Market Town

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

We love Market Towns. In Pennsylvania, where I was raised, county seats would have market buildings for weekly or semi-weekly sales of all possible meats, fruits, vegetables, baked goods. After our sons were born and we lived in New Hampshire, it was always a special treat to return to PA and take the boys to the market. Their eyes would widen at the pies and pastries, and the apple seller would give them one for free. When we go to Europe on vacation, we seek out the country markets: pop-ups in the town square [Thoiry, Ferne-Voltaire, Annecy, Paris] or those in ancient, covered halls [Durham, Venice, St Helier]. We love to shop there for our provisions and to wander around, feasting our eyes, wishing we could be there for weeks on end to try all the items on sale. Sigh. New Hampshire has nothing like that.

Our meals today are provisioned from markets in Brittany and Normandy. When purchasing, one must be sure to get only enough for your stay — a real shame to have leftover food to discard. The breakfast was born of necessity, utilizing odds and ends for one more meal. The dinner features a serendipitous find at market, which provided two meals.

Breton/Norman Bread Pudding:  204 calories 8 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11.6 g protein 13.8 g carbs [6 g Complex] 124 mg Calcium This dish was invented to clear out the fridge when leaving a rental cottage in Brittany. We repeated it when departing Normandy. It works well anywhere, even in your own home kitchen.

¾ fluid oz milk ½ slice whole-grain bread 1 egg 1 oz cooked fish OR ¾ oz cooked chicken 1 oz tomato ¼ oz cheese, grated fresh herbs, as available 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   No Smoothie

Cube or dice the bread and tomato. Flake the fish/chop the chicken and grate the cheese. Stir together everything, except the strawberries. The mixture should be moist throughout, but not soupy. TIP: I like to combine it all the night before so the bread has time to absorb the liquids. Heat a saute pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Turn the bread pudding into the pan. Pat and nudge it into a large, flat patty. Cook until brown on one side, then turn it over. [Alternatively, bake it in an oven-proof dish at 350F for 18 minutes.] When done, it should be set and cooked all the way through, and browned on both sides. Plate with the berries and reminice about the vacation you just enjoyed.

We attended the market in Caen, Normandy. What an experience!! It was the largest open-air market we had ever seen, stretching for blocks along the port and into the city center.

So much to choose from that we didn’t see a fraction of it. But we found all the supplies for the week [except breads, which we buy at the local boulangerie]: eggs, vegetables, cidre, seafood. When we saw the fresh pasta cart, we were in heaven. Rabbit Ravioli caught my eye and I envisioned a plate of pasta on Wednesday and a ravioli salad for the following Fast Day. Here it is: a lightly-dressed salad topped with cooked raviolis re-warmed in a barely buttered pan.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
garlic + scallionsbleu cheese
fish sauce + applemushrooms
cooked spinach + Srirachaleeks + pear
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

chicken/turkey thigh + egg6-12 oysters + leeks + apple
mirin + soy sauce + dashfennel bulb + fronds + egg white
sake or dry sherry + sugarbleu cheese + butter
onion + parsley + riceoptional: pie crust, not GF
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St Roch

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Saint Roch is considered to be one of “Les Saints Qui Guérissent” [Saints who Heal]. He was often invoked to heal Black Plague victims, since he himself was one. Or was he?? Roch was born in Montpellier [now in France] in 1295. As a young man, he sold his worldly goods, donated to the poor, and went to Italy as a pilgrim. While tending the sick in Piacenza, he fell ill and was banished from town. Roch, called Rocco in Italy, recovered, helped by a dog who brought him bread. He went back home but he was clapped into prison, accused of being a spy. [Possible family intrigue involved] He died alone, after five years in prison, unrecognized by his relatives. When being prepared for burial, Roch was identified by a birth-mark. Roch died in 1327. When shown in art, he raises his hem to reveal the tell-tale engorged lymph node called a bubo, the mark of the Black Death. But the plague did not reach Italy until 1347, 20 years after his death. The term ‘plague’ was used loosely in the 1300s: small pox, bubonic, leprosy. Roch did not have bubonic plague, but he had something. And he recovered. Good news, full of hope.

