April 30, 2015

Lighten Up, Y'all by Virginia Willis

Lighten Up, Y'all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

I grew up on Southern cooking. My parents are Southern born and bred, so even when we weren't living in the South, that's how we ate. This is a great cookbook: Southern favorites with a healthy twist. Some things struck me as a little odd, though. For instance, biscuits and sausage gravy are a southern staple. Instead of just adding 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour to standard white flour, why not at least use unbleached flour in place of the white. The carrot cake looks amazing--they did a great job of making it healthier...until you get to the frosting with a whole pound of confectioner's sugar! Aren't there any healthier frostings out there? Also, the Makeover Broccoli Mac and Cheese calls for 1 c 50% reduced fat cheese and 3/4 c 75% reduced fat cheese. That just seems silly to buy two different fat content cheeses for such small amounts. I also did not appreciate the swear word in one of the recipe titles.

Caveats aside, as I said earlier, this is a great book. Want some fried okra, but not all the fat? Try it oven-fried! Love the Seven-Layer Dip you find at potlucks and reunions all over the South, but not the calories? Try her "Sinless" version. Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette, Sassy Slaw, Baked Zucchini Crisps (probably my new favorite recipe!!), New Soul Creole Dirty Rice, Turkey Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy, Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak, Multi-Grain Pecan Waffles and Pineapple Right-Side-Up Cake and many more round out a great collection of Southern recipes made a little healthier.

I received a copy of this book from Ten Speed Press through Blogging for Books for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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