Lammas Oncemore

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 inthecaldron13 who is now Following.

We’ve come another quarter turn in the old Celtic calendar, from Beltane [in May] to Lammas, the Harvest Festival. It runs for several days, as did all good ancient fests, in the first few days of what the Romans called August [after Caesar Augustus]. The Christians co-opted the old celebrations, turning the original Luignasa into Lammas — a corruption of the words ‘Loaf Mass.’ [Though possibly ‘Lady’s Mass’ since the Assumption of Mary is on the 15th.] Thus the harvest festival, marked by making breads from the new grain, became a church service for blessing loaves of bread [probably from the new grain] at a service dedicated to Our Lady. Thus the Grain Mother, embodied in the corn dollies made from the last grain harvested, became the Virgin Mary and the bread became the eucharist.

We’ll bake a Lammas Bread for breakfast on a Slow Day. For our Fast Day, we will celebrate with foods of Summer: BLTs and vegetables at their peak. For a touch of cereal grains, whole-grain bread at breakfast and whole-wheat pasta at dinner. Take some long stalks of grass and learn how to make a corn dolly.

Breakfast BLT:  191 calories 8.6 g fat 4 g fiber 10 g protein 18 g carbs 54 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffee.  PB GF – if using GF bread   A Summer evening favorite is the inspiration for this filling breakfast.

By wrapping the lettuce leaf around one side, you provide a handy place to hold the sandwich while you bite into it.

1 slice whole-grain bread [such as Dave’s Killer Bread] one 2-oz egg 1 strip uncured bacon [the streaky American type @ 30 calories/slice] 0.75 oz tomato, sliced 1 large leaf of lettuce 3 cherries   NB: with the high calorie count, be mindful of the beverages you add to the meal. Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Eggplant Patties w/ Onion Marinara: 273 calories 4 g fat 8.3 g fiber 46 g carbs [20 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF bread/flour/pasta Marcella Hazen, in her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, gives the recipe for the patties and a sauce in which to serve them. I added the pasta to the meal. Even Dear Husband, who is aubergine-averse, enjoyed these.

A serving should be 4 patties, but only 3 seem to have gotten into this photo…

4 eggplant patties**, portioned with a 1-½ Tbsp scoop 1 oz pasta– If you use a whole grain or high fiber pasta, so much the better ½ cup tomato-onion marinara++ 

**Eggplant Pattiesmakes 7 when using a 1-½ Tbsp scoop = 32 calories each   9 oz eggplant with skin still on 2 Tbsp bread crumbs 1 Tbsp spinach, cut as a chiffonade 1 tsp minced garlic 1 egg yolk 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour Roast the eggplant at 400F until soft, around 15 minutes. Peel it and cut in rough cubes. Place in a collander over a bowl and let it drain, pressing down lightly. Put in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a fork until well-combined. Heat a skillet and spray with non-stick spray. Using a 1-1/2 Tbsp scoop, place the eggplant mixture into the hot pan, flattening it a bit. Cook on each side until starting to brown.

++ Tomato-Onion Marinara makes 1.5 cups  1.5 cups onion, thinly sliced 1.5 cups canned whole tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Spray a saute pan with non-stick cooking oil and heat it. Add the onions and cook at medium-low until the onions begin to turn golden. Add the tomatoes, chopping them into smaller pieces with a plastic or wooden utensil. Cook until the tomatoes have thickened a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the pasta while the patties are cooking. Heat the marinara, then add the cooked pasta. Put some of the sauce in the center of your plate and position the patties on top. Arrange the pasta and sauce around the center, as pleases your eye.

Slow Days: Lammas Bread

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 you 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.

One of the most popular topics on which I have blogged is that of Lammas. Maybe it is a love of all things Celtic. Maybe it is a yearning for simpler times. Maybe it is a renewal of interest in growing and producing one’s own food. The festival was called Lughnasagh in Ireland; Lunastain, in Scotland; and became Lammas [Loaf Mass] after the missionaries Christianized it. As a harvest festival, it was observed on the mid-Summer cross-quarter day around August 2 — usually August 1, 2,3. At that time the cereal crops* [wheat, rye, barley, oats] were being harvested. Flour was quickly ground from the grain, baked into loaves to be savored by the entire farm family while giving thanks for a successful harvest and offering prayers for future crops. Bread, therefore, is the recipe of the day. *Note: in the UK, cereal crops are all called ‘corn.’ This is confusing to Americans, to whom ‘corn’ is Zea mays for eating on the cob or for popping. When you follow the links, keep that in mind.

