Jamie Oliver is my new foodie hero! In the past, he entertained me as the Naked Chef, educated me at home, and entertained me on Oprah. Now he is inspiring me with his food revolution. I recorded his latest show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" and recently started watching it with my children. In this reality series Jamie goes to Huntington, West Virginia which has been named the most unhealthy city in America. This British chef attempts to change the way the citizens of Huntington eat, cook, and view food. He tries to convert them from processed, unhealthy, fast food to fresh, tasty, healthy food. My family and I were especially impacted by his work in the school cafeterias (sign his petition if you agree school food needs to change). After each episode my sons ask me questions like "How can being fat really kill you?" or "Does pink milk seriously have more sugar than soda?" and "Hey, can we make a stir-fry for dinner?" I love a good dialog and am passionate about serving my family the best food possible.
One food item that Jamie addresses in depth in his show is French fries. I remember when I was a little girl Saturday night was a big deal in my grandmother's house because she cooked french fries from scratch. She peeled and sliced potatoes, fried them in hot oil, drained them on paper towels, sprinkled them with salt, and served them with homemade ketchup. French fries were a treat not an everyday occurrence. Currently in our country French fries are way too unhealthy and way to easily accessible, but I do agree they are good. Although my family and I rarely have fast food French fries I often serve the frozen ones which are full of additives, preservatives, and fat. They are quick and convenient, but, thanks to Jamie Oliver, I realized that I needed a healthier alternative.
My remedy to the French fry dilemma was to do some cooking Jamie-style and prepare a big batch of hot roasted red potatoes. I flavored them with my family's favorite seasoning, Old Bay and served them up on a Tuesday night. They were so delicious! My youngest son said "Mama, you made us some good tator tots! Can I have some more?" I replied, "Yes, these are Mommy Tator Tots!" My son and my husband were scrambling for second helpings, and my daughter enjoyed the roasted red potatoes so much that she hopped up from the table and asked to take a bowl of them over to her friend's house to share.
I was very fortunate to have a box of freshly dug, locally grown potatoes that my neighbor brought us after visiting his family ranch on Mother's Day. I scrubbed them, diced them, tossed them with olive olive oil, Old Bay, and other seasonings. Then I spread them on a cookie sheet and roasted them in a hot oven. The aroma was amazing and the taste was even better. It would be tough to find a frozen or fast food French fry that was as tasty and as healthy as these. My family and I were pleased and I know Jamie Oliver would be proud too!
Old Bay Roasted Red Potatoes Recipe
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place baking sheet in oven while it is preheating.
- Scrub potatoes and dry very well.
- Cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks.
- Mix 2 Tablespoons olive oil, spices, and bread crumbs in a large bowl.
- Add potatoes to oil mixture and toss. Add additional 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and toss until all potatoes are coated.
- Spread coated potatoes on hot baking sheet in a single layer. Place in oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, use a large spatula to gently toss potatoes and dislodge any stuck potatoes.
- Roast an addition 20 minutes or until potatoes are crispy on the outside and golden brown on the outside.