Normally, I’m not a fan of cheese.
I don’t mean the goat, asiago, or gouda variety – of course not, I adore those. I mean the shmaltzy, insincere cliches that husbands and Valentine’s Day cards like to throw out every once in a while when they really can’t think of anything better to say.
The other day I was prematurely lamenting about getting old. Prematurely because if you know how old I am, you’ll tell me it’s certainly not enough to start feeling old. But speaking relative to how young I was when Ben and I first met, I’m starting to get up there, indeed. In a moment of weakness I asked if I was still as pretty as I was 8 years ago (when I was, ahem, 19) and he replied “No, you’re more beautiful every year that passes.” Awww.
He could have stopped there. But instead, he went on. “You’re like a fine wine, you get better with age.” Well, normally that’s not my kind of thing, but I let it go, with just a little snort.
I can’t help but wonder, though, whether that will always be the case. Surely there will be a time when wrinkles and gray hairs and my saggy deflated balloon bosom leave him thinking I was prettier the year before. But hopefully, when that happens, my mind will still be intact. Because as long as it is, I can count on doing things better than I did in the years before. With more creativity, finesse, and expertise.
Things like making squash fries. Because obviously, it’s a very important skill to have in a household where burgers are one of the most favored dinner entrees. A couple years ago, I thought I had discovered how to make the best squash fries, and I even described them to you in a fair amount of detail, stopping short of giving them their own post.
And then I got the idea for these squash fries which turned out to be so good that we ate them roughly 1.43 times per week, 3 weeks in a row. Thus, they deserve a post of their own.
Baking them on top of a wire rack allows the heat to circulate evenly throughout, which, when combined with an egg white coating and a dusting of starchy peanut flour, leaves them perfectly crisp on the outside and tender inside. A dash of chili powder gives them that uncanny ability to move straight from pan to mouth, bypassing the plate if you’re not careful enough to have the rest of your meal ready at the same time. They’re sweet and nutty and spicy all at the same time, and if that’s not enough for you, feel free to dunk them in honey mustard or avocado yogurt sauce, like we have. And because they’re made with low-calorie, fiber- and vitamin-rich squash, they truly are as good for you as they taste.
They’re really, really good, but I won’t call them the best. Nope, I can’t go there yet. Because if Ben is right (and he is, pretty often) the best is yet to come. For now, these are pretty darn fantastic.
Chili-Peanut Squash Fries
3/4 pound butternut squash, peeled and sliced into thin strips*
1 egg white
2 tablespoons peanut flour (such as Bell Plantation PB2)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the rack with cooking spray.
Place the cut squash in a large bowl and add the egg white. Use your hands to toss until the fries are completely coated. Add the peanut flour and chili powder, and toss to coat thoroughly.
Arrange the fries in a single layer on the wire rack. Transfer the rack (with the baking sheet underneath) to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the fries are tender and lightly browned all over, turning once.
*For best results, choose a large squash with a long neck and use the neck part for your fries. The remainder of the squash can be roasted and pureed, and you can use it just like you would use pumpkin puree (and if you don’t know how to use pumpkin other than in pumpkin bread or pie, I’ve got plenty of pumpkin recipes for you!) Slice the squash into very thin strips, as uniformly as possible, so that they cook evenly.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 79.9 mg
Potassium 637.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 4.8 g
Protein 7.3 g