Appetizers

Herbed Baked Sweet Potato Fries (with garlic aioli)

When I was younger, I was always told that sweet potatoes were unhealthy. The reason? Because they are sweet. I’m sorry, what? I could have doughnuts, and all sorts of things, but sweet potatoes were made on occasion. It was the craziest notion. Sweet potatoes happen to be on incredible tuber and phenomenal for weight loss and overall health. They are packed with vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A, and magnesium. Sure, they are on the starchy side, but sweet potato, especially sweet potato fries, are certainly a great addition to your eating lifestyle.

This recipe is incredibly simple and doesn’t require much prep. Sweet potato fries became more popular most recently in the last 15 years or so, around the same time that studies came out saying “sweet potatoes are good to eat!” because why would anyone not do research on their own…. *shoulder shrug*

Making homemade sweet potato fries may not taste like a restaurant, especially because most restaurants fry their potatoes or bake them coated in flour. This batch only calls for a toss of avocado oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and fresh ground rosemary. What are fries without a sauce to dip in? Whipping up a garlic aioli is super simple too, using mayo, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

The result are beautifully baked, tasty fries paired with a delicious dipping sauce. I can’t wait to try different seasonings and combinations. NOMaste 🙂

Herbed Baked Sweet Potato Fries (with garlic aioli)

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword aioli, baked, fries, garlic, herbed, sweet potato
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

For the fries

  • 2 medium Sweet potatoes rinsed, sliced, then sliced into fries
  • 3 tbsp Avocado oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • dried rosemary to taste

For the aioli

  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Minced garlic
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste

Instructions

For the sweet potato fries

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Begin by rinsing and slicing the sweet potatoes into fry shape.

  2. Toss the fries in avocado oil and season with dried rosemary.  Bake for 20 minutes.  For the last few minutes turn the oven to “Broil”

  3. Let sit for a few minutes, then season with sea salt.

For the aioli

  1. Take two tbsp of mayonnaise, one tbsp of garlic and mix together in a bowl.  Add in salt and lemon juice.  Continue to mix until all ingredients are combined.

New Year Eve Throw-down! Appetizer III – Spinach Dip

This has been one hell of a week to say the least. Without going into details, and getting incredibly emotional, we lost a very special person in our family a week ago Friday (tomorrow). My emotions are running rampant; I feel like I could cry or throw a chair at the drop of a hat. Despite this loss, the memories will always live in our hearts and our minds. I’m glad to have spent the weekend with family and survive the loss in our conversations together. RIP.

There’s no great segue into this recipe, except for the fact that I promised to post this recipe, and I’m glad to, especially because I am a major sucker for spinach dip (and coffee cakes from Drake’s, which were always at the ready whenever I saw the angel that left us… ah, a segue).  In all honesty, spinach dip does not need to be or should be difficult to make. It’s combining cheesy ingredients with chopped spinach and artichokes, broiled in a ramekin until the cheesy top is crusty and golden brown, served with chips, and in this case.. Siete chips!

I have definitely brought up Siete chips before, and I will a thousand times over. THEY. ARE. AMAZING. Siete is a grain-free brand that specializes in cassava, almond, coconut, and cashew-based products such as tortillas, tortilla chips, queso, and hot sauce. I love this product and the masterminds behind the company so much I’m doing a GIVEAWAY on Instagram (@nomaste.hungry) this coming week – stay tuned! Anyway, you can buy your Siete products here.

What I love about this spinach dip is that I KNOW what ingredients go into it: cream cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, chopped spinach, artichokes, and garlic powder. All of the ingredients listed are 100% organic and local, I truly believe there is a different in organic produce and products, and you can find most organic items in Trader Joe’s or inexpensive stores too! To start, I thaw a large bag of chopped spinach and drain with a decent amount of paper towels (maybe 2 or 3 double sheets, or a cheese cloth). Draining the spinach takes out the moisture so that the remaining ingredients combine and don’t get soggy.

Next, I melt an 8oz block cream cheese and add in the spinach along with the artichokes. I’ll whisk this around until the cream cheese starts to bubble and melt. Layer in 1/2 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella, whisking to marry all ingredients together. This is the recipe.

Sprinkle some garlic powder, mix again. Ladle the mixture into a ramekin or oven-safe bowl and sprinkle a final layer of mozzarella cheese. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the spinach dip until the cheese is golden on the sides. Serve with your NEW Siete chips and enjoy 🙂 Nomaste.

