sweet potato "fries"

My daily culinary adventures spice up my life. I’ve mastered fruit tarts, homemade bread and my first Thanksgiving outside my parents’ house — all within the past year. In April, I pigged out at the Cochon555 and at The Corner Office’s Disco Brunch. A few weeks ago, I went to the soft opening of The Kitchen [Next Door] in Boulder. Add up all those splurges and you end up with an astronomical caloric intake. My dilemma is that my passion for gastronomy does not see eye to eye with my need to fit into my summer clothes. In other words, dieting is my hell on earth — so I’ve searched for ways to trick myself into eating healthier.

I despise healthy substitutions in most cases. Splenda in cookies? Margarine instead of butter? No, thank you. I prefer the real deal. But when it comes to substituting turkey for beef and whole wheat flour instead of white, slashing calories doesn’t seem so awful. Of all the “eat this, not that” exchanges out there, sweet potato fries win this foodie’s blue ribbon.

Park Burger on S. Pearl Street dishes out sweet potato fries that are equally as salty as they are sweet. The catch is that they’re fried in oil — and even though that also means they’re delivered to the table crispy and piping hot, it also means they’re covered in saturated fat. My alternative to creating my most coveted indulgence at home is grilling the taters instead of dousing them in an excess of oil, while adding my own twist of spice. To further manipulate my brain and my taste buds, I accompanied the “fries” with a turkey burger nestled on a whole wheat bun and topped with homemade pickles.


Grilled Sweet Potato “Fries” (serves 2)

1 large sweet potato, cut in half and then sliced into strips

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon chili powder

salt (to taste)

1. Pre-heat grill to highest temperature.

2. Lay sliced sweet potatoes on a sheet of aluminum foil.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle spices on top.

4. Wrap foil around the potatoes and grill for a total of 20 minutes.

5. Open foil to allow some of the heat to escape so that the potatoes can cool slightly.

6. Salt while still hot, and serve.