Idaho Potato Commission Announces Winners of its "Watching Waistlines & Wallets" Recipe Contest

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EAGLE, ID, June 18, 2010 - From a mouthwatering, movie-inspired appetizer to a family-pleasing one-dish meal, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) announced today the winners of its "Watching Waistlines & Wallets" Recipe Contest.  With a record 1,450 recipes submitted, it's evident that there are endless ways to prepare Idaho® potatoes!

Television icon, Mr. Food (aka Art Ginsburg), and fitness guru Denise Austin launched the online contest that challenged health-conscious and resourceful home chefs to create innovative and easy-to-prepare Idaho® potato recipes that are easy on the waistline and the wallet.  Each recipe was required to use Idaho® potatoes as a main ingredient (fresh, frozen or dehydrated) and have no more than 10 ingredients.  All submissions were judged on originality and taste, ease of preparation, overall healthfulness and the approximate total cost of the ingredients.  The contest ran from January 25, 2010 until April 30, 2010.

"The winning recipes really showcase the excellent nutritional value, affordability and versatility of America's favorite potato, the Idaho® potato," said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. "Challenging economic times have prompted many to sharpen their cooking skills and get more creative with staples that have always been a bargain like Idaho® potatoes - a low-cost, nutrient-dense food that can be served at any meal.  The winning recipes are fantastic!  Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who submitted an entry."

And the winners are...

$5,000 Grand Prize Winner:

Kelly Mapes of Ft. Collins, Colorado

Idaho® Potato "Plank" Bruschetta

Kelly Mapes, a counseling assistant at the local high school and mother of three college-age children, was inspired to create her award-winning recipe by the movie, "Julie & Julia" (2009).  In the movie, one of the main characters, Julie Powell, makes bruschetta in a skillet.  Mapes, a self-proclaimed Idaho® potato lover, realized she could reinvent her family's favorite bruschetta recipe using sliced spuds instead of bread.

Mapes' winning Idaho® Potato "Plank" Bruschetta recipe uses fresh Idaho® potatoes and can be served as a quick and easy appetizer, side or main dish.  Mashed cannellini beans, mixed with pesto, are spread on the potato "planks" and topped with diced tomatoes, kalamata olives and a light sprinkling of low-fat feta.  This bright, flavorful dish "wowed" the IPC judges with its simple yet bold flavors made with ingredients that many home cooks already have in their pantries.

$1,500 Runner Up:

Nadine Mesch of Mt. Healthy, Ohio

Cilantro, Lime Chicken and Idaho® Potatoes

This delicious one-dish meal is easy to prepare and perfect for busy days.  Flavored with lime juice, salsa and freshly chopped cilantro, it raises the bar for family dinners.

Five $100 Honorable Mentions:

Deborah Arrieta of Kennesaw, Georgia

Mediterranean Idaho® Potato-Parmesan Hummus

Margee Berry of Trout Lake, Washington

Warm Wilted Idaho® Potato and Spinach Salad

Robin Hass of Cranston, Rhode Island

Creamy Idaho® Potato and White Bean Soup

Diane Neibling of Overland Park, Kansas

Fudge Mocha Idaho® Potato Cake

Angela Spengler of Clovis, New Mexico

Irish Colcannon with Spring Onions and Leeks

All of the IPC's "Watching Waistlines & Wallets" Recipe Contest winners received autographed copies of Denise Austin's new book, Denise's Daily Dozen, and Mr. Food's latest cookbook, Mr. Food TV Favorites.

To view all the "Watching Waistlines & Wallets" Recipe Contest's winning recipes, visit www.idahopotato.com/wwaw_contest.

About the IPC

The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho®-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research.  The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® potato" and "Grown in Idaho®" seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC.  These Marks ensure that consumers are puchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.  For more information visit www.idahopotato.com.

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