Announcing “The Deen Brothers Take it Lighter”

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Announcing “The Deen Brothers Take it Lighter”

By Jamie and Bobby Deen

I’ll be the first to admit that mother doesn’t always know best. I grew up in a time and place where “comfort” and “food” walked hand-in-hand. My grandmomma flavored her biscuits with bacon grease and seasoned her vegetables with fatback. It’s how we did it. It’s how I still like it. But my boys grew up in a different era. There’s so much more information out there now, tellin’ us how to live healthier lives by eating better and exercising. For the longest time, “eating good” and “eating healthy” seemed like two separate things. But when my son Bobby got on the health and fitness bandwagon, he taught this ol’ dog some new tricks. He figured out ways to lighten up some of my most decadent recipes, which we’ve been featuring in the Bobby Lightens It Up series here on the website. I promise, y’all, his recipes are delicious and every bit as comforting. But my eldest, Jamie, was harder to convince. Bless his heart—he’d rather cut down a tree than cut a single calorie from one of his momma’s best dishes.

Of course, kids change everything. Even the things we don’t feel much like changing. Jamie is hard set on being a good example to his son, Jack, and with another one on the way, I think he’s really determined to follow Bobby’s lead and change the way he eats. The nice thing about Bobby’s approach to cooking is how doable it is—he doesn’t give up the good stuff, he just finds ways to cut the fat without cutting the taste. Once Jamie figured that out, he began tinkering with some recipes of his own. Today, I’m proud to announce that my boys are teaming up to launch their new series, The Deen Brothers Take it Lighter. Each month on the website they’ll feature new, lighter versions of familiar recipes. Try ‘em out and let me know what y’all think. If they’re even half as wonderful as my boys, I’m certain you’ll be coming back for more.

-Paula Deen

The Deen Bros. Lighter Macho Nachos

128 Fewer Calories
9g Less Fat


6 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1/2 cup fat-free refried beans
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 jalapeno sliced
1 (15-ounce) can vegetarian chili with beans
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped scallions


Preheat the broiler. Stack the tortillas and cut into quarters. Arrange the tortilla pieces in one layer on the broiler rack; spray the tortillas lightly with nonstick spray. Broil 6 inches from the heat, turning frequently, until crisp and golden, 3 - 4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Transfer half the tortilla chips to a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spread 1 teaspoon of the refried beans on each chip. Sprinkle with half the onion, half the cheese, and half the jalapeno. Spoon half the chili over top. Repeat layering with the remaining chips, beans, onion, jalapeno, and chili. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.

Bake, uncovered, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 12 – 15 minutes.  Top nachos with sour cream, tomato, and scallions. Serve at once.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 8 servings

Per Serving: 157 Cal (39% from Fat, 26% from Protein, 36% from Carb); 11 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 15 g Carb; 6 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 98 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 604 mg Sodium; 12 mg Cholesterol

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen: Macho Nachos
Take It Lighter recipe courtesy of Bobby and Jamie Deen, and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

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Read More From Deen Bros Take it Lighter.

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Reader Comments:


Paula- I have been collecting recipes and recipe books for years! Recently,(in the last 7 years) I am collecting your boys and your cookbooks! Is "The Deen Boys Take It Lighter" a cookbook and if so where can I find it? Debbie Jones

By Debbie Jones on February 02, 2014


What a great idea your son had. For someone who has a hard time giving up "good old food" but wants to loose weight now we have some help doing it. Keep up the good work

By Louise on May 26, 2012


Paula, Best of luck dealing with your diabetes. My Dad had it for years. I congratulate your sons on their new venture. My husband and I have been working together for years to lighten up all recipes from our parents and various websites. We have learned to enjoy our favorite dishes with much less fat and still lots of flavor. Change is not always easy but with time and patience it can be done. God Bless you on your new journey.

By Ginny Osterman on January 18, 2012


By on October 01, 2011


By on October 01, 2011


Thank you, thank you, thank you Bobby Deen! I've been a Paula follower forever but, my husband was extremely worried about my health as the weight kept goin' up and the knees were gettin' worse. His weight had snuck up on him also so we joined Weight Watchers together a few months ago. He's met his goal weight (he lost > 50 pounds) and I'm down about 35 lbs. But we love to cook and eat good food. And since this program is a lifestyle change while eating real food, you are now allowing me to have my favorite Paula desserts and eat them too! And my crab cakes and my corn chowder! Thanks for helping us "lighten up" food wise and pound wise! Love the recipes and love the nutrional info - makes it easy to count my points! Go Deen brothers!

