Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Carb Wars: Rutabaga Fries


I love potatoes. Fried, baked, mashed, loaded, twice baked, roasted -- I love them in all of their starchy goodness. Of course, potatoes aren't exactly a carb friendly food.

I didn't have high expectations when I set out to find a substitute, but I was willing to try. Until a couple of months ago, I had never eaten a rutabaga. Hell, I didn't even know what a rutabaga looked like.

This is a rutabaga.

The first thing I learned about rutabagas is that they hate you. The waxy outer covering is a pain to peel, and trying to get a knife through one of these beasts is a workout. However, with a few tricks, I managed to make the process nearly painless and thank goodness, because these babies are delicious! Even my 12 year old son says he likes them better than potatoes, and believe me, that's high praise.


Ingredients

1 large rutabaga
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika

Getting Started

Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper and preheat the over to 450 degrees. Use a potato peeler to peel the rutabaga. The waxy skin will cling to the blades, and it can be frustrating, but just be patient. Once peeled, wash the rutabaga and place it in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1/2 cup of water and cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner pulled back to ventilate. Cook on high in the microwave for 7-8 minutes. This will soften the rutabaga and make it much easier to slice. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and fill with cold water. Let sit for 2 minutes.



Directions 

Using a cutting board, slice the rutabaga into french fry-sized strips. I like mine a little thicker, about the size of steak fries. Dump the slices into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat the fries and empty onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until fries are lightly browned and tender throughout. (Baking time will depend on the thickness of the slices.)



Eat them plain or try a few of these ideas.

Low-Sugar Ketchup
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Bacon Bits
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cream Cheese Chili Dip: 
1 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp mayo
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black peper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp lime juice

Combine and stir until blended