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Crunchy Baked French Fries


Makes: 4 servings

4 teaspoons olive oil
4 medium baking potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; brush with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle potato wedges with the salt and black pepper, tossing to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 12 minutes. Turn potatoes; sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until tender and golden.

Nutrition facts per serving (8 wedges): 155 calories, 4g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 6g fat (1.5g saturated), 3g fiber

Crunchy Cooking Tips

Many restaurants double fry spuds to make them extra crispy. Get the same result by boiling the sliced potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes (to release moisture), then draining, tossing with olive oil, and baking.

The Peel Deal
Save time and boost nutrition by keeping the skin on the potatoes. It contains at least 50 percent of the root vegetable's fiber, says Devin Alexander, author of I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening!

Cheese Whiz
Secret ingredient Parmesan makes these fries taste decadent. It also adds a hint of salt, so you don't have to shake on more of the seasoning before you dig in.

Fat Fakeout
Our baked fries have less than one-third the fat you would get from a medium order at a fast-food joint.

Super Spuds
"Potatoes are not the enemy," Alexander says. A small spud packs about 130 calories, no fat, 18 percent of your daily vitamin C intake, and more potassium than a banana.

Flavor Twist

Skip the Parmesan and try these three takes on the classic side dish.

Chili: Prep as above, adding 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon paprika when you sprinkle with salt and black pepper. After baking, top each serving with 1/2 cup low-sodium chili (such as Amy's Organic Light in Sodium Chili).

Garlic: Prep as above, adding 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder when you sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Sweet Potato: Prep as above, substituting 4 medium sweet potatoes for baking potatoes. Instead of salt and black pepper, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown and tender, turning once.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2010.