Basquaise

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.

Have you ever seen the word ‘Basquaise’ on a menu? It often refers to a sauce served on chicken or fish. The word itself means ‘from the Basque country’ or ‘in the method of the Basque people.’ To the Basque people, it is ‘pipperade’ from their word ‘biperra’ for pepper. So who are the Basques and where is their country? The Basque people are unrelated, both in genetics and in language, to the surrounding people of France and Spain. Their ‘country’ spreads across the border of France and Spain at the Western end of the Pyrennes Mountains. Their culture and unique language developed in isolation over the centuries, escaping intrusion both from the Indo-Europeans [ex: Visigoths] and from the Muslims. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the Basques, and even they did not change the culture of the region. Their food is boldly spiced and influenced by fish from the ocean and meat from the pasturelands of the interior. Passionately independent, the Basques work to maintain their ways in a changing world. In the 1800s, economic hard times spread Basques to North America and beyond, just as their cod and whale-hunting ancestors dispersed across the seas in the past.

The ‘Sauce Basquaise’ shows up in our menu today — flavoring the eggs at breakfast in two different preparations. Other ways to use it are in the classic Poulet Basquaise or Cod Basquaise for dinner. Here’s how to make 5 cups of the sauce.

2 Tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a large saucepan
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped  optional: 2 oz Bayonne/Serrano ham or pancetta, diced 
3 cups red bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  3 cups green bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz] 
4 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
Add the onion, garlic, ham, peppers, and tomatoes.  Cook over medium-low heat until peppers are tender.
½ cup red wine 5 g ‘esplette’ pepper or ground cayenne pepper 2 tsp fresh thyme ½ tsp saltAdd to the pan. Simmer 10 minutes more.

Basquaise Sauce ScrOmelette: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 8 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Basquaise Sauce takes eggs to a new level and it is so easy to use if you already have a batch in the refrigerator or freezer.

1-1/2 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.  2 rounded Tablespoons Basquaise Sauce ¼ cup blueberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Heat a non-stick saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the pan. As the eggs just begin to set, spread the Basquaise Sauce over half of the egg. Fold and continue cooking to your liking. Plate with the fruit and serve the beverage of your choice. Have a spicy day.

Alternatively, if you didn’t have any Basquaise Sauce at your disposal, you could use my version of Jacques Pepin’s recipe for Basquaise ScrOmelette, posted on 30 September, 2015

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggProscuitto ham
ricotta cheese + mushrooms
melon + Parmesan cheese
peach + blackberryred onion pickle
Watercress Sauce
mint or basil leaves + balsamic vinegar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

watercress + sweet potato
sourdough rye bread + egg + dill
canola oil + onion + celery
turkey breast + spinach leaves
garlic + stock + potato
whipped cream cheese + tomato
optional: mozzarella + tomato
cucumber + white wine vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Gold!!!

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 b. lunsford who is now Following.

John Sutter left Switzerland and settled in Northern California along the banks of a watercourse he named the American River. He recognized that this would be a good place to build a water-powered lumber mill for his newly-created settlement of New Helvetica. James Marshall was taken on as a partner and he began to build the mill. A mill of that type needs a trough called a tail race to take the water away from the mill. Clearing the race of pebbles washed in by the fast-flowing water was a daily task. In January, 1848, Marshall found gold nuggets in the tail race. He and Sutter decided to keep it a secret since they knew that others would want to get some gold too — fairly or illegally. In August of ’48, The New York Herald published the news and the Rush was on. Sutter eventually left the mill unfinished and his tannery failed — all his workmen quit to go prospecting for gold! Sutter washed his hands of the whole gold business and quietly went broke.

Our meals today include the famous breakfast from ‘Hangtown’ [aka: Placerville, California] which was concocted from the most expensive ingredients that a restaurant could find to suit a miner’s whim. The dinner is the meal that every miner aspired to: lobster thermadore, as served in a fancy restaurant.

