Not every recipe has to be healthy. Even when it’s vegan. This is a truth.
Another truth, one that I’ve recently learned, is that I don’t have to do everything, right now. Some of you, bless your hearts, may already know this. I’ve heard there are people out there who innately understand that there are only so many hours in the day and that, maybe, cramming too much onto their to-do lists just isn’t healthy. I am in awe of these people.
I have lists. Lists of things I need to do. Lists of things I need to think about doing. Lists of all these lists! Sometimes I think I’m the only person doing this, but then I bump into someone else with my level of
crazy organization and it makes me stop and think. This time it was Clem, AKA The Vegan Cookie Fairy, who shared in a recent post about her lists and how she really needed some down time.
This time though, rather than thinking “Oh man, I really need to give myself a break!” I realized… I have been giving myself a break! I’ve been going easier on myself than I can ever remember, which is wonderful progress.
In the past, my to-do lists would grow to stupid lengths. I’d be all “Okay, I have a three day weekend, I need to get these 417 things done or else!“, and when Monday morning would inevitably roll around and there were still un-crossed-off items on that list, I’d berate myself. I’d feel like I’d wasted time and, even worse, like I’d let myself down. Someone would ask how my weekend was, and I’d be left to reflect on my epic failure as a human being for not getting hundreds of things done. Ridiculous, right? Yes, but I couldn’t see it.
The last few years of my life have seen massive change and upheaval. I got divorced and had to sell the beautiful home I thought I’d live in forever. My dog died. My dad died. I moved three times in two years. I had two car accidents. I started a new relationship that I thought was great but turned very, very toxic. That’s a lot of shit to deal with, especially for someone who finds comfort in structure like I do!
Now though, everything in my life is stabilizing nicely. The pups and I bought a great little condo that we’re remodeling to make it our own. The drama in my life has been reduced to whatever is happening that week on Real Housewives of Wherever, and the occasional trip to the veterinarian’s office. I have time to myself. I have time to connect with old friends, and to make new ones. Time to read, and cook, and nap. Time to do whatever the hell I feel like, and I’ve been reveling in it! I still have to-do lists for my weekends, but they’re quite different now. Instead of running on and on, they’re short. And they include things like “Sit outside and read” when I know the weather is going to be nice, or – my current fave – “Burrito and a movie” when I have a quiet Saturday night at home and the only preparation required is a quick trip to Chipotle. This is my happy. And it feels fucking fantastic!
The other thing I can do without someone nagging me? I can make Cheesy Buffalo Ranch Fries for dinner, and nothing else. Haha, maybe these should just be called Freedom Fries!
They really need no explanation. Oven baked fries (for less fat and calories than frying them), topped with a mix of Daiya shredded cheddar and mozzarella, Franks buffalo sauce, and Follow Your Heart’s vegan ranch. And scallions, because vegetables.
- Non-stick spray oil
- 1 large russet potato
- Salt & pepper
- ~1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds (I used a mix of Daiya mozzarella and cheddar)
- Franks buffalo sauce
- Follow Your Heart vegan ranch dressing
- 2-3 sliced scallions for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425 and oil up your baking sheet.
- Wash and slice your potato into fries. Lay out on the baking sheet, single layer, and spritz with a little more of the oil spray, then give them a nice dusting of salt & pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping once, until crispy.
- Take out of the oven and cover with the cheese. Put back in under the broiler on low for 1-2 minutes just until it's melted. Plate the fries and top with the buffalo and ranch. I used about 1/3 cup each, but there's no need to measure. Just make sure you have good coverage and remember you can always add more!
- The measurements aren't exact because it really depends on how cheesy, buffalo-y, and ranch-y you want these fries to be!