Book review, Non-Fiction

Book Review: Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis

I grew up in the deep south and it’s no secret that Southern food is notoriously unhealthy.  Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, homemade biscuits.  We even fry our vegetables—really, there is no vegetable dish than can compare to a hot, deep fried okra.  Some of my favorite southern recipes come from Trisha Yearwood.  They are definitely not healthy but they are delicious.

I was excited to see this cookbook, Lighten Up, Y’all,  show up on my list to review.  The book cover declares,  “Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome.”  Well, she had me at “southern.”  As I flipped through the book I spotted some familiar eastern NC dishes–pork barbecue, oven fried chicken, pimiento cheese.  The author is from the panhandle of Florida and some of her recipes definitely have some cajun influence.

Overall, the book included a wide variety of truly southern foods.  Although we southerners have our share of indulgent foods (Pig Pickin’ Cake, anyone?) Virginia proves that it is possible to eat healthy while not giving up southern flavor and flair.

Today I gave the Banana-Blueberry Muffins a try.  The recipe was easy, featured all natural ingredients and was low in sugar.  The muffins were huge with just enough sweetness.  I have a few other recipes on my list to try soon:

Barbecue Meatballs
Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigreet
Oven-Fried Okra
Low-Cooked Barbecue Pulled Chicken
Coffee-Braised Pot Roast
Multigrain Pecan Waffles
Claire’s Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Yumm-O!  I don’t really like to cook but these recipes are easy with simple ingredients that don’t require a trip to the specialty grocery store.  I’m looking forward to trying more of Virginia’s recipes in the future.  You can find more information about her and some recipes on her blog.

 I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Please see my disclosure page for more information.

 

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