The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Serita Jakes


Author of several cookbooks, her latest Eat More of What You Love (2012)

Registered dietician; Holds advanced certificate in Child and Adolescent Weight Management from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Adjunct nutrition professor and cooking instructor for Columbus State College and Columbus State Culinary Academy

Active members of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Food and Culinary Professionals Association; International Association of Culinary Professionals; American Association of Diabetes Educators

Frequent guest on QVC

BS, Nutritional Science


Secrets to a Healthy Dinner, Southern Style

Marlene is a culinary wizard and registered dietician.  For over ten years, Marlene has been testing recipes that slash calories but don’t forfeit the taste of food, which has earned her the nickname, “Magician in the Kitchen.”  “It’s not worth eating unless it tastes like the real thing,” she says.  Her first cookbook was the result of a cooking school request that she teach a class featuring sugar-free desserts.  (Two of her family members have diabetes.) She wanted her recipes to be all-inclusive….meals that the whole family would enjoy, including creamy, gooey, cheesy and fried foods.

Marlene says she tests each recipe, sometimes as many as 12 times, to be sure she gets the flavor right.  By substituting leaner meats for fattier ones, reducing the amount of oil in a recipe, eliminating or reducing sodium and using sugar substitutes, Marlene says she can slash the calories but not the taste.  “There’s nothing magical about using a lower-fat ingredient,” says Marlene.  “The magic is in mixing and matching until it tastes fantastic!” (Marlene says she is not tied to any particular sugar substitute product but that the consumer watchdogs Center for Science for Public Interest deemed Splenda the safest sugar substitute on the market today.)

Marlene got started cooking at home.  By the time she was a teen, Marlene was the family baker.  She went to UCLA to pursue her nutrition degree in nutritional science and became a registered dietician working in the health care system.  Fifteen years ago, Marlene’s step-daughter was diagnosed with diabetes.  “It was a wake-up call,” she says.  That was when she realized that everyone needs to be able to eat a chocolate cupcake!  As a dietician, Marlene began working for the American Culinary Institute.  She taught how to teach healthy cooking to chefs.  Later she received an offer to write a cookbook and appeared on QVC in 2010.  The rest is history.  Her earlier cookbook was one of the best-selling cookbooks on QVC.  Her latest Eat More of What You Love has become a 2012 Customer Favorite of the Year.

Marlene will show us:
Chicken Fried Steak, page 240 (she tried 6 different blends of bread crumbs until it tasted like fried)
Sour Cream and Onion Smashed Potatoes, page 227
Ranch Slaw, Page 152
Smoky Garlicky Greens, Page 218
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares, Page 292

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