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Healthy remake #7 this month is inspired by the McDonald’s hash brown patty. By the way, doesn’t that McRib sandwich just fascinate you? When I saw the ads announcing it’s reemergence from the classic fast food chain’s kitchen, I couldn’t help but run straight to my Google bar to search the ingredients. To my surprise I found a whole article about this amusing sandwich “meat” called, “What’s the McRib made of Anyway?” If interested in reading the entire article click the title, it’s fascinating.

To my dismay, I found from the above reading the McRib is made of roughly 70 ingredients, 34 alone just in the bun! I won’t go into detail on what they actually are because this is a food blog and that would be unappetizing. Let’s just say some aren’t real food. To make matters worse it contains 500 calories and 29g of fat.

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I’m off my soap box now and back to potato bites. Here’s the recipe redo comparison:

The golden arch fast food version of a classic hash brown patty = 150 calories / 9g fat / 1.5g sat fat

Baked Potato-Cheddar Bites = 70 calories / 2.5g fat / 1g sat fat

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That calorie savings is over half, not to mention the probable chemicals that were eliminated. That leads into Healthy tip #7: Check product food & ingredient labels. If an ingredient list is longer than a college term paper, or you can’t pronounce the words, it’s probably not the most nutritious option or should be very limited in your eating plan.

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These potato bites crisp up as they bake in their own little muffin cup. A great recipe to make with kids, and fun for any age diner to eat. Add to breakfast, brunch or dinner. Easy to make and can be elegant dinner or weeknight ready. To make it a meal, serve with my Roasted Vegetable Crustless Quiche and Skewered Mint Fruit Kabobs with Berry Yogurt Dip or Fruit Nachos. Also, a wonderful appetizer for upcoming Super Bowl parties or side for grilled chicken or my Turkey & Black Bean Sloppy Joes.

Simple and freezable, gluten-free options below.

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Potato-Cheddar Bites
makes 12

• 20 oz SHREDDED HASH BROWN POTATOES, frozen (thawed)*
• 2/3 cup FRESH SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE, reduced-fat*
• 4 EGGS, large
• 1/4 cup RED or YELLOW ONION, finely chopped (optional)

*Gluten-free option: Check your hash brown potatoes and cheese for added gluten stabilizers or ingredients (look for pure potato hash browns, or shred own potatoes, and real cheddar cheese).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a regular 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl combined thawed shredded hash brown potatoes, 2/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, 4 eggs lightly beaten, 1/4 c. chopped onion (optional), 1/2 t. garlic powder, sea salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a spatula until well combined.
3. Place even amounts of potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup; gently push down tops with the back of a spoon to compress. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, crispy and cooked through. Serve hot from the oven or cool and freeze (reheat 20-30 second in microwave). Makes 12 – serving size 1 potato bite.

VARIATIONS: Add chopped lean, cooked turkey bacon or other cheeses. Make in mini muffin tins (reduce cooking time).

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 70 calories, 2.5g fat, 1g sat fat, 75mg cholesterol, 9g carb, 0g sugar, 4g protein

Slightly adapted from the Family Kitchen Blog – Breakfast Potato Bites To Go recipe.