There are few things as delicious as Southern fried chicken — breaded and deep-fried to crispy, golden-brown perfection on the outside, yet amazingly moist and juicy on the inside — or creamy, butter-drenched grits topped with shrimp. And, don't forget rich collard greens; sweet, fluffy skillet cornbread; and flaky biscuits made with lard. The downside of all this deliciousness? The popular misconception that all Southern food is unhealthy. Sure, there are lots of breaded, battered, deep-fried, or butter- and cream-drenched recipes (and we love them!), but there are an equal number of dishes that are loaded with fresh and wholesome ingredients. We want to set the record straight; delicious recipes that are big on Southern flavor can also be fresh, healthy, and wholesome.collard greens, peaches, oranges, okra, fresh sweet corn, sweet potatoes, colorful green tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and shrimp. They have lots of authentic flavor without being deep-fried or cooked with large amounts of butter, cream, or lard.
If you love Southern food and want to make sure you’re eating healthy, remember that it’s not all candied sweet potato casserole and buttermilk fried chicken. Lots of Southern recipes are based on good-for-you ingredients like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins and still use authentic Southern spices, seasonings, and flavor profiles. Need a few delicious and reliable recipes that are based on Southern ingredients and flavors to get you started? We've got seven you're sure to love.
Braised Collard Greens
Cayenne Grilled Peaches
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
This story was originally published on April 3, 2015.