Free soul food recipes, found on many websites across the web, have multiplied in recent months.  Many experts attribute it to the growing numbers of people seeking the comfort of the many southern food delicacies during this economic downturn. When times are tough more people tend to seek the comfort of their favorite past time, to many people that represents eating.

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When it comes to comfort food nothing fits that bill like southern cooking. Thanks to celebrity chefs like Paula Dean, The Neely's, Bobby Flay and others, southern cuisine is back in style with a vengeance. Millions of people watch these chefs prepare exciting southern dishes each night on their favorite cable networks and long to imitate their colorful recipes.

The meals are tasty, flavorful and with the help and inspiration of these mega-chefs do-able by most week-end cooks. But the biggest complaint is the high calorie ingredients of the dishes  in soul food recipes. To many the calories is where the taste is. But the tide is slowly turning as more health conscious cooking is moving on the scene. Even traditional celebrity chefs are starting to change their habits and turn from animal fats, such as lard and fat back and replacing it with alternatives like smoked turkey, for example.

Smoked turkey has less fat and calories than seasoning with fat back or ham hocks.  Bold seasonings is the hallmark of southern cooking, the challenge with today's health conscious consumer is to find a happy and healthy medium. More soul food recipe sites are leaning more toward healthier ingredients and cooking methods in their recipes.  "You'll find more recipes that call for roasting, grilling and even sautéing and less deep fat frying. This is a step in the right direction, "says Sandra Harper,  Staff Dietician at USC Medical Center. As southern and soul food cooking evolve, you'll no doubt find it adapting to a wider range of consumer. The trick is finding a way to satisfy the traditional with the modern health conscious diet. Stay tuned!