Tomorrow rings in a new year, and I suspect that there aren't too many of us who will miss 2020! What a strange year this has been.

One of the side effects of the pandemic shutdown is the fact that most of us have spent much more time at our homes. With entertainment options rather limited, many of us have turned to cooking, baking and eating. As a result, many of us have put on a few extra pounds.

So as we ponder our New Year's resolutions, I suspect that one of our top promises to ourselves will be to eat healthier and lose weight. If we are going to accomplish these goals, we need to exercise more and be more selective about what we eat. One leading culprit in weight gain is our unbridled love of fried foods. Let's all pledge to cut down on our intake of artery-blocking foods!

With this goal in mind, today I feature a side-dish recipe as a substitute for French fries – garlic roast potatoes. The basic recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I hope she won't mind that I made a couple of minor changes to her recipe. My family loves this side dish despite the fact that the potatoes are roasted, not fried. I suspect that after your family members taste these potatoes, they'll adapt to and adopt this new recipe with gusto!

Happy and healthier New Year to everyone!

Week 12: Garlic Roast Potatoes


3 pounds of red or white potatoes (I often use half regular potatoes and half sweet potatoes.)

1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (This is optional. I like my roasted potatoes a bit spicy.)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and parsley in a large bowl.

3. Wash and dry the potatoes. (Leave the skin on the potatoes.) Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.

4. Pour cut potatoes into the bowl and mix well so the potatoes are evenly coated.

5. Transfer the potatoes to a large sheet pan and spread them out evenly. (I like to line the pan with parchment paper, but this isn't necessary.) Try to spread the potatoes out so they're not touching each other.

6. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula to brown evenly. (I place the rack about 1/3 of the way down the oven.) Keep a close eye on the potatoes after they've been baking for 40 minutes to prevent burning.

7. Add your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!


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