Monday, February 27, 2012

Temptation Strikes: Southern Fried Everything

I was lucky enough not to have a weight problem for most of my young adult years. But as the kids grew and I became less active, the pounds crept on, a little at a time. Seems like I've been dieting steady for the last six years, fighting the same twenty pounds. I'm not ready to throw in the towel, but I've faced some tough times. Might as well own up to it: I'm a sucker for fried anything.

Growing up, fried chicken was the undisputed king of all my food groups. The crunchy outside and the tender, moist inside made for a mouth-watering experience that satisfied my hunger.

Fast forward a number of years, and fried chicken is a guilty pleasure for those of us who try to watch our caloric intake.I've eaten some substandard fried chicken in my lifetime, but the good stuff is to die for. I'm hungry just thinking about it. And grilled chicken, while it can be delicious when seasoned right, is a poor second, in my book.

For the record, fried shrimp is a staple in my diet. I can't pass that up either. And I love a spicy cocktail sauce with fried shrimp. Don't give me any of that imported shrimp. I want wild caught, and the shrimp from Georgia are tops, bar none.

Another huge temptation for me is sweet potato fries. I'm not a huge french fry fan unless they are piping hot, but sweet potato fries tempt me at any temperature. They are not on my diet per se, but I've made some sweet potato fries in the oven that are a close second to the fried variety.

Anybody out there a fan of fried okra? It's a special weakness of mine. Just the other day, I needed comfort food and ordered a small dish of fried okra, and was I glad I did. The batter was to die for, so light and thin and the veggies were stick to your ribs yummy.

Fried green tomatoes is a southern delicacy. The only thing I like better than fried green tomatoes is my friend Harriet's green tomato pickles.

While visiting my kids and eating in out-of-state restaurants, I've come across other fried veggies as appetizers: zucchini and whole onions. These have been irresistible as well.

No wonder there's an obesity epidemic around the world. We're all tempted by so many fried foods. Now they even make battered french fries, which means the potatoes are sometimes fried twice. Crazy, isn't it?

I've named my guilty fried pleasures. I know there are other fried foods out there. What are your favs? What fried dish makes your must-have list, regardless of your weight plan?

Maggie Toussaint
who struggles with her weight
and reaches for chocolate when scenes stall

19 comments:

  1. Oh, goodness, Maggie! My mouth is watering. You've named some of my favorite foods. Fried green tomatoes? Sweet potato fries? Shrimp (any way at all)? My planned dinner of grilled chicken looks much less interesting now. Bad, bad, bad. :-)

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    1. Ellis, we must be sisters of the heart, or, er, the fying pan. I think I'm jonesing for fried foods because I'm headed right back into grilled-food land. I hope I didn't damage your waistline with my post.

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  2. Goodness Maggie! I am soooo hungry right now. I can't choose any of those you just listed. I WANT THEM ALL! Yummy! You are so bad but I'm so happy you shared.

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    1. Hi Karen, I meant to write something profound, something that everyone needed to read, and all I could think about was food. I'm hoping this got it out of my system. And now everyone knows why I have to lose weight.

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  3. Am I the only one who can't stand fried food? Although I am continuously struggling with extra pounds.

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    1. Good for you, Mona. If I didn't love fried stuff, I'd be ahead of the waistline game. Since I have such a changing shape throughout the year, I've finally gone to hip-hugger style pants that work at most of my weights. I wish it wasn't such a struggle, but I'm thankful that my appetite is good...

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  4. Maggie, I think you named all of my favorites when it comes to fried food. Now let's move on to sweets. :) Like you, in my younger days I didn't have any trouble with weight. If I did put on a few extra pounds during the holidays, I would cut back for a few weeks and the weight would fall off with ease. Now I exercise almost every day and eat about half of what I used to eat, and I can't get rid of those extra pounds.