Brandade, made from salt cod, was a staple food in Europe in the 1300s, so breakfast will include that. The dinner also is made with foods common from Southern France to Italy [OK. not the quinoa]. Eat like a saint. Be healthy.

Brandade Bake: 145 calories 8.3 g fat 1.2 g fiber 11.2 g protein 4.3 g carbs [2.8 g Complex] 44.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  The marvel of Southern France, brandade, is worth trying. Here it is at breakfast, all creamy and garlicy.

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp brandade [see St Bernard, posted 19 August 2018]    shake of granulated garlic 1 oz peach slices + ½ oz blueberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cream together the cottage cheese, brandade, and garlic. Whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 F. until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. With the fruit and beverages, you have a fine start to the day.

Mediterranean Vegetables with Seafood: 278 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 28 g protein 24.8 g carbs [24 g Complex] 290 mg Calcium   PB GF  This dinner qualifies as a hurry-up meal. If you have Mediteranean Vegetables in the freezer, you can serve this in the time it takes to cook the quinoa.

1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables, without chickpeas see: Sidekicks II  3 oz seafood: shrimp, fish chunks, bivalves, whatever you have 1 oz mozzarella, shredded 1 oz mushrooms, coarsely-chopped 1/3 cup cooked quinoa 

Start cooking the quinoa. Put the frozen Med Vegetables in a sauce pan with a lid. Warm them gently until they are mostly thawed. Add the mushrooms and seafood. Continue to heat, covered, until everything is warm and cooked. Plate with the quinoa and top with cheese. 

Slow Days: Bruschetta

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

“Bruschetta” … what does that word mean to you? And how do you pronounce it? The cookbook Diary of a Tuscan Chef gave us a recipe for this concoction, which we ate happily for years — a tomato relish on bread. And we called it ‘bruce-SHET-ta.’ Had we turned the cookbook page, we would have had the real story. When olives are being pressed into oil, [a late-Fall, cool-weather activity] one of the workers will toast bread over a fire, rub it with garlic, and drizzle the new oil over it so everyone can have a snack and a taste of the crop. THAT is bruschetta!

Bread, garlic, and olive oil = bruschetta

Of course, as the idea of ‘putting some food on toast’ moved around the world, something was lost in translation, including the pronunciation. When on tour in Italy, I asked the guide, a Roman, how to pronounce this culinary creation. Chuckling, he said that Americans always ask that and for the longest time he had no idea what they meant by ‘bruce-shet-ta.’ The correct way to say it? ‘bruce-KAY-ta’ The aforementioned Tuscan Chef Cesare Casella writes: “Americans seem to think bruschetta is chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil on toast. I don’t know why. For us that is crostini con pomodoro.” He concludes that there seems to be an “American craving for cubed tomatoes.”

On the right you see Cesare Casella’s ‘tomato relish’ on the bread.

When Older Son began baking, he sent us a recipe for his ‘no-knead focaccia’, which is great but makes more bread than Dear Husband and I can eat in a week. So Older Son prompted us to eat it as Bruschetta. I protested that there would be very little protein in that: just bread and tomato relish. Being wise, our son suggested additional toppings: herbed ricotta cheese, slices of chicken or turkey breast. Anchovies would be good.

So here is the evolution of a meal that is perfect in Summer or any warm evening. Perhaps we should call it ‘Crostini’ but we don’t. We’re Americans, you see.

