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Shaming the South

April 6, 2011

I grew up in Tampa, FL– not quite the South, but Southern culture was still prevalent. And when I went away to college in Tallahassee– right on the Georgia border (we would drive across state lines just to buy 40 oz beers)– I was knee-deep in Southern culture. More importantly: Southern food.

Corn bread.

Fried chicken.


Biscuits and gravy.

Peach cobbler.


What’s one thing that the foods above have in common? They’re usually unhealthy. Really, really unhealthy. But it’s almost a staple in Southern food. Unhealthy and Southern food go together like… well… Paula Deen and butter.

Last time I went to my family’s cabin in Hiawassee, Georgia, I thought I’d play it safe with a grilled chicken sandwich. The buns were soaked in butter. SOAKED IN BUTTER.

My friend Laura spent a couple weeks in Macon, Georgia on a casting assignment, and this was her first meal there:

But despite how unhealthy Southern food can be, I still miss it. All the time. So every now and then, I’ll go for a splurge at Baby Blue’s BBQ. And when my cravings for all things Southern creep up again, I come up with new and healthy twists on old favorites.

Instead of fried eggs and biscuits for breakfast…

Creamy Egg Scramble with Rosemary and Lavender Salt

… and a whole wheat biscuit topped with pumpkin butter.

Creamy Egg Scramble with Rosemary and Lavender Salt

I used one egg for my scramble, but you can add more.

Scramble all the ingredients together, making sure the milk and the egg is fully incorporated and that there are no visible egg whites. Cook in a skillet until done– they’ll still be creamy, borderline runny, because of the milk.

The biscuit recipe is coming when I post the food/photo adventure from this weekend!

And for lunch– with considerably worse lighting– I put a vegetarian twist on something I never seem to get enough of. Barbecue.

Barbecued Tempeh and Spinach

… and another biscuit. Because I couldn’t get enough.

makes one serving

  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 block of tempeh
  • 2/3 c spinach (freshly wilted or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce, or as needed
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning (or Mrs. Dash)

Sautee the shallot with a little olive oil until they’re clear. Crumble the tempeh and sautee until slightly browned. Add the red pepper flakes, seasoning mix, and BBQ sauce and continue cooking until fully incorporated. Serve with the spinach.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 4:26 pm

    I’ve been craving Southern food for a long time now. Biscuits especially. So I can’t wait for your recipe!

    • April 7, 2011 11:02 am

      I got the recipe from another blog, but the first time I tried it was over the weekend when my friend and I did some food photography. I’ll make sure to post it ASAP! It’s really easy. 🙂

  2. April 6, 2011 9:13 pm

    I LOVE southern food! My family is from Kentucky and I love going to visit them- mostly because of the food! Especially home made biscuits. We have them every Christmas 🙂

    • April 7, 2011 10:22 am

      I miss not having a Cracker Barrel near me. They’re so cheesy, but I kind of miss being able to play with those little golf peg things while eating biscuits and gravy. 🙂

  3. Tio Michael permalink
    April 7, 2011 7:59 am

    BBQ Rules!

    I can’t believe thats fried chicken in the photo from Macon, Ga. I thought they knew how to do fried chicken in Georgia of all places. When you come home and want to try some real BBQ I’ll have to fire up the smoker or make some authentic fried chicken. I have a recipe for fried chicken done on a Weber kettle grill over charcoal and some applewood that comes out awesome. Tastes just like deep fried with out all the fat!


    • April 7, 2011 10:20 am

      Right? It doesn’t even look like GOO fried chicken.
      And I am holding you to that grilled-fried chicken. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it!

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