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    1. Merrille, your post warmed my heart. I know people look at us and think - she's not 400 pounds - and they're right. But the thing is, at 20 pounds overweight, I feel like I'm at 400 pounds. My balance is off, its harder to move and breathe, aicd reflux kicks in, my clothes don't fit. Basically, I'm miserable. And sweets are another big concern for me. The sweeter the better. My favs are pecan pie and key lime pie and uh-oh, I'm going to cut this off here before I get into more diet trouble.

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  5. Maggie, you are so mean to make me soooo hungry. But this was fun. Reminds me of my sister-in-law and me talking about all the weird fried foods at the State Fair of Texas, which include fried Twinkies, fried bubblegum (this year's winner) and fried Oreos. We had just had that conversation when our husbands took us to On The Border for Mexican food and we saw fried avocado on the menu. The server probably wondered what was so funny about the dish. I ordered it and it was wonderful. Came stuffed with seasoned jerked chicken. Chalk up another few pounds I won't lose.

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    1. Hey Caroline - fried avocados sound great. I've never been a fan of fried carnival foods, but I know some people who set their clock by carnivals to make sure they get kinklings, etc. I wonder if you swallow the fried gum? Hmmm. Sounds like something that's a puzzle and I just love puzzles. Thanks for stopping in. I always love to hear from my Texas friends.

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  6. I'm from Idaho. I love hashbrowns, fried potatoes, french fries, tater tots--potatoes and bacon grease are my idea of heaven. Lawsy. C'mon over and I'll fatten you up! As for other fried foods, most are not GF, so I avoid them, but I love them. :) Especially shrimp. Caroline's fried avacado sounds good, too. I think I just gained 10 pounds reading this blog. Shame on you, Maggie. ♥

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    1. You make me smile, Jacquie. I can see how coming from Idaho you'd be a big potato fan ((grin)). Bacon grease - is there any other way to season fried foods? My mouth's watering thinking about it. I need to get my exercise program going again. I wonder how many hours of yoga equals twenty minutes on the treadmill?

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  7. I love fried anything! And when you get older that isn't a good thing. My husband and I had fried onions just two nights ago and your picture made my mouth water for another batch.

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    1. Zequeatta - my husband is my partner in crime too. I don't think he ate a lot of fried foods as a kid. Once he married me I corrupted his taste buds, though he came with a pretty strong ice cream habit. Why can't all of this good-tasting stuff be less of a temptation? Next time, I promise I won't write about food!

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  8. I don't eat too much in the way of fried foods, but I think you've maybe just converted me!

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    1. Hi Nancy, God forgive me for corrupting your taste buds! Thanks for the visit and the comment!

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  9. Maggie,
    All I can say is YUM! I'm a huge fan of about everything you mentioned. I grew up eating fried green tomatoes, and discovered fried okra while living in Texas. Yum! I also love onion rings, or those yummy friend onions whole you get at the Outback. Have you ever had fried corn? Yum. :) I learned while living in Texas if it is food it can be friend. Thanks for a yummy start to the day!

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    1. Fried corn? That's one I haven't tried, but I'm sure it's darn good. I'm a huge cornbread fan, and corn fritters, and hush puppies. Oh heck. I've got to stop thinking about fried foods.

      Today is like groundhog's day for me - the second time we've started South Beach Diet. I'm off to eat my mozzarella stick snack, which is not fried. Boo-hoo.

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  10. Maggie, like you, I was pretty thin throughout my 20's and I had Andrew when I was 33 and with Weight Watchers lost the weight easily. But Joe... I was 38 with Joe and the weight simply does not come off as easily. I think it's a combo of age, and the fact I am simply not as active as I once was. My job requires I sit in a chair 8 hours and so does my writing. That said...

    Your southern fried menu is soooo delicious. The chicken and shrimp would be my favorite. Don't care for the sweet potato fries or the okra but I love southern style sweet tea. I had a ton of it when I was stationed in Alabama back in the day.

    Nowadays I try to stay away from the fried. It's like carbs. The pounds just cake on. LOL!!
    Last night I cooked up a beef fajitas weight watcher receipe. Yum.

    Smiles
    Steph

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