Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis is a cookbook that reinvents many of the good ole’ Southern recipes. I am one of those people that is reads a cookbook like a novel; from cover to cover. Virginia’s introduction sucked me in right away by setting the stage as she shares about her youth leading up to her culinary experiences and the fact that she’s always thought of herself as “fat.” She tells that she recently lost a good amount of weight and fills amazing. After all the hard work that losing weight is, she found herself not wanting to deprive herself of all the Southern foods that she loved growing up. This book is the product of that desire.
I cannot wait to try many of the recipes in this book. The Bacon and Chile-Wrapped Scallops and the Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts sound a bit out of my cooking comfort zone, but ones that I’m anxious to try. While the Cheesey Jalapeno Beer Bread Muffins and the Sinless Seven-Layer Dip ingredients are already on my grocery list for next week.
This book is nicely organized with many beautiful pictures, although, not all the recipes have pictures with them, so you have to use your imagination for a 3/4 of them. I have been a fan of Virginia’s since I saw her on the Paula Deen show back when she was on Food Network many years ago. Getting to review her book was super exciting and Virginia did not let me down with her healthier version of good ole Southern cookin’.
I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.