Wednesday October 23, 2013 | 05:38 PM

Maine Blueberry Cake from "Lighten Up America" by Allison Fishman Task (Photo courtesy Oxmoor House)

Right off the bat, I will admit that this post is a little bit self-serving, but I'm so excited I hope I can be forgiven.

Yesterday, a terrific cookbook I had the great pleasure of working on, "Lighten Up America," was released by Oxmoor House under the Cooking Light brand. Written by my talented friend — chef, cooking instructor, Cooking Light contributing editor and TV spokesperson Allison Fishman Task — the book celebrates the best of American regional cooking, just a little less full of fat and calories.

Allison is also the mother of 8-month-old twin boys and although she has enviable energy, cookbook writing while pregnant and traveling around the country for her (now on hiatus) Yahoo! web series, "Blue Ribbon Hunter," was a tall order. In late summer 2012, I was thrilled when she asked me to help develop a number of the dessert recipes for the book and ended up developing some of the savory dishes as well (I'm especially proud of the "cat head" biscuits with sausage gravy). Each of the recipes had to meet Cooking Light's nutrition guidelines, be tasted and approved by Allison and tested in the Cooking Light test kitchen.

Maine is well represented in the book by a classic lobster roll, a stovetop lobster bake and a lightened-up version of Maine blueberry cake (inspired by a recipe given to me years ago by June Elderkin, a painter on Southport Island). A great recipe source and a fun read, "Lighten Up America" is available via Amazon/com.

Stovetop Maine Lobster Bake from "Lighten Up America" by Allison Fishman Task (Photo courtesy of Oxmoor House)

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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