Alright, guys. Everyone who submitted an idea and entered the giveaway: WOW. The creativity blew my mind. I can almost guarantee that I’ll be spending the last few days of the year cooped up in my apartment cooking every single thing that was suggested. Thankfully, I have a few vacation days to use up before December 31. I’m banking on someone buying me new baking pans for Christmas, so I’ll need to break them in… Right? Right.
Anyway, time to announce the lucky winners. Choosing a personal favorite was impossible for me to do (and now I’m really hungry), so I literally listed out every name in a spreadsheet and made 2 of my coworkers pick random numbers. Done and done.
Drum roll, please…
The Polar watch goes to Britney S.! How in the hell am I going to make healthy wings? No idea. But, I’ll figure it out (hopefully).
The food scale goes to Christina C.! I’m going to attempt brownies this weekend for my brother’s birthday. Expect a recipe this week or next. :o)
Thank you to every single person who participated! Keep an eye out for my recreation of your recommendations — I really want to try all of them. If they don’t turn out to be an absolute catastrophe, I’ll post them here. (Winners: look for an email from me! I need to know where to ship your stuff.)
I want to share the EASIEST snack recipe in the books. It might sound like an oxymoron, but I promise it’s not: Healthy potato chips.
I get asked about sweet potatoes pretty often. They’re a GREAT low-GI carb, and they have tons of health benefits that most people don’t know about. Since they’re potatoes, I started thinking: why couldn’t I make chips out of these things? Fries work, baked sweet potatoes work, so chips MUST work. Plus, I got a mandolin slicer for an early Christmas gift. This was the perfect test to see if I’m actually coordinated enough to operate one. I haven’t lost a finger yet (and I’m incredibly clumsy), so I’d recommend adding one to your kitchen if you don’t already have one. Just be careful when you use it. Sharp little suckers.
Microwave-Made Sweet Potato Chips
Utensils you’ll need for this recipe:
– A good knife OR mandolin slicer (the latter is way easier)
– Parchment paper
Serves: 4 (serving size = 1/2 large sweet potato, or about 100g/1c)
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- Nonfat cooking spray (I use Smart Balance OR Coconut Oil)
- Any additional seasonings you like! (I made about 4 different batches: garlic powder/reduced fat Parmesan cheese; cayenne pepper/cumin/chili powder; onion powder/sea salt/dried chives; plain ol’ salt and pepper with rosemary; cinnamon/nutmeg — whatever floats your boat)
- If your microwave has a glass turning plate, take it out and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit it. (If you don’t have a glass turning plate in your microwave, just cut a piece to fit inside of your microwave base.
- Peel potatoes and slice them into thin slices (less than 1/4″, aim for the width of any other potato chip)
- Spread your slices out on your parchment paper and LIGHTLY coat with cooking spray
- Cover with desired seasonings
- Transfer to microwave and zap ’em at 50-60% power for 3 minutes. Toss them around a bit, then cook for 30-second intervals until crispy.
NOTE: KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR FIRST BATCH. If your microwave is super powerful (or on steroids), your chips might cook faster than mine did. All of my apartment’s appliances are pitiful, so my 50% might be your 25%. Just use your best judgement.
These are usually even better a few days after they’ve been sitting out. I bagged my flavors into their own Ziplocs and threw them in the pantry for the rest of the week, and the crispiness and flavor had pretty much doubled within 3 days. I recommend making these in bulk and either packing them in your lunch for the week or keeping them close by for when you get a craving for something crunchy. DITCH THE CHEETOS! Making your own chips is way cooler anyway. Plus, they’re way more fattening. :o)