By Darlene Williams on August 08, 2011


we watch your cook show all the time on ch 231 food network paula thank you for all your wonderful recipe. like you i enjoy cooking all the time as young girl my family was allway in kitchen.mygrandmother and mother and aunts teach us about love of family and good food.

By dorris on May 11, 2011


When are you going to come out with a Deen Bros.Take It Lighter cookbook so I don't have to copy all these recipes??????

By Susan Sorenson on March 29, 2011


What a great family!!! We have watched you all from the beginning and have been so impressed with the shows, recipes, books and the way you all are yourselves. Keep up the good work and don't change. Also love the boys "Take it lighter". Dave

By David Schreiber on March 17, 2011


Thank You Deen Boys for the lighter recipes! I too Love your Mamma's recipes but my heart and waist..not so much! I do have one request... Could you tell us how to make a lighter verison of the Pumpkin Gooey Cake....Mamma's is a bit to sweet for me! Thanks Deen Family keep up the Excellent work and recipes! Love You Guys!!!!

By Linda Hacker on February 14, 2011


I love Paula Deen her receipes are fabulous. But, I am a Diabetic and some receipes I cannot have, only on occasion. Actually I have lightened up some of your receipes on my own they are great. I am so glad that you sons are doing Lighter Versions of your receipes. Maybe the Deen Brothers will have a Lightened Up Food show on Food Network also! I have tried many of Bobby's Lighter receipes and they are great, you can't even tell the difference. The only way you would know, is if you've had Paula's receipes. Keep Up the Good Work! Love you Guys

By Barbara Wichoski on February 06, 2011


By Barbara Wichoski on February 06, 2011


Hey Deen brothers. Your new lighter recipes are delis. keep them coming. Thank you .

By Kathy Haefeker on February 06, 2011


Hi Deen Brothers! I think you guys are awesome and I love your cooking styles. I myself love to cook and enjoy trying out your recipes!! Thanks for the ymmy recipes! Tammy

By Tammy Spears on February 04, 2011


Watch you all the time. You have all the right to be proud of your mom and know your going to do well in your life. You had an excellent teacher Have been looking for your book. I have then all and your mom's will keep looking for this one. Love your meals. Keep cooking Gail

By Gail Appel on February 03, 2011


This is a very good thing.....congrats to u both and hurry up with another cookbook ok? Keep them coming recipes, children and making this lighter BUT the southern way is also how I grew up with parents from this day I still make the 'southern breakfast' on Christmas morning..... go and get busy after u get off the ship from vacation grin Sallie Higginbotham

By Sallie Higginbotham on February 03, 2011


I love the new light recipes. I am a person thats have cooked all my life and love to share food with frieds and family. I use to much butter, oil etc.I know all will be great foods, cause you came from Paula.

By toni brown on February 03, 2011


Miss Paula I grew up cooking good ole southern food. Fatback, slab bacon, homemade sausage, eggs, cheese grits, saw mill gravy and homemade biscuits were morning staples when I was growing up. Back then I went to the coal pile and shoveled coal and put in the bucket for the heater. In the spring we planted the garden and harvested till it beared no more. We worked outside. I think that is what kept us slimmer. Today we are a sitdown society that has to go to the gym and have the doctor tell us that we don't eat right. Also all the hormones and other additives in our food causes weight gain. I am 56 years old and I just don't see me making a lot of changes in the way I cook. But, I am trying to be a little "smarter". Thanks for bringing so many wonderful memories of my Granny and Mama's wonderful, great smelling kitchen!! Rita R

By Rita on February 03, 2011


Sounds really good. Haven't tried it yet but it sounds like something I would make. I love the fat free refried beans. They taste the same to me as the full fat product. I would use the high carb/low calorie tortillas instead of the fat free. I find the texture a bit weird. Looks like a good series. Good job.

By Risa G on February 03, 2011


They are as good looking as their mom-and they can cook__amazing!!!

By Deborah Molina on February 03, 2011

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