Paula Deen’s sons are at it again! In the newest Deen family television show, Not My Momma’s Meals (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. EST on the Cooking Channel), Bobby Deen takes on his mother’s infamously unhealthy recipes and makes them over with more veggies, less processed ingredients—and less butter! Sounds like quite a challenge! Find out just how the youngest Deen plans on revamping his momma’s recipes.
Cut the culprits
“The main thing I do is look at recipes and find the major culprits that are in it—if it’s butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, or heavy cream—and try to just scale them back,” Deen says. “If a recipe calls for three cups of something, I try using just one cup. Or I might use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise.” Not only does this swap cut calories, it adds a dose of healthy probiotics to aid digestion, too.
The Cooking Channel star likes to replace not-so-good-for-you ingredients with vegetables. In one of his favorite macaroni and cheese recipes, Deen reduces the amount of sharp cheddar found in the original recipe by replacing some of it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and finely diced cauliflower.
Say "au revoir" to olive oil
Like most of us, the Not My Momma’s Meals host uses lots of olive oil when cooking, but has made the switch to canola when he can. “Canola is more tolerant than olive oil. Like butter, olive oil will burn," he says. "You can use less canola oil, it goes a lot farther, and it’s not nearly as finicky.”
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Give it a rinse-a-roo
Canned vegetables are a great option when produce is out of season, but “people should understand that if they buy them, the juice that’s in there is not just water, it's a brine,” Deen tells us. “If I’m using canned goods, I always open them, dump them into a colander, and rinse them with water to cut back on the sodium.”
Un-fry your food
Baking instead of frying may be a no-brainer, but the son of Paula Deen has a solution to making meals taste crispy and fried, even when they’re not. For a slimmed-down version of his mother’s fried chicken, Deen uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs (they're moister than breasts) and dips them in an egg-white wash with hot sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then the thighs go into a zipper bag filled with crushed unsweetened cornflakes for a toss to coat evenly. Bake them in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes, and he promises: The taste and texture will fool you!
As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.