Hangtown Bake: 135 calories 7 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8.2 g protein 5.4 g carbs [5 g Complex] 46.3 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  According to legend, this meal, full of then very expensive items, is what a gold miner ordered after he struck it rich in Old California.

1 two-oz egg 2 oysters, raw and out of the shell ½ oz bacon, un-cured is preferable 1 Tbsp scallion leaves, chopped 2 oz strawberries  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or natural apple cider Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water

Set the oven at 350 F. Cook the bacon until it is a little underdone, then chop it up. Chop the scallion and oysters and stir in a little bacon fat, along with the bacon. Whisk the egg, then add the other ingredients and whisk again. Pour into a baking dish lightly-spritzed with non-stick spray and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and plate the baked egg along with the fruit.

Lobster Thermador: 269 calories 13.4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 29 g protein 18.4 g carbs 130.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  Lobster is wonderful for the Fasting Lifestyle, whether you get it baked or boiled. The damage comes when it is slathered in butter. I think that butter masks the clean, subtle taste of the lobster, so I haven’t dunked my lovely crustacean in it for years. This recipe is so elegant yet lacks calories to such an extent that I have added a very French dessert course: fresh peaches and raspberries.

¾ cup lobster, cooked and cut into chunks 1 Tbsp heavy cream 2 Tbsp Bechamel sauce I always keep Bechamel sauce frozen in small amounts.] ½ tsp Dijon mustard flat-leaved parsley, chopped, for garnish 3 oz green beans  Dessert: 1 oz raspberries [fresh or frozen] + 2 oz peaches, cut into cubes [fresh or frozen]

Stir together the cream, Bechamel, and mustard. Lightly fold in the lobster. Heap into a ramekin, sprinkle on the parsley, and heat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cook the beans and put the fruits together in a lovely bowl for dessert.

Slow Days: Strawberry Breakfast Crepes

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 Forumwhich 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.

Sunday Breakfast is enshrined in our house as a special meal: a day for something out of the ordinary. Pancakes and waffles were popular in Dear Husband’s family, while yeast-raised cinnamon buns were my family’s favorite. Recently, a large supply of luscious strawberries gave rise to inspiration: crepes in a strawberry-maple syrup. The crepes were already prepared and in the freezer, which made it SO much easier. [You know how I always urge you to make things in bulk and freeze them for later? This is why! And crepes don’t take up a lot of room, even in a small freezer.]

In the foreground, you see 1/3 cup maple syrup with a teaspoon of butter.

Six crepes [not the savory ones made with buckwheat flour, but the sweet ones that were made for the Strawberry Moon blog on 16-June-2019] were taken from the freezer and thawed in their plastic storage bag overnight. They were warmed on a griddle. The maple syrup was warmed with a little butter and the strawberries were put in briefly, so they didn’t cook. The syrup took on a wonderful color and flavor from the berries! Chicken sausages were cooked and plated. The crepes were put on the plate open, generously laced with syrup and berries, folded in half and doused with fruit and syrup again.

Served with cafe au lait and a berry-yogurt smoothie, it was a fabulous meal for strawberry season.

Mary’s Return

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.

On May 31, Mary ‘went over the mountain‘ to the town of Ein Kerem to assist at her cousin Elizabeth’s lying-in. Seven weeks after her cousin Elizabeth had safely delivered her son John, Mary decided to go back home to her family. This was going to be difficult for two reasons: it was a 135 km trip by foot and Mary was 5 months pregnant. That last one presented another problem: Mary was unwed. When she returned to her hometown of Nazareth, her pregnancy would become obvious to the neighbors and her fiancé. There would be talk. There would be disgrace — people would tell Joseph that he should call off the wedding. But Joseph would stand by her and Mary would endure the side-eye looks because both of them had been told by angels that this was all part of a Bigger Plan. The weather this year on May 31 was sunny and mild. That means it should rain tomorrow.

