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8 Mother's Day Culinary Traditions

Chefs reveal the delicious recipes they learned from their moms and grandmas

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In honor of the mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, aunts and sisters whose resourceful, comforting cooking has filled our stomachs and hearts, here are eight maternally inspired recipes passed down through the generations.

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Creamed corn is the "not so secret" ingredient in Grandma’s creamed cornbread. — Matthew Mead/AP Images


1. Grandma's Creamed Cornbread by Eric V. Copage

This recipe calls on creamed corn for an especially moist and cakey finished product. (And it doesn't take much more effort than making cornbread from a packaged mix.)

Per serving: 227 calories, 5g saturated fat, 33g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 493mg sodium

2. Mom's Sausage-Stuffed Tomatoes With Provolone by Laura Werlin

This satisfying dish combines juicy seasonal tomatoes with the traditional Italian flavors of oregano, garlic, Italian parsley, pine nuts, sweet Italian sausage and two types of Provolone cheese.

Per serving: 286 calories, 5g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 15g protein, 3g fiber, 749mg sodium


3. My Mother-in-Law's Madeira Cake by Nigella Lawson

Despite a pointed lack of the title ingredient, this light and fluffy sponge cake flavored with lemon is easy to make and perfect for a Mother's Day brunch. Historically, Madeira cake dates back to the 18th or 19th century, when it was named after the wine that was traditionally served alongside.

Per serving: 333 calories, 12g saturated fat, 35g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 1g fiber, 24mg sodium


4. Mama-Approved Spaghetti and Meatballs by Rocco DiSpirito

This recipe maintains all of the full-bodied authentic Italian taste, but cuts calories for a healthier meal. Eggplant and ground turkey are among the secret ingredients.

Per serving: 337 calories, 4.4g fat, 43g carbohydrates, 32g protein, 487mg sodium


5. Mama's Maple-Flavored Baked Pea Beans by Linda and Martha Greenlaw

Nothing goes with chicken, biscuits and coleslaw like baked beans, and this slow-cook recipe flavors pea, navy, Great Northern or yellow-eyes with the depth of salt pork and maple syrup.

Per serving: 314 calories, 3g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrates, 11g protein, 517g sodium


6. Mama Faye's Winning Barbecue Sauce by Elizabeth Karmel

Ready to serve as your sidekick for barbecues all summer long, this recipe covers the bases: sugar, spice and everything nice.

Per serving: 48 calories, 0g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 353mg sodium


7. My Mother's Classic Thick Roll by Hiroko Shimbo

This decadent sushi roll incorporates seasonal ingredients such as shiitakes, shrimp and asparagus. Mother's Day in Japan was initially commemorated as the birthday of Empress Kojun, mother of Emperor Akihito, on March 6. Around 1949 Japanese society adapted to celebrate motherhood on the second Sunday in May.

Per serving: 39 calories, 0g saturated fat, 3g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 38mg sodium


8. Nana's Southern Gumbo by Gina Neely and Pat Neely

An intergenerational favorite, this spicy Louisiana gumbo is loaded with crab, shrimp, ham, chicken and fresh vegetables. It's delicious served over rice.

Per serving: 456 calories, 4g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrates, 36g protein, 1,118mg sodium

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Video Extra

HOW TO COOK EASY CAJUN CORNBREAD: Chef Richard Myers demonstrates and shares preparation tips.

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