'Trisha's Southern Kitchen': Trisha Yearwood figures out how to enjoy Southern food and not weigh 500 pounds

trisha-yearwood-trishas-southern-kitchen-food-network-325.jpgGeorgia native Trisha Yearwood still loves the comfort food of her childhood, so don't expect her to dump the dumplings anytime soon. But fans can expect to see a new and sensible approach to food and diet as her Emmy-winning Saturday morning Food Network series, "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," enters its fourth season.

The Grammy-winning country music superstar and New York Times best-selling cookbook author recently lost a substantial amount of weight, and Yearwood is looking forward to sharing some tips about that with her viewers.

"There's an episode this season called 'Healthy Twist' where we take some of the classic comfort foods and show how to make them in a much healthier way in terms of sugar and calories and fat, without sacrificing flavor," Yearwood tells Zap2it. "Also, what I have done to lose weight and figure out how to enjoy Southern food and not weigh 500 pounds is just balance.

"For me to do a 'diet show' would just be insincere, because I do not just eat salad and ice water. I've just learned how to make better choices most of the time so that when I want to have fried chicken or that piece of carrot cake or whatever it is, I really enjoy it."

Yearwood's guests this season include Olympic gold medal gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner and former NFL star Kurt Warner, but she says her favorite new episode features friend and music colleague Kelly Clarkson.

"Kelly is like my little sister, and she's really comfortable to have in the kitchen," Yearwood says. "It just felt very natural. She's getting married, and she doesn't know that much about cooking, and she really just wanted me to teach her something. It was just fun. We laughed a lot and had a great time."

When you and your husband, Garth Brooks, got together, did you learn to cook any new favorites of his?
"I think I really just cooked more. My mom had told me a long time ago, 'Don't try to replicate stuff that his mama made that you'll never be able to make like she did. Make what you make, and he'll fall in love with his favorite things.' And he did."

What does he particularly like?
"Usually things in one dish. If he can just go into the refrigerator with a fork, he's good."

What is the most indispensable part of your Thanksgiving dinner?
"My Grandma Lizzie's cornbread dressing. Every time I have it I think of her, and my mom, who taught me how to make it. The food itself is awesome, but I don't know that it's better than the memory that comes with it."

What did you have for dinner last night?
"Mushroom risotto, which is one of Garth's favorite things It isn't all that hard; it just takes some time. You have to keep stirring it, so it's a good workout. It's part of my cardio. You do the workout so you can justify eating it!"
Photo/Video credit: Food Network
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