Here is a non-yeasted recipe, making something like a biscuit. This is probably the “real” bread for Lammas, since it is prepared quickly. Buttermilk Bread Charm for Lammas goddessandgreenman.co.uk

3 mugs strong white flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp bicarbonate of sodaPlace the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda
500 ml of Buttermilk Pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hand until the dough feels springy.
Sprouted seeds – these represent regenerationMix in the sprouted seeds. If it feels too sloppy, just add a little more flour.
Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Take time to focus on the bread you have created. Turn the loaf three times saying “From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Lammas Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”
Place on a greased baking tray and pop it into a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When the bread is ready, it will change colour and will sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, tie it with Lammas ribbon in your choice of colour – gold, orange, yellow

Sour Dough Fruited Summer Bread: The one I’ll make this year is based on a sourdough, in keeping with all of those who are attempting that during the current lock-down. This bread is easy to make. [Original recipe from Paul Hollywood] With the addition of Summer fruits and whole wheat, it seems fit for a festival.

All the ingredients, ready to mix.
64 g bread flour 64 g white whole wheat flour 125 g active sourdough starter 3.8 g salt 65-88 ml H20 + 2 tsp honeyCombine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the honey to the water. Pour it in a little bit at a time and mix with your hands to make a soft dough. You may not need all the water. If you have extra water, add it to the next step.
½ cup chopped dried apricots ½ cup dried cherriesPut the fruits in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain, reserving the water. Add to the dough.
Coat work surface w/ olive oil + knead the fruit into the dough on the oiled surface for 10-15 mins or until the dough is smooth + elastic and the fruit is well-incorporated.
Put in lightly-oiled bowl + cover w/ film. Rise in warm place 5 hr or overnight in a cool place
Knead dough until smooth, knocking the air out. Shape into an oval. Let rise on a well-floured towel [a couche], up-side down, in a loaf pan for 4-8 hrs or overnight in a cool place.
Bread is rising on a floured towel in a small loaf pan to help it to keep its shape.
Reserved soaking water 2 tsp honeyPut in a small pan and simmer while adding the honey. Cook down until it is syrup-y, not runny.
Put a tray of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat to 425F Gently tip the risen dough onto parchment paper on a baking tray. With a lame or sharp knife, score the top of the bread: down the center, then 3 on each side at an angle – sort of like a fern or the veins on a leaf. When you open the oven, add more water to the tray at the bottom of the oven to produce steam. Bake 30 mins at 425. Brush loaf with fruit syrup, then reduce oven to 400 F and bake 15 mins more.
The very dark syrup made the crust a rich mahogany color. Serve with comb honey.

Who Dunnit? Who Ate It? Chapter III

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.

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two widely different sources.

Flavia de Luce is an 11-year-old English girl who’s family has many secrets. She is also an unlikely sleuth, solving many murders through 10 books by Alan Bradley. The GoodReads website describes her thusly: A “Precocious, motherless 11-year old fascinated with chemistry and death, bicycles around Bishop’s Lacey from ancient country house Buckshaw in 1950s England.” The few servants at the house have secret strengths, but the cook does not have cooking in her repetoire. All she serves for breakfast is a horrid porridge which Flavia loathes. She would like this better, I’m sure.

10-Grain Cereal: 143 calories 0.8 g fat 4.3 g fiber 8 g protein 28 g carbs [22 g Complex] NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB This is one of our favorite breakfasts – even on a Slow Day! 

3 Tbsp uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal   ¼ cup low-fat milk + 1/3 cup water  Toppings: 2 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen + 2 Tbsp milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

If preparing the night before: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Next morning: Heat the cereal in the microwave for about a minute, then top with berries and milk.  If preparing in the morning: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into the bowl and top with berries and milk.

Easy Rawlins is a detective created by Walter Mosley. De-mobbed after the 2nd World War, Rawlins gets into detective work without wishing to but finds that the work suits him. His life and experiences are real and sometimes his decisions are unsettling, all of which make him very human. The author decided on the character after hearing his father’s stories of his life as a veteran in segregated America. Easy Rawlins books are not known for talk about food, but I’m am captivated by this Mosley anecdote about his father: “….like the time he decided to eat at an all-white cafe in the late 1940s. Making it as far as the counter, he ordered a tuna melt. “That sandwich tasted like freedom,” he told me. But suddenly the white man sitting next to him dropped dead. “I realized right then and there that, freedom aside, no man, no matter who he is, can escape his death.” Here is a Fast Day tuna melt and I hope that everyone who eats it will feel and be free.

Tuna Melt: 309 calories 18.5 g fat 2.9 g fiber 33.1 g protein 24.6 g carbs 300.5 mg Calcium PB GF – if using gf bread  This is the All-American classic sandwich, open-faced and delicious.

1 slice 70-calorie multi-grain bread [I like Dave’s Good Seed] ½ of a 5-oz can of water-pack tuna, drained 1 Tbsp onion, finely chopped 1 Tbsp celery, finely chopped 1 pinch celery seed + salt + pepper 1 and ½ tsp low fat or ‘made with olive oil’ commercial mayonnaise OR BÉCHAMEL Sauce without cheese 1 slice Swiss cheese, the deli kind ½ cup romaine lettuce, shredded 1 oz tomato, cubed ½ tsp lemon juice & ½ tsp olive oil

Combine the tuna, onion, celery, celery seed, and mayo/Bechamel as you would for tuna salad. Toast the bread. Spread the tuna mixture over the bread and top it with the cheese. Toast or broil until cheese is melting. In a wide bowl, whisk the oil and lemon juice. Toss the lettuce and tomato with the dressing and relax while you dine.

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

1 two-oz egg + tomatoNext week, I will discuss the
uncured baconrole of fiber in the diet
70-calorie whole-grain bread
large lettuce leaf + cherries
Optional smoothieFind a new favorite breakfast
optional hot beverage from the Archive.

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

eggplant + spinach leaves + pasta Next week, I will discuss
egg yolk + garlic + onion + breadthe role of fiber in the diet
Parmesan cheese + whole canned tomatoes
white whole wheat flourFind a new favorite dinner
Sparkling water from the Archive.

…not by bread…

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.

As it is my habit to link a new post to recipes in an older post, imagine my dismay when I discovered that the ‘Not by Bread’ post [from February 2018] had disappeared into the ether! Here I have resurrected it, as best I could, for your use.

The Good Book says that “Man shall not live by bread alone.” [Matthew 4, verse 4] Most people on a diet of any sort start by cutting down on bread and some diets cut it out altogether. With the Fast Diet, entire food groups are not eliminated: on a Fast Day, they might be minimized; on a Slow Day, they are fine to eat in moderation. Here are a few ‘breads’ that I use on Fast Days as part of a meal. You will notice that I usually use ‘white whole wheat’ flour instead of just plain white. The former is higher in fiber and slightly lower in calories, which makes it a better choice for a Fast Day.

BANNOCK:  each 2” bannock = 16 calories 0.5 g fat 0.2 g fiber 0.4 g protein 2.2 g carbs 4.2 mg Calcium  Bannock is part of the diet of the Scots, the way Soda Bread is to the Irish. This recipe makes the full batch, which yields 3 cups of dry mix. The dry mix keeps well in a sealed glass jar in a cool dry place. Splendid for breakfast [ex: Bannock & Bacon] or with a soup. NB: 1-½ cup of dry mix makes 16 [sixteen] 2” bannocks 

Bannock & Bacon with applesauce = an excellent start to the day.