Jane Addams

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Jane Addams lived up to the label of “New Woman” — one of the college-educated cohort of the late 1800s who saw it as their duty to roll up their sleeves and improve the life of those less fortunate. Born into the family of a small-town mill owner, she had a privileged upbringing. On a visit to London, she saw a ‘settlement house‘ in action: helping poor factory workers and immigrants get food security, better health, and education. Addams decided then and there that Chicago needed the same thing. She and like-minded women established Hull House in the industrial West Side of the city and Addams remained its director until her death in 1935. The list of services provided there is long: from cooking classes and day care to live theater produced by the immigrant communities themselves. Addams, never condescending, favored the idea of a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ and she would take vats of soup to the factory gates at lunch time to sell for 5 cents a bowl.

At the same time that Jane Addams was working in Chicago, hungry workers were eating an early version of ‘Chicago Hot Dogs’ for lunch. Today’s breakfast uses the ‘drag it through the garden’ vegetable sides to flavor the eggs. The soup for dinner features canned tomato sauce to remind us that Hull House taught the skill of home canning to make meals more nutritious.

‘Chicago’ ScrOmelette: 135 calories 7.3 g fat 1.8 g fiber 10 g protein 7.3 g carbs 53.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  One of my methods for creating a new breakfast is to take flavor elements from a favorite dinner and then put them in eggs. Here, we have a ‘Chicago Hot Dog’ without the sausage and without the bun. Dear Husband deemed it ‘very good!’

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.   1 oz tomato, diced 1 Tbsp chopped onion healthy squirt of yellow mustard 1 ‘sport pepper’ or 1 pepperoncini, chopped pinch of poppy seed + pinch celery seed 1 oz apple 

Cook the onion and mustard in a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add the tomato, pepper, and seeds and heat through. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the apple for a taste sensation.

Hull House Soup: 183 calories 4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 7.5 g protein 23 g carbs 34.6 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF pasta  An Italian woman in Chicago once served Jane Addams a meal of pasta with a simple ragu sauce, which opened her eyes to how food connected immigrants with their home country. This simple soup packs a lot of flavor.

2 cups spaghetti sauce, canned** 2 cups chicken stock 2 [1 Tbsp] cloves garlic sliced, chopped  3 oz [2/3 cup] green pepper in ½” dice  1 cup chick peas 1 cup chopped cabbage chopped fresh rosemary 2-3 pinches red pepper flakesPut in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

**I used Classico brand “Florentine Spinach and Parmesan” sauce
½ cup water 1 oz [¼ cup] short pasta like ditalini salt and pepper to tasteAdd to the soup in the pot and cook 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and add water if too thick.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
brandadewhole grain bread + tomato
cottage cheesefish or chicken meat + cheese
peach + blueberrymilk + strawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

Mediterranean Vegetablesthe topic will be foods from
a Farmers’ Market
mixed seafood Salad fixings for two portions
mushrooms + Mozzarellavinaigrette dressing
quinoaravioli, purchased
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Going South

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to amyrichards who is now Following.

“Going South” has several connotations. In a business sense, it means a downward trend in sales or income. To First Nations people of far North America, going South means that something is going wrong, like the food stores going bad. As the Treebeard character muses in the Two Towers movie: “I always like going South: somehow it seems like going downhill.” In modern times, residents of Canada and the Northern US are called ‘snow birds’ because of their going South for the winter.

Today’s foods check off two of the meanings of Going South. We are ‘going South’ for a breakfast of Hoe Cakes which was a popular food item there among all classes of people. The dinner is useful if you have a bin of vegetable about to ‘go South,’ which you can turn into a fine meal. If your attempts at dieting have been going South, try the Fast Diet. It works for us.

Hoe Cakes with Fruit & Yogurt:  173 calories 1.7 g fat 4 g fiber 13 g protein 36 g carbs 75 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here the old Southern meal of cornmeal cakes is updated with healthy fruit and yogurt. HINT: The recipe yields 6 hoe cakes, which is enough for two servings of 3 cakes each.

