From Mama’s Table to Mine: Everybody’s Favorite Comfort Foods at 350 Calories or Less

Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark, photos by Ben Fink. Ballantine, $22 (240p) ISBN 978-0-345-53663-1
In his new cookbook, Deen features 120 refashioned Southern-style dishes, similar to those that his mother—the Food Network’s queen of Southern cooking, Paula Deen—cooked for him when he was growing up. It is his first solo effort, following four cookbooks coauthored with brother Jamie. Bobby redesigns the Lowcountry fare of his “Mama’s people” into healthy, fast-and-easy versions that are big on flavor, proving one can still “eat like a champ” while following a healthy lifestyle. Food and photographs have a he-man energy, with images of jock Bobby enjoying playing ball, surfing, hiking, and grilling. Deen’s hungry-man narrative “reckons” “y’all” will enjoy these “big ol’” family dishes and improved “fixin’s.” Comfort food fans won’t be disappointed: recipes for pot pies, shrimp dishes, grits, and ribs, along with chicken-fried steak, crab cakes, hush puppies, and fried potatoes are included. Rather than being deep-fried, they’re prepared using oven-fried and nonstick skillet methods. Deen doesn’t skimp on desserts. He tweaks salads, smoothies, and offers a tofu-packed butternut squash soup. “Breakin’ It Down” charts show fat and calorie reductions, and a “Tips and Tricks” chapter suggests activities, 1,500 calories-a-day menus, items to keep on hand, nutritional swap-outs, and superfoods. Deen wants folks to enjoy healthy favorites without sacrificing flavors or family memories, and this cookbook is sure to make a mamma proud. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 02/05/2013
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