Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Sweet Experiment

Rain, rain, go away.... But, it didn't. It was a downpour all day ! I did not want to go anywhere this morning. I'm not usually put off by some rain (although some may say I would melt- he he), but I wasn't in the mood to battle it. So I stayed in and played around in the kitchen! It started with breakfast. I wanted an omelette, but was running low in the veggie department. I scrounged around the fridge and found this in the waaaaaay back...



I forgot about this Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic from Trader Joes's. I decided to put this in my omelette with 1/2 of a Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedge. Wow, what a great combo! The spread is 15 cal. for 1 tbsp. and it is really tasty paired with the cheese. I had an Arnold Sandwich Thin spread with the other 1/2 of Laughing Cow on the side. Delicious and filling; all for 3 Points...


Lunchtime was the start of playtime. I really wanted sweet potatoes for some reason. Maybe I need some vitamin A or beta carotene! I have been toying with the idea of making sweet potato chips, but I haven't found a way to make my sweet potato fries crispy, so I wasn't holding out much hope for the chips version. I cut my potato as thin as possible with my really old plastic mandoline slicer and laid them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I cooked them in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes. They were extremely tasty, however, I had to discard quite a few of them because they were burned. The remaining "chips" were not chippy, more like - chewy. This has been the problem; to get them crisp, they have to be burned! Eeewww. There had to be a better way, I thought. While I pondered this very pressing question, I ate the rest of my lunch which was a ham wrap and a sliced apple...


I felt very healthy after eating this! Lots of color; veg and fruit on the plate. Weight Watchers would be so proud of me and this "filling foods" lunch for 5 Points!


After lunch, there was a ding dong at the door and to my surprise, it was a package for me from Kristi over at Healthy Living ! Look at this stash of awesome Ghiradelli Chocolates and the nice note she sent me...



Thanks, Kristi!


As much as I wanted to dive into that chocolate( there are so many cool flavors that I have never had!), I passed on it today and decided on some pretzel rods and string cheese...



The rain quieted down a bit, so I ventured out for a few errands. While I was out, I found this mandoline. I knew it would be the answer to my sweet potato prayers! I raced home, washed it and got to work slicing paper thin potatoes. This thing is a dream to work with, too. The blade is super sharp, so there was no fighting to slice these guys. I sprayed the slices with cooking spray and salted the heck out of them (I'll watch the salt next time), then laid them on the parchment -lined baking sheets. But, here was my trick. I decided to try and "dehydrate" them in the oven instead of cooking them. I put them in at 200 degrees and let them do their thing in there for about 1 hr. ...

It worked like a charm! They shriveled a little, but the "crispiness" was there! No more soggy, chewy sweet potatoes! Now, I must admit, I was getting a little impatient during this experiment, so when there was about 10 minutes left in the "cooking" process, I beefed up the temp to 350. Bad move; see how they started to burn a bit? They didn't look like that before I upped the temp...



Yeah, patience. It's not a virtue I possess, but I'm working on it :) So, maybe a bit more tweaking, but I'm calling this experiment a crunching success!


Of course, I had to eat them for with dinner ! In addition to the chips, I had a Cha Sui Bao (remember these? It's the last one in my freezer) and some grapes...




And believe it or not, no dessert tonight!! I'm not sick:) Just trying to lay low with the food because I planned on going to my WW meeting and get weighed-in tomorrow. Hopefully all the salted up sweet potatoes won't cause me to retain a small pond before I get on the scale :)


Sweet dreams=)

11 comments:

Madison Song said...

wow that spread looks so interesting! yum! and wow great job on passing all that chocolate. i would've at least tried one!!! awesome self-control ;D!

♥ Dee ♥ said...

Let me know if you ever figure out the secret to the sweet potatoe fries, willya?

Kudos on the smarts about the chips. When I'm craving, I'll do the same... only do you NEED parchement paper??

Tracy said...

Those sweet potatoes look awesome, I will have to try those now. And I've been wanting an excuse to get a mandoline. :) I'm so jealous you have a Trader Joe's, they haven't made it to KY yet. Looking forward to being on Team Angie with you and following your progress.

Sharon said...

Hum, I have yet to master the crispy sweet potato fries myself. And I love the Cha Sui Bao!

Laura said...

I am now in love with sweet potato wedges. Cut into wedge, salt, pepper and small amount of cooking spray and spread out on foil. Bake at 350 for approx. 35-40 min. With a bit of ketchup, I swear they are fries!

Amanda said...

What kind of mandolin did you get? I was going to ask for one for my b-day b/c I also wanting to make "chips". Is it just a newer version of the old one you have? Thanks!

Linda said...

Those chips look great!!!

I'm making the rounds and say hi!
Woot! GO TEAM ANGIE!!!

Linda
http://operationsticktoit.blogspot.com/

Marisa said...

Madison -yeah, it was tough passing on the chocolate! So many cool flavors like egg nog and pecan pie!

Dee - I like the parchment because nothing sticks to it, but you could use foil and just spray it really well:)

Tracy - try them, you'll like em! Go Team Angie! I'm really excited!

Sharon - Cha Sui Bao are so good! I would def. buy them again.

Laura - I never tried them with ketchup!! Cool idea!

Amanda - I bought an Oneida Stainless Steel one. It's def waaay better than my old one which was one of those slicers that you see on really old infomercials- LOL! Click on the word "mandoline" in my post and a pic of the NEW AND IMPROVED one that I bought should come up!! I can't wait to use it for baked fries!

Linda - HI!! Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to kicking TEAM LYNN's butt!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there -- is the Cha Sui Bao homemade or store bought? I'd love to know how to prepare it (or where to purchase). Thanks!

Lara said...

Those are by far the best sweet potato fries I have seen featured in blogworld. I am impressed with how crispy they are! I guess the mandolin is the secret!

Marisa said...

Anonymus - the Cha Sui Bao was Safeway Brand; I bought it at my local Safeway. Although, I have made them before using a recipe from Cooking Light. If you search my blog (in the upper left)for Cha Sui Bao, a post should come up where I show what the packaging looks like, so you know what to look for when you go to the grocery store :)

Lara- Thanks! They were awesome! I think the real trick was cooking at that low temp so they have time to crisp without getting burnt!