Sweet Potato Fries and Going Vegan

A bit of a story, on Thursday night I took Oreo down to Lake Eola in Orlando for a little walk. It is an extremely scenic walk and is just about a mile around. If you ever see pictures of Orlando, I am sure you will see the pictures of the lit up fountain in the middle of Lake Eola. On our walk around, there was a Winter Park Vet with a TV set up facing the lake playing videos of animal cruelty in slaughter houses. I don’t want to get into the details, but after talking to him for a while he had both nauseated me to the point that I couldn’t think about eating chicken ever again and also convinced me to give it a try. I want to say that he is a an extremely nice man that has no intention of imposing his views on people but rather aims to educate people on some of the things he was exposed to while going through veterinary school.

So for the past couple of days I have been giving it a try. I know friends and family that have tried eating vegan for all different reasons and each one of them has come back saying they feel like they have a lot more energy and feel overall more healthy.

Going into this, I have a couple of concerns:

  1. Not being able to eat anything. Vegans don’t eat meat, fish, eggs and milk. I eat an absurd number of eggs a week and milk is in absolutely everything.
  2. Struggling to find places to eat out.
  3. Finding foods that I will actually like eating. I’m not a big fan of hearty wheats and grains. I need flavor in my foods. And some versatility.
  4. Being that annoying friend that people struggle to find something to eat for. I don’t want my decision to eat vegan to have any effect on my friends decisions.

I really want to not change too much about my eating habits and lifestyle. I want to fit vegan eating into my taste and my current lifestyle, otherwise I will just feel like I failed and resort back to my carnivorous ways.

SOoooo, here’s just a little bit about my Monday as a Vegan. 🙂

I got up as usual at 6 to head out to the gym. Worked out for about an hour and then took the pups for a walk. When I got back I stared at my kitchen for a while. Realized I had no oatmeal, which was what I was planning on making for breakfast and stared at the cabinets for a little while longer. Eventually I came up with this:

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Nothing crazy. I used Soy Vanilla Yogurt to avoid dairy and the granola that I had made yesterday. The granola was fantastic. I absolutely love it. Breakfast was delicious.

For lunch I decided that I was going to try it out on the road and not pack anything (against my better judgement). I went to The Villages today, which is a special place in itself. If you’ve never heard of it, it is a city specifically designated for retirees. It is what they call, “A Golf Cart Community”. I am not joking when I saw the first time I went to this city I sat in my car and just stared in awe. I was the youngest person there by 50 years and everyone was driving golf carts around. Not cars. And they deck them out! I mean they go nuts! This is just one example, and it doesn’t even compare to some of them that are truck shaped golf carts with the old styled wood beds.

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Anyways. If you are bored and want a good laugh…check out this you tube video of The Villages Golf Cart Drill Team. You can’t make this up.

Anyways, for lunch I literally drove all over this city looking for something I could eat. I finally settled on going into a local supermarket knowing that they had a deli attached. Again, I stared at the pre-made sandwiches. Nothing without meat. Salads…all topped off with meat. Deli menu. All meat. So I asked the lady if she would whip up a veggie wrap. “The only wraps we have are what are already pre-made.” Trying not to sound too stingy, I told her I didn’t eat meat and I was hoping she could just throw some veggies on some bread and call it lunch. She responds, “We don’t have any veggie options. I can’t even ring up a sandwich in the register that doesn’t have meat on it.” Lovely. So I asked her if she could just charge me for a meat sandwich and just leave it off. She disappeared and had to ask her manager.

In the end, I got my Veggie Wrap, which was delicious and paid for a ham sandwich.

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When I got home, I cleaned out my cabinets a bit and came across my sweet potatoes that had some serious foliage attached to them. Tonight, was sweet potato fries. Tomorrow, will be sweet potato chips!

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They were yummy! Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients:

1 Sweet Potato 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt to Taste Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Slice up your sweet potato into fries shapes. You can leave the skin on or shave the potato. Up to you. I left it on because I like the flavor that it adds.

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2. Place the fries in a pile on a cookie sheet and pour the olive oil on top. Stir the fries around until they are all coated. You don’t want them soaked but you do want them all shiny. If you put too much on they won’t end up getting crispy at all and they will probably taste like oil. YUCK.

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3. Now add your salt and pepper. I would say about a teaspoon would be enough salt. The pepper is up to you! The more pepper you add the spicier the flavor of the fry. So don’t be too shy with it if you like things on the spicy side.

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4. Spread them out on the baking sheet so they aren’t touching one another. If they do touch, they will get a bit softer and you will miss out on the crispy crunch that we all love. Let them bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then take them out and flip them all over. Throw it back in the oven for another 10 minutes and Finito! Sweet Potato Fries!

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For other options on the flavoring, try some paprika seasoning on top of them. Or maybe some garlic powder. You can’t really go wrong with these unless you try to get too fancy. The more simple the better. Sweet potatoes already have a ton of flavor, so don’t over do it. If you want a printable version of the recipe…this will do it! Recipe

I was also thinking as I was gnawing on them that they would probably be pretty good on a salad. Weird thought, I know, but I could see this working almost as an avocado does in a salad. It would bring a lot of flavor and could compliment the right salad really well.

Anyways! Let me know if you try the sweet potato fries or if you have any new vegan suggestions or hints! My goal is to stay with similar eating habits and a similar style of eating but cut out everything that vegans avoid. It should be interesting!

Happy Eating!!

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