A collection of classic Southern comfort food recipes-including seven-layer dip, chicken and gravy, and mudslide cookies-made lighter, healthier, and completely guilt-free.
Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef, television producer, food stylist, cooking teacher, and food writer. Formerly Martha Stewart Living's kitchen manager, she now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia.
"As a Southerner, I appreciate that Virginia makes real
Southern food with real ingredients. A natural teacher,
Virginia helps to dispel the myth that all Southern food is fatty
and not good for you. She also reminds us that being healthy isn't
always about saying no--her delicious recipes are all about
making good choices and saying yes!"
-- Carla Hall, cohost of The Chew and author of Carla's Comfort Food
"In Lighten Up, Y'all, Virginia Willis reminds us that
Southern cooking is not all about overindulgence, butter, and fried
food; rather, Southern food emphasizes the delicate ingredients
that are indigenous to our region. She lightens up the dishes we
love while staying true to the flavors we desire."
-- John Besh, chef and author of Cooking from the Heart Virginia Willis's passion for the Southern food she grew up with, her top-notch culinary expertise, and her personal journey to be healthier have culminated in this wonderful book, which celebrates the fresh diversity of Southern cooking. With one incredible recipe after another, it is a real gift for health-minded food lovers!"
-- Ellie Krieger MS, RD, host of Food Network's Healthy Appetite and author of Weeknight Wonders "With Lighten Up, Y'all, Virginia Willis opens the door to a new way of cooking, which focuses on the bountiful fresh fruits and vegetables that are the true staples of the Southern larder. She writes recipes that will make you feel good cooking in the kitchen, and feel even better eating the results."
-- Hugh Acheson, James Beard Award-winning chef and author of A New Turn in the South "Virginia Willis has always been both hilariously funny and incredibly astute in her Southern taste. Her recipes, like Beer-Battered Shrimp with Spicy Ketchup, Broccoli and Cheese "Rice Grits," and Miso-Glazed Catfish with Edamame and Spicy Winter Greens, ring the bell for us. They are creative, nourishing, comforting, and easy to cook at leisure. Lighten Up, Y'all is a manifesto of gracious living in any era or place: be cool, eat well and mindfully, and don't forget to drink plenty of water!"
--Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen