Wallets and Waistlines

Tasty dishes that save cents and make sense

Published in the May 2009 Issue Published online: May 03, 2009 IPC
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It is no secret that supermarket spending has been impacted by the recession. Whether you live in a small town or big city, all consumers are seeking solutions to cut corners. The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) has launched "Watching Waistlines and Wallets" (www.idahopotato.com/waistlines_wallets), a web-based resource designed to help cost-conscious shoppers cook-up meals that bank on flavor while saving cents. No longer will Americans have to compromise their palates or pocketbooks to serve up satisfying meals.

"Watching Waistlines and Wallets" features a repertoire of recession-proof and nutritious recipes all for less than an estimated $3.50 per serving. Enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals without having to do the math. This carefully selected inventory of tried and true Idaho potato recipes showcases convenient meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are great tasting and use commonly stocked pantry items. A sampling of recipes and their approximate cost include:

  • Breakfast: Fruity Idaho Potato Breakfast Squares - $1.10 per serving
  • Lunch: Idaho Potato Crusted Pizza - $1.50 per serving
  • Dinner: Hearty and Heart Healthy Idaho Potato Soup/Stew - $2 per serving
  • Side Dish: Low-Fat Idaho Potato Gratin - $1 per serving

"While trying to maximize our meal-planning budgets it has become increasingly important to understand the nutritional ROI (return on investment) of every meal," says Frank Muir, President/CEO, IPC. "When it comes down to it, cost and convenience usually are considered more often than flavor or healthfulness. We've packaged all four of these factors into `Watching Waistlines and Wallets' and are excited to share this valuable, user-friendly resource with consumers."

Each recipe begins with nutritious Idaho potatoes as the building block. In fact, one 5.3-oz spud is only 110 calories, contains zero fat and cholesterol, and is packed with nutrients including 45 percent daily value of vitamin C, nearly two times as much potassium as a banana, fiber, protein, vitamin B6 and complex carbohydrates.

At about 25 cents per potato, that's a lot of nutritional bang for your buck-and even better, your quarter.

Next, add the convenience factor. Whether you're running after kids or running a business, all recipes feature simple instructions and commonly stocked pantry items. With an assortment of recipes and variety of preparation techniques, you will be amazed at the endless options for Idaho potato preparations.

For the complete database of "Watching Wallets and Waistlines" recipes, including eye-catching photographs and important nutrition information, please visit www.idahopotato.com/waistlines_wallets



Yield: 6 Servings
Estimated Cost per Serving: $1.10


1/2 teaspoon butter
4 large (9 ounces each) Idaho potatoes, baked and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots, etc.)
4 eggs
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • Butter a 7 x 11-inch baking pan. Peel the skin off the cooled potatoes and slice thinly.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange half the sliced potatoes in the buttered pan. Cover potatoes evenly with the dried fruit. Top fruit layer with remaining potato slices.
  • Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a separate bowl and pour over potatoes. Place pan of potatoes in a large baking pan (such as a 13 x 9-inch pan) and carefully pour 1/2 inch of boiling water in the larger pan to create a water bath. Cover potatoes with foil and bake 40 minutes.
  • Uncover potatoes and bake another 15 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cut into 6 squares and serve.

Estimated Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 299 calories, 4 g fat, 144 mg cholesterol, 287 mg sodium, 12 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates



This Idaho Potato Crusted Pizza won first prize in the 2005 Grown in Idaho Recipe Contest. Recipe courtesy of Bev Jones

Yield: 6-8 Servings
Estimated Cost per Serving: $1.50


1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds Idaho potatoes (about 4 medium), scrubbed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup beef or chicken broth
1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into rings
4 ounces crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper and cornstarch; set aside. Slice potatoes very thinly and place them in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle half of the cornstarch mixture over the potato slices; toss potatoes, sprinkle with the remaining cornstarch mixture.
  • Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a 12-inch round pizza pan. Layer potatoes on the pan, overlapping the slices in concentric circles (cover the pan completely). Sprinkle potatoes with broth, brush with remaining oil, press potatoes down firmly to compact into a crust. Move oven rack to its lowest position, and bake potato crust for 20 to 30 minutes, or until edges are browned and potatoes are tender.
  • Remove potato crust from oven and spread pesto over potatoes using a rubber spatula. Top pizza with cooked chicken, pepper rings, feta and Parmesan cheese. Return pizza to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until feta is softened and the pizza is heated through. Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil and cut into wedges. Use a spatula to loosen the potato crust from the pan.

Estimated Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 280 calories, 25 mg cholesterol, 638 mg sodium, 13 g protein, 4 g fat, 27 g carbohydrates (Based upon 8 servings)



In addition to being hearty and heart-healthy, this soup is prepared in one pot-making cleanup a cinch.

Yield: 8 Servings
Estimated Cost per Serving: $2.00


2 pounds Idaho potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped dried tomatoes
2 pint, 14 ounce can (46 ounces total) low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups shredded, cooked turkey
3 cups packaged, chopped, frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
freshly ground pepper


  • In heavy soup pot, heat oil on high and stir in onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until well browned.
  • Add potatoes, dried tomatoes and broth.
  • Bring to boil and cook covered for 10 minutes or until tender.
  • Add turkey and vegetables, return to boil and cook 6-8 minutes.
  • Top with freshly ground pepper.

Estimated Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 301 calories, 5 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 265 mg sodium, 20 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates