No Fries in ’09

No Fries in ’09 — #9: The simple panini

No Fries in ’09 — #9: The simple panini 0

You don’t need a fancy panini press to make the famous flat Italian sandwich that’s been sweeping every restaurant, frozen food section and Food Network show over the last few years. I use a George Foreman Grill. Every college student has one. It’s cheap. It works. You need good bread, firm tomatoes and fresh mozzarella(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #8: Have a frickin salad!

No Fries in ’09 — #8: Have a frickin salad! 0

The most under-rated french fry substitute has to be the simple garden salad. Think about it: yes, it’s the polar opposite of french fries. You hardly ever think “hey, I can really go for a super size salad right about now.” And how bout them cucumbers? Don’t discount the sheer value here, however. A salad(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #7: Turkey and Quinoa stuffed peppers

No Fries in ’09 — #7: Turkey and Quinoa stuffed peppers 2

Stuffed peppers are an old Italian standby. Usually it involves fatty ground beef and white rice, maybe with some cheese crammed into a bell pepper. It’s delicious homestyle comfort food that’s easy to prepare. The problem is that they’re awful for you. It’s ground red meat with tons of fat, and the cheese doesn’t make(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #6: FAILED! Baked onion rings?

No Fries in ’09 — #6: FAILED! Baked onion rings? 1

Onion rings. They’re not good for you. According to, a single serving of 8-9 onion rings contains 276 calories, 15.5 grams of fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat, 14 milligrams of cholesterol, and almost 20 percent of your daily sodium. Plus there’s more than 31 grams of carbs! I set out to see(…)

How do you avoid fries at a burger joint? 0

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Meeting my mom on her lunch break was nice. Having my father join us was even better. Gazing at the menu trying to determine combinations that didn’t include french fries … not quite as pleasant. One thing about “going out for lunch” is that sandwiches almost always come with fries or(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #5: Colorful Peppers and Onions

No Fries in ’09 — #5: Colorful Peppers and Onions 0

Summer church carnivals bring the old familiar tastes of sausage, pepper and onion subs. Unfortunately, there are very few diets that will let you eat sausage on Italian bread. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to healthily cook and eat peppers and onions. They are fabulous for you; packed with vitamins, and they fill you(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #4: Virtually Fat-Free Chicken Tenders

No Fries in ’09 — #4: Virtually Fat-Free Chicken Tenders 0

Even if you’re not eating French fries for a whole year, deep fried and heavily battered chicken tenders, while absolutely delicious, can still ruin a perfectly good diet. On a health kick, my father threw together baked chicken tenders, and, if done right, it’s a healthy and delicious way to eat chicken. When I retire(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #3: Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

No Fries in ’09 — #3: Baked Sweet Potato Wedges 2

Sage, meet the readers. Readers, sage. The problem with cooking healthy is that it is a widely-known fact that the flavor is often in the fat. But fresh herbs, however daunting that section of the produce department is, are the secrets to dishes that are packed with healthy flavor. If you want a dish that(…)

Bar food alternatives? 0

BRANFORD, Conn. — Being on a diet doesn’t mean you have to shed all social contacts, does it? So, I’m visiting the family in Connecticut, and my brother and I decide to run out to the bar Sunday night after my Steelers whooped the Chargers. Of course, EVERYTHING comes with French fries, right? Enter the(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #2: Tasty Broccoli

No Fries in ’09 — #2: Tasty Broccoli 0

You first have to get past your fear. It didn’t happen overnight for me either. I was the pickiest eater in my family growing up, and forget about veggies. I actually gagged the first time I really sat down to eat a plate of broccoli when I was 17. But it was all in my(…)

The first major test of No Fries in ’09 0

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. — Did somebody say McDonald’s? Oh my god this is painful. I am working on‚ a story for the Boston Globe here in Middleborough, and the only place I could find with wireless Internet to file my story is … a McDonald’s. I’m totally not a paying customer. I’m not buying anything, especially French(…)

No Fries in ’09 — #1: BBQ-infused green beans

No Fries in ’09 — #1: BBQ-infused green beans 0

This is the first in a 50-part food series called “No Fries in ’09.” I am pledging not to eat a single french fry in 2009 (as well as eat sensibly and exercise regularly) all year and come up with 50 delicious side dishes that are filling, healthy and NOT french fries. I’ll be mixing(…)

Letter from the editor: A “Dear John” to the French fries 2

My dear, dear French fries, We need to talk. The years have gone by so fast for us. From my first McDonald’s fry 24 years ago to the wide crinkle cut deliciousness at Glenwood in Connecticut and Town Spa in Stoughton. It’s always been good. That was never the problem. Something changed between us. It(…)