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Bobby Deen’s new show lightens mom Paula’s recipes

courtesy of The Cooking Channel

courtesy of The Cooking Channel

Paula Deen is known for her no-holds-barred approach to Southern cooking, using sometimes shocking amounts of butter, cream cheese and more.

Now, one of her sons, Bobby, will attempt to create new associations with the family name as he tries to lighten his mother’s recipes on his new show Not My Mama’s Meals.

Though Bobby learned to cook at his mother’s hip, he experienced a lifestyle change about ten years ago as he began lifting weights. He says, “I embraced exercise and it completely changed my relationship with food… I like to eat for the way I want to feel.” To that end, he’s revamping the family recipes in order to drastically reduce the fat and calorie content. His mom’s response? “Good luck to you, sonny boy.”

In one episode, Bobby remakes Paula’s Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding — a recipe that according to Paula is a “one serving per lifetime” recipe. Using whole wheat doughnuts, cutting the portion size and making other substitutions, Bobby transforms takes this gluttonous dessert from 470 calories and 16 grams of fat to one with 230 calories and three grams of fat.

Not My Mama’s Meals tackles recipes such as the family’s gooey butter cake, pimento cheese and chocolate meringue pie. But Bobby’s favorite remake is the fried chicken. His version, the “unfried chicken” uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs coated with unsweetened cornflakes and baked in the oven.

Clips of Paula Deen cooking the original recipes on her own shows flank each recipe remake. Mama herself even appears on the first two episodes to weigh in on the recipes. After tasting a few, she says, “Son, don’t put your Mama out of business now, okay?” and “You’re on to something, darlin’ and I’m very proud of you.”

In fact, Bobby seems surprised that people wonder if Paula takes offense at his attempts to rein in her recipes. He says, “What mother wouldn’t want to see her 40-year-old son healthy?”

Could Paula Deen be converted to Bobby’s cooking style? After a hearty laugh and a pause, Bobby says, “I don’t think so. My mother is comfortable in her own skin. She’s happy with who she is. She doesn’t deprive herself of anything — she has few vices. She’s proud of what I’m doing. But, it might inspire her to do lighter stuff.” In one episode, Paula concedes, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”

Will any of the revamped recipes show up on the menu at the family’s Savannah-based restaurant, The Lady & Sons? To that, Bobby answers that it isn’t likely and cites the old saying, “Dance with the one that brung ya.”

Not My Mama’s Meals airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Cooking Channel.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

15 comments Add your comment

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January 10th, 2012
8:23 am

That’s kind of exciting. I love Paula’s food when I am in the mood for something southern and full o’ butta’. But I really like the thought of Bobby trying to lighten them up.I’ve tried to do that on my own a few times, and while it’s good, it’s not as good as it would be (of course).

Tom Tom of Food

January 10th, 2012
9:12 am


January 10th, 2012
9:32 am

This is very shrewd and smart. I look forward to see the product. I am assuming it is the same production company.


January 10th, 2012
10:47 am

I think it is a great idea. Sometimes more isn’t “more better”, in food as well as many other things.


January 10th, 2012
12:00 pm

Although I love her cooking, I am about sick of Paula, Y’ALL. But I could watch her sons and cute little grandson all day. Good for you, Bobby!

Chris Paul

January 10th, 2012
12:22 pm

You go Bobby . I love Paula’s food but I would be round as a barrel if I ate it often ( cousin Chris )

Choo Choo

January 10th, 2012
12:49 pm

If I can’t have Krispy Kreme bread pudding, then no substitute is going to make it “better” for me. Whole wheat donuts? No thanks. I think Bobby should come up with some of his OWN recipes and leave Paula and her recipes out of it. It’s like saying hers aren’t good enough. I don’t wish him any ill will, just think he should cut the apron strings.


January 10th, 2012
12:57 pm

I’m being snarky here, but do you call what Paula does cooking? She’s entertaining and probably nice, but cook? And please, he’s riding Mama’s coat tails…I do not think I’m interested.


January 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

I’m tired of P Deans dum azz southern stiick and now we got another?

Paula better make money while she can cuz a heart attack is coming………


January 11th, 2012
12:12 pm

Love Bobby Deen, could watch him all day!


January 11th, 2012
8:26 pm

is thrtr a book?


January 12th, 2012
5:46 pm

I love many of Paula’s recipes but I’d be one round barrel if I ate that way very often so I am so glad to see Bobby lightening them up a bit for more frequent indulgence.

Phyllis Hackett

January 13th, 2012
12:21 am

I wish they would put your show on the food network so I could watch it, I love your mom’s show and love when you and Jamie are on it , Good luck Bobby and lets see if we can get it on the foodnetwork so more of us can see you.
Good Bless and good luck


January 14th, 2012
12:34 pm

OMG! That pimento cheese looks so good. Gotta try is along with the sweet potato chips. Looking good Bobby!