Oven-Roasted Parmesan French Fries Recipe

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While hanging out with a pregnant pal last week, I listened as she lamented her undeniable craving for French fries. Since I’m not pregnant and STILL have a fierce desire for decadently golden and naughty deep-fried potato strips I could totally empathize. But even better, I could offer a healthier alternative: These Parmesan-kissed, delightfully crispy, oven-roasted potatoes are almost as satisfying as their fryer-immersed friends–especially when dipped into your favorite condiment. After all, what are French fries but gorgeously crisp and greasy vehicles for ketchup, aioli, or gravy? Make these to satisfy your fries craving and you’ll feel a little less guilty when you reach for seconds. Oh! And if you’re a traditionalist, skip the cheese, as I did pictured above.

Oven-Roasted Parmesan French Fries
Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish

4 large unpeeled russet potatoes, washed, dried, and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl toss the potato strips in oil until well coated. Sprinkle potato wedges generously with salt and spread in single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes turn strips, and roast until browned and crisp. Remove from the oven, toss in a bowl with Parmesan cheese, cool slightly and serve hot or room temperature.

Pregnancy Craving Recipe: Fava Bean, Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salad

Fava Bean, Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salad Recipe

After inventing this refreshing jumble of healthy goodness last summer I fed it to a pregnant friend. It became her perpetual craving. She even went as far as to request that I bring it to her in the hospital when she went into labor. And I did just that. But you don’t have to wait for me to show up at your doorstep to enjoy its crisp, satisfying flavors. Whip it up anytime. It’s easy to prepare, perfect as a one-dish meal, side for grilled chicken, steak, or fish, and flexible enough that you can substitute whatever vegetables you like best.

Fava Bean, Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salad
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
Note: You can use any chopped veggies you want for this salad. Also, FYI, sherry vinegar imparts an outstanding bright and acidic flavor into dressings and is definitely worth keeping in the cupboard.

2 pounds fava beans
1 basket cherry tomatoes
1 firm, ripe avocado
2 ears of corn (cooked or raw)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons diced shallot or red onion
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or regular table salt to taste)
pepper to taste

1. Cook the fava beans for 4 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. Drain, cool in a cold-water bath, and shuck the outer shell as well as the skin.

2. Halve the tomatoes and throw them in a medium serving bowl with the fava beans. Large-dice the avocado and gently add them to the bowl. Cut the corn off of the cobb and throw it in, too.

3. Make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

4. When you’re ready to serve, gently toss the salad with the dressing, add additional seasoning if necessary, and get ready for lots of praise.

Pregnancy Craving: Chicken, Mango, Avocado and Spiced Pecan Salad

Trust me when I tell you this luxurious one-dish meal, which appears in The Real Deal Guide will become a staple in your entertaining repertoire. It’s simple to make, ridiculously delicious, and relatively healthy. I made it up when I was pregnant and have been craving it ever since. FYI, if spicy isn’t your thing, skip the cayenne and stick with the sugar when preparing the nuts.

Chicken, Mango, and Avocado Salad with Spiced Candied Pecans
Serves 6

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup pecans
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (8 cups) mixed baby greens
1 ripe but firm Hass avocado, peeled and cut into cubes
1 ripe but firm mango, peeled and cut into cubes

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