I have been making baked fries at home for a very long time.  They have always tasted good, but the consistency has never been perfect.  I thought that this was simply because they were well, baked.  I found out recently that I was totally wrong.  Baked fries can actually be just as tasty as fried fries!  This is a huge deal because french fries are, as you probably know, one of the best tasting things on earth. 

After reading the recipe below, you may think that it sounds like a lot of work, and that's actually what I thought at first too.  I am used to pretty much putting the fries in, flipping them once, and getting them out.  This method definitely takes more steps, but it's actually very easy and 100% worth it.  The fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside - just like real fries!  I will never make baked fries the old way again.  

I have to give credit to Cooks Illustrated who came up with this ingenious way of baking the fries and thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Annie's Eats, for sharing this recipe on her blog. Enjoy! 


- 3-4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 5 tbsp of vegetable oil 
- 3/4 tsp of kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/3 tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste 


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  First, peel and cut the potatoes into even sized wedges.  Soak the potato wedges in a large bowl with hot water for 10 to 30 minutes (I soaked them for as long as it took for the oven to heat up).  Then, brush 4 tablespoons of oil on a heavy baking sheet.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly on the sheet and set aside. 

After the potatoes have been soaked, drain them and pat them dry with paper/kitchen towels.  Place the potatoes back into the dried bowl and toss the them with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Then, place the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cover the sheet tightly with aluminum foil and bake for five minutes. 

Once five minutes has passed, remove the tinfoil and continue baking for about 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Then, flip the wedges over and then bake for 5-15 minutes, rotating the sheet as many times as needed to cook the potatoes evenly.  

If needed, put the broiler on for a minute or two at the end to make sure they are extra crispy and browned.  Place the fries on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.   
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I love my usual garlic mashed potatoes, but sometimes you need something that isn't garlicy (I know that isn't a word) in order to go perfectly with your meal. Thanksgiving is a perfect example of when you need that non-garlic creaminess! Creaminess and low fat usually doesn't go together, but these mashed potatoes are great!  Not surprisingly, they have one of my favorite ingredients in them. Greek yogurt. :) 

  • 1.5 pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of 1% or skim milk 
  • 1/2 cup of McArthur Low Fat Buttermilk 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Nonfat Oikos Greek Yogurt
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper 
In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. Meanwhile, wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks.  Place the potatoes in the boiling water and boil them uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes easily fall apart when pierced with a fork. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, strain them and return them to the pot that they were cooked in.  Then, heat the milk, buttermilk, and yogurt in a small saucepan on medium low heat.  Stir the mixture to combine and do not let the milk boil.  

After the milk mixture has heated, add the milk to the potatoes.  Using an immersion blender (or your favorite mashed potato making tool) mix the milk mixture and potatoes together until they are whipped and smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Oh yes, I said parmesan!  This is not the parmesan you are expecting, but it's just as delicious!  I decided to try some vegan/soy parmesan topping and I was not disappointed!  What makes grated parmesan taste good? Parmesan flavor? Check!  Parmesan consistency?  Check!  Fat content? Not so much. I am so happy to have found this and will be using it in a lot of my recipes from now on. Next on the diet hunt, blocks of fat free parmesan cheese.  :)

This recipe is basically the same as my previous blog entry of Baked Italian Chicken Tenders, just with the parmesan added and different fries.  This is a quick and easy meal for a weeknight.  Yum! 

Ingredients for Chicken Tenders: 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • McArthur Cultured Lowfat Buttermilk
  • 2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into tenders
  • 1  cup of Panko Italian seasoned bread crumbs 
  • 1 cup of Jaclyn's Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or any other organic brand you like) 
  • 1/2 cup of Rice Grated Topping, Parmesan Flavor (I like the one by Galaxy Nutritional Foods, can be found at Whole Foods - request it if they don't have it in stock!). 
Ingredients for Baked Potato Wedges: 

  • 2 large baking potatoes, or 4 small
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic (or more if you prefer!)

Directions for Chicken Tenders: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  First, cut the chicken breasts up into chicken tenders. Then, put the chicken tender pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them.  Toss the chicken tenders in the buttermilk and make sure they are completely coated.  Cover the bowl and put them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 

Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan topping in a bowl with a fork or whisk. Once the chicken is done marinating, take the chicken pieces directly from the buttermilk and coat each tender it in the breading.  Make sure to pat the breading so that it sticks to the chicken pieces all over.  Put the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. 