1 cup flour ½ cup white whole wheat flour 1 cup rolled oats, called ‘old fashioned’ in the US, as opposed to ‘instant’ 4 Tbsp butter at room temperature or cold 1.5 Tbsp sugar + pinch of salt + 1 Tbsp baking powder

To prepare the dry mix: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until well-incorporated. Measure out the amount you need into a bowl, and put the remaining dry mix into a jar for storage. To prepare the dough: Add milk a little bit at a time to the bowl of mix and stir with a fork. Add a little more milk until a stiff dough ball is formed. Roll out on a lightly-floured board until 1/3” thick. Cut out with a 2” round cutter. Gather the scraps together, reroll, and continue to cut out the rounds. Bake on a lightly-greased baking sheet at 400 F. for 10-12 minutes.

DUMPLINGeach = 70 calories 0.2 g fat 2.6 g fiber 3.0 g protein 23 g carbs 130 mg Calcium This savory dumpling is the type you cook over a stew, such as Chicken Fricasse. It comes from Fannie Farmer. HINT: makes 2, but the recipe can be easily increased.

Chicken Fricassee with Dumplings is one of our favorites.

5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2/3 tsp baking powder pinch salt + pinch sugar + spices or herbs 2 Tbsp/1 fl. oz milk 

Combine all the dry ingredients, then stir in the milk. The batter should be stiff but not dry. [add a little stew broth or water if needed] Bring your stew to a simmer. Spoon the batter onto the stew so that the batter is on not in the liquid: the dumpling should steam not poach. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, then cover and cook another 10 minutes.

PAN MUFFIN  each: 71 calories 2.5 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10.8 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium These are a dandy little bread to add to a breakfast plate. You will see them in Roman Breakfast, and Cottage Breakfast with egg.

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix   
1-¼ cup buttermilk/soured milk
Combine cereal and milk in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, while preparing other ingredients.  
1/3 cup butter   1/3 cup sugar 1 two ounce egg Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg. 
1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. 
2 Tbsp batter for each pan muffinPortion the batter onto a hot griddle or flat-bottomed pan spritzed with non-stick spray. Cook on both sides.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING:  ¼ cup = 77 calories 0.7 g fat 0.6 g fiber 4 g protein 17 g carbs 25 mg Calcium 1/3 cup = 107 calories 1 g fat 0.8 g fiber 5 g protein 23 g carbs 35.6 mg Calcium On a Fast Day, Yorkshire Pudding and its sister, the Popover, are a delightful addition to a meal. On a Slow Day, this treat is still permissible in meals such as Toad in the Hole and Kippered Yorkshire Pudding.

Here are mini Toad in the Hole for breakfast near Christmas.

one 2-oz egg ½ cup white whole wheat flour 1/2 cup unbleached white flour ½ tsp salt ½ cup water + ½ cup fat-free milk

Mix all the ingredients together and let the batter stand at room temp for 30-60 minutes or in ‘fridge overnight. You will need ¼ cup to 1/3 cup of the batter per person. HINT: The remainder can be frozen in 1 cup or 1/3 cup batches for future meals. When it is time to use the batter, beat it with a rotary beater until it is frothy.

The Van Gogh Affair

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 adom1479 who is now Following.

On 27 July, 1890, Vincent van Gogh turned up at the inn where he stayed with a gun shot wound in his torso. Two days later, he died. Right away, even before a cursory investigation by the police in Auvers-sur-Oise, everyone proclaimed it to be a suicide. After all, the Dutch-born painter had seen a life-time of disappointments that sent him into deep bouts of depression… Like the time he threw his heart and soul into being an evangelical preacher to the poor in a Belgian mining town, only to be dismissed by the bishop for having given all his money to the poor and no longer looking distinguished enough to be a pastor. Or the time it took him two years to get over a broken heart. Wasn’t he more than a little crazy? Hadn’t he attacked his friend Gauguin with a knife and then cut off his own ear? Case closed on the death of an odd-ball artist who liked to paint things that were yellow. OR NOT! In 2014, a journalistic investigation sure made it look as if van Gogh’s death was not suicide, but either a prank gone wrong, if not murder. Does a man at the height of his artistic powers, who has placed an order for paints and canvasses kill himself? Does a right-handed man shoot himself in his left side? Read about it and draw your own conclusion. At any rate, 130 years ago a revolutionary artist died too soon. Poor Vincent, “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you,” wrote Don McLean.

