Rainbow Veggie Fries

Mixed Veggie Fries

In the back of the house of the restaurant, we munched on “failures,” including roasted parsnips that were meant for a salad, but after too long in the oven were more like french fries. This happened more than any kitchen crew member would like to admit.

While they were still just roasted parsnips, something about the crunch and the salt made you think they were standard fries, especially when dipped in ketchup or mustard. 

These mixed root veggie fries are inspired by those failed roasted parsnips, but with a bit of extra color (thanks to purple sweet potatoes and carrots). The whole lot of rainbow roots are roasted until they are crispy, and then sprinkled with a good dose of salt. I'm not a big fan of ketchup but if you serve these with a side of ketchup, you can fool your own taste buds. Even my vegetable-hating friends said they thought they tasted like fries (what they  didn’t say, but I’m sure they meant, was “with a healthy twist”). 

I usually use avocado or coconut oil to make fries, but this time I used leaf lard from FatWorks. Leaf lard is the highest quality lard you can find, and it’s known for making really flakey pie crust and really delicious tamales. It’s neutral taste makes it delicious in most things, and I think that using leaf lard in this recipe helped make the veggies taste even more fry-like. You can order some of this leaf lard here.

Mixed Veggie Rainbow Fries
Mixed Veggie Rainbow Fries

This is the third recipe in a series of three recipes I have made testing various oils from FatWorks. FatWorks provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! FatWorks is made in my area, so I love supporting them, and they help me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Rainbow Veggie Fries

Published August 15, 2017 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots
  • 1 purple sweet potatoe
  • 2 white potatoes
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons leaf lard
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash veggies, and slice into french-fry sticks. (If you prefer, peel the veggies before slicing. I prefer to leave the peels on.)
  2. Melt the lard. Pour over veggies and toss until everything is coated. Spread veggies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until fries turn crispy.
  4. Remove from oven and season with salt to taste.

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai restaurants seems to have a magic sauce they put on everything to make it rich and full of umami. The first section of the menu I look at is the curry section. The Thai restaurant down the street from us serves curry with Japanese Pumpkin (AKA Kabocha squash) in it, and it's to die for. When I don't go for curry, I turn to eggplant. The soft vegetable has a way of soaking up all of that magic sauce and transforming into a seared buttery bite of flavor. And when I don't order either of those, I order Thai Basil Chicken. 

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai Basil Chicken is always smothered in plenty of the magic sauce. You think I'm full, I'll take the rest home and then five minutes later you find yourself still munching, addicted to that sauce. I'm a bit particular about Thai Basil Chicken though. Some restaurants use ground chicken and others used minced or cubed chicken... I much prefer the ones that skip the ground chicken and use chopped chicken. And unless the restaurant has pictures all over their menu, you never know what you're going to get! 

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

I also want my plate of Thai Basil Chicken to be full of veggies! Peppers, broccoli, mushrooms... whatever they are serving with the chicken, I ask for extra. This is where I get myself into trouble. Most of the time the waitress tries to talk me out of it. I've heard the "There are plenty of vegetables in it," line a lot. And I have said "I know, but more please," a lot. Still... never enough. 

And then I realized: Make it at home! Duh! Figure out the magic trick in the sauce, cube the chicken, and use whatever veggies look the best. Definitely one of those why didn't I think of this sooner things. Live and learn. 

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Published August 10, 2017 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Thai chilies, minced, plus 5 for garnish for people who like it 🔥
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying - I used an organic sustainable red palm oil, which can handle a high cooking heat, but you can use coconut or avocado, too
  • 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce (Most oyster sauce contains sugar and some contains wheat. If you have allergies, read the label! It is an important ingredient to making that secret sauce 😊)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of loosely packed Thai basil leaves 
  • 1-1/2 cup chopped asparagus, with white ends removed

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan. Stir every few minutes, cooking until the pieces are browned on each side. Add garlic and 4 minced Thai chilies.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Pour into wok, and stir to coat the chicken. Reduce heat so sauce is just simmering.
  3. Add chopped asparagus to pan, and cook for 5 more minutes, until asparagus turns bright green and tender.
  4. Just before serving, add in the basil leaves, stirring to distribute evenly. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice, or eat it on it’s own.

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

La Casa de la Abuela is a restaurant with weathered wood tables and a big covered patio. It sits on the main road of La Union, a small town that doesn't even leave a mark on the Google Map of Ecuador. There, in that little town, I experienced the best meal I ate in Ecuador, despite the road noise.

One of the first things that was brought to the table was sliced fresh tomatoes with basil and a drizzle of garlicky, herby oil. There was something about that oil that made those tomatoes shine! Next arrival to the table was a big bowl of seemed muscles and clams, without a doubt freshly caught that morning. We drizzled the same garlic oil over each clam shell in delight. Was it the clams that were stellar or just the oil? Or both? 

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil
Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

We took turns guessing how they made the oil, until finally the owner and chef came to the table, bearing a jar full of the stuff, and the list of the ingredients. 

Just garlic, parsley, and red chiles in olive oil will give you a taste of that night in Ecuador. Drizzle it freely over seafood, dress a caprese salad, use it to make a salad dressing, or drip your favorite bread into it. 🤤

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

Published August 8, 2017 by
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Yields: 1 cup   |    Total Time: 15 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresno chile (in Ecuador, they would use a small red chile called Pico de Pájaro, but I am unable to find that locally)
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mince garlic, fresno chile and parsley and place in jar.
  2. Add salt and oil, to jar. Allow to sit covered, in fridge, for 24 hours so that the flavors seep into the oil.
  3. Use as a drizzle or dipping oil.