Today’s breakfast contains the flavors and ingredients of the area referred to as ‘the Levant,’ as in the Eastern Mediterranean ‘where the sun rises.’ A meal like this would sustain you on your way. Upon her return, Mary’s overjoyed mother, Anna, might have welcomed her back with a special feast of lamb, seasoned with typical spices.

photo courtesy of World Tree Photography: Fine Art Travel Prints

Levantine ScrOmelette: 142 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 5 g carbs [4.6 g Complex] 50.5 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF These fine ingredients yield a flavorful result. The sun rising in the East will smile on you.

1 ½ 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 Tbsp mediterranian vegetables, chopped [see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’17] 1.5 tsp hummus, homemade or purchased 1 oz strawberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs, then stir in the hummus and vegetables. Pour into a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the optional beverages and plate with the berries.

Moroccan Lamb:  284 calories 6.3 g fat 8 g fiber 28 g protein 28.6 g carbs [28 g Complex] 81 mg Calcium PB GF  Mint, cumin, and coriander will make your meal taste like a trip to spice souk [see above photo taken by my son].

3 oz roast lamb + Moroccan seasoning ½ cup peas + pinch of mint or cilantro 1/3 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 2 pinches of Moroccan seasoning or ground cumin mint tea

Dust the sliced lamb with Moroccan seasoning. Gently warm the meat by steaming or heating in a microwave. Cook the peas, drain and stir in a pinch of dried mint or dried cilantro. Heat the beans with the seasoning or cumin to taste. Best served with mint tea.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
2 oysters
Green + Red bell peppers
scallion = green onion
tomatoes + garlic + cayenne/chili powder
strawberries
onion + white wine
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

lobster meat + green beans
chicken breast meat
heavy cream + Béchamel sauce
green + red bell peppers + garlic
Dijon mustard + parsley
tomatoes + onion
Raspberries + peaches for dessert
white wine + cayenne/chili powder

Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine from Nice

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 thewackyspoon who is now Following.

Catherine Ségurane was a washerwoman in Nice. Nice was not part of France in the 1500s, it belonged to the Duke of Savoie who had a long-standing disagreement with Francois I, the King of France. Mostly, this was of no consequence to Catherine. But Francois made a pact with the Ottoman Empire, an odd thing for a Christian sovereign to do. If the Ottomans would attack his enemies, Francois would arrange a lucrative trade deal. Done. The original target was the Papal army in Italy, but that would be a bit audacious. So the Ottoman fleet was sent down the coast to besiege Nice. When they scaled the walls of the unprotected city, they were met by ordinary citizens carrying whatever ‘weapons’ they had handy. Our girl Catherine was ready with her clothes-beating stick and she hit the standard-bearer of the attacking Turks, knocking him down and taking his flag. According to the story, she then hiked up her skirts and mooned the invaders. As good Muslims, they were so shocked by a woman with crude behavior that they retreated to their ships and Nice was saved. Sometimes average people rise to the occasion and perform great acts.

If a humble laundry-lady can defeat an army, then couldn’t you overcome your urge to over-eat for a day and eat only 600 calories? Of course you could. Today’s menu showcases the flavors of Nice and shows how delicious a ‘Mediterranean Diet’ can be.

Mediterranean Bake: 138 calories 2 g fat 1.4 g fiber 10.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 55 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  Oh! Those sunny flavors!

one 2-oz egg 3 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables , see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’19 for recipe 1 Tbsp chevre cheese salt + pepper + large pinch of herbes de Province 2 oz melon  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and spoon in the Med. Veg. Pop the ramekin in the warming toaster oven for 30 seconds to warm the vegetables. Whisk the egg with the cheese and seasonings. Pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional warm beverage; shake and pour the optional smoothie; plate the melon. A fine way to enjoy a breakfast.

Salade Nicoise: 283 calories 16 g fat 3 g fiber 22.5 g protein 12.7 g carbs 198 mg Calcium PB GF   ‘Nicoise’ of course means ‘as they do it in Nice’ and boy-oh-boy is it ever nice. HINT: If you plan ahead a bit, this meal goes together in minutes. A few days before, eat a meal of baked or grilled salmon, served with green beans. Prepare 3 oz more salmon than you’ll need for that meal and save it for this meal. Also cook an extra bit of green beans and save them in the ‘fridge. Here’s a TIP: If you won’t need the salmon for a week or more, cooked salmon freezes well. Just leave enough time to thaw it thoroughly. 