In honor of the scenes of van Gogh’s life, we will enjoy a breakfast made with galettes/crepes from Brittany and ratatouille from sunny Provence, both places where he painted. For dinner, a soup that features potatoes and sauerkraut — foods that would have been familiar to the Belgian family depicted in The Potato Eaters, the first van Gogh work I knew as a child.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  A perfect blend of the cuisines of Northern and Southern France.

1 crepe/galette   one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables, drain and reserve excess liquids ½ oz fresh mushrooms  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]

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids. Use the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe and top it all with the egg. Eat with your hands or use a fork.

Jota: 169 calories  4.5 g fat 7.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 25.7 g carbs [all Complex] 83.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The flavors of Africa and and the mediterranean meet in this bean stew. Very satisfying. HINT: This recipe is enough for 4 [four] 1-cup servings.

Here, the Jota is served with spinach leaves.

1-½ cups sauerkraut, drained 1-½ cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed bay leaf 4 oz red potatoes, cooked and diced 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 oz smoked ham hock, cubed ½ cup or more vegetable broth or water   Optional*: 1 clove garlic, crushed + 1 tsp flour + 1 tsp oil Optional**: raw leaves of baby spinach

Spray a heavy sauce pan with non-stick spray and cook the garlic until golden brown. Add the sauerkraut to the pan with the broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. In another pan, heat the beans with the bay leaf until warm. Remove half of the beans and put them in a food processor with the cooked garlic and half of the potatoes. Puree, adding water/broth to adjust the liquids. Add the puree, uncrushed beans, potatoes, and meat to the pan with the sauerkraut. Taste for seasonings. Add some water/broth to bring the volume to 4 cups. *Optional: Simmer a garlic clove in 1 tsp oil until brown. Remove garlic and whisk in 1 tsp flour, then add some stock to make a roux. Stir into the stew as a thickener. **Optional: When the soup is in the bowl, tear the spinach leaves into bits and poke them into the hot liquid to add some extra color, texture, vitamins.

Omelette

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.

Omelettes [or omelets] are found in many cuisines. Surely, as long as people have had eggs and a pan to cook them in, they have been eating omelettes. The ancient Persians had their Kuku, which sounds rather like the ‘bakes’ we have on Mondays. Cookbooks in France mention ‘alumete’ in 1393, long before Mere Poulard. India eats its Pora. Canton, China enjoys eggs fu yung, and Japan serves tamagoyaki. The Spanish omelette [they call it a ‘tortilla’], which is cooked on both sides in a pan, seems to have caught on in 1798; while the Italian frittata, pan-cooked then baked, lacks an origin story. Louis XV of France whipped up a dinner of omelettes for his friends — weren’t they surprised! Whether king or commoner, the omelette is a fine meal. Whether Faster or feaster, omelettes provide flavor, nutrition, protein, and calcium in a low-calorie form.

There are omelettes for breakfast and dinner and dessert. Just about every Thursday, as you have seen, we enjoy an omelette for our Fast breakfast. Of late, since the hens are laying well, we have sampled the joys of dinner eggs: Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian. Here are some examples:

Guacamole Eggs:  145 calories 11.4 g fat 1g fiber 11 g protein 5 g carbs [45. g Complex] 45 mg Calcium   PB GF  Avocado and eggs are a very good combination. Both are high in fat, but the plant fat helps to mitigate effects of the animal fat. Here, we use Haas avocados.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person 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.  3 Tbsp Guacomole, homemade** or purchased  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

**Guacamole: makes 1 cup  1 jalepeno pepper, sliced. Remove the seeds if you wish it less hot. 1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh 1-1/2 avocados 1/3 cup minced onion ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves salt lime juice, and hot pepper flakes to taste Peel, seed, and mash the avocados. Stir in the other ingredients and mash again or run through the food processor.

Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour them into a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Cook, without stirring or scrambling, until the top is almost set. Spread the guacamole on half of the eggs, then fold the omelette over. Serve with optional beverages. Mocha coffee would be the more traditional choice for a Mexican food theme.

