A Heavy Topic

photo courtesy of pixabay, JuAnnun

For those of you who may not be aware, I’ve been trying to lose weight.

It’s not easy. I’m not following any fancy diet or regimen, just eating less and exercising more. I have been building time into my day for more exercising (being a writer, I have a pretty sedentary job). It’s the “eating less” that gets me. I love to cook and bake, so it’s hard for me to avoid making the desserts I love. But I’m plodding along. Not losing weight quickly, but as they say, slow and steady wins the race. Right?


So my post today may seem a little counter-intuitive, but what I’m learning is that by keeping track of the calories I consume, I can budget room for small amounts of those things I love (chocolate and cheese, I’m talking to you) and still keep the pounds off.

I’m going to share with you two of my favorite recipes today, both of which still fit into my repertoire as long as I make sure I’m eating healthy (for the most part) and getting daily exercise. One is for a dessert that is pitifully easy and uses ingredients most people have on hand all the time. The other is for a salad that uses mayonnaise, but is so good I just haven’t been able to bring myself to substitute anything else.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

recipe courtesy of my mother

1 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

¾ c. sugar

¼ c. plus 2 T. cocoa powder, divided

½ c. milk

2 T. butter, melted

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1 ¾ c. hot water

1 c. chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and 2 T. cocoa. Stir in milk and butter.

In another bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining ¼ c. cocoa.

Spread flour mixture in 9” square baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.

Pour hot water over entire batter. Do not stir. Bake about 40 minutes.

This is best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream.


Greek Chicken Salad

recipe courtesy of my father

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

3 c. diced cooked chicken

1 c. crumbled feta cheese

2/3 c. sliced black olives

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. plain yogurt

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 t. oregano

2/3 c. chopped fresh parsley (I use a sprinkle of the dried stuff)

pocket pita bread

Place cucumbers, chicken, feta, and black olives in a large bowl and mix well. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, oregano, and parsley. Mix well and fold into other ingredients. Chill before serving in pita pockets.

Until next week, everything in moderation!


37 comments on “A Heavy Topic

  1. Oh, my hat – what an awesome chocolate pudding cake you have there, I will have to give it a try. I will pin and tweet this


  2. Megha says:

    Chocolate pudding cake sounds delicious. 🙂


  3. I’m a bit late to the table, so to speak, but thank goodness I’m seated here now. To me, life isn’t worth living without dessert. Seriously. All in moderation of course. I bake often – my guy is lean and needs the calories. So for HIM, ahem, I will make your chocolate pudding cake this weekend. YUMMMM! (PS- you looked terrific when we lunched together. I think you’ve reached you goals!)


    • amreade says:

      It’s very sweet of you to say that–thank you. But I still have some clothes I need to fit into! I think you’ll like the chocolate pudding cake (ahem, I mean your guy will like it) because…chocolate.

      I agree that life isn’t worth living without dessert, by the way. If we eat in moderation, there’s no reason to deprive ourselves of things that make us happy.

      Hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. macjam47 says:

    I love to cook and bake, but like you, living a healthy lifestyle puts a crimp in my cooking (I had to give up baking except for special occasions. It was just too tempting). Cheese is something I try to eat in moderation, but I absolutely love all kinds, in fact, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like.


    • amreade says:

      I have yet to meet a cheese I don’t like, either. I read your comment shortly after pulling a chocolate-chip-laden banana bread out of the oven. Luckily, I almost never eat banana bread. I leave it to the rest of the family! I’ve started to eat whole milk yogurts and find them delicious and filling. I’ve also started to keep close track of the calories I consume, so that’s been a big help. “Everything in moderation” is a great way to approach food.

      Liked by 1 person

      • macjam47 says:

        Ah, it sounds like you’re safe with the banana bread. Cookies are hard to resist and with most of my family out of town and the ones in town watching their weight, it’s hard to share a batch. No problem though, when my husband wants cookies, I just buy Oreos, the one kind of cookie I don’t like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • amreade says:

        Excellent idea! I wish I didn’t like them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jenny says:

    Good luck with the lifestyle changes, Amy. I am trying to eat healthy in Rome, where gelato, pizza and pasta tempt me constantly! We are also having a heat wave here, so getting exercise is challenging. Thanks for the yummy recipes – I will try them when I am back in the States.


  6. dgkaye says:

    Yum Amy. Your blog can be fattening, lol. The chocolate pudding cake sounds divine, but I’m going to pass as I’m trying to lose a few myself, but yummo on the chicken salad. 🙂 xx


  7. Fantastic recipes, Amy. I love this recipe for chocolate pudding cake.


  8. mirymom says:

    Nice recipes! I’ll have to give these a try. My weight struggles are in part about my habit of using foods to reward myself.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act


    • amreade says:

      It’s so true–that’s one of the things I’ve been reading a lot about since I started trying to lose weight. I’ve started to reward myself with different things, ranging from a nap to a walk on the beach to sitting down with a magazine (a cooking magazine!). And I’ve used new shoes as rewards in my weight loss attempts. For the first ten pounds, I got a pair of cute flats. I’ve already bought the flats I’m going to give myself when I lose the next ten pounds!!


  9. lindamthorne says:

    The Greek chicken salad recipe looks like one I’d try. The dessert is just too yummy, but I haven’t made dessert since I had Home Ec in 7th or 8th grade. My assignment was to bake a cake from scratch (at my house). I did. The cake came out of the oven looking like its minutes were numbered. By the time it got to the table, it fell to nothing but crumbs, some even falling (or jumping) off the plate. I buy desserts now (or have them when I eat out). It looks good for someone who can bake a cake. 🙂


    • amreade says:

      You gave me a chuckle this morning, Linda. It must have been traumatic!! If you try the Greek chicken salad, I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think of it.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  10. maggie8king says:

    These sound fabulous! Thanks, Amy,


  11. Patti says:

    Do the optional mute go in the cake, or on the cake?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on and commented:
    A couple of awesome recipes… check it out!


  13. You are Right! Right! Both recipes sound awesome! I think I need to share this post! You had me at the picture! (Chocolate pudding cake) yum!


  14. Did someone say cheese?
    I’m right there with you, Amy. I love food (too much), especially cheese and you’re right, there is no good substitute for mayo. I’ll be trying the Greek Chicken Salad for sure!


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