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Transform spuds from side dish to main entree

October 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many who are watching carbohydrate intake know that potatoes were on the forbidden list. However, recent research reveals that potatoes have resistant starch that helps burn fat and keeps you full longer.There are ways to dress up your potato to make it a whole meal on its own.

Along with your potato, you're going to want to add produce, protein and a bit of fat to make your spud a real supper. Here are some combinations that will have your taste buds saying fun and filling like our version of a French Nicoise.

Combine drained canned tuna, brined olives, blanched green beans and sliced egg. Drizzle a little olive oil or vinaigrette if desired.

For an Italian super spud, combine crumbled Italian veggie burger with sun dried tomatoes, grilled sweet peppers, mushrooms, onions and shaved Parmesan. Add a tablespoon of bruschetta made of tomato, olive oil, garlic and basil.

Another tasty dish is a barbecue chicken potato with some sliced green onions.

A Japanese-style spud includes cooked shrimp, shredded carrots, blanched snow peas, broccoli and slivered almonds. Top the whole thing off with Annie's or Trader Joe's Goddess Dressing.

A bit of Mexico can be yours with a combination of black beans, corn, green onions topped with salsa, cilantro and a smattering of Monterey Jack.

Finally, if you like a more decadent baker, go with a classic. Add one slice of bacon, low fat cheddar and low fat sour cream with a sprinkle of chives.

A 1- to 2.5-inch potato is considered small and amounts to about 150 calories. Medium potatoes ranging 2-to 3.75-inches long amount to almost 200 calories. Something larger will be over 300 calories before you add any extras.

As you might have guessed, portions count, so with a larger potato, try eating just half.