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Bobby Deen’s Taking the Guilty Out of Guilty Pleasures

Growing up surrounded by delectable Southern fare, Bobby Deen learned how delicious — and rich — family favorites can be. But then he discovered that he could recreate his family’s favorite Southern classics with simple swaps that take the guilty out of guilty pleasures. Now on his new show Deen of Lean, Bobby is heading around the country to surprise high-octane home cooks and attempt to turn their decadent dishes into lighter, leaner recipes. Their family and friends will judge his remakes to see if they can match or surpass the originals in deliciousness. First stop is New Jersey to meet up with Kardea. She’s a very good cook and her Southern dishes are made with love — but her boyfriend says she might use a little too much love.

Tune in to the premiere of Deen of Lean tonight at 9:30pm ET.

The Recipes:

Meatless Monday: Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

This Meatless Monday, go global and take your taste buds on a trip to Thailand. Skip the takeout and try Bobby Deen’s Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Ginger Soup at home. It’s easier than you would think.

With a lot of contrasting flavors, this soup has a lot going on — but in a very good way. The sweet potatoes and brown sugar balance the heat from the red curry paste and ginger, while the lime and scallions brighten the creaminess from coconut milk. Each bite is spicy, sweet, comforting and nutritious all at once.

Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

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Bobby Deen Makes a Fat Sandwich Skinny

Bobby Deen's Skinny Darrell Wrap

Paula Deen once had a man on her show who taught her how to make his heart-stopping Fat Darrell sandwich — a roll packed with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and french fries. It has 1790 calories and 92 grams of fat. On tonight’s episode of Not My Mama’s Meals at 9pm ET on Cooking Channel, Paula’s son Bobby will reinvent that sandwich into his Skinny Darrell Wrap, a version with a much more reasonable 670 calories and 22 grams of fat. To make it happen, he’ll use the same ingredients — only instead of deep frying everything, he’ll swap in oven-baked chips, baked chicken fingers and fresh mozzarella all rolled into a whole wheat wrap. The result is lighter and leaner, but just as delicious.

Tune in to Not My Mama’s Meals at 9pm ET to watch Bobby Deen takes his mom’s best comfort food recipes and transform them into meals that work with his fit lifestyle.

Flip through our gallery of Bobby Deen’s healthy takes of Paula Deen’s recipes.

Get more of Bobby Deen’s tips on lightening up your favorite meals like burgers, cake, pizza and more.

Meatless Monday: Spicy Thai Sweet Potato-Ginger Soup

sweet potato soup

Isn’t soup the best? It warms you up when it’s freezing outside, it’s easy to make, it’s a great way to clean out the fridge (you really can throw any old vegetables sitting in the crisper into your current soup of the day) and you can make a big batch at the beginning of the week and eat it for lunch or dinner (or breakfast if you’re into that) for days. Some soups — those spiced with cumin or ginger especially — taste even better after a few days. Bobby Deen’s Thai Sweet Potato Soup is one such soup. Make a pot tonight and enjoy a steaming bowl when it’s done, then pack some for lunch tomorrow. After the flavors of the curry paste, ginger and garlic have a chance to meld overnight, your soup will taste even more amazing tomorrow — so much so that you might want it for dinner again.

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How to Lighten Up After Thanksgiving

Sweet Potato Pie

Right now you might be feeling like you just want to hibernate for several weeks. Maybe it’s the amino acid tryptophan in all those turkey slices. Maybe it’s a subconscious way of avoiding seeing another stick of butter for a month. Or maybe you should have avoided that fourth slice of pie. In any case, you’ve recently consumed a great amount of food and you might be looking to detox. But it might be hard giving up comfort food after such a fantastic food frenzy. The good news is you don’t really have to.

Starting at 4pm ET, Cooking Channel is airing 12 back-to-back episodes of Not My Mama’s Meals hosted by Bobby Dean. Tune in to get his delicious lightened-up versions of your favorite comfort classics. For instance, his New School Sweet Potato Pie pictured above has only 290 calories per serving — not bad for something so good. Watch him make it on the episode Super Southern at 5:30pm ET. Throughout the day, he’ll be serving up a Monster Mushroom Burger, Pot Roast Stew, Meat and Mushroom Lasagna, and much more.

