My boys have recently come to discover a truth of life: Everything tastes better fried. And I’ve recently had to tell them another truth of life—a much harder one: Deep fried golden deliciousness is not great for our bodies. So imagine how excited we all were when our newest sponsor gave me the opportunity to test run the Philips Airfryer. Friends, this is a countertop device that fries — and grills, roasts, and bakes — without tons of oil.
As in, pretty much guilt-free fried food.
Let’s pause on that a second: Guilt-free fried food.
It’s okay, I needed a moment too.
I’m sure this confuses my larger message to my kids that fried foods are normally to be enjoyed in moderation, so I’ll figure out another way to talk about that. Because now I know that using the Airfryer to cook veggies can make our mealtime a whole lot easier and healthier, too, since I can serve up tons of air-fried veggies using a tablespoon or less of oil.
Here are five ways that I’ve been serving “fried” vegetables that my kids love—from empanada snacks to the best cauliflower side to our new favorite dinner, Sweet Potato Taquitos—that are actually healthy.
Think #friednotfried could be the new #sorrynotsorry?
– Giveaway is closed! We’ll announce a winner soon. –
The first way that I used my Airfryer—and the way that I’ve used it most often since—was to make french fries. Because, of course. Isn’t the mark of a good fryer how well it does fries?
I started with the recipe offered among the many other Airfryer recipes on the Philips site because I wanted directions for the basic recipe straight from the source. Once I got the hang of it, though, I really wanted to try a variation, so I moved on to the recipe for Air-Fried Seasoned French Fries using the Airfryer, from Williams-Sonoma (pictured above).
By now, I don’t even need a recipe at all since it’s so easy. I would just say that my big takeaway is that you should soak white potato fries for 30-minutes before cooking for the best results, but you can skip that step if using sweet potatoes. Now, nutrient-dense sweet potato fries are my go-to.
I was inspired to make these Crispy Spring Rolls when I found wonton skins in my fridge. I always buy them thinking that I’ll make something super fun, and yet I never do because as a busy mom it just ends up feeling like too much trouble — until my new Airfryer came along (woot!). I pulled these spring rolls together in 25 minutes, in part by skipping the chicken and hand-cut veggies and using store-bought broccoli slaw instead. I then tossed the raw slaw with the ginger and sugar from the recipe, used salt instead of chicken stock powder, and followed the rest of the easy directions as written. Then, voila: Spring rolls as a healthy vegetable side to go with the soy-ginger marinated skirt steak I had made for dinner.
Side note: Since I have a feeling that I’ll be buying—and actually using—wonton skins a lot more these days, I’ve added these Banana Chocolate Wonton Poppers from Just a Taste to my list of must-make recipes. They’ll be so easy in the Airfryer and my boys will freak!
With spring rolls under my belt, I moved onto trying a batch of Mini Empanadas in the Airfryer next. Because you use pie dough to make them, they hold up nicely and are a great pick for the next day’s school lunch. This recipe calls for only chorizo and red peppers in the filling, but I decide to pack mine with even more veggies by adding about half of a five-ounce pack of baby spinach.
I sautéed the vegetables and sausage until all of the liquid from the spinach cooked off, then moved on from there using an all-natural store-bought pie dough. They came out so great, my boys nearly finished them up at snack time, and then the rest ended up in their lunch box the next day. But you could certainly have them for a fun family dinner too.
About our sponsor… and an awesome giveaway!
The Philips Airfryer allows you to fry foods healthfully with 75% less fat, but it doesn’t just fry—it can also grill, bake, and roast foods with only a tablespoon of oil or less. Plus, it’s easy. Set up your ingredients, press a button to set the temperature and timer, then start cooking everything from veggie recipes to weeknight Gordon Ramsay’s Turkey Sliders, which the infamous chef created just for this cool device since he loves using it too.
Giveaway is closed: We’ll announce a winner soon!
Philips is generously offering a grand prize pack to one lucky Cool Mom Eats reader, AND a discount for everyone!
All CME readers save 30% off any Airfryer purchased at Philips.com/Airfryer using the coupon code AIRFRYERBLOG.
