Like any red-blooded Pennsylvania girl, I love pierogies. The year I reached my highest weight, I ate them all the time, because they tasted good and were easy to make in my off-campus apartment. I prepared them in the laziest possible way: I’d wet them down, put them on a plate and zap them in the microwave. Then I’d eat a ton of them with a turkey burger on a giant onion roll.

When I started to lose weight, pierogies were one of those foods that weren’t too hard to part with. I didn’t try to healthify them or enjoy them in moderation. We just sort of went our separate ways. It was an amicable split.

In recent weeks I decided I want to serve pierogies instead of a potato side at our wedding, because that’s a traditional Pennsylvania wedding dish and because I want to eat cheesey, potato-filled dumplings in my fancy dress. I wasn’t considering making pierogies at home until I was strolling through the frozen foods section at Publix and found these.

Potato, spinach and feta pierogies. It is as if my before and after selves met up and devised a dish based on my before-and-after tastes.

I think my jaw hit the ground, and I stared at them for a long time through that freezer door, but I wasn’t going to get them. I am reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and the longer I looked at my little potato-filled doughy friends, all I could think was “Starch kills!” and “This is going to spike your insulin! Belly fat! Belly fat! Belly fat!”

But fiance said I was just too excited about these new pierogies and that we had to try them. He thought they sounded good, too. I decided to saute them with onions and serve them on a bed of greens with some grated carrots.

This was the first time I had ever looked at the nutritional information on a box of pierogies. The ingredients list isn’t too bad, particularly for a frozen food. Three pierogies contain 180 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 1 gram of saturated fat. That’s not bad but … pierogies are not very big. I could not remember ever having eaten only three pierogies. I decided that 360 calories plus the veggies would be OK if I needed a second helping.

New pierogie guts: Potato, spinach and feta

I had never eaten only three pierogies before, but I had never eaten them with greens, either, and three turned out to be just enough. I think the satiating power of butter helped, too. Fiance really enjoyed the pierogies, too. Even though we are from the same hometown, where pierogies are enjoyed in abundance, he had never had them before!

Pierogies in abundance, however, is in the past. I know that we won’t be eating these regularly, but I’m glad we tried this new variety — and re-visited an old friend. We’d both changed since our last encounter — for the better.