Why You Should Think Twice About Using Paula Deen's Recipes

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Well, where do we begin? Paula Deen probably doesn't deserve much more airtime after exposing herself as a casual racist. And, in the words of the African American and Jewish food scholar Michael Twitty in a open letter to Deen, "Culinary injustice is the annihilation of our food voices — past, present and foreseeable future — and nobody will talk about that like they are talking about you and the 'n word.'" But in case anyone needed a reminder: her cooking won't do the world many favors, either.

Deen was known for her fatty, buttery, fried and stuffed, meat-and-batter kind of repertoire likely to wreck your cardiovascular system (via NPR). That is, until she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and turned a corner to the slightly-less-artery-clogging meals (via Business Insider and Shape). As her website notes at the top of a post compiling vegetarian recipes, "many families have been practicing 'meatless Mondays,' where they eat a vegetarian diet one day a week. Paula may not practice meatless Mondays, but she has started to eat more plant-based meals." Good to know.

Paula Deen recipes to steer clear of and alternative ideas

If you think cheesecake is indulgent, well, you haven't met Paula Deen's Deep Fried Cheesecake rolls, which combine a staggering three packages of cream cheese with a stick of butter, stuffs the mixture into wonton wrappers, deep fries them, and slaps some more powdered sugar and chocolate sauce on top. Need we say more? Then there's the infamous Lady's Brunch Burger, a stackable fever-dream that's essentially a bacon cheeseburger, plus fried egg, laid lovingly between two whole glazed donuts. Don't forget "Southern" Deep Fried Lasagna and the signature Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf.

For just a few of the many authentic takes on Southern cuisine by experts, try the classic "The Taste of Country Cooking" by the grandmother of seasonal Southern cuisine, Edna Lewis. There's "Carla Hall's Soul Food," rooted in Nashville traditions with modern twists, and "The Dooky Chase Cookbook" by Leah Chase for New Orleans Classics. "Sweetie Pie's Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours" by Robbie Montgomery is a cookbook full of rob-sticking classics named for Montgomery's popular bakery (now closed). There are even vegan and Caribbean-influenced recipes from Nadira Jenkins-El in her cookbook "Vegan Soul Food Cookbook: Plant-Based, No-Fuss Southern Favorites." Now that's good eating, y'all.