Paula’s Smarter Week Night Recipes

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend

Paula’s Smarter Week Night Recipes

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Healthy weeknight dinners don’t have to be a workout so just say no to hitting the drive through on the way home from work. Save your splurges for the weekend. Follow these simple tips for easy but healthy weeknight dinners.

Measure your oil
Fat and calories creep into your home cooked meals by thoughtlessly pouring oil into your skillet. If your recipe asks for 2 tablespoons of oil get in the habit of measuring it. You’ll be surprised that 2 tablespoons looks like a lot less than it really is once in your skillet. Also try using a non-stick pan and cut down even more oil or butter.

Cut down on meat
Cutting down on red meat is a great way to save on calories and money. Try lean cuts like pork tenderloin or beef round. Or go with turkey, chicken, or fish. Removing the skin and any visible fat before eating will also save you on fat and calories. If you really want to cut down on calories and fat, try going vegetarian one night a week.

Bulk up on veggies
Adding fresh vegetables to your meals will help fill you up and give you a big nutritional boost. Try quickly cooking them by steaming or sautéing for the most nutritional value.

Low fat dairy
Sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, and cheeses are all hard to resist. You don’t have to give them up completely, just try to use lower fat products. You can still enjoy their creamy flavor but save on fat and calories. Often it’s hard to tell the difference between full fat and reduced fat.

Big batches
An easy way to get all your vegetables is to make a quick and easy big batch of pureed vegetable soup. The soup will have a great velvety texture and there’s no need to add any cream. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy for lunch or a snack for a healthy boost of veggies.
Little changes in your diet can make a real difference.

Try these easy and healthy “Smarter Southern Choices”:
Very Green Soup
Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Quick Collard Green Saute
Refashioned Turkey Meatloaf

Read More From Recipe Collection.

You May Also Like These Articles:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


glad you are back Paula..........

By marlene schaack on March 09, 2014


Dear Paula, I have enjoyed watching you on Tv and reading about you for years.,,,, Sorry to hear about the diabetes; my Mom, Grandmother, 2 Uncles, and my brother all had diabetes. My husband has it also. I hope I never have to deal with that! I Love watching all your Tv programs, you are the greatest. Keep Smiling. Have a great Life. Good Luck to you. Happy Mother's Day!!! And ..... Enjoy your family.

By Donna Baker on May 09, 2012


have always watched you and love the boys..glad you are doing better

By barbara on March 09, 2012


paula, love your show's and your boys shows too. Keep up the good job!! Glad you are feeling better, We are there for you. your apple dumplings was so good. I made the cheey mac all the time.

By DOROTHY SUIT on March 06, 2012


Dear Paula, I was so sorry to hear about your diabetes. I know you will do fine along with trying to help others in the same situation. I saw a picture of you on the news the other night and was surprised as to how much weight you have lost. 2 pant sizes? Incredible! Do you have any diabetic recipes or recipes as to how you lost all the weight? Keep up the good work. Thanks so much. A Huge Fan, Sue Linne`

By Susan Linne` on March 05, 2012


Dear Miss Paula, I was sorry to hear about your diebetis, and I am most sad to read and hear how people judge you. We all have something that is not perfect, I am very overweight and have been my whole entire life, juded everyday by people who have no idea what it is like. I love your shows and you bring such enjoyment to so many people becasue you stay real, even with all of your success and wealth you never forget where you came from and who you are, that means the world to someone like me.

By Darla on March 04, 2012


Nobodies damn business what medical condition you have or when you decide to make it public. I am a fan and a fellow diabetic. I also love butter and always have a jar of bacon grease in the fridge, do I eat everyday, no, well maybe a little butter but, moderation right. Fact is. nobodies business. Hang in girl

By Debbie on March 02, 2012


i am a diebetic like you are but we never see anything that is good for us to eat we need dishes that are good for ushow about some help thanks

By steve reheiser on February 29, 2012


Fat does not make you fat. Sugar, grains, and other things do. And guess what's in those low fat dairy products of yours... SUGAR! The only good advice I see in this article is the one one vegetables.

By Ute on February 29, 2012


Paula, My brother just had a heart attack, renal failure (ok now after removing 1 & a half gallons of fluid from his lungs) & diagnosed as a new onset of diabetes. I have to keep up with every bite & drink that goes into his body. Do you have any recipes that are low in sodium (salt) and carbohydrates? Would love to have them if you do. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. Sincerely, Nancy Gardner

By Nancy Gardner on February 29, 2012


i love watching your cooking show>. love your goodie butter cakes

By michelle cotton on February 28, 2012


Oh Paula, I am Type2 diabetic. And i know how hard it is to admit that i am. I crave sweets and love to cook! I bake a lot. Growing up it was never a meal without dessert. I think that may be a southern thing. I am lazy about dieting and exercise. Keep the recipes coming that are good for us. Thank you, Faye Gailey Clayton

By Faye Clayton on February 28, 2012



By RACHEL on February 28, 2012


Paula: I have tried many different ways to get a question answered by you so hopefully this will work. My family loves your Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe. One of our favorites. I wanted to know if you thought that Potatoes could be added to the soup. Help I need to know your opinion:)

By Becky Durbin on February 28, 2012


I'm so proud of you for acknowledging that we all need to focus on healthy eating. Saving the fancy/fattening stuff for special occasions is great - enjoy from time to time, but make healthy the norm. Way to go Paula!!!

By Jennifer Guinn on February 28, 2012

My Recipe Box |

Paula's Upcoming Schedule

  • September 12: Deen Family Book Signing

    Join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons from 10 am to 12 pm.
    The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.

  • September 16: Paula Deen Live! Birmingham, AL

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham, AL and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Ticketmaster here!
    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • September 18: Paula Deen Live! Jacksonville, FL

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Times Union Center for Performing Arts in Jacksonville, FL and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Ticketmaster here!
    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • View Paula's Full Schedule