The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


January 1, 2014

Go Lean, Get Lucky

Have a hoppin’ New Year with comfort food re-dos

Editor’s Note: Recipes by Devin Godbey and Jamie Hamilton-Pratt, UC - Beckley Culinary Program


Food is more than fuel — it is experience. We don’t live to eat, but eating is an undeniably essential and anticipated part of life. Enjoying what we eat while maintaining a healthy weight shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

Many a diet has failed from ill-fated attempts at tossing foods we’ve loved forever overboard. UC-Beckley Culinary Director Devin Godbey chose food, at least the thoughtful preparation of it, as a career long ago. Godbey’s experience proves there are ways to prepare the comforting dishes we desire through the careful choosing and sometimes swapping of ingredients, always with the end results served in modest measure.

For example, “A little bacon or even turkey bacon can elevate a dish and still be healthy,” she stated.

If Devin chooses to add fat to a dish, she measures in smaller amounts of flavorful fat, versus drowning dishes in unnecessary oils, a hallmark of old-style comfort foods.

Shortcuts taken with her new year, new you versions of traditional favorites include modestly portioned corned beef atop unbuttered cooked cabbage, infused with flavor from stock and spices.

Cooked cabbage is a traditional Irish dish with good-luck potential when eaten in the New Year; Devin’s remake doesn’t lose flavor or favor without the oil slick.

“Sometimes, just adding a good stock will take the place of butter,” Devin said.  

For her cornbread accompaniment, she completely omitted fat and used applesauce instead, also folding in one egg white and one whole egg, avoiding the cholesterol added by using two whole eggs.

“For many recipes calling for eggs, you can use egg whites only, or half and half — one egg whole, one white. Fruit purees or lowfat yogurt can be substituted for butter when baking,” Devin suggested.

Another trick to maximizing flavor and minimizing fat is to keep plenty of flavor-rich fresh herbs on hand in the kitchen, like the thyme and parsley used in Devin’s healthy redo of Hoppin’ John, a Low Country dish with African-American roots, also believed to be lucky to those who consume it around New Year’s Day.

“I used ham hock for flavoring only, but you can also choose a leaner meat …” (like turkey bacon).

For more of Devin’s recipes, look for your free copy of Thrive magazine’s January/February issue. Thrive is sampled inside The Register-Herald to select areas and is available in medical businesses, offices, clinics and hospitals throughout southern West Virginia. Copies are also available at Beckley Newspapers, Inc. offices at 801 N. Kanawha Street, Beckley.

Text Only
  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • living will 1 Decision day

    Pastor Roger Pauley and his wife Marcia were — like so many other baby boomers — charged with the responsibility of making decisions for their aging parents. For the pastor’s father, death was sudden.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BAF approves community grants

    Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

    April 13, 2014

  • Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg unveils upcoming events

    Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has a variety of events planned for the spring and summer.

    April 13, 2014

  • Singer named an Outstanding Young American

    President Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton and General Chuck Yeager have one thing in common, they are all past recipients of the United States Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award. For over 75 years, the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) has recognized the 10 young men and women – under the age of 40 – who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation. The U.S. Jaycees is pleased to name West Virginia’s own Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans who will be honored at the 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony – to be held June 28, 2014, at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

    April 13, 2014

  • alderson americorps Alderson Main Street welcomes its new Americorps member

    The members and friends of Alderson Main Street welcomed their new Americorps member, Lynda Howe, at its recent monthly meeting.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor pull event coming to State Fairgrounds in May

    The West Virginia Grand Nationals N.T.P.A. Championship pulling event debuts at the State Fair Event Center in Lewisburg Memorial Day weekend.

    April 13, 2014

  • Djembes Drumming workshop to be held

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education is sponsoring a Djembes Drumming workshop on Tuesdays for six weeks beginning April 29.

    April 13, 2014

  • Learn basic sewing at NRCTC

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will offer a basic sewing class in Lewisburg in May.

    April 13, 2014

  • floral painting GVT to showcase work of Genevieve Sowards Gillen

    Greenbrier Valley Theatre is exhibiting the art and photography of Genevieve Sowards Gillen during April. Her pieces are on display in the theatre foyer: three pastel, four acrylic, and a number of photographs on stretch canvas.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo