Archives for September 2016

Homemade Baked French Fries

Hi Zucchini Runner readers. It’s me, Mr. Zucchini Runner. Mrs. Zucchini Runner has been asking me for YEARS to do a post on my french fries. I finally caved so here it is.

This recipe was pieced together from a few different sites and from trial and error over the years. Full disclosure: I hardly ever make these the same way and they are very time consuming. I think the fact that it takes so long to make these makes them taste even more delicious! Mrs. ZR always says my fries are the best and asks me to make them all the time; so give them a shot and hopefully you’ll enjoy them just as much!

What I have below is the most “official” way to do it but feel free to do whatever works for you. I don’t always soak the fries for as long as this and I don’t always dry them as long either. They still turn out pretty yummy.

So without any further ado, here it goes.

For these you’ll need:

  • Russet Potatoes – However many you want! (organic is best)
  • 2 TBSP Coconut Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Other seasonings to taste
  • Large Bowl
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Heavy books and/or a single dumbbell, just some heavy things

Find yourself some nice Russet Potatoes. These make the best fries. I’ve used two this time, probably more than we need for the two of us but ah well.

Make sure you have a nice big bowl filled with water.

Cut your potatoes into as even of slices as you can. I have this cool french fry slicer that Mrs. Zucchini Runner bought me. It makes this part WAY easier.

After you’ve sliced your potatoes, immediately put them in the bowl of water. This gets the starch out which is step one in allowing them to get nice and crispy.

After the potatoes are all cut and in the bowl the water will turn milky. I always dump it out and refill it with fresh water. At this point let the potatoes sit in the water for about 20 minutes.

While you wait you can get the next step ready. We need to dry these potatoes off really well! This is the second step to getting your fries nice and crispy. There are plenty of ways to do this, but here’s how I go about it. I grab the pan I’m going to use to bake them, get 4 dish towels out. Two go on the bottom, and two will go on the top.

After the 20 minute soak, dump the water and put the fries in a single layer on the toweled cookie sheet.

Now I put the other two towels on top and I put two of Mrs. Zucchini Runners heavy cooks books on top. And just for good measure I throw an 8 lb weight on top. I let this sit for about an hour and a half. You can do it for longer or shorter, just remember the dryer the potatoes the crispier they’ll be!

Before we go to the next step now’s a good time to pre-heat the oven. Set that sucker to 450°F

For the next step I use the same bowl I had the water in. Make sure it’s dry!

Dump the fries in the bowl. Then we get to make these puppies taste good! I used two tablespoons of coconut oil on these and this time went for Real Salt, seasoned salt (a no MSG kind), and black pepper. I’ve used all sorts of different spices and flavors for these fries. I encourage you to experiment.

Dump the oil on the fries and shake them around in the bowl, then sprinkle on the seasonings and shake them around again.*

Dump the fries on the baking sheet you used to dry them. Make sure you arrange them in a single layer. This is the third step to making sure they get nice and crispy.

Now we throw them into the super hot 450°F oven for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes take the pan out of the oven and carefully use a spatula (and I always end up just flipping them one by one with my hands) to flip them all over.

Put them back in for another 10-12 minutes and voila! Perfect baked french fries!

*At this point, you can put them in a large plastic zipper bag and store in the fridge to cook for later. We’ve done this before and they still turned out great. Just keep an eye on the cooking time, as it may need slight adjustment.


Yum! The below slideshow will break down all the steps with photos as well.

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Latte and Biscuits + Apple-Pear Bonus

Raise your hand if you enjoy the idea of having a fruity pastry with coffee for breakfast, even though you KNOW it’s not the healthiest choice. {me me me me me, all the time me!} I always WANT to stop by a bakery and get donuts or pastries and a cup of coffee – it always SOUNDS good. Then I think about all the processed, enriched white flour and dairy filled butter — and how much my body will hate me if I actually consumed those. So I end up skipping it and going without — until now!!

Never underestimate the power of experimenting in the kitchen. Let go of the fear of making a mistake and just GO FOR IT! Whenever I do that, I end up with a delicious recipe.