Bake the chicken tenders for 12-15 minutes, turning once, or until browned and cooked through. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce. 
Directions for Potato Wedges: 

While the chicken is marinating, cut the potatoes into wedges. First, cut the potatoes lengthwise and then cut each half in thirds lengthwise. You'll have 6 wedges if you use a large potato.  Put the potatoes on a cookie sheet and cover the potatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  With washed hands, toss the potatoes inside the oil, salt and pepper to make sure each potato is well coated. Spread the potatoes on the sheet in a single layer so one side of each potato is down. 

Bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, turning the potatoes once after about 20 minutes. Bake until the potatoes are browned and crispy on the outside, but not burned.  Sprinkle with a little more salt and serve immediately.  Yum!

Tip:  Put the potatoes in the oven first, on the bottom rack, so that the fries and chicken tenders are done at the same time.   
Happy Halloween, everyone! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I loved that I was able to make something fun and festive for dinner! The original recipe for mummy dogs calls for Pillsbury Crescent rolls, which are extremely fattening and unhealthy.  I tried out a new biscuit recipe instead and they came out great!  For the boo-tatoes I used 365 organic instant potatoes.  They are delicious and make extremely creamy potatoes which were great for the ghosts. I know I should of posted this recipe before Halloween, but unfortunately I was too busy.  Make them next year if you can! 

Ingredients for Mummy Dogs: 
  • Ballpark Bun Size Smoked White Turkey Franks (Make sure they are fat free!)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup McArthur 1% Buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 TSP

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and oil.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix it with a wooden spoon or with your hands.  This works better than the standing mixer.  Add a little more milk if the dough is too dry to stick together. 

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently 10 to 12 times.  Then, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about a 1/2 inch thick.  Cut the dough into thin strips. 

Wrap each turkey dog with the strips of the dough. Don't worry if pieces of the dough break off, mummies aren't wrapped perfectly!  Make sure to leave a little piece opened at the top for the eyes! 

Bake the mummy dogs on a non-greased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Use ketchup to make two eyes on the mummies and serve with some blood (ketchup). Enjoy! 

Ingredients for Mashed Boo-Tatoes:
  • Mashed potatoes whipped very smooth (I used Organic 365 Instant Mashed Potatoes with Lowfat Buttermilk, 1 TBLSP of Nonfat Yogurt, and some salt - no butter!)
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Piping bag/Zip lock bag with the corner cut off

Put the mashed potatoes inside the piping bag and pipe them out into the shape of ghosts.  Put two black sesame seeds on each for eyes.  Serve with the mummy dogs and enjoy! 
I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's blog and wanted to try it immediately! It's absolutely delicious and lives up to the Pioneer Woman's reputation.  This is the first recipe I have tried of hers, and I will definitely be trying more! 

  • 20 small to medium new potatoes
  • 5 to 7 whole heads of garlic
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Quarter new potatoes and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Lop off the very top of each garlic head and arrange throughout the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the garlic and all over potatoes; do the same with the wine. Generously salt and pepper potatoes and garlic. Toss potatoes to coat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until nice and golden.

*Tip - I used tongs to squeeze the garlic out of the bulbs and it worked great.

Mashed potatoes are just a staple for some meals.  For example, what's Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes?  Or meat loaf? Or fried chicken? Of course, since I can't have butter, cream, etc. I have had to find an alternate way to enjoy my mashed potatoes. Once when I was checking out Martha Sterwart's "Light and Healthy" section of her recipes, I discovered her recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  I love this side dish! I have also made more traditional mashed potatoes with the "milky" flavoring, but I haven't perfected that recipe just yet so I'll wait to post it for now :). 

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup of potato water
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 medium/large gold potatoes 
  • 1 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Bring a pot of water to simmer/boil.  While the water is heating, peel and cut all of the potatoes into 1 and 1/2 inch chunks.  Place the potatoes in the water with 2 and a 1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Boil the potatoes until a knife can be inserted into a potato chunk and the potato falls off the knife easily.  Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and set aside. 

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan.  Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is browned and soft.  Make sure to stir constantly to keep it from burning.  Set the garlic oil aside. 

Once the potatoes are cooked and drained, add the reserved potato water and smash them with an eggbeater, potato smasher, food mill, etc until the potatoes are smooth.  After that, add the garlic and oil and stir some more.  Add salt and pepper to taste and also the parsley.  Enjoy!