Reduced Waste Veggie Fries and Chips
This post is written in collaboration with the Fair Food Forager. A movement which aims to change the way the world eats by making ethical easy. This is the second recipe we've collaborated on, you might have seen my Brussels sprouts recipe just before Christmas.
I'm excited to team up with these guys. At a time when we're all inclined to indulge, I hope to share that making some better food choices is in no way less exciting for the palate and a pretty fabulous discovery.
The Fair Food Forager website and app make it easy to find ethical and sustainable food through their location-based service. The app is free to download. Read more about their mission here.
Carrots and parsnips are a fail-safe, aren't they? No doubt one of the most common veggies to show face at any roast dinner, let alone Christmas.
Over the years I've mostly stuck to a recipe of roasted batons with a honey and grain mustard glaze, delicious and entirely low-maintenance. Last year there was such a big group of us at Chrimbo, the oven was packed, and something had to give. Therefore, they ended up steamed and mashed with butter, onion salt and a little nutmeg, also very tasty and not to be sniffed at even if it was a last-minute fix.
During the year, I've been doing quite a lot of experimenting with food, and I've found myself thinking about this special feast a little earlier than usual. I've decided to plan some of my other meals for the festive season. And while carrots and parsnips will of course make an appearance on Christmas day I decided to try something else with them for a lighter meal before or after when no doubt I'll be craving a meal that's still full of flavour but perhaps less bulky.
Homemade vegetable fries is what I'm planning, with some skillet-pan fried fillet of salmon, perfect for a post-Christmas Day treat. Better yet is the vegetable snacking chips that I get to make as a bonus and I'm safe in the knowledge that I made them myself and what's in them!
I'm probably not naturally the most excitable person when it comes to the Christmas festivities so I this is quite a big deal, planning or even thinking about the Christmas period in November is not what I do. Having said that, this year I find myself list-making and googling ideas for exciting ways to mix things up and obviously to share on the blog.
As I continue my culinary journey, I become more and more focused on the ingredients I use. I'm discovering all sorts of new flavour combinations. My little recipe notebook (a present from my husband last Christmas) is packed full of notes, tips and folded pages.
As well as evolving my repertoire (my little black book), I have a growing desire to make some better choices around food that not only benefit mine and my family's health but the health of the planet. When I read, Kate Turner's My Zero Waste Kitchen I felt compelled to implement some changes to my habits, one of them to shop smarter to reduce our household food waste.
Reduced Waste Veggie Fries and Chips
PREP/COOK TIME - 45 MINS | DIFFICULTY RATING - EASY | SERVES 4
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into fries/batons
- 4 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into chips/batons
- 1/2 cup of ground almonds
- 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 large beaten egg
- spray olive oil
- Fresh chopped parsley and chilli flakes for decorating.
Instructions - Veggie Chips
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Wash the carrots and parsnips. Remove the ends and peel.
- Toss the peelings in a bowl with some oil, chilli flakes and seasoning, arrange on a baking tray and cook for 25 mins at 180c. Move them around a few times while cooking.
- Taste and add more seasoning if you wish and eat immediately.
Instructions - Veggie Fries
- Arrange a bowl with the beaten egg and one with a mix of the almonds, cheese, herbs and seasoning.
- Dip each chip into the egg first then into the dry mixture and place on a lightly oiled baking tray.
- Cook for 25-35 mins at 180c until the crumb is starting to brown and crisp and the chips are cooked through.
- Serve with your sauce of preference.
My notes and tips
Both the crisps and the chips are easy to make. However, they do require a little love.
For the crisps, make sure you move them about a good few times once they're in the oven. They are naturally very thin and delicate, so there's a fine line between cooked and burnt. At the same time though they can't be underdone, then you'd be eating a vegetable peeling, and that's not what we're aiming for ;-) You be able to see when they get to the right crispness as long as you keep that eye on them.
Give both the veggies a good old scrub, remember you're eating these peelings, and I can't be held responsible for anyone eating dirt! In some ways then it might seem excessive to peel because if they've had a good scrub is it necessary? Perhaps not, but once you taste these crisps I think you'll continue to peel.
You're not limited to carrots and parsnips, you can turn all your veggie and potato peelings into crisps, just remember the above advice. ;-)
For the chips. Parsnips tend to cook a bit quicker than carrots so it might be worth chopping them larger.
This is the best tip, and it sounds so silly but when you're coating the chips with the crumb mix, use one hand for the egg and the other for the crumb mix. If not it gets very messy, you'll know what I mean when you do it. Even though I know to do it this way I still found myself rinsing my hands as I was making them.
I hope I've inspired you to try either of these for yourself. I'll openly admit I was a little sceptical the first time I made the crisps, but wow, was I pleasantly surprised. It seems a shame not to try for yourself when there's no doubt going to be an abundance of veggie peelings anyway. I've learnt a lesson working on this recipe post; I need to be more open-minded, giving things a try is very rewarding. Let me conclude by saying, if there's a guilt-free route to scoffing a bowl full of crisps to myself, then I'm genuinely winning!