Omelette Basque:  274 calories 14.8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 16.7 g protein 20 g carbs [14 g Complex] 69.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread A savory omelette is a wonderful dinner, any day of the week. Susan Herrmann Loomas’ French Farmhouse Cooking is the source of this delicious meal.  HINT: serves two [2].

4 two-oz eggs 8 oz Italian bell peppers, green +/or red, cut in 1”x2” pieces 1 tsp olive oil ground espelette or Aleppo pepper or smokey paprika   per serving: one side salad with tomato   per serving: 0.8 oz whole-wheat sourdough bread

Cut the peppers as described above. Heat the oil in a 10-12” saute pan along with some healthy sprays of non-stick spray. When the oil is hot, add the peppers and cook, tossing them to turn to the other sides, until they have blackened parts. Lightly salt and pepper the peppers. Remove and separate into two portions. Whisk the eggs. Divide the eggs into two equal portions and add a pinch of espelette or Aleppo pepper to each batch. Put the pan back on the heat and add one portion of the peppers. Arrange them so that they are evenly distributed on the pan. When the pan is sizzling, add one portion of the eggs to the pan. Tilt the pan around so the eggs flow over the bottom and around the peppers. As the sides cook, lift the edge and let uncooked egg go to the bottom of the pan. Lightly salt and pepper the eggs. As the top just sets, remove the pan from the heat. Lift up one-third of the omelette and fold it over the rest. Fold the other side over the center, too, and ease the omelette onto a plate. Cook the other omelette right away. Plate with the salad and the bread. Everything you want in a dinner: delicious, quick, healthy.

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

1 two-oz eggBob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal 
mushroomslow-fat milk
galettes/crepesblueberries
Mediterranean Vegetables
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Smoke ham hock70-calorie multi-grain bread
sauerkraut + garlictuna + onion + celery + tomato
canned red beanscelery seed + Swiss cheese
red potatoes [raw spinach]reduced-fat mayonnaise or Béchamel
Sparkling waterside salad + Sparkling water

Saint Wilgefort

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 Athletic & Fit who is now Following.

Did you ever hear of Saint Wilgefort? Perhaps by her nickname: Saint Uncumber? No? Well, don’t feel bad, because this saint never existed. She was the creation of active minds seeking the answer to a question and she is the result of an hilarious mix-up of cultures. The Christian Church of the West shows Christ on the cross mostly unclothed, to reveal the gruesome details of his death. The Eastern Church prefers to depict the crucified Christ fully clothed, in the garb of a church leader [as seen in the Holy Face of Lucca]. When images of the Eastern crucifix spread into Northern Europe with missionaries, the non-Christian population, seeing the priestly robes as women’s garb, began to wonder: Why has a woman been killed like that? Why does she have a beard??? Imaginations ran rampant and a plausible explanation emerged, and here is the story: “This was the image of Saint Wilgefort [from the latin for Virgin who is Strong]. She had been the pretty, pliant daughter of a pagan family, but she secretly became a Christian. Her father told her to marry the man of his choosing, which she did not want to do. Wilgefort was going to be forced to marry, so she prayed to heaven to make her look repulsive and thus the wedding would be canceled. Behold! When she awoke on her wedding day, she had grown a full beard! Her prospective groom called off the ceremony and her father demanded an explanation. Hoping to show how strong her faith was, she told him everything. Her father, furious, said if she liked Christians so much, she could die like one and had her crucified.” This idea spread through Europe, popular with young women who wanted to marry for love, and with married women who wanted to get rid of a brute of a spouse. These women wished to ‘uncumber’ themselves of their unwanted men, and now they had a patron saint for that. Believe it or not, there are statues to her in churches and her image was widely distributed in the 1400s, before her following was stamped out by authorities.

July 20 is the feast day of Saint Wilgefort. Since the name ‘Saint Uncumber’ makes me think of cucumbers, both of our meals today will feature that vegetable. You will enjoy these whether you have a beard or not.

Cucumber-Smoked Salmon Sandwich:  143 calories 3.3 g fat 3.7g fiber 10 g protein 18 g carbs 75.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffeePB GF – if using GF bread  Such a simple and delicious way to start your day!

