In all honesty, I was not planning on posting this “recipe.” It began as a way to repurpose some leftovers that I had in the fridge, so I felt it was too simple to write a whole blog post about. And then my husband posted a picture on Facebook of his dinner of leftover Hidden Veggie Tomato Soup, grilled cheeze, and Loaded Fries, and the requests of “recipe please!” came rolling in (I even got a few via text!). I needed to take a few more pictures before I could put this post up, so I HAD to make this dish again. The sacrifices I make for you people.
I know what you’re thinking; “Hold the phone! I thought this was a website dedicated to healthy, whole food, plant-based recipes. And NOW you’re showing us a recipe for fries?!”
I haven’t gone totally bananas. Well, ok maybe I have. Regardless, potatoes are in fact a very healthy, filling, and budget friendly base for a meal! We have been told for years that potatoes, specifically white potatoes, are fattening and should only be eaten on occasion. The truth is that potatoes themselves are very nutritious, but it’s how we prepare them that can make them unhealthy. Frying potatoes in oil to make fries or chips or drowning them in butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits will take this starchy wonder from healthy to heart attack contributor faster than you can say saturated fat.
Potatoes: Full of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, and vitamin C, potatoes are low in calories yet high in heart healthy fiber. Recent studies have cited compounds called kukoamines in potatoes that can lower blood pressure. The high levels of vitamin B6 in potatoes play roles in over 100 enzymatic reactions within the body ranging from cardiovascular protection to regulating nervous system activity to helping the body break down stored glycogen in the muscle cells for increased athletic performance.
These fries are baked in the oven without any oil and then topped with chickpeas, sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. The best part (and the part that makes this more of a method than a recipe) is that the sky’s the limit with the flavor combinations. You can spice the potatoes and chickpeas however you’d like, use any oil free sauce you’d like, and then toss on the veggies for a fresh crunch. My go-to combo is using an all-seasoning salt to season the fries, leftover BBQ chickpeas from my wraps, and leftover Coconut Yum Yum Sauce from my Rainbow Bowls. Alternatively, warming the chickpeas in a vegan, oil-free buffalo sauce with Hemp Ranch dressing as the sauce is another favorite combo. I’ve even thought about seasoning the fries with an Italian seasoning blend, tossing the chickpeas in marinara sauce, and serving it with a drizzle of Cashew Sour Cream to mimic a zesty pizza flavor! You can follow this same method using sweet potatoes, though they may need an extra 5 minutes in the oven. I would definitely sprinkle the sweet potatoes with cinnamon, sauté the chickpeas in a little nutmeg and salt, and then drizzle the whole thing with maple syrup for some dessert fries! See, the combinations are truly endless! This dish makes a spectacular addition to any dinner party as an appetizer or side dish. Everyone loves fries!
Ingredients For Baked Fries:
- 6 large potatoes, washed, dried, and cut into wedges
- 1-2 TBS All Seasoning blend (or any other seasoning you prefer)
Ingredients For Chickpeas:
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup BBQ sauce (or sauce of your choice)
- Coconut Yum Yum Sauce
- Hemp Ranch
- Cashew Sour Cream
- Optional Toppings: Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, guacamole, etc.
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- In a large bowl, toss the potato wedges with your choice of seasoning until they are evenly seasoned.
- Lay the fries on a baking rack over a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure that they are not touching. You will need at least 2 baking sheets.
- Bake the fries for 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown.
- While the fries are baking (toward the end of their bake time), warm the chickpeas in your choice of sauce in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes.
- Make your choice of sauce to drizzle on the finished fries. A plastic squeeze bottle is very handy here for a nice presentation, but not essential.
- When the fries come out of the oven, use tongs to place them on your plate, top them with the sauced chickpeas, drizzle with you sauce of choice, and top with your choice of crunchy veggie toppings. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in separate containers in the fridge for 3-5 days. Serves about 4.
Which version of Loaded Fries are you going to try first? Make sure to tag With Love & Veggies in all of your recreations!