Appetizers, Recipes


Oh goodness. This has been such a stressful night. I’m not, like, the biggest sports fan ever… but tonight, sports were the cause of my stress. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Yes, the Super Bowl is tomorrow. As you probably know, the big game is in Indianapolis; the game a mere hour’s drive away from me. [I’ve heard it’s super crowded there right now…. not my scene at all.]

But in Indiana, there was another big game this weekend. A game that some might argue is more important. Indiana versus Purdue basketball. Hence the stress.

See, I’m a grad student at IU. So daily I’m surrounded by Hoosiers. And of course everyone in Bloomington has gotten wrapped up in the drama of Hoosier basketball coming back and all. However… I grew up in West Lafayette, home of Purdue. My mom is a graduate of Purdue and professor there, my sister a student. My high school is a couple blocks away from campus. I took a class at Purdue my senior year of high school. My high school running routes wove through campus. We ducked into the basketball arena for water breaks on hot days. See my conundrum?

If you’re not from Indiana, you might not understand what a big deal this is. What the big conflict is. But let me tell you… it is big. Just trust me. However, I had some tasty treats to help ease my dilemma as the Hoosiers eventually went on to win against Purdue: Loaded Sweet Potato Fries. I hope to make them again and get some good photos in the daylight, but for now my Instagram shot will have to do.

These semi-healthy remake of the classic sports treat are fantastic, no matter what sport you enjoy. Football? Basketball? Cross country skiing? Reading? Good for you.

They’re a little spicy, but not over the top, and each crispy sweet potato fry [check the method below for the madness of my go-to crispy baked sweet potato fries] is enhanced with Mexi-spiced black beans, cool guac and sour cream, and jack cheese. Of course, cheese. Duh.

P.S. And if you must know… despite my conflictedness… I think I secretly am reallyreallyreally glad that IU won. Cause my favorite player had a career high and Purdue has just won more games recently in the series. So an IU victory is only fair. 🙂


Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

  • Servings: 2 dinner servings; 3-4 appetizers
  • Print


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, divided
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • [homemade] guacamole –> 1 mashed avocado + lime juice + lemon juice + garlic powder + black pepper + salsa
  • sour cream
  • chopped green onions
  • chopped cilantro


Peel and cut sweet potatoes to medium thickness, and be sure to keep them the same size for even cooking. Place in a bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes to get rid of the starch. Then preheat the oven to 425 degrees, drain water, and pat dry. Put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a plastic bag, add sweet potatoes, and top with another tablespoon. Close bag and shake, coating evenly. Place on a large baking sheet, top with olive oil, and 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder. Use your hands to evenly coat the sweet potatoes, then spread in a single layer, using more than one baking sheet if necessary. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix black beans with 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, oregano, and garlic.

Remove from oven and add sweet potato fries to individual baking dishes. Top with black beans and cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese melts. Top with guac, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro. Enjoy!



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