1 slice 70-calorie whole grain bread [Dave’s Killer Bread is perfect] 1 Tbsp cottage cheese + 1-½ teaspoons chives, chopped 1 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced ¼ cup [4 slices?] Swedish Cucumber Salad** 1 oz strawberries

Lightly toast the bread. Cream the cottage cheese and chives together with some grindings of fresh black pepper. Spread the cheese mixture on the bread. Place the salmon on top, then the cucumber slices on top of that. Serve with the sweet, fresh berries. Wonderful.

Tuna Cucumber Boat: 226 calories 9.4 g fat 5.6 g fiber 17.4 g protein 21 g carbs 69 mg Calcium  PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.

2 oz cooked or canned tuna one 8 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one person  ¼ cup scallions  + 2 Tbsp celery, minced ¾ oz avocado  +  1-½ tsp mayonnaise     ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]  

Slice the scallion finely and put it in a medium-sized bowlBreak up the tuna and combine with the scallion.  Mash the avocado with the mayonnaise. Mince the celery. Stir them all into the tuna. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a melon-baller. Mound the tuna mixture [heaping half-cup] into the cucumber boat and plate with the 4-bean salad.

Slow Days: Hake with Green Sauce

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 you 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.

In April, disappointed that our trip to France was canceled, we decided that if we couldn’t be in Gascony, we could eat as if we were in Gascony. After scouring our cookbooks, we chose recipes for dinner, and sometime breakfast, that would be typical of where we would have been on a particular date. Thus we “dined out” in the restaurants of our imaginations. One of the earliest meals was named Hake in Green Sauce. There is no sauce. “Green Sauce” is a centuries-old term for vegetables served on or with the protein of the meal. In Spanish, the term is ‘salsa verde,’ which we today think of as a mild-hot condiment in a jar. The recipe, called “Merluza, Salsa Verde,” is found in Anne Willan’s French Regional Cooking.

The ingredients you see pictured are enough for two people.

Hake, new potatoes [our’s were multi-colored], garlic, oil, crushed red pepper, peas and asparagus comprise the ingredients. The potatoes are simmered in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drained. The peas are cooked until just tender, then shocked in cold water and drained. Same for the asparagus. The hake is seasoned, then dredged lightly in flour. Brown the hake in an oil-coated pan until lightly brown on both sides, but not cooked through. Arrange the dish in an oven-safe dish [I used the tart pan you see in the above photo] and sprinkle with the hot pepper flakes and chopped garlic. Put the potatoes around the edges of the fish, then put the vegetables on top. Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup water into the dish, cover it, and bake at 375F/190C for 15-20 minutes, when the fish will be tender.

This is really good — I ate the whole thing!

Guiseppe Piazzi

On January 1, 1801, Guiseppe Piazzi looked through his telescope in the mountains above Palermo, Sicily. He hoped that the first day of a new century would be an auspicious one — that he might find a new planet in the solar system and re-establish Italy as a powerhouse of astronomy. All astronomers knew that there was an extra-large distance between Mars and Jupiter, and Piazzi was sure that there was a planet lurking in that gap. Lo! He found a bright object orbiting the sun and he named it ‘Ceres,’ after Sicily’s patron goddess of the harvest. He had found a new planet!! Other astronomers, hoping to observe it, looked in the same area and found another object there, and then another, and another — astronomers were seeing new planets left and right and they realized that something was wrong. This lead to a consensus over the definition of ‘planet.’ To the ancient Greeks, ‘planet’ meant ‘wanderer:’ those bodies that moved back-ward then forward in their trip across the night sky. But by the early 1800s, ‘planet’ meant a body that orbits the sun and doesn’t have other planets very near to it. Thus Piazzi’s discovery was not a planet, and it was named an ‘asteroid.’ Ceres is the largest of all the bodies in the Asteroid Belt which lies between Mars and Jupiter. He didn’t find a new planet, but he made a name for himself and added to our knowledge of the structure of the Solar System. When the category “dwarf planet” was created, Ceres was given that status.

In honor of Guiseppe Piazzi’s birthday on July 16, we will enjoy a Sicilian Omelette in the morning. Capri is almost due North of Palermo across the Tyrrhennian Sea. Our dinner comes from there. Dine