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9 Healthyish Southern Recipes That Go Big on Flavor

Southern cooking is all about flavor. These recipes build big flavor without piling on saturated fats and extra calories. So you can satisfy your cravings for Southern cuisine and still be faithful to your healthy lifestyle. Catfish, gumbo, even peach cobbler -- less really is more!

1. Southern-Style Oven-Fried Catfish

Baking your breaded catfish in the oven makes for crunchy fish that's not saturated with oil. "I have served this to many a friend from the South," says carina," and it is always a winner! Serve with coleslaw and oven-baked french fries, and you'll have a healthy, tasty meal!"

Southern-Style Oven-Fried Catfish

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

2. Southern Coleslaw

This tangy slaw dispenses with the mayo and does it all with bright lime juice, fresh diced tomatoes, and shredded coleslaw mix. "Loved this," says CookinBug. "The flavor was so light and refreshing. We were tired of traditional coleslaw, so this was the perfect solution."

Southern Coleslaw

Photo by lutzflcat

3. Southern Fried Chicken Strips

These crunchy strips of chicken breast meat are lightly breaded, pan-fried in a little vegetable oil, and ready in 30 minutes. "Easy, crunchy, and finger lickin' good," says LillysMom. "Great with honey mustard sauce!"

Southern Fried Chicken Strips

hoto by Allrecipes

4. Healthier Southern Peach Cobbler

This peach cobbler calls for whole wheat pastry flour and gets its sweetness from fresh peaches not added sugar. "Love this recipe," says 3BadBoxers. "Not too sweet like many cobblers."

Healthier Southern Peach Cobbler

Photo by Rosemary Reifonas Orloff

5. Chef John's Crab Cakes

The secret to these amazing crab cakes is that they call for hardly any filler -- just large chunks of delicious fresh crab. "These are what crab cakes are supposed to be like," explains Chef John. "They are basically a fried lump of crabmeat, held together with a minimum of filler. Delicious!"

6. Southern Ham and Brown Beans

"Love this recipe," says Sarah. "Followed it to the letter except I used chopped ham instead of a ham hock. Yummy, flavorful, and inexpensive!"

Southern Ham and Brown Beans

Photo by Haysley

7. Healthy and Delicious Southern Turnip Greens

"Traditional seasonings for southern greens are bacon grease or ham," says wright134. "This healthier version is a delicious alternative that uses olive oil. Serve as-is or with sauteed bell peppers, onions, and garlic."

Healthy and Delicious Southern Turnip Greens

Photo by amber96

8. Southern Unfried Chicken

"This dish is a great substitute for the Southern fried chicken I grew up on," says Michaelsmama. "Baking and using cooking spray lowers the calories significantly. Delicious."

Unfried Chicken

Photo by Deb

9. Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Okra and other vegetables saute in olive oil and then simmer with shrimp into a delicious stew that’s thick and rich even without the traditional dark roux. "It's great gumbo taste without the roux," says Ms. Mann, "which means less calories."

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Photo by MiChelle Cooper-Tahirou


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About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.