3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal  2.5 Tbsp hot water  Combine by stirring well to make a mush. Let sit for 15 minutes.
1 oz egg white ¼ tsp yeastStir into the warm cornmeal mush and let sit for 1-12 hours. TIP: I did this the night before.
2 Tbsp cornmeal 2 Tbsp water ¼ tsp saltMix into the mush. If you take some up on a fork, it will sit on the tines, with a little batter dribbling through. If it is not like this, add more cornmeal or more water.
Using a little less than 2 Tbsp of batter, drop onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. Make 6 cakes. Cook on both sides. Best if eaten fresh.
per serving: 1/4 cup blueberries 1/2 tsp honey, warmed 4 oz [1/4 c] plain, fat-free yogurt
2 slices Canadian Bacon
Put the yogurt and honey in a small dish and stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir it in.
Warm the Canadian bacon on the same griddle used to cook the cakes.
Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water or mocha cafe au lait [65] Serve with the bacon. Enjoy the dish of berried yogurt on the side or slathered on the hoe cakes.

Fajitas with Chicken + Vegetables:  286 calories 5 g fat 3.9 g fiber 24 g protein 35 g carbs [ g Complex] 183 mg calcium  PB  A quick, delicious, and a good way to use vegetables. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people.

1 tsp oil + 3 tsp water 6 oz chicken breast 2 cups veg, including: >3 oz sweet pepper + 4 oz zucchini >1 oz red onion + 1.25 oz broccoli 1 tsp chili powder + sprinkle AdoboCut the meat into strips. Cut the vegetables into strips or other edible sizes. Heat oil in wok, stir-fry meat, veg, and seasonings for ~ 7 minutes or until cooked and vegetables begin to brown
four 5” corn tortillasWrap in damp kitchen towel. Nuke 30-45 seconds. -OR- Warm on a griddle or in a dry skillet until pliable and starting to brown.
1 Tbsp plain nonfat yogurt per tortilla Divide the meat/veg among the tortillas and top with yogurt.
1 lime ¼ c cilantro leavesServe as garnish

Hometown Heroine: Vinland

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Freydís Eiríksdóttir is not a name that rolls trippingly off the tongue. Nor is she a household name. In truth, she might not have been a very nice woman at all. She was the daughter of Eric the Red, who established a colony in Iceland when he was banished from Norway for murder. She was the sister of Leif Erickson, who founded the Greenland colony when he was banished from Iceland for murder. In her own right, Freydis is said to have killed her rivals, men and women alike. But she was also very brave. Around 1000 CE, Freydis, her husband, her brother Erik, and their boat’s crew were living on the coast of Northern Newfoundland near l’Anse aux Meadows, which might be the Vinland of the old Viking sagas. [Some scholars say they came ashore to explore and/or to repair their ship. They stayed for about 18 months, then left.] Vikings though they were, they were rather afraid of the indigenous people, whom they called ‘skraelings.’ One day, a group of the local Beothuk tribe came from the trees and approached the Vikings. Fearful of the natives, they ran away. Freydis ran too but, being seven months pregnant, not as fast. She called to her kinsmen to wait up — to stand and fight — but they threw down their weapons and kept going. Freydis decided to face the fierce natives by herself. Grabbing a discarded sword, she turned to the skraelings and stood her ground. She ripped open the bodice of her gown, and thwacked her breasts with the flat of the weapon, while shouting trash talk in Norwegian. The Beothuk stopped their pursuit — this was not way for women to behave: what kind of people were these???!?! The natives retreated. The attack was over, the Vikings were safe, and it was Freydis who had saved the day.

For Freydis, a breakfast that she might have prepared, even in the New World: grains cooked with fruit. For dinner, a meal with smoked salmon, very typical of the food of the Baltic/North Sea region.

Fruited Porridge: 183 calories 1.4 g fat 8.7 g fiber 7 g protein 38 g carbs [38 g Complex] 36 mg Calcium  PB  Here is a delicious way to get a couple of superfoods in one meal. Berries and whole-grain cereal are unbeateble and easy too.

¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal + ¾ cup water ¼ cup diced strawberries ¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup raspberries   Optional: a few tablespoonsful of milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  or lemon in hot water

If the fruit is frozen, like mine: place in a sieve over a small bowl over night to thaw. Save the juice to add to a smoothie. Cook the cereal in the water for 8 minutes, stiring twice. Take off heat and add the fruit. Stir gently and serve with a little milk, if you wish.

Lithuanian Smoked Salmon Salad:  282 calories 11 g fat 3.3 g fiber 19 g protein 24.8 g carbs [8.5 g Complex] 30 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread  We loved this when we dined at Alemeda’s Mama Papa Lithuanian Restaurant  and I was determined to replicate it at home. SO unusual and yummy.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2] people.

1 cup cubed cucumbers ½ cup cubed fresh tomatoes ½ cup Romaine lettuce, cut crosswise in a fine chiffonade ¼ cup thinly-sliced red onions 1 cup shredded smoked salmon 1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled 2 Tbsp special sauce**   per person: 1 oz sourdough rye bread

**Special Sauce makes 5 Tablespoons  2 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp honey [If your honey is very viscous, warm it] 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill Whisk all the ingredients to blend thoroughly. Store remainder in a jar.

Prepare all the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the salmon to the bowl and pour on one tablespoon of the sauce. Toss again to coat the vegetables. If you think you need more, add it a bit at a time to get it just right. Plate the salad or serve in the bowl. Chop or slice the hard-boiled egg and strew it on top of the salad. Serve with the bread and tuck in.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

white from 1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + apple
yellow corn mealonion + tomato + poppy seed
raspberriessport or pepperoncini peppers
honey + yogurtyellow mustard + celery seed
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

chicken breast meat + broccoli + lime1 quart Marinara sauce + garlic
corn tortillas + cilantro + adobostubby pasta + green pepper
Italian bell pepper + zucchinigarbanzos + parsley + cabbage
red onion + chili powder + plain yogurtSwiss chard + chicken stock
Sparkling waterSparkling water

3 Chilly Saints

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to toondebacker who is now Following.

“Mamertus, Pancras, and Gervais were three early Christian  saints. Because their feast days, on May 11, 12, and 13, respectively, are traditionally cold, they have come to be known as the  Three Chilly Saints.” Thus says the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and they know all about weird weather. Mamertus died in 475 in Arles, France. Pancras died around 304 at the age of 14. Gervais died in the 2nd century. German farmers often add St Boniface [May 14] to the list of Eismanner.

Naturally, chilly weather makes one want to eat ‘chili.’ But what is ‘chili’? To begin with, chili is a plant [Capsicum annum] which originated in Mexico around 7500 BCE. Chili also refers to the fruit of that plant, nicknamed ‘chili peppers’ by Columbus, because the spicy flavor reminded him of black pepper. There are many types of chili, of varying heat. In New Mexico, when you say ‘chili,’ only the New Mexico ‘Chile’ [note the spelling change] is being discussed. These can be green or red, fresh or roasted or dried, and they define the local cuisine. ‘Chili’ also means the meal, prepared with or without beans, which is one of the tentpoles of cooking in the American South-West.

We will have chili and chiles for breakfast and chili with chiles for dinner. Chilly enough for you?

Chili-Chile Eggs:  139 calories 10 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 11.8 g carbs [10 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Two of the American South West’s best flavors: 2 spellings in one breakfast bake.

one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Chili Non Carne [see SIDEKICKS II Oct 4, 2017 for the recipe], drained if too soupy 1 Tbsp canned green chiles {Hatch brand is the best] pinch of salt 1/8 oz cheddar cheese, grated 2 oz melon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the chile and chilis with the egg. Add salt to your taste. Pour into a lightly-spritzed ramekin and top with the grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The egg mixture will puff up and be firm to the touch when done. If it is very jiggly in the middle, keep baking it. Prep the fruit and pour the optional beverage of choice. You are off to a chili start, even if your weather is hot.

