Bobby Deen has a new solo-penned cookbook out and he's hoping to hit No. 1, again.
"Everyday Eats" is his healthy cooking follow-up to his bestselling "From Mama's Table to Mine," a cookbook that offers healthy and low-fat versions of some of his mama Paula Deen's famous recipes.
Bobby admits that eating healthy was a lifestyle choice he found on his own.
"Being Paula Deen's son and being in the restaurant business and being in a food family ... I was always around food," Deen says.
He says he began to become aware of his need to eat healthier and exercise as an adult.
"It happened for me at 30, which I guess is a fairly young age," he says. "I found the gym and I think that is what helped me. I first embraced exercise so I could feel better, and for a little bit of vanity ... Spending time in a gym will change the way you look at food.
"I had to figure out how I could have the foods I love and enjoyed, but have them on a more regular basis and not feel so badly about them."
So Deen focused on how he was preparing his meals and changed the recipes to a healthier alternative.
"I cook a lot of same foods, but I now cook them differently," he says. "We are becoming more informed about food and how it affects our body and we know more about nutrition than we used to.
"It's important to look at food for fuel for the body instead of a source of temporary happiness. So many people look at food for the wrong reason.
"You are supposed to get 95 percent of the minerals our body needs from food, and we as Americans aren't doing that. We need to add more fruit, vegetables, whole grains to our diets, and you see that in the book."
Readers may be surprised to see that many of the recipes in the book have a southwest or Tex-Mex influence.
"I didn't want it to be a repeat of last book, even though the last book, I am very proud to say, went to No. 1 on the bestseller list and I'm hoping this will do the same," Deen says. "These are all brand new recipes; the theme and thread are the same."
He also attributes the Latin influence on his new recipes to his new bride, Claudia.
"I married a Latin woman, so we do some Latin cooking in the house now," he says with a laugh.
Deen also writes in the book that he really looks forward to sitting down for dinner at night to share a meal.
"It's harder to cook for one person than it is for 12, and I did it for a long, long time," Deens says. "I think if I could encourage anyone - not to start a war with fast food - but just try to cook at home.
"What I found myself doing as a bachelor, I would shop day by day," he says. "When you shop for one person for a whole week, you're more likely to pick up crap. â€¦ My advice is to look at the side of packaging and look at the fat and calories and look for preservatives - fresher is always better."
But Deen admits that some people need a little more guidance with their diet, so he added simple templates to show calories and fat contents for each recipe. He also added shopping lists and menus to show readers what a week of healthy eating looks like.
"For me, it has become very elementary with food and exercise, but for a lot of people, they have to be shown and given a template," he says. "We have lost sight of what portion size is and I'm not sure if people know what 200 calories looks like or what 500 calories looks like."
Deen admits he never pictured himself as an advocate for healthy eating and exercise.
"Sometimes life happens to you, but I like it because it's had a subtle ripple affect on my family.
"When my mother was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, my lifestyle may have been a gentle way to show her how to drink more water and eat less fat â€¦ My lifestyle has an influence.
"My brother is an avid runner now and training to do marathon. I don't think it's a coincidence.
"We are all connecting to what I have embraced for the past 14 or 15 years. I will be 44 in April and I feel good."
And while his brother Jamie is following in his little brother's healthy habits, he also plans to team up with him for a joint book signing at the Savannah Book Festival from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at Telfair Square.
Bobby will sign copies of "Everyday Eats" while big brother Jamie will sign copies of his first solo cookbook, "Jamie Deen's Good Food," released in September.
"My brother's book is beautiful," Bobby adds. "I think it's the best-looking book of any of the Deen family books. He's got a handsome family and he knows how to cook."
Jamie's book showcases Savannah in full-color photographs and spotlights his personal life and the kind of cook he considers himself to be. The book is filled with 125 recipes and some were added to simply pay homage to his loved ones.
Bobby says the brothers are happy to get the chance to do a signing together.
"We don't get to see each other as much as I would like," he says. "He's got his family and his own show and he's doing his thing and I've been sort of let out on my own, too.
"And it's even better to do it here Savannah," he adds. "It's funny that we are from Savannah and most of our work takes us outside of Savannah.
"Heck, I'm in New York more often than Savannah," he says with a laugh.