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Almost Guilt-Free French Fries

January 31, 2012
By Wendy Monro , The Journal

Okay, I have been doing really well with this whole eating healthy plan. Well, kind of. You see, I do have one weakness.

No matter what, I cannot seem to resist french fries. I try and I try. I just do not have the will power.

I love waffle cut fries, potato wedges, tater tots, shoestrings, McDonald's, spicy, cheesy, chili cheese, or anything you do to them.

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Steak, eggs, onions and fries

I love them at Burger King with their zesty sauce. No matter what, french fries are absolutely delicious and have always been my weakness.

Some people like cakes, donuts, ice cream and candy. Not me. I love potatoes cooked in oil.

I try to keep myself far away from places that serve them. I never order them for myself. However, sometimes they arrive. Inevitably, someone at my table, usually Jack, orders french fries.

Fact Box

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

3 russet potatoes

1 red potato, cut into quarters

Almost Guilt Free French Fries

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the fries into French fry shape. Cut the onion into quarters. Drizzle the oil over everything. Mix the potatoes and onions around in the oil to make sure they all get coated. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over everything. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip them all over. Bake for another 15 minutes. When they are crispy enough for you, take them out.

Those lovely potatoes sit there on someone else's plate in all of their crispy, greasy, salty glory, taunting me. It's like they beg to be eaten. They are relentless.

I try as hard as I can to resist; but, I am addicted. They torment me to no end. I'll look the other way. I stare at my healthy food pretending to have blinders on. It's no use.

I have no will power when it comes to those potatoes. I keep sneaking peeks.

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I can smell them. I remember their scrumptious taste. There is no resisting their wicked attraction.

Soon, I am hooked and can't think of anything else. I must have a fry. Who am I kidding? It's never one fry. It is as many fries as I can get my hands on.

Eventually, I ask the server for my own side of ranch dressing, hoping the owner of the fries doesn't notice.

Then, I begin to steal them off the other person's plate, one by one. It's totally ridiculous. Yes, I am ashamed.

I'm like an addict who finally gets her fix. I am usually there eating my salad or pasta with vegetables or soup.

Then, I ruin it all with 10 to 15 fries dipped in ranch. Sometimes, it is even more. I am so happy to be eating them though.

Normally, I am smiling from deep within. Ahhhfrench fries. Usually, my salad will sit there unfinished. Oh, but they are so good. It's always worth it until I start to feel guilty.

Yes, soon after I scrape out the last of the ranch with the final fry, guilt settles in.

Not only did I eat tons of fried potatoes, I dipped each and every bite in as much ranch dressing as that fry could hold. What did I do? I tell myself I will add an extra workout to my schedule that week. I never do.

Then, I start to come to my senses and I tell myself to settle down. Tomorrow is another day. You aren't perfect. Nobody is. I am only human.

Well, late this morning, I decided to make Claud and I a special brunch.

I noticed we had a few russet potatoes sitting in the bowl. Without even thinking about it, I started cutting them into french fry shapes.

Huh? It's like my knife had a mind of its own. I had decided to make Claud steak and eggs.

I knew this would be a really great treat for him since I haven't been cooking much meat.

I thought he deserved it.

Well, french fries, steak and eggs would be an unbelievable treat! I know, I just wrote an article about using as little oil as possible and here I am writing about french fries.

No, I am not schizophrenic. I still believe that oil should be limited. I haven't used oil at all for two weeks in any of my cooking.

So, using a bit here for one meal wasn't going to do much harm.

I didn't think there was a way to make fries without some oil and I wasn't about to spend any time researching since I was starving.

So, I looked in my cupboard to see what I had in there and what would be the healthiest oil to use. I had canola, truffle, olive and grape seed oils.

Turns out, the grape seed oil had the least amount of saturated fat with only 1 percent.

This was half of the saturated fat in my olive oil. That's not too bad. Then, I carefully measured and only used two tablespoons for a whole tray of fries. I cut up some red onions too. I moved the potatoes around to make sure each piece had some oil on them. I turned the heat up really high in the oven. I hoped they would turn out crispy.

Claud was still in bed when I came into the room with his steak, eggs and potatoes. He couldn't believe his eyes. He was so excited. I told him he was a wonderful husband who deserved an extravagant treat every now and then. He knew he smelled meat, but thought he was daydreaming.

Nope, it was all a reality.

He loved each and every bite. I didn't have any ranch but those french fries really hit the spot.

I didn't even miss the ranch. I was just as satisfied as with any more fattening versions.

When I am craving french fries, this will be the healthier version I will go for.



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