3 leaves Romaine lettuce, sliced into 1/2″ pieces 3 oz cooked salmon 3 oz green beans, cooked and cooled 2 black olives, quartered ½ hard-boiled egg 1 radish, sliced 5 cherry tomatoes DRESSING: 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1.5 tsp olive oil

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Add the beans and turn them to coat with dressing. Remove to another plate. Coarsely slice the lettuce and toss with dressing. Place the salmon in the center of the salad. Surround it with the remaining ingredients. A wonderful meal in no time flat.

Home On The Range

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.

There is a popular American folk song entitled “Home on the Range.” I’m sure every school child learns it at some point. The words were written by a homesteading doctor in 1872, to express his delight in the country life in Kansas. The tune was written by the author’s friend. By 1925, sheet music was printed and the origin of the song was temporarily obscured. Then came recordings by the likes of Bing Crosby [who’s version is supposed to be the best], Frank Sinatra and John Denver. It is the State Song of Kansas. The song is nostalgic for a close-to-nature life [low population density and wandering wildlife right outside your door] which the Homestead Act, by encouraging people to move to the plains, was designed to wipe out.

To be ‘home on the range’ also refers to cooking your own food, often from scratch. [A ‘range‘ is an older term for a cook surface with an oven below it.] Many of the ills of being over-weight could be solved if people would cook their own food from fresh ingredients. That way one can control the amount of salt and sugar and fat in the recipe. Purchased food is often ultra-processed food and that creates a host of problems. If you really want to deal with your weight, change the way you cook: from calories to quantity of portion. And home-prepared food can cost less! Good reasons to try cooking at home.

To get you to be home on the range, try these recipes to remind you of the ‘roaming buffalo’ and the deer playing in the fields. Bison meat can be a revelation, so try to find it. And nothing says ‘open prairies’ like chili for dinner.

Bison ScrOmelette: 147 calories 8g fat 0.4 g fiber 14.5 g protein 4 g carbs [2 g Complex] 48.5 mg calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. GF Bison meat is a fine source of protein and is more healthy than beef. You should try it.

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.  0.6 oz ground, cooked bison ½ Tbsp [0.1 oz] sliced scallion ½ Tbsp spaghetti sauce 1 oz melon Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [44 calories]

Briefly warm the bison and scallion in a saute pan spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the spaghetti sauce and pour over the meat/scallion in the pan. Cook in your desired way: scramble or omelette. Plate with the melon and listen to Bing Crosby sing ‘Home on the Range.’

Venison Chili: 299 calories 3.8 g fat 10.4 g fiber 30 g protein 45.6 g carbs 146 mg Calcium  PB GF  HINT: This is enough for 2 one-cup servings. Save the remaining chili for another dinner later or invite a fellow-Faster for dinner.

6 oz ground venison 16 oz canned tomatoes – in chunks or diced 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 cup red onion, chopped 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped 3/4 cup canned red beans, drained and rinsed 2-4 tsp chili ¾ tsp salt ½ – 1 tsp ground cumin  per serving: a small slice of melon, as a garnish

Cook the venison, onion, garlic, and green pepper in some of the tomato juices until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently until the chili is hot throughout. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Serve one cup for dinner tonight with the melon on the side.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
chèvre cheese
hummus
Mediterranean Vegetables
Sidekicks II, 4 -Oct-2019
Mediterranean Vegetables
Sidekicks II, 4 -Oct-2019
melon + herbes de Province
strawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

romaine lettuce + cherry tomatoesLamb + mint/cilantro
green beans/haricots + salmonMoroccan Spices
black olives + hard-boiled egg
canned white beans
white wine vinegar + olive oil
peas + Moroccan seasoning
Sparkling waterSparkling water or mint tea

Nonna

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 akashbhadran who is now Following.

