Whether you’re looking for a snack or a side, you’ll be thrilled with these Sweet Potato “Fries” with Jalapeño-Onion Ranch Dip. These fries are actually baked, and you’ll enjoy the combo of the sweet potato flavor paired with a zesty condiment (made using plain Greek yogurt). But there’s an “ugly” secret to this recipe that I think you’ll love!
Let’s just say that I was thrilled when I was asked to participate in the Taste Not Waste campaign that Hidden Valley® and food activist and chef Tom Colicchio have joined forces to support. The campaign is focused on bringing attention to food waste in the U.S., and to encouraging families to “love all their veggies from the weird to the wilted to whole veggies.” This campaign hits home, as I’m guilty of unintentional food waste myself.
It’s estimated that six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables are wasted every year in the U.S. because they are “ugly.” I think we all know how some of that waste happens: that lettuce in the fridge has wilted a bit, so it gets tossed. The onion on the counter is feeling a little less-than-firm so…um…no thanks. And what of the shriveling peppers or the stalks from the broccoli? Yeah, maybe a pass. Before you toss them, consider how you could use them!
To put it into a dollar amount, the National Resources Defense Council notes that Americans waste 28 percent of the produce they bring home, adding up to $500 a year tossed away. That’s a lot of green.
In support of the USDA goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030, Hidden Valley® wants to inspire families to see that the imperfect can be perfectly tasty. My assignment as a supporter of the Taste Not Waste campaign? To create a tasty recipe that finds a way to fit “less than perfect” produce into the mix with Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix.
Lo and behold, as Thanksgiving wrapped up and the leftovers were finished, I found several wilting veggies in my fridge just waiting to be put to good use.
I had a few shriveling jalapeños and some green onions that were drying out and losing their luster a bit. Instead of tossing them, I knew they would be perfect to add great flavor to a creamy dip. Yes! I’d make a tasty dip (using plain Greek yogurt) that I could lovingly dunk some sweet potato “fries” into.
These sweet potato “fries” are actually baked, so there’s that, and one of the sweet potatoes I used was a Thanksgiving leave-behind, so I was happy to be able to put it to good use!
Think of the weeks ahead: kids are home from school, people will gather to watch basketball and football games on T.V., and family and friends will come together to celebrate the holidays. Sweet Potato “Fries” with Jalapeño-Onion Ranch Dip are the perfect snack-time option.
More on the Taste Not Waste campaign:
- In support of the USDA goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030, Hidden Valley® is making it simple for people across the country to join their efforts in taking steps to reduce food waste by encouraging them to post a photo of their less-than-perfect veggies along with #TasteNotWaste to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
- Hidden Valley® will donate $1 per post to Great Nations Eat, a campaign from Share Our Strength that helps raise awareness and drive solutions for the problem of hunger in America, up to $10,000.
- For more info on how you can help reduce food waste, as well as great recipes, visit Taste Not Waste. In addition, Hidden Valley® is committed to helping change the perception of what “perfect” veggies look like so it’s releasing limited edition bottles of Hidden Valley Original Ranch®. Hidden Valley® changed its iconic label to one featuring less than perfect produce to be sold on eBay – all proceeds from which will benefit Great Nations Eat. Check out these bottles on eBay.
I hope you’ll do what you can to help eliminate food waste. You’re not limited to jalapeños and green onions for this dip — use whatever you have on hand that might otherwise go to waste. Consider bell peppers, white or red onion, cucumber, or even some chopped spinach.
These baked sweet potato fries are perfect paired with this tangy, tasty dip! Serve them as a side or a snack. They're perfect for any gathering!
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and ends trimmed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 (.74-ounce) packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing Mix.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 green onions, ends trimmed, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, diced small
- Shredded Parmesan and fresh parsley for garnish
- Add the mix from the packet to a medium bowl. Combine with the Greek yogurt, softened cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, the green onions, and jalapeño. Toss to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice each half lengthwise again. Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Toss the cut potatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper (you may need to do this in two batches).
- Add the potatoes to the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on your oven), tossing them several times as they cook.
- Bake until tender and golden. Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool slightly before serving.
- Add to a plate and garnish with the shredded Parmesan and fresh parsley.
- Serve with the Jalapeño-Onion Ranch Dip.