Chili Verde with Beans: 265 calories 2.8 g fat 5.4 g fiber 14 g protein 31 g carbs [29 g Complex] 169 mg Calcium   PB GF  In the great debate about what makes ‘authentic’ chili, beans are often the issue. Here, they are served as a ‘side dish.’  HINT: This makes enough for 3 [three] servings.

Without the beans, this chili would be great in flautas or fajitas or corn tortillas.
½ tsp oil  ½ cup red onion, choppedCook onion until softened.
3 cloves garlic, mincedAdd to onion and cook one minute more
2 Tbsp tomato sauce 2 tsp green chili powder one 4-oz can New Mexico green chilis 1 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp [Mexican] oregano ½ cup salsa verde [purchased is fine] ¼ cup waterStir in tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Then add chilis, seasonings, salsa and water. Turn heat down to a simmer.
Enough cooked turkey or chicken to make 1-1/2 cups shredded meat – about 200 grams pinch or two saltShred the chicken or grind it and add to the pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the salt and continue to heat.
Per serving: 1/3 cup small white beans, canned 1/4 cup chopped green onionPlate with scallions on top and the beans on the side.

Flowering Moon

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

The First Nations People of North America had names for all of the full moons. Beautiful, descriptive names. The Ojibwe tribe called the moon in May the “Flowering Moon.” The ancient Romans had a goddess of flowers named Flora. Her festival was in late April/early May. In the early USA, putting baskets of flowers on neighbors’ front doors was a custom on the first of May. In Japan, the famous Hanami [admiring blossoms] Festival is spread out from March to April, depending on blooming times. In Northern Japan, they are admiring cherry blossoms as late as May 1. How wonderful that such disparate cultures and locations in the same hemisphere all shared an appreciation of Springtime and its flowers! You can celebrate the early days of May by spending time in your garden or nearest public park. Enjoy the fresh air and the growing plants. Renew yourself outside, then renew your determination to change yourself inside by eating a healthier diet.

Our meals, this early May, will highlight one of the flowers that we commonly eat — asparagus! And it comes up in the Spring. Full of flavor, fiber, and nutrition, asparagus is a great addition to the Faster’s diet.

Asparagus Roll-ups:  107 calories 7 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8 g protein 2.6 g carbs [2.7 g Complex] 51.5 mg Calcium PB GF Pretty on the plate and a delight to eat.

1 two-oz egg 2 oz asparagus spears, tough lower stalks snapped off 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 1-2 tsp tarragon, chopped A few fresh berries: golden berries, blueberries, raspberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [87 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Break the tough lower part of the asparagus stalks, wash, and steam or cook in minimal water until tender. Drain, salt lightly, and set aside. HINT: You could do this the night before. Whisk the egg with the cream cheese and tarragon, along with a pinch of sea salt. Heat an 8”-9” skillet and spritz it with non-stick spray. Pour in the egg and tilt the pan so that the egg forms a thin, even layer over the bottom of the pan. Without stirring or moving the egg, cook until the egg is set and as your like them – this will not take long. Remove the egg to your plate, like a big pancake. Put the cooked asparagus in the pan and shake it a bit over heat to re-warm. Lay the spears on the eggs so that the blossom ends hang over the edge. Roll the egg so that the asparagus is inside and plate attractively. With your optional beverages, you are set for a Spring-time breakfast treat.

Beef & Asparagus Stir-fry:  289 calories 8.4 g fat 5.2 g fiber 20.7 g protein 35.7 g carbs [12.6 g Complex] 69 mg Calcium  PB GF— if omitting the noodles   The flavors of beef, asparagus, and oyster sauce are a real WOW.