Long ago, in the 4th century CE, in Cappidocia, lived a woman named Nonna. She was a Christian but her husband was not. She raised their two sons and one daughter to follow her faith and daily she prayed for the spiritual health of her family. Her husband Gregory converted and became a bishop of the young Turkish church in what was then the Roman Empire. He eventually was named a saint. Beyond the conversion of her husband, Nonna is revered for her piety and for being the mother of three — count ’em: 3!! — saints. Gregory [theologian, archbishop, poet]; Caesarius [doctor, politician]; and Gorgonia [model wife and mother]. Nonna was declared a saint, and thus the entire family was so honored. My, my — what a legacy!

‘Nonna’ is also the Italian word for ‘grandmother.’ Saint Nonna was a grandmother, since her daughter had several children. In honor of grandmothers, we will enjoy a homey porridge for breakfast and real comfort food for dinner.

10-Grain Pudding: 181 calories 1.3 g fat 5.4 g fiber 10.4 g protein 35 g carbs [29 g Complex] 43.5 mg Calcium  PB Delicious hot cereal for any day of the week. The applesauce and maple syrup give just the right sweetness.

1/4 cup uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal  2 Tbsp cottage cheese 1 tsp maple syrup 1.5 Tbsp applesauce pinch of nutmeg + pinch of cinnamon  sprinkle of sliced strawberries or blueberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [44 calories]

Put the cereal in 3/4 cup of boiling water, turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. HINT: Do this the night before. Cool the cereal, then mix in the cottage cheese, maple syrup, applesauce and spices until well-combined. In the morning, put into a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave for 50 seconds until hot through. Top with a little fresh or frozen fruit. Pour the beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Cullen Skink: 228 calories 4.5 g fat 2.9 g fiber 26 g protein 20 g carbs 161 mg Calcium  PB GF We found this old Scottish recipe to be divine!! Despite the low calorie count, it is very satisfying. Comfort Food with a Scottish dialect.

3 oz finnen haddie [smoked haddock] 3 oz milk small pinch ground cloves bay leaf ¼ cup onion, chopped 2 oz potato, diced 2 oz asparagus, cut in 2” slices 1 tsp butter parsley for garnish

Skin the fish and put it in a small pan with the milk and bay leaf. Cook gently until the fish is warm. Remove the fish from the milk and break it into large pieces. Add the onions, potatoes, and cloves to the milk along with a little water. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Run the milk and vegetables through the blender [or use immersion blender] to a fine puree. Cook the asparagus. Return the fish to the pan with butter and the puree and heat. Add pepper to taste. Plate the fish and ‘soup’, sprinkle with parsley, and arrange the asparagus around the sides. You will want to eat this again!

Maria Mitchell

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.

Maria [ pronounced ma-RYE-uh] Mitchell was born on Nantucket Island on August 1, 1818. By the time she died in 1889, she was famous around the world. And you are asking, “How come I don’t know who she is???” Raised in a Quaker community, she was as educated as any boy in town — if not better. She had such a grasp of mathematics and astronomy that when she was 14, whaling captains came to her for navigational advice. In 1847, using her father’s telescope, she discovered a new comet. [To this day it is called “Miss Mitchell’s Comet“.] She received international renown and a gold medal from the King of Denmark. Maria went on to be the librarian of the stately Nantucket Atheneum and was lured off the island to be one of the first professors at Vassar College. There, Maria was the beloved and innovative teacher of many future scientists

Astronomers cut their teeth on the observation of equinoxes and solstices. In honor of Miss Mitchell’s birthday, our meals revolve around those celestial events.

Vernal Equinox ScrOmelette: 156 calories 7.8 g fat 1.9 g fiber 12 g protein 10.7 g carbs [10 g Complex] 247 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF The cured meat and asparagus are emblematic of the changing seasons: the meat is for Winter and the aparagus is for Spring. Together, they are a heavenly flavor combination 

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 to store in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 oz cooked asparagus, chopped ¼ oz uncured capicola or proscuitto 1 clementine  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Thinly slice and coarsely chop the meat. Combine it with the chopped asparagus. Spritz a non-stick pan with non-stick spray. Put the meat-asparagus into the pan and stir until warmed. Whisk the eggs and pour into the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the clementine and ponder the changing seasons as you enjoy the beverages of your choosing.

