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'Watching Waistlines & Wallets' the theme of new IPC recipe contest

by | February 02, 2010

Calling all cooks: If you have a flair for preparing healthful fare, now is your time to shine.

The Idaho Potato Commission is rewarding resourceful home cooks for innovative Idaho potato recipes that bank on flavor and still save cents in its new "Watching Waistlines & Wallets" recipe contest.

Consumers were invited beginning Jan. 25 to submit their original, healthful, affordable and easy-to-prepare Idaho potato recipes at for a chance to win the $5,000 grand prize. Recipes will be judged by the potato pros on the following criteria: use of Idaho potatoes as the main ingredient (potatoes can be fresh, frozen or dehydrated); recipes require no more than 10 ingredients; originality and taste; ease of preparation; and overall healthfulness of the recipe and cost to make.

"The recession has prompted many consumers to dust off their cookbooks and prepare healthy and affordable meals at home versus dining out," Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a Jan. 25 press release. "Idaho potatoes, which cost around 25 cents each, are the perfect main ingredient for just about any meal. Not only are they low in cost and versatile, they are loaded with important vitamins and minerals."

Helping to kick off the contest are fitness guru Denise Austin and America's favorite foodie Art Ginsburg, aka Mr. Food.

For over 25 years, Ms. Austin's high-energy exercise DVDs and information- packed books have helped millions of Americans whittle down their waistlines.

Mr. Food's daily food news segments teach millions of consumers how to prepare healthy and affordable meals that the whole family will love. Ms. Austin was to announce the contest during a satellite media tour Jan. 25, while Mr. Food will share contest news with his fans as he travels across America.

Seven recipes will be chosen with one grand prize winner receiving $5,000; one runner-up receiving $1,500; and five honorable mentions receiving an exclusive prize pack, which will have autographed copies of both Ms. Austin's new book, Denise's Daily Dozen, and Mr. Food's latest cookbook, Mr. Food TV Favorites, as well as $100 in cash.

Consumers may visit to view the contest guidelines and receive instructions on how to submit an original waistline- and wallet- friendly Idaho potato recipe during the Jan. 25-March 31 contest period.