This week was supposed to be a week filled of midterms and studying. This week was supposed to be all about my ridiculous stress eating habits that I can’t seem to kick. But then Sandy came, and my crazy stress levels were mostly postponed until next week. Not that it really mattered, because I realized that my stress foods are also excellent I’m-stuck-in-the-house-during-a-crazy-storm foods.
You see, when I’m crazy stressed out, I tend to crave (admittedly random) comfort foods, mainly pizza, Cheez-Its, and French fries. Turns out, these are pretty much the same things I want to eat when I’m stuck in my apartment while the rain pours and the wind howls outside. Well, all this and soup. You can’t wait out a hurricane with some good soup.
Anyway, at some point in college, I realized that there is no reasonable way for me to fight these food cravings during the hours I spend cramming studying for exams. And if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…right? If I’m going to crave carbs upon carbs, I might as well make them myself and give them a (hopefully) healthier twist. If I want pizza, I pick up a tortilla wrap and concoct my own 10-minute pizza full of veggie goodness. If I’m craving sweets, I make a loaf of whole wheat, low sugar banana bread. And if I just can’t live without French fries, I grab some potatoes, slice them up, and toss them in the oven. (I’m still working on the Cheez-It substitute, though homemade mac and cheese, like my pumpkin mac and “cheese,” seems to be doing a pretty good job)
These oven fries are delicious, packed with tons flavor, and certainly satisfied this stress eater’s absurd craving. They’re also deliciously comforting, no matter how much the wind is howling outside and how worried you are about flooding. They’re easy to make, go great as a side dish, and are awesome dipped in ketchup. I made a batch over the weekend while I was in super-crazy-study mode (midterms! Woo!), and I reheated them when the rain started falling. In both cases, they were definitely a much better choice than my usual box of Cheez-Its.
What’s your stress food weakness? Your stormy comfort food?
Spicy Oven Fries
3 russet or Idaho potatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into thin, even slices, then cut those slices in half to create wedges.
2. Put the potato wedges in a bowl and pour hot tap water in, covering the potatoes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. While waiting, move the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 450F.
3. Drain the potato wedges and pat them dry with a paper towel. Dry the bowl thoroughly and place the potatoes back into it. Toss with olive oil and spices until everything is evenly coated.
4. Arrange the potato wedges on a large cookie sheet or two so that they are in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until your desired level golden brown and crispiness is reached, giving the potatoes a shake and/or flipping them every 10 minutes or so. Serve immediately, plain, with ketchup, or with your favorite French fries dipping sauce