Cooking Channel’s Not My Mama’s Meals marathon starts at 4pm ET.

Get the Deen Brothers’ Thankgiving Menu

Deen Brothers Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving, you know Paula Deen’s household is going to pull out all the stops. This year, Bobby and Jamie Deen are taking the down-home Southern Turkey Day one step further by letting their mama kick back and relax while they cook the big feast for the entire family. Paula Deen has something to be thankful for and so do we because they’ve filmed themselves in the kitchen cooking the entire delicious thing. Tune in to Deen Brothers Thanksgiving tonight at 8pm ET on Cooking Channel. The Deen Thanksgiving table will be bountiful: a fried turkey with cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole and New York City cheesecake (thanks, Bobby) with a pumpkin topping, just to name a few delicious dishes. Get all their recipes after the jump.

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Boys of Summer: Your Perfect Respite From the Summer Olympics

Cooking Channel's Boys of Summer Olympics

Let Cooking Channel's Boys of Summer show you how to make Olympic-worthy dishes.

Despite our whining about the length of the opening ceremonies, we really love the Olympics. 
BUT every now and then, we need a break.

We’re already sick of some rivalries (looking at you, Phelps and Lochte). And sometimes the tension is just too much to take.

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We hear you. That’s why this week Cooking Channel is serving up mini-marathons in primetime of The Boys of Summer (Bobby Deen, Bobby Flay and Alton Brown) – the perfect respite from the 2012 London Olympics.

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Meatless Monday: Monster Mushroom Burger

portobello mushroom burger

Like a burger, but better.

The portobello mushroom burger — the ubiquitous vegetarian summer picnic meal — isn’t really a burger at all. Which is to say it isn’t chopped meat formed into a patty, but rather a food found in nature with a natural hamburger bun size and shape. It’s perfect, really. Thank you, nature, for a food that’s shaped like a sandwich and requires virtually no work to prepare.

Bobby Deen’s Monster Mushroom Burger is one such “burger” that will let you picnic with your pals without having to participate in the pressing together of raw meat into patties. Giant, bun-sized portobello mushrooms are marinated in oil and vinegar, grilled and layered on a bun with a creamy herbed yogurt sauce, arugula, tomato, onion and roasted red peppers. If you’re inclined, add a slice of provolone or a smear of goat cheese and make it a cheese “burger.”

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Meatless Monday: Fettuccine With Broccoli Pesto

fettuccine with broccoli pesto

Turns out you can make pesto with almost anything green, not just basil.

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces — I love it on pasta, crostini, pizza and on a spoon, straight out of the food processor after I’ve made a batch. Classic pesto is made from bunches of fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil, but since basil won’t be in season for a few months, the basil selection in the supermarket is a little grim. It’s more expensive and only available in small quantities, so I usually suffer through the winter without it. But here’s what I just figured out: Pesto doesn’t have to be made with just basil. This verdant sauce can be made with other herbs, like parsley or cilantro, so as soon as those roll into markets and sprout up in the garden try making pesto with a green herb other than basil.

During the winter months, when cruciferous vegetables are in season, grab a bunch of broccoli and make pesto out of that. Bobby Deen’s Broccoli Pesto recipe calls for just a handful of basil, plus cheese, nuts, garlic and olive oil, so it will have the bright color and flavor you’re used to. Toss the sauce with sun-dried tomatoes (packed in water if you can find them — this cuts down on the oil/fat) and whole-wheat pasta for a hearty tastes-almost-like-summer meal you can make all year. Bonus: Broccoli is loaded with cancer-fighting plant chemicals (so have an extra serving!).

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Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash With Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

butternut squash and quinoa recipe

Bobby Deen's Butternut Squash and Quinoa

There’s a strategy to my weeknight cooking. I like my weeknight meals to be easy-to-make, fairly healthy and with leftovers enough to either take to lunch the next day, or versatile enough to transform into another dish later in the week (think pasta sauce becoming Eggs in Purgatory). Bobby Deen’s Butternut Squash With Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts meets all of these qualifications — it’s super healthy (quinoa is a superfood you should be eating more of), ready in under an hour, plus it’s great hot or cold so if there’s a line at the microwave at work, I don’t really have to wait. Bonus: it’s made in one pot so there are fewer dirty dishes.

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