Padma Lakshmi Lightens Up American Comfort Foods for Parade

Padma Lakshmi has made a career out of getting folks to equate food and sex — see the recent soft-core commercial for Hardee's. But writing for Parade Magazine, she springs on us three recipes: a low-fat turkey Sloppy Joe, some sort of Midwestern pasta bake, and a frozen fruit tart using a ready-made graham-cracker crust? When it comes to sexy food, that's your mom plopped on the couch in a flannel nightgown.

It's not that we expect haute cuisine from Parade — it is just a down-market newspaper insert after all, but this just makes no sense: Padma is the author of the cookbook Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet, an "international" and "cosmopolitan" tome. Is she trying to show she cares for the well-being of the general populace, by helping the plebians with her adapted American classics with "an eye to healthy ingredients"? We are puzzled. Top Chef this is not. Padma is unlikely to ever make, yet alone eat, any food so... garish and unsophisticated.

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