2 oz sirloin, raw, sliced thinly across grain 2 tsp oyster sauce 2 tsp soy sauce 2-3 tsp cornstarch ¼ c chicken stock 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced 1 clove garlic, sliced hot pepper flakes to taste 5 oz asparagus, roll-cut in 2” pieces 3 oz red pepper, sliced into strips 1 oz onion, sliced   Optional: ½ oz Japanese buckwheat noodles, broken into 2” pieces

Prepare the meat as described. Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, stock, and cornstarch. Add the sliced meat and set aside. Boil the noodles for four minutes, drain [saving the cooking water], rinse, and put aside. Cut the vegetables as described and put in a bowl. In another dish, put the garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes [those are the ‘aromatics’]. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet until it is hot. Spray with oil or non-stick spray. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 3 minutes [if needed, add some noodle water to keep it cooking. Push the vegetables aside and add the aromatics. Count to 30. Add the beef with marinade. Stir-fry for 1 minute more or until the beef is mostly cooked and the sauce begins to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, add some of the noodle water. then add the cooked noodles. Stir to combine and warm, then plate. 

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg + Cheddar cheeseoatmeal 
chili non carne strawberries
canned green chilis [Hatch brand]blueberries
melon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

chicken breast + bell peppers smoked salmon + cucumber
canned green chilis + red onion + garlictomato + red onion + romaine lettuce
canned white beans + scallionsourdough rye + olive oil + honey
cumin + chili powder + oregano + salsa verdehard-boiled egg + lemon juice + dill
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Aunt Beru

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome weightlossblogadmin who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be May The Fourth, which Star Wars Fans recognize as a day to celebrate since the words sound like “May the Force….be with you.” Yeah, it’s a stretch, since Obi-Wan didn’t lisp. Anyhow, since the only food you ever see anyone eat in the entire film series is the ghastly-looking blue smoothie which Aunt Beru prepares on Tatooine, I thought that today we should talk about smoothies.

Fruit juice alone has lots of sugar. It is like drinking a soda-pop! True, that fruit sugar is natural, inherent to the fruit. It is not added sugar, which now has to be included on the label. So what’s wrong with that? Your body doesn’t care where the sugar comes from, be it fructose [from fruit], or sucrose [from sugar cane/sugar beets]; your body still treats turns it into glucose [‘blood sugar’] and uses insulin [from your pancreas] to move it into your cells for energy. When you ingest the fruit and its juice [ex: eating the apple, not the juice only], your body sees that sugar differently, more healthily. The fiber in the fruit changes the sugar’s effect on your body. In our house, we used to drink orange juice at breakfast. Nowadays, instead of those empty sugar calories, we enjoy a smoothie of whole fruit which gives us the fiber as well as getting a start on our 5-a-day.

Here’s a smoothie to drink along with your breakfast:

Blueberry Smoothie: 1 serving = 118 calories 0.2 g fat 3.1 g fiber 5.7 g protein 30 g carbs 99 mg Calcium  PB GF  From the people at Wild Blueberries of North America comes this excellent smoothie. Take the calories into account when you meal-plan.  HINT: Recipe makes enough for 2 servings. 3 oz banana ½ cup plain, fat-free yogurt ½ cup blueberries ½ cup orange juice Put banana, yogurt, and berries into the blender and process until smooth. Add the juice and blend on low. Wonderful berry flavor!

If you want a smoothie with calories enough for a meal, try this:

Cocoa-Banana Tofu Smoothie: 276 calories 5.3 g fat 7 g fiber 20 g protein 42.4 g carbs [25.4 g Complex] 491 mg Calcium  PB GF  Adding cocoa powder makes this high protein shake taste like dessert without any added sugars. What a treat! Hmmmm… Is it a smoothie or a milkshake? The recipe makes 2 cups.

1-¼ cups fat-free milk ½ cup firm tofu, mashed to fit in measuring cup [3 oz] 2/3 cup sliced ripe [but not black] banana [3 oz] 2 Tbsp cocoa 4 ice cubes Put everything in a blender and wizz it on low speed to break up the banana. Then turn to a higher speed to make it smooth. Serve with some ripe strawberries. Yum.

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The Woman with the Rake

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

In Europe, the Plague [the Black Death pandemic] came back in recurrent waves: 1348-53; 1360–63; 1374; 1400; 1438–39; 1456–57; 1464–66; 1481–85; 1500–03; 1518–31; 1544–48; 1563–66; 1573–88; 1596–99; 1602–11; 1623–40; 1644–54; and 1664–67. The prevalence of the pestilence spawned many works of art and letters. Boccaccio’s Decameron has as its frame a group of wealthy friends trying to escape the disease by decamping for the countryside. In painting, there are depictions of a woman striding across an apocalyptic landscape carrying either a broom or a rake. The broom represented an outbreak with most people dying [a ‘clean sweep’] while the rake indicated that fewer victims would die. [I wish I could show you this painting, but I cannot find it. If you know it, please send me a link to it.]

The Woman with the Rake is walking the world these days — though in some places, sadly, she is using her broom. Keeping busy at home is the rule of the day: read, play games with family members, establish a routine, learn a new skill, be creative in the kitchen. Egg dishes are always easy and delicious. Cooking up some food and putting it inside a crepe/galette is a great idea.

Corned Beef & Cabbage ScrOmelette:  154 calories 7.6 g fat 1 g fiber 14 g protein 6.5 g carbs [5.4 g Complex] 65 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Got some corned beef left over from St Patrick’s Day or Passover? Add to cabbage — a reliable pantry staple — for a good breakfast.

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.   ½ oz uncooked corned beef 1/3 cup cabbage, very thinly sliced ½ Tbsp cottage cheese pinch caraway seed + pinch thyme 1 oz apple   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Mince the beef and put in into a pan with ¼ cup water. Simmer until beef is cooked, then remove it to a small bowl. Put the cabbage in the water in the pan and simmer that until the cabbage is cooked – add more water as needed. Put the cabbage in the bowl with the cottage cheese and seasonings. Add some pepper, but you probably will NOT need to add salt, due to the corned beef. Mix the ingredients together. Heat a non-stick pan with some cooking spray and whisk the eggs. Put the beef/cabbage in the pan and distribute it over the surface. Quickly pour the eggs in and tip the pan to cover all the cabbage. Cook on one side, then flip and cook it some more. Fold and plate with the apple.

Chicken Ratatouille Galette :  267 calories 7.6 g fat 5 g fiber 24 g protein 38 g carbs 321 mg Calcium   PB  Galettes/Crepes are wonderful to have on hand for use with a variety of fillings. If you had the galettes/crepes and the filling previously-made, then the meal goes together in no time.

2 buckwheat crepes [galettes]  [see Sidekicks I, Sept 17, 2017]   1.5 oz chicken breast ½ cup Mediterranean Vegetables [see SIDEKICKS II Oct 4, 2017] 1 Tbsp goat cheese 1 oz mozzerella cheese herbes de Province OR tarragon 

If making crepes/galettes from scratch now: prepare the batter and let stand 30+ minutes. If using frozen crepes, put them in a plastic bag on the counter and let them thaw.  Turn on the oven to 250 F. Cut or shred the chicken into small pieces. Put into pan with the Med.Veg. and heat to warm the vegetables, to reduce the liquids, and to cook the chicken. Take off heat. Prepare the crepes/galettes: either cook them now from batter or finish the thawing process by putting them, wrapped in foil, in a warm oven. Add cheeses to mixture in the pan, and stir to combine. Toss in lots of herbes de Province or fresh herbs and taste for seasoning. Arrange the crepes/galettes on a cookie sheet and divide the filling among them. Fold over, pressing down gently. Heat in the warm oven.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

On Monday, I will discuss Smoothies.1 two-oz egg 
banana + orange juiceasparagus spears
plain, fat-are yogurtwhipped cream cheese
blueberriestarragon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

tofu beef sirloin + asparagus + garlic
bananared bell pepper + oyster sauce
cocoa powdersoy sauce + cornstarch + onion
skimmed milk chicken stock + fresh ginger +
Japanese buckwheat noodles
Sparkling water