February 23, 2015

5 Star Review: Lighten Up, Y'all by Virginia Willis #BookReview @virginiawillis #cooking

Title: Lighten Up, Y'all
Author: Virginia Willis
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Genre: Cooking, How-To
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Source: Blogging For Books
Purchase: Amazon

A collection of classic Southern comfort food recipes--including seven-layer dip, chicken and gravy, and mudslide cookies--made lighter, healthier, and completely guilt-free.

Virginia Willis is not only an authority on Southern cooking, a French-trained chef, and a veteran cookbook author; she is also a proud Southerner who adores eating and cooking for family and friends. So when she needed to drop a few pounds and generally lighten up her diet, the most important criterion for her new lifestyle was that all the food had to taste delicious.

The result is Lighten Up, Y’all, a soul-satisfying and deeply personal collection of Virginia’s new favorite recipes. All the classics are covered—from a comforting Southern Style Shepherd’s Pie with Grits to warm, melting Broccoli Mac and Cheese to Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie. Each dish is packed with real Southern flavor, but made with healthier, more wholesome ingredients and techniques. Wherever you are on your health and wellness journey, Lighten Up, Y’all has the recipes, tools, and inspiration you need to make the nourishing, down-home Southern food you love.





Lighten Up, Y'all has probably been one of the best cookbooks that I have reviewed. It has brought my love of southern comfort food cooking to a whole new level. Once I moved to the south back in 2002 I started to develop a taste for all things southern. This cookbook just topped my list of foods that I need to start cooking ASAP.

Virginia Willis shows you that not all southern cooking is deep fried and swimming in gobs of butter. It's a healthier take on southern cooking, with greek yogurt put in quite a bit of these amazing recipes, along with other healthy alternatives.

With recipes like Beer-Battered Shrimp, Broccoli & Cheese Grits, Chicken, Apple & Cheddar Burgers to the sweet indulgences such as Blueberry Banana Muffins, Pineapple Right-Side Up cake and Baked Apple Hand Pies, this cookbook is sure to please just about everyone.



Disclaimer: *I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.



“As a Southerner, I appreciate that Virginia makes real Southern food with real ingredients. A natural teacher, Virginia helps to dispel the myth that all Southern food is fatty and not good for you. She also reminds us that being healthy isn’t always about saying no—her delicious recipes are all about making good choices and saying yes!” 
— Carla Hall, cohost of The Chew and author of Carla’s Comfort Food

“In Lighten Up, Y’all, Virginia Willis reminds us that Southern cooking is not all about overindulgence, butter, and fried food; rather, Southern food emphasizes the delicate ingredients that are indigenous to our region. She lightens up the dishes we love while staying true to the flavors we desire.” 
— John Besh, chef and author of Cooking from the Heart

Virginia Willis’s passion for the Southern food she grew up with, her top-notch culinary expertise, and her personal journey to be healthier have culminated in this wonderful book, which celebrates the fresh diversity of Southern cooking. With one incredible recipe after another, it is a real gift for health-minded food lovers!” 
— Ellie Krieger MS, RD, host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite and author of Weeknight Wonders

“With Lighten Up, Y’all, Virginia Willis opens the door to a new way of cooking, which focuses on the bountiful fresh fruits and vegetables that are the true staples of the Southern larder. She writes recipes that will make you feel good cooking in the kitchen, and feel even better eating the results.” 
— Hugh Acheson, James Beard Award–winning chef and author of A New Turn in the South
 



VIRGINIA WILLIS is the author of the acclaimed cookbooks Bon App├ętit, Y’allBasic to Brilliant, Y’allGrits; and Okra. Willis is a columnist for FoodNetwork.com, a contributing editor to Southern Living, and was named one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know” by the Chicago Tribune. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.






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