A dear friend of mine works for an amazing publishing company and recently reached out to me about a new cookbook her firm is publishing on Southern cooking. Given that I was born and raised in Nashville, TN, I have a love for Southern cuisine, but unfortunately it’s often pretty unhealthy. Luckily, this Southern cookbook is full of healthy changes to make Southern classics taste good and feel good. I had a chance to interview the author, Lara Lyn Carter, and I learned a lot about her approach to cooking and health.
Tell me about yourself:
“I am a 48 year old mother of three boys ages 22, 16, and my after 40 surprise is 5. My husband and I have been married for almost 25 years. I love to read historical fiction novels and was a trained dancer when I was young.”
How did you become interested in cooking?
“I don’t remember not loving to cook. I think because both my mother and grandmother loved to cook and I was always in the kitchen with them that it was just part of me. I absolutely love to cook!”
Why do you care about healthy eating? What prompted your interest in health?
“Just a few months before my 47th birthday I was the heaviest that I had ever been and I was having issues with sleep, acid reflux, stomach problems, etc. I knew that I needed to lose weight and “clean” my body. I also knew that if I did this that it would have to be a lifestyle that I would need to maintain my health. I also was struggling with my youngest sons allergies and trying to figure out how I could help him. I cut out gluten, refined sugars, “bad” carbs and started seeing results in how I felt and my weigh immediately. I also began pushing myself as a chef to create new healthy recipes and reinventing the classics that I love in a healthy way.”
What is your favorite food?
“My favorite foods are anything with pecans in it. I am an absolute nut about pecans. And seafood, particularly crab!”
What is your favorite southern dish?
“My favorite Southern dish is definitely fried green tomatoes with Remoulade sauce!”
What is your number one health tip?
“I think the best thing that anyone can do for their health is to avoid processed foods and most of all doing away with gluten!”
Do you have any resolutions for 2019? Any tips for achieving a New Years resolution?
“My resolution for 2019 is to take more time to just breathe and take a moment to myself. We all stay so busy and attached to social media that I think we don’t take time to just be still and breathe and relax.
The best tip I can give anyone is make whatever your resolution is part of your lifestyle. Just like the way I eat is my lifestyle not a diet. Whatever someone wants to incorporate into their life needs to become part of their life not just something they do once in a while.”
In addition to speaking with Lara Lyn, I had the chance to try out a few recipes from her cookbook! My favorite was the Lemon Blueberry Muffin recipe.
I made it with my boyfriend and we shared a few with his roommates. It was such a simple easy recipe that turned out perfectly. Everyone loved the muffins–common responses included:
- “These are super delicious”
- “How are they so moist?”
- “I could eat so many of these”
Needless to say, these were a hit! Plus, no one could tell they were healthy and gluten free.
I can’t wait to make these again and try out more recipes from Skinny Southern.
Look for Lara Lyn’s book on Amazon and in stores near you!