Lighten Up! Southern Classics
This green bean casserole gets a much-needed makeover from fresh veggies and a lightened (but super-rich!) homemade sauce. And the best part: It's under 200 calories per serving!
- Recipe: Home-style Green Bean Casserole
This delicious mac and cheese is light on butter and cheese yet still melts in your mouth. Change the flavor profile of the recipe with combinations such as sweet peas and proscuitto or ham and broccoli.
Instead of fried pork chops, try these pork tenderloin cutlets. Tenderloin is low in fat, and this recipe is "fried" with just enough heart-healthy oil for the crispy crunch you crave!
If you're craving a loaded-out pizza, give this veggie pizza a try! A whole wheat crust topped with roasted sweet potatoes and other colorful veggies ups the good-for-you-factor without skimping on flavor.
- Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Pizza
For this healthier version of carrot cake, we reduced the fat in the batter by using less vegetable oil and sugar, yet it is still as moist as traditional cakes. We also reduced the butter and used reduced-fat cream cheese for the frosting, without losing the flavor!
- Recipe: Layered Carrot Cake
Take advantage of this golden veggie in a lightened version of squash casserole. The combo of cornflakes and French fried onions adds an irresistible crunch without adding too many calories.
- Recipe: Lightened Squash Casserole
Grab a knife and fork, and dig in. There's no guilt behind these hot browns—they're lightened and full of flavor. Typically, this open-faced Kentucky classic is made with a heavy cheese sauce, but we found a way to deliver the same richness without all the saturated fat.
- Recipe: Lightened Hot Browns
- Recipe: Lightened Hummingbird Cake
These simply-seasoned grilled pork tenderloin sandwiches are topped with a sweet onion barbecue sauce and served on whole wheat buns. Add vitamin-rich leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, or peppery arugula.
If you think cutting calories means giving up the foods you love, think again. This top-rated makeover is every bit as creamy and satisfying as the full-fat original.
- Recipe: Light King Ranch Casserole
Serve refreshing sweet tea to guests without a tinge of guilt. This green tea version is sweetened with honey and flavored with orange and lime. At 68 calories per cup, you may find a new summer favorite.
- Recipe: Slightly Sweet Tea
This pudding delivers a velvety rich custard, ripe banana flavor, vanilla wafers so soft they melt in your mouth, and an irresistible golden-baked meringue topping. All this, and it's lower in fat and calories than traditional versions. These make great individual party desserts, or make it in an 8-inch square pan. We love it with extra wafers.
- Recipe: Banana Pudding
Put a summertime spin on this traditional Southern dish of beans and corn by mixing with lemon juice and chives and serving cold. It’s easy to prepare in advance and pull out of the fridge to serve with meat hot off the grill.
Recipe: Succotash Salad
Pound chops into thin cutlets to create more surface area, then pan-fry them, rather than deep-fry, to crispy perfection.Try this versatile technique with chicken, beef, or veal cutlets.
Browned flour makes a low-fat gravy, while the slow cooker creates the creamiest grits without cheese or butter. And with a light gravy, you can indulge in andouille sausage.
Sweet potato creates pillowy, gnocchi-like dumplings and adds Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Calcium, and Potassium. Start with a whole chicken to create a flavorful, refined broth.