We had an exciting variety of entries in our photo challenge honoring Allison Fishman Task’s new book Lighten Up, America! We asked you to share photos of your favorite regional dishes, and we picked a winner we think is overdue for a makeover.
Congratulations to our winner, Jamie of Madison, Georgia, who submitted this mouthwatering photo and description of a Southern classic: “Shrimp ‘N’ Grits has all of the South’s favorite staples: heavy cream, bacon, pork sausage, cheese, butter and grits. We even add a little fresh tomato and shrimp to make it appear healthy. This is my favorite Southern Dish.” Well, Jamie, we’ve got you covered. Try a lighter take on your favorite southern pleasure with Cajun-Style Shrimp and Grits. Allison Task dropped the heavy cream, bacon, and sausage but lost none of the flavor. You still get a salty bite from tasso ham and creamy, cheesy grits serve as the base, but this version rings in at less than 350 calories!
Shrimp ‘N’ Grits
Our 10 semi-finalists each won a copy of Lighten Up, America! Learn more about the book and find which regional favorites got the “Lighten Up” treatment.
“This Southern-style Chicken Pot Pie is a family favorite. Great for chilly evenings as well as special occasions. My kids love it!”
“Raw Lasagna from M.A.K.E. Restaurant in Santa Monica. Healthy, delicious and locally fresh.”
“Celebrate the West Coast’s pumpkin patches with this creamy vegan Pumpkin Sage Soup. It’s simple to make, healthy and VERY tasty! It will make your taste-buds and tummy dance!”
“Bananas Foster is one of New Orleans’ most famous desserts. Now you can enjoy it for breakfast with this Bananas Foster Steel Cut Oatmeal! No sugar added, vegan, heart healthy and delicious!”
“Delicious fresh-caught Alaskan salmon and broccoli wrapped in flour tortillas and smothered in a creamy sauce – a favorite of our family on cold snowy nights.”
“We love cheese in the Midwest and there is nothing better (or more Midwestern) than beer battered fried cheese curds! These are my favorites– from Farmhouse Tavern in Chicago!”
“We love this Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup—mildly spicy, creamy, cheesy goodness in a bowl!”
“Local dungess crab leftovers magically turned out to be a delicious local salad.”
“Farm fresh tomatoes and lettuce with a low-fat homemade special sauce makes any burger a regional favorite…and with choices like 93% lean ground beef, turkey burgers & grass fed beef burgers, there are many options to ‘Lighten Up” your burger!’
I could probably survive solely on French onion soup, crusty bread, and fine cheese—but could probably survive longer if it were “lightened up”.