New Years Eve Throw-down! Appetizer II: “Pigs in a Blanket”

Who even came up with the “pigs in a blanket” name? Either way, New Years is never NYE without these guys present at the appetizer table. I feel like people never say no to them also, and so that’s why they’re always a hit for parties, large or small.

Franks in blankets are basically small cocktail franks rolled up in crescent roll dough from the container. I cannot express how simple this recipe is, that I won’t be including a recipe at the bottom *GASP*

…still working on my flat lay and making these pics fancy but I’m just living my best life

The reason I chose to make these on my own is because I have honestly always wanted to see if I can make them just as good as the store-bought kind. Survey says, YES!

Alright, here’s the breakdown of ingredients:

  • One 8oz can of crescent rolls
  • One package cocktail franks
  • Melted butter
  • Coarse sea salt

To make these babies is totally simple:

  1. Open canister of crescent rolls and pull apart at the perforated seams.
  2. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and lay out the crescent roll dough
  3. Cut the dough into smaller portions
  4. Take a cocktail frank and start at the thinner end of one of the crescent rolls and roll from one end to the other, pinching at the end. Repeat
  5. Spray a nonstick pan with olive or coconut oil, layer the piggies on the pan, spread the melted butter on top, then sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375* (adjust heat as needed).

These will easily become a staple at any event, in fact, I’m planning these for a Superbowl party along with another showstopper: spinach dip! Nomaste 🙂

New Years Eve Throw-down! Appetizer 1: Potato Skins

365 days, 525,600 minutes (I had to get a RENT reference in there), 52 weeks, 12 months, blah blah blah… It’s the NEW YEAR BABY! I have mixed feelings about celebrating the new year. Some years I went out with friends (we did do Manhattan three times for NYE, and it was absolutely worth it), some years I worked at restaurants and made bank, and then others I spent at home drinking champs solo and eating everything I wanted. This year was the latter, minus the drinks (I had one glass) and add a pup and a husband.

When you think of traditional appetizers, whether for NYE or at a restaurant, say Applebee’s, what comes to mind? I automatically think of quesadillas, buffalo wings, spinach dip, and potato skins. My favorite are buffalo wings, but since I didn’t feel like doing those, I opted for some skins. Shockingly, these are pretty easy, but do take a while to prep and make; they also take up a lot of time in the oven – in and out three times in fact! The end result is totally worth the prep and time.

*fun fact: I worked at Applebee’s and loved every second of it. Hands down their best apps were the quesadillas, boneless wings, wonton tacos, and mozzarella sticks*

Choosing the type of potato for potato skins actually does matter. Russet potatoes tend to stand up to a triple bake and holding “loaded” toppings like sour cream and cheese. They have a bit more starch to them and can bake in 45 minutes. I started by rinsing the potatoes and placing them on a sheet pan, baking them at 375* for 45 minutes. If you sense that they are burning, fear not, just turn the heat down to 350*. Once they’re done baking, let them cool and begin to cut in half.

After cutting, you need to scoop out the insides, leaving a slight layer of potato in the skins. MAKE SURE YOUR POTATOES ARE COOL. This will burn if they are not cool enough to handle. Scoop out the insides, melt butter and spread the melted butter on the insides of scoop skins. Sprinkle some salt on then and bake again for 5-7 minutes, turning them over to brown on the top.

These babies are now ready to melt with cheese and your favorite toppings. Throw the skins back in to bake with cheese until the cheese melts. Layer onto a plate and top with chives, sour cream, bacon, etc. Fun, festive, and freaking delicious! Nomaste 🙂

Potato Skins

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 skins
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 6 Russet potatoes large
  • 2 tbsp Butter melted
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Chives
  • Sour Cream as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Rinse potatoes and place on baking sheet.  Bake in middle rack of oven for 45 minutes.  Lower heat if needed.

  3. After baking, let cool until the potatoes are cool enough to handle.  Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a 1/4″ thick layer of potato.

  4. Melt butter and spread on each skin. Sprinkle salt.  Bake for 5-7 minutes, turning potato skins over to brown midway through baking.

  5. Take potatoes out and sprinkle cheese.  Bake for the third time until cheese is fully melted and bubbling.

  6. Add favorite toppings such as chives, sour cream, and bacon.