For today’s recipe I simply started out by wanting to create gluten-free, vegan biscuits; that was my original idea.  It then turned into, ‘maybe I should show everyone how I make my quick morning lattes’? (I’ve posted this on Instagram before, but those get lost in the shuffle.) THEN while making the biscuits I thought, I really need something to go ON the biscuits. (Again, originally I was just going to put jelly on them and call it a day; biscuits, jelly and a cup of Joe – SURE!?) But with tomorrow being the first OFFICIAL day of FALL, I wanted to somehow tie in apples, pears and pumpkin pie spices.


This is a great combo to try on the weekend, when you want to sit around the house afterwards and enjoy the cool air of fall on your back porch. Ahhhh 🙂


Cinnamon Spiced Latte

1 mug full of your favorite hot or iced coffee
7-10 almonds
1 Medjool date (remove the pit)
1/4 tsp. coconut oil
Pinch or 2 or 3 of ground cinnamon

  1. Place all the ingredients into your blender, and mix on high speed for about 1 minute.
  2. (Optional) Use a milk bag to strain out the nut and date pulp, as you pour it into your cup.
  3. Or simply enjoy the pulp and pour into your favorite mug and enjoy! I’ve done it both ways!

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Biscuits – Gluten-Free and Vegan

2 cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1 TBSP. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. pink himalayan or REAL salt
4 TBSP. coconut oil
1 c. culinary coconut milk
1 TBSP. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment paper.

  1. Start off by making vegan “buttermilk”; add the apple cider vinegar to 1 c. of coconut milk. Stir well and set aside.
  2. In a separate large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk.
  3. Add the coconut oil into the flour mixture (it can be liquid or solid bits). Use a fork to press the coconut oil into the flour and stir well to combine. The mixture will be crumbly looking.
  4. Pour half the vegan buttermilk into the flour mixture and use the fork to mix well. Add the remaining vegan buttermilk, and stir again. Ensure you get all the flour at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. (This is a good time to prepare the baking pan with parchment paper.)
  6. Remove dough from fridge. Measure out ~¼ c. or a little less of dough and use your hands to form round dough balls. Place each ball side-by-side, it’s ok if they touch, on the parchment lined pan. Squish the dough down a little for a more biscuit-like look.
  7. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until a very light golden brown on top.

Makes 12 biscuits.


You can drizzle with a little honey and serve immediately. OR make the pear-apple-spice dish below!

Step-by-step biscuit making slideshow here:

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Apple-Pear-Spice Bonus!

This was SUPER easy. I just used a mandolin to thinly and quickly slice 2 small green apples and 1 small pear. I then placed them into a small baking dish and dusted them with 1/4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, popped them in the already heated 450°F oven, and baked for 15 minutes.


Before baking

When you forget to take an after photo with your camera, and have to pull it from Snapchat. 😀 hahaha


After 15 minutes in the 450°F oven.

You might be asking yourself… ‘great, now what?’ You have these biscuits that look like more like balls than biscuits and some cooked fruit… well, we tried a couple different things.

Thing #1 was simply eat the biscuit plain with a little drizzle of honey. Easy peasy. Delicious.

Second, we cut the biscuit in half and topped it with a layer of apples and pears, added a single walnut and then drizzled it with pure maple syrup. They ended up looking like fancy little desserts!


Lastly, I crumbled up a biscuit and topped it with the fruit mixture, and drizzled it with a little honey. This way I was able to eat it with a fork!


These biscuits might look like Mexican wedding cookies, but they are a great alternative to the traditional UBER unhealthy biscuits made with butter and enriched white flour. They are also simple enough to pair with just about anything – you could go savory and use your favorite gravy even. HAVE FUN WITH THE TOPPINGS! If you try these out, please share what you’ve created below!

Now, question for YOU, would any of you be interested in downloading a FREE eBook on how to incorporate more plant-based recipes into your life? I’m toying around with the idea and wanted to gauge interest.

If the above topic doesn’t interest you, what would?