One lucky winner will win a Philips Airfryer prize package worth approximately $500, including a Philips Airfryer, The Williams-Sonoma Airfryer Cookbook, a $100 American Express gift card, and Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking cookbook. Here’s how to enter:
1. Subscribe to Cool Mom Eats. Easy, right? If you’re already a subscriber, leave us a comment telling us that you’re a subscriber AND why you’re excited to try the Philips Airfryer. (Be sure to use the same email that you subscribed with so we can double-check. Don’t worry, no one can see it but us.)
For up to three additional entries each day through Sunday:
2. Follow @CoolMomEats on Twitter + tweet the link to this post on Twitter. Something like: These Sweet Potato & Black Bean Taquitos at @CoolMomEats are the first thing I’m going to make in my #Airfryer! http://bit.ly/2d483by
3. Like @CoolMomPicks on Facebook + share the link to this post on your own feed. Leave the link to your update in the comments here, below this post.
4. Follow @CoolMomEats on Instagram + share a photo from this post on Instagram with the hashtag #Airfryer. Hint: You can also easily regram the photo of today’s recipe right from the @CoolMomEats IG feed.
Contest ends Sunday, October 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PT. Up to 28 entries per person, regardless of number of social media accounts. Must be 18 or older to enter. U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited. Read our full contest rules before entering.
After trying a lot of the Phillips Kitchen recipes, I wanted to attempt to adapt a recipe that ordinarily calls for pan frying in a bunch of oil, to see if I could get it to turn out crispy and delicious in the Airfryer.
The answer is yes, I can, because the Parmesan Cauliflower Bites recipe I followed from Damn Delicious were a huge hit with my family! They cooked up in 8-10 minutes in the Airfryer with a crunchy, flavorful coating that wasn’t the least bit greasy.
My boys decided that they even give french fries a run for their money, and that’s saying something.
Finally, I wanted to attempt some kind of vegetable dish that could serve as a main dish, and make use of healthy air frying. The result was my own Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taquitos, which are healthy and full of big flavor and a frequent request of my kids.
They are so easy to make in the Airfryer and come out so great, that they have already been added to our weekly rotation.
To make the taquitos, I start by baking sweet potatoes in the Airfryer: I just pop two in for about 35 minutes while I’m making school lunch and getting the kids ready in the morning. They’re done by the time we have to walk out the door, so I take them out to rest on the counter all day. When it’s time for dinner, I mash the potatoes in a bowl with a can of rinsed black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, and some spices, then roll the mixture into a bunch of tortillas. I pop those babies into the Airfryer for just a few minutes and out come homemade taquitos, fried golden brown, with none of the grease or guilt and all of the vitamins and minerals.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taquitos
2 large sweet potatoes, roasted (about 2 cups sweet potato mash); you can substitute all-natural canned sweet potato puree
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 small flour or corn tortillas
Guacamole or avocado mashed with a squeeze of lime and salt, to serve
Fresh cilantro, washed and chopped, to serve
Pico de gallo or salsa, to serve
1. If using fresh potatoes, begin by roasting them in the oven or in your Airfryer. I find that 35 minutes at 390-degrees works best for large sweet potatoes.
2. Once cooked, allow the potatoes to cool. Peel, then mash in a large bowl along with the milk. If they are still dry, add more milk as neccessary.
3. Add black beans, cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and mash all together to create a sweet potato filling.
4. Divide the filling evenly between the tortillas. Spray the basket and rack of your Airfyer to keep the taquitos from sticking, and place them seam side down—half should fit in the basket and the other half on the rack. Lightly spray the tops of the 12 taquitos with oil.
5. Set the Airfryer to 390 degrees and cook for 7-8 minutes. Repeat with the second batch. Serve with guacamole, fresh cilantro, and salsa.
Thank you to our fantastic sponsor Philips for putting technology to use in the kitchen, to make healthy eating easier for busy families — and picky kids too! Learn more about the Philips Airfryer on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter where you can search for #Airfryer tips and recipes.
And don’t forget: Save 30% on your Airfryer purchase at Philips.com/Airfryer using the coupon code AIRFRYERBLOG.