By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
“French fries. I love them. Some people are chocolate and sweets people. I love French fries. That and caviar.” -- Cameron Diaz
It snowed a tad last night. Sort of. The wind howled early in the morning. I woke up to see white powder on the rooftops. But it melted fast. I'm feeling winter is trying to make its move into Lake Tahoe as fall lingers. It's this time of year when I begin fantasizing about relocating. Today, it was moving on to Monterey. And, of course, you have to pass Gilroy--where the annual Garlic Festival is--to get there. So, must-have heart-healthy garlic and fries have been on my mind.
But here I am in the Sierras, nowhere near the coast, and as I noted a few posts back that I stuffed the fridge with veggies. That includes cute and healthful baby red potatoes (super rich in potassium and vitamin C). Sure, they're great for roasting and baking but did you know they are perfect for garlic fries? And I just had a serving. The garlic aroma fills the living room and I'm loving it...
Garlic French Fries
Wash 2 to 3 potatoes. Slice in wedges. (It's much easier to do than russet tators because the skins are thin--and leaving them as is works.) Put extra virgin olive oil into a frying pan. Once heated place potatoes in the pan. Sprinkle with chopped garlic. Toss in fresh chopped parsley and ground pepper. Hold the salt. When crispy and brown place on plate and blot oil. Serve on another plate with a few tablespoons of ketchup. Serves two. Note: Ketchup is way over the top in sodium but it boasts cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene and other nutrients--moderation.
I'm sure baked and roasted red potatoes are healthier than fried ones, but every once in a while it's okay to feed your cravings. Today, at the pool (yes, it was lovely) I met a couple (pro competitive weight trainers). The woman, in her 20s, has a six-pack belly, cut arms, and well, her body was 9 percent body fat. (She just finished a competition.) I used to lift free weights so I couldn't help but notice her muscles and feel a bit of envy. But hey, I'm old enough to be her mom; still a size 4 and lean 'n' fit. Upon request, after she showed me her biceps, I flaunted my upper back muscles (I know, I know vanity is not a virtue) which does have definition (from swimming countless breaststroke laps, week after week).
My point is, she reminded me that eating protein can help you to build muscle mass. And yes, I know this because I have written magazine articles about how to do it. I find it amusing that I after swimming and walking the Brittanys, I rushed home to my good carbs and garlic--part of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. The thing is, I don't think I could do egg whites or yucky tasting protein shakes (again). But next week I vow to fill my blog posts with European-type protein recipes--fish, nuts and eggs.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the scent of garlic and the memory of the crispy garlic fries I ate one by one as my bird dogs looked at me with envy. Yes, I gave in. Each pooch got a bite. And we got our long, fall walk so we and our muscles are good to go for non-competing sporting dogs and a baby boomer health author. Another perk: I feel reconnected to the California Coast, a place where I left my heart and soul.