Paula Deen gets a makeover
by Lisa Davis
Feb 01, 2012 | 5857 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chicken Divan. Photo: Special to The Star
Chicken Divan. Photo: Special to The Star
When Paula Deen announced she had diabetes, were any of us really surprised? Somehow, we always knew you couldn’t cook with that much butter and sugar and get away with it.

But maybe, we thought, there’s a way to cook more healthfully and still preserve the flavors we love about Deen’s Southern home-cooking.

We turned to Marchale Burton, an agent with the Calhoun County Extension Service who specializes in nutrition, diet and health. Burton agreed to make over two of Deen’s more popular recipes: Chicken Divan and Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf.

To control diabetes, you have to be concerned about more than just sugar, Burton said. You also have to limit your intake of fat and sodium. Burton’s lighter versions of Deen’s dishes slash the fat and sodium content.

“A lot of people who have diabetes really have to come to terms with it. A lot of people don’t feel like they’re sick,” Burton said. “It is a disease that is very, very quiet. It takes a while for people to really make a correlation between diet and not feeling good, and then to change the way they’ve eaten all their lives.

“That’s why it’s so hard for people. I can understand why it would be hard for Paula Deen.”

Paula Deen's Chicken Divan

Per serving
760 calories
55 grams of fat
1,363 mg of sodium

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli, chopped
6 cups shredded chicken, cooked
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the outer wrappers from the boxes of broccoli. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Add the shredded chicken.

In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.

Place the mixture into an 11-by-7-inch casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Serves 8.

Healthier Chicken Divan

Per serving
435 calories
21 grams of fat
575 mg of sodium

2 10-ounce frozen packages chopped broccoli, thawed
6 cups shredded chicken, cooked (boneless chicken breast can be used)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups leek, white and light green parts
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat milk
1 (14 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry (do not use the cooking sherry sold in grocery stores. It is loaded with sodium)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup whole wheat cracker crumbs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Chicken can be stewed (do not used fried chicken). If using chicken breast, place in medium skillet or saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked and is no longer pink.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add leek and salt, stirring until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

Add flour to coat. Add milk, broth, sherry, thyme and black pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add broccoli and return to simmer.

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Place half the broccoli mixture in bottom of baking dish. Top with chicken, then the remaining broccoli mixture.

Mix together remaining Parmesan cheese and whole wheat cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over top of broccoli mixture. Lightly spray top of crackers with cooking spray. Bake until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.

Serves 8.

Paula Deen's Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Per serving
417 calories
34 grams fat
509 mg sodium

1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.

In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard.

Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.

Press meat mixture into a 9-by-5-by 3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan.

Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes.

Top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.

Serves 10.

Healthier Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Per serving
318 calories
12 grams fat
389 mg sodium

3/4 pound lean ground turkey
3/4 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
1 cup dried mushrooms (shiitake, porcini or chanterelle)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup nonfat evaporated milk
1/2 cup ketchup
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
4 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese, grated
5 slices turkey bacon

Place mushrooms in one cup boiling water and cover for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat oil in skillet. Add onions, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender.

Add Worcestershire sauce and continue cooking about 3 more minutes. Add tomatoes, milk and ketchup, and stir to combine all ingredients.

Cook until mixture becomes thick (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and cool.

Beat egg whites together in large bowl.

Add turkey, beef and mushrooms to the tomato mixture. Add thyme, salt and black pepper.

Stir in egg whites, bread crumbs and cheese.

Mix with hands, place into a loaf pan. Press down to remove air and to shape. Turn upside down onto sprayed cooking sheet. Place turkey bacon across top, tucking ends under sides of loaf. Bake until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Serves 10.
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