilty.
Try choosing orange potatoes over white potatoes and see what magic you can cook up, and share with us on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!
All photos by Lex Kelly.