Winter Solstice Pizza: 283 calories 10 g fat 2.8 g fiber 16 g protein 16 g carbs [7.8 g Complex] 224 mg Calcium  PB On the Winter solstice, we like to prepare a pizza with elements of the season past [mushrooms represent Fall] and of the season to come [cured meats stand in for Winter].

1 whole wheat tortilla [Herdez 8” Fajita-style Tortilla is what I use], must be 170 calories or less 1.5 Tbsp crushed tomatoes + pinch granulated garlic 1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated 1 oz mushrooms [2 Tbsp] 1/3 oz prosciutto 1 Tbsp onion, chopped ½ Kalamata olive, quartered

Heat the oven to 400 F. Spread the tortilla with the crushed tomato sauce and garlic. Chop the prosciutto roughly and combine it with the mushrooms, onion, and cheese. Distribute over the pizza shell. Sprinkle with herbs, crushed red pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Dot with olive bits. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Think about how the Earth and Sun move through the heavens in their stately yearly dance.

Ingredients for next week: 

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………… single portion for Thursday:

Bob’s 10-grain cereal1.5 two-oz eggs 
applesauce + nutmegground bison meat
cottage cheese + cinnamon
spaghetti sauce

maple syrup
scallion + melon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

smoked haddock/finnen haddie
ground venison + chili powder
onion + potato
canned red beans + green pepper
milk + parsley + bay leaf
canned tomatoes + garlic
asparagus or peas
red onion + ground cumin + melon
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Martha

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 SimplyMySwank who is now Following.

Poor Martha! All she wanted was a hand in the kitchen… That new Rabbi was passing through town, so she invited him over for dinner. The fact that he was traveling with about 40 other people wouldn’t be much of a problem — her sister Mary would help her while their brother Lazarus entertained the guests. Martha heads to the kitchen to cook. But where is Mary? She’s in the living room listening to the Rabbi talk — that’s not helping! Martha takes the Rabbi aside to get him to make Mary retreat to the kitchen. Instead, he gives Martha a gentle rebuke: “Martha, you are worried about many things. But only one thing matters and Mary has chosen it. Do not take that from her.” This is how Luke tells the story in Chapter 10 of his Gospel. Martha became the patron saint of cooks for obvious reasons. I remember seeing a statue of a female saint high on the wall of the kitchen in the 15th century charity hospital at Beaune, France. It was Saint Martha, of course, ready to give her spiritual help to all the workers in the kitchen who were cooking for others.

Today’s meals are easily prepared for guests and they are similar to foods that Martha and Mary might have served. OK, they didn’t have tomatoes or quinoa, but these meals have Eastern Mediterranean origins.

Shakshuka: 158 calories 8 g fat 5 g fiber 12 g protein 17 g carbs [17 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake only, not the optional beverages. PB GF This breakfast from the Eastern Mediterranean is a real treat. If you prepare part of it the night before, then morning meal prep is very easy. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Easily doubled or tripled. This prepares and bakes in one pan.

2 two-oz eggs 1/3 cup sliced onion 1/3 cup sliced red pepper 1 clove garlic, sliced 10 oz whole tomatoes ¾ oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled 2 large pinches each of ground cumin + paprika + cayenne

Slowly saute onion and pepper, using non-stick spray, until very soft – about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more until it is tender. Add spices and cook one minute. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes until mixture is thickerand someof the tomato liquid has cooked off. Add feta cheese. [TIP: you could do this the night before and stop here] Set the oven to 375 degrees F.  If serving two, the mixture could be divided into two separate dishes for baking/serving or kept in one larger dish. Using the back of a spoon, press an indentation in the vegetables. Carefully break one egg per person into each depression. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake 7-10 minutes. If you want the yolk to cook, put a lid on the pan for the last 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro or flat-leaf parsley.

