Lighten up, Ya'll


Lighten up, Ya'll
Virginia Willis
Ten Speed Press

I love food, to the point that I have a bit of a reputation about it. However, while I do like my sweets, carbs, and dairy, I don't think of myself as a really "unhealthy" person, simply because I'm not the hugest fan of fast food or overly processed stuff. But when it comes to homemade dishes....pile on the cheese. or butter. and steak. Steak is good.

So when I saw this book- which boasted "healthy" southern recipes, I knew it couldn't hurt to try it.

I'd never heard of this chef before, but I enjoyed her writing. I haven't read through the whole book but I read the introduction and several of the recipes.

Some of the recipes in this book immediately caught my eye- mostly the sweets, such as "Old-fashioned Buttermilk Pie" and "Claire's Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies." Some I skipped over (I mean, what's the point of pepper poppers without the cheese? I'm not eating them for the actual peppers, people) and some sounded really good, like the apple, cheddar, and chicken burgers. A lot of the recipes seemed to be traditional, just with substitutions- yogurt instead of mayonnaise, low-fat cheese, etc. There are also a lot of "oven-fried" dishes as opposed to deep fried.

Well, I decided it wouldn't be fair to review this book without making some of the recipes. So, collaborating with my mom, we made Baked Zucchini Crisps and Oven-fried Chicken-on-a-Stick. Both were decent. Not amazing, but certainly more than edible. I'm just not sure the effort to make them really felt worth it: no one seemed overly crazy about the dishes. Let's just say that we had quite a bit of leftovers, and in a household with seven people, that doesn't happen a whole lot.

However, while those two recipes didn't take the cake, there are plenty more in here that I'm willing to try. (Like that broccoli mac & cheese on the cover!) The cookbook seems decent; it just didn't impress me.

Rating: 7

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.


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