Indulge in the lighter side of comfort food with this casual menu.

Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
Credit: Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

You don't need a lot of fat to get good flavor. Shrimp and Grits is just as rich and hearty as the traditional version.

Unbelievable flavor and easy prep make this midmorning meal perfect for entertaining. Just ask our food-loving friends on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, who are always happy to gather for good food. "This is my favorite part of the day," says homeowner Regina Hall as she lounges with her daughter, Amoreena Shenefelt, visiting from Decatur, Georgia. "It's a time to eat well, enjoy each other's company, and be inspired."

We shared a lightened spin on some of our best breakfast and brunch recipes with these friends and received rave reviews. "Everything looks so fresh and yummy," says Amoreena. "I especially like the touch of honey in the baked pears--they're not too sweet, and the streusel topping gives a nice crunch."

Try these dishes, and see for yourself how scrumptious they are. Your friends will be just as impressed as ours were--guaranteed.

"A Better Approach to Brunch" is from the February 2008 issue of Southern Living.