Last week when I talked about losing enough weight to go down a shirt size, I receive much congratulations.

Very Berry Salad

I appreciate hearing that because on a day-to-day basis I do not see it. I do not see it until something fits differently, and I mean in a good way.

But one of the comments struck a nerve as a person stated how hard it is to lose weight when you are a foodie.

You don’t have to tell that one to me twice, I understand completely.

This time of year, once the tomatoes come in, it is BLTs every night of the week.   Bring on the butter for Corn-on-the-Cob. And did I mention it is fair season? That means fried food galore.

It does not help that I and my husband like trying new recipes. I find them in the newspaper, on the web, around the blog circuit, cook books; well, you get the picture. We like to cook.

My favorite recipes are cream sauces with white wine, tomatoes and/or mushrooms. Braised chicken is better once it soaks in Marsala or Imperial sauce.

Then there is dessert. My son and I learned how to make lava cakes together. My daughter made a fabulous tart last year. The seven-year-old allowed me to buy Italian ice for his dessert last week. We have done dirt cups and jello desserts topped with whip cream and strawberries.

This has made my weight-loss slower than it should considering I am not taking any medicines and I am able to walk near daily with the dog.  It has taken me two years to lose 40 pounds. Other people seem to do it so quickly.

I have a neighbor who looks great after losing 50 pounds in six months. Another has worked to get 30 pounds off in the same time period. Meanwhile, I am struggling to get past the next five-pound threshold.

I admit to binge-ing  late at night so I am trying to get to bed at an earlier time. When my feet hurt thanks to arthritis or I am simply tired for no good reason, I do walk less.

However there are bright spots. Thanks to the latest heat wave, I am near my initial goal weight. I nearly fit into not one but two dresses. Clothing that fit the bigger body is starting to feel too big.

But the other half of the story is I am making lifestyle changes and not some crazy short-term diet. I am choosing to eat more fresh veggies and fruits. Whole grain breads are becoming a part of my life as well as my husband’s. Soda is a treat that I have once a week and I prefer getting it from a soda fountain as opposed to pre-bottled.

Is any of this going to stop my foodie explorations?

I hope not. This fall I want to work on making real ramen dishes. And I want to work on a  stroganoff which calls for sour cream. Oh, and there is the egg nog cake  and a Noel log I have always wanted to make for the holidays.

Yes, I am on a diet but that has not stopped my love affair with good tasting food. It simply means I eat a little less of it and adapt the recipe to have healthier ingredients whenever possible.

Now for the recipe. Two weeks ago I made this great salad that has fruit in with lettuce leaves. I have always been suspicious of such salads because I was never sure the sweet fruit would work with slightly bitter greens.

I found the recipe in an American Profile insert in my newspaper. It called for a Spring Mix salad bag but I went with a Red Heart bag when there was none of the former in the racks.

Salad Ingredients

Very Berry Salad

One Salad Bag

4 oz. sliced strawberries

4 oz. blackberries

1 handful each of dried cranberries, dried raspberries, and chopped walnuts

1 sliced Shallot (We did this on the side for the husband)

4 oz. goat cheese

Vinaigrette (on the side)

Because I could not find dried raspberries, I allowed the vinaigrette to be the raspberry element. The other dilemma was what to serve with the salad. The author suggested baby back ribs. We went with pork chops marinated in orange juice. My husband thought we should have had a french bread with this. We did not and it all worked just fine.

Our younger children liked the fruit but not the lettuce. The fifteen-year-old, who is becoming a foodie himself, thought the vinaigrette was too sweet but he had two helpings.

Pork Chop and Very Bery Salad


What new dishes are you making?