Fish with Mediterranean Vegetables: 278 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 28 g protein 25 g carbs [24 g Complex] 290 mg Calcium PB GF Mediterranean Food, anyone? Here it is, full of protein of seafood and Calcium!

1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables without chickpeas Sidekicks II, 4 Oct. ’17 3 oz fish/mussels/shrimp, raw or cooked 1 oz mushrooms, sliced 1 oz mozzerella, grated 1/3 cup cooked quinoa

Start cooking the quinoa. Prepare or thaw the Mediterranean Vegetables. Stir in the mushrooms and sea food and heat until warmed through. Place the quinoa on the side of the plate and spoon the warm mixture on top. Top with the grated cheese and pause before serving to let the cheese melt a little.

St Christopher

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.

Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. Cars used to have tiny statues of the man on their dashboards. He was, purportedly, a giant man who helped travelers to traverse a dangerous stretch of river. Due to his height, his head was always above water. Due to his strength, he kept your head above water, too. The story is told of his carrying a small child across the river, only to have the water rising and the child on his back becoming heavier. Once the other bank was reached, it seemed that the child had turned into the man Jesus. This is why the name ‘Christopher’ translates as ‘Christ-bearer.’ But alas, the Roman Catholic Church declared that there was no actual evidence that he had ever lived, and so he was demoted from sainthood.

“Saint” Christopher’s Feast Day is July 25, so we will observe it with food. And it is food that you could take along while traveling. Leaving early in the morning? Prepare today’s breakfast the night before and wrap it in waxed paper or foil. Next morning, warm it in the microwave [waxed paper] or the toaster oven [foil] and take it with you in the car. The dinner crepes can also be prepared in advance and eaten hours later on the road. They are good even at room temperature. Or they could be reheated in a motel room microwave.

Egg-McArnold: 230 calories 6.5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 13.3 g protein 26.8 g carbs [15 g Complex] 91 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg sandwich only, not the optional coffee. This, of course, is the Fasting version of a fast-food favorite.

1 two-oz egg 1 Arnold-brand multi-grain Sandwich Thin [100 calories] ½ oz Canadian/back Bacon or 1 slice Jones Brand [20 calories/slice] Optional: 2 oz grapes  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water NB: NO SMOOTHIE today

Open up the ‘sandwich thin’ and lightly toast it. Fry or poach the egg to your liking and cook the Canadian Bacon in the same pan. Assemble, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy it with your coffee in a to-go cup. You can eat this in the car on the go or you could sit down and slowly savor this Fast food.

Leek & Bacon Galettes: 260 calories 5.5 g fat 4.6 g fiber 10 g protein 37 g carbs 114 mg Calcium  PB Joanne Harris writes in her French Market cookbook about buying these at a market stall in France. Now you can make them at home. NB: It is easier/quicker if you prepare the galettes/crepes in advance.

2 buckwheat galettes/crepes [..Not by Bread.. 17-Jan-’18] ½ cup Leek & Bacon Filling [Savory 27-Feb-’19] 2 oz fresh tomatoes, diced and sprinkled with basil or thyme + salt

Gently warm the galettes and place them on a baking sheet. Warm the Leek&Bacon filling and divide it between the crepes, spreading it on one half of each. Fold the crepes in half, then in half again, placing them on the baking sheet so that the filled part is upper-most [this prevents unfolding in the oven]. Cut and season the tomatoes. Warm the galettes/crepes thoroughly in the oven. Delicious!

Ingredients for next week: 

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
whole tomatoes + feta cheeseasparagus
red/orange Italian pepper + onion
capicola ham
garlic + cumin + cayenne + paprika
clementine
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Mediterranean Vegetables [no
chickpeas]
see Sidekicks II 4-Oct-’17
170-calorie whole wheat tortilla
fish or crustaceans
crushed tomato + mozzarella
mozzarella
onion + mushroom
quinoa
prosciutto + Kalamata olive
Sparkling waterSparkling water