The days of recipes using a pound of bacon and an entire stick of butter are gone for the Deen family. Food Network star chef Paula Deen’s son, Bobby, is leading the way to a healthier lifestyle.
Bobby’s active lifestyle spilled over into his show, “Not My Mama’s Meals,” on the Cooking Channel and now his new cookbook, “From Mama’s Table to Mine,” that hit shelves Feb. 5.
Locals will be some of the first to share Bobby’s fresh ideas for good eating at a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Cary on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
The cookbook is an honest glance into Bobby’s life, he said.
“I like to eat for the way I want to feel,” Bobby said.
While his other cookbooks with his brother, Jamie, have been more traditional and inspired from his travels, this book has a completely different feel.
“This cookbook really is a glimpse of me,” he said.
It’s not lost on the cooking star that the least expensive foods tend to be the highest in calories and fat content. He wanted the ingredients in his cookbook to be affordable and easy to find.
“That’s important to me, especially in these times,” he said.
There is a direct correlation between the hunger problem and the obesity issue that plagues Americans. Eating affordably doesn’t have to mean driving up to a window.
Bobby wants families to cook at home and cook as a family.
Bobby’s mother has always called the kitchen the “heart of the home.” It inspires conversation and thought, Bobby said. And it’s where children can learn a lot about creativity. From an early age, Paula’s sons learned to follow the recipe strictly the first time through. And then they could experiment to make it their own.
“It’s all related to the cooking,” he said.
Maybe that’s why Bobby picked recipes that appealed to him personally, achieving good flavors.
And many of the recipes will tempt North Carolinians away from their high fat recipes like traditional pulled-pork barbecue. Bobby’s recipe cuts down fat to five grams and calories to 216 per serving.
“You would never guess that it’s lighter,” Bobby said.
By using a different cut of meat, he said you can cut down on a lot of fat. However, pork tends to be lower in fat from the get go.
He said North Carolina pork barbecue lovers can use pork tenderloin for a faux barbecue. In general a lot of recipes can substitute ground turkey to cut down on fat as well.
Bobby’s favorite meals in the book include a lot of fish and fowl. He also loves the turkey meatloaf and crab cakes. But any time he can add fresh vegetables and fruits, he feels better about a meal.
“An apple brings a lot of taste to the table,” he said.
A lot of foods consumed at dinner are laden with fat and calories and are over seasoned and over served. There are plenty of foods that can be substituted to make meals healthier and tastier, like Greek yogurt with a little lemon grass.
“Really, good does not have to be boring,” Bobby said.
Even Paula loves the recipes in the book. Bobby said his mother loves to see him lead a healthy lifestyle. Since she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Paula has lost more than 40 pounds.
“We all live by balance,” Bobby said.
He lives by an 80-20 ratio; 80 percent of the time he’s careful with what he eats and 20 percent of the time he enjoys a burger and fries just like everyone else.
The idea of balance carries over into Bobby’s book as well. He has a meal plan in the back for 1,500 calories each day for a week of meals.
But, he said, his next cookbook will incorporate the necessity of exercise as well.
“You have to move,” he said. “You have to exercise. That’s part of it too.”
Contact Kelly Griffith at email@example.com or 919-552-5675.