Monday, July 4, 2011

Does Lighter Mean Better?

As I was shopping in the produce section of the grocery store, I came across the avocadoes. Not just one variety but two? Hmm...SlimCado...I am intrigued. On the SlimCado's label, it states that it is lite, 35% fewer calories, and 50% less fat.  I decided to grab both the SlimCado and Hass avocado to compare them and here are my results.
                         SlimCado                                            vs.                                   Avocado        
                               Watery                                                                                      Creamy
  Very light flavor                                                                      Strong flavor
  Pale yellow flesh                                                                    Pale green flesh

In this case, lighter did not mean better. In my cookbook- Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm, I have lightened up some Southern classics.

For me, lighter can not mean bland. I like flavorful foods without any exceptions or substitutions. I lighten up foods by either using olive oil vs. butter, skim milk dairy products, and baked vs. fried.
When I am sauteing, roasting, or grilling I like to use olive oil to cook and flavor my vegetables and proteins. My favorite roasted vegetable is brussel sprouts. Yes, I did say brussel sprouts. If you have never had roasted brussel sprouts, you do not know what you are missing. Caramelization from the roasting of the onions and brussel sprouts brings out the natural sweetness.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I have never been a fan of the taste of low fat cream cheese or low fat sour cream but I do like to use skim milk dairy products like skim milk, part skim mozzerella cheese, and part skim ricotta cheese. One of my recipes that I use skim milk in is my cauliflower mac n'cheese. I have lightened up classic mac n'cheese by using roasted cauliflower instead of pasta and skim milk to make my creamy cheese sauce.

Cauliflower Mac N' Cheese

I think you can achieve the flavor and crisp texture of fried foods without deep frying. I like to either pan fry or oven-fry foods.

Pan-fried crab cake with sweet & spicy coleslaw

Summer is the perfect time to lighten up your dishes. I hope you will like trying the recipes in my cookbook to achieve this.
Have a great 4th of July with your friends and family!
Tomorrow, July 5th is the release of my cookbook. I hope you will be inspired to spend time with friends and family in the kitchen any time to share good food and fellowship.


  1. this is actually the first time i ever heard of the SlimCado, haha, a new knowledge =D and yes, i also like flavorful foods, too!!

  2. i've never heard about this vegetable! i don't like avocado, but I'd like to taste SlimCado. but i'm not sure if i can but it in Poland... ;)
    greetings! :)

  3. Yum! Those roasted brussel sprouts sound delicious!

  4. Pan-fried crab cake with sweet & spicy coleslaw looks delicious. You really should set up a school or smth. I will really wish to learn from you. Please dont scold me like how Gordon Ramsay does. hehe! xoxo!

  5. I loved your dish last night on Master Chef. Congrats!! I'm southern too. I grew up wanting to fry stuff. Planning on buying your book and hope to make the fried fish tonight. I bough tilapia b/c it was on sale. Any tips????

  6. Thanks, I'm hungry now! :)

    When I grill, I prepare a one of the (recycled) aluminum pans with fresh garden veggies with a little bit of olive oil, a dash of Creole seasoning along with a little garlic.....yummy!

  7. Hi, I would like to do a cookbook review on your new cookbook for my food blog diabetic snacker. I couldn't locate your contact address anywhere but I hope your pr person can email me about a possible review campaign for your cookbook. Thanks,love your blog -grandma was one smart cookie, watermelon is also my favorite. barb

  8. I bought your cookbook for the recipes for the catfish, sweet potato fried, coleslaw, and tartar sauce that were used in Masterchef. I couldn't find any of them in the cookbook. Am I just missing them? I really wanted to try the coleslaw.

  9. slimcado?? never heard of it, even thought my family loves avocados!

  10. I also just bought the cookbook for the recipes shown on the recent Masterchef challenge. Really wanted to try the catfish, sweet potato fries and especially the coleslaw...

  11. Vegeterian *and* low-carb recipes! Just what I'm looking for! Maybe I should re-think my preconceptions on southern cooking. I'll definitely have to peek in your book at the bookstore tomorrow to see if there are enough recipes in there that go that route :) So far I already wanna try those two.

  12. Just tried the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. My family LOVED it. There were no left overs for the first time in a long time. My husband says he no longer wants the other stuff. Thanks.

  13. Justin the catfish is under oven baked catfish with dill tartar sauce in my cookbook and the slaw is the sweet and spicy coleslaw but to make it more challenging for the contestants, I added shredded brussel sprouts and green apple

  14. Mia I love creating recipes with vegetables. They are so versatile. I have a turnip green pesto recipe that I like to toss with pasta for a quick pasta salad or as a condiment