Did you ever have that moment in your teens or adulthood when you realized that steamed vegetables were not the only vegetables. Honestly, once I discovered roasted veggies, everything paled in comparison.
I distinctly remember going out to a nice restaurant and instead of the usual "with seasonal vegetables" side of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend that usually comes when the menu says that, I was served carrots that had been roasted with a hint of sesame oil. Wow. Talk about next level. When I moved to the south, I was interested in okra- a totally new experience to me. The heavily battered and fried version just didn't really thrill me, so I tried roasting it with a little oil and cajun seasoning. Suddenly, I loved okra! *Side note: I also love okra in soups or stewed with tomatoes, but that doesn't really relate to roasting.
Aside from okra, another aspect of living in the south is that heating up my kitchen to roast veggies in my oven is not so fun. In fact, it can be pure torture. Even with the air conditioner set at arctic breeze, the person standing over the stove gets active volcano breeze. So, when I got my air fryer, my oven got to take a little break for summer. I've tried from both frozen or fresh, and I am pleased to find that within 7-9 minutes at 400 degrees in my air fryer (no preheating time with that either), I have delicious roasted broccoli (from FROZEN or fresh), green beans (again, from frozen or fresh), cauliflower, brussel sprouts (these take a bit longer if whole), carrot strips, and more! I even roasted stuffed mushrooms in 8 minutes at 400 degrees! Thank you Kite Hill chive cream cheese for the most amazing filling. I've roasted cubes of butternut squash, sweet peppers for a salad, and summer squash. It's all so flavorful and delicious.
The point is, Air Frying offers a quick and no-heating-up-the-kitchen way to make roasted veggies any time. I have been making roasted broccoli or green beans a lot lately because the kids like them and it's such an easy way too make a side (or if you eat a giant bowl of broccoli, a main). I've even read that you can roast garlic in it, but haven't tried yet!
Honestly, I thought my Air Fryer was going to be to make french fries and crispy tofu and that's it (and those things are both AWESOME in the air fryer), but I've found that I use it just about every day. Follow my Instagram and/or Facebook and you'll see that I often use it for such simple things, it doesn't see, worthwhile to blog about.
Last month I went to a local arts and crafts fair and a woman had a cool homemade spiralizer that she made spiralized potatoes with and then put them in a huge cast iron pot of peanut oil. It was pretty much the best fries ever.
I wanted to recreate them using the Inspiralizer and my Air Fryer, and I was so pleased with the results!
1 or more yukon gold (or whatever kind you like) potatoes
truffle salt (or regular salt or seasoning you like)
Spray olive oil
First, you spiralize your potato. I used a yukon gold and was very happy with the results, but I'd say use the kind of potato you like (use a purple one!). On the Inspiralizer, I used the setting so it has no teeth pointing out, and slices chip-like spirals.
Yummy. As I've said before, what I love about the Inspiralizer in comparison to other spiralizers is that the center piece is so tiny that there is almost no waste (and there's no reason not to toss it in with everything else).
Spread out the spirals in the Air Fryer and spritz with oil (I used olive oil) and sprinkle with salt (I used truffle salt, because I'm fancy). Set it to 400 for 20 minutes.
I shook and tossed the chips every 5 minutes or so, and the above picture is after 10 minutes. I ended up cooking one batch for 20 and they got really nice and dark, and the batch pictured at the top of this post I cooked for 15. Sample, check on it, and make a judgement based on your preference. I also re-spritzed at 10 minutes... because it's just a spray of oil and it's still way less than fried chips so I'm not too worried about it.
I wrote a children's book, How Our Vegan Family Celebrates, to help vegans and vegan allies know how to include vegans in their celebrations and give affirmation to vegan kids who may feel alone. The book goes through holidays throughout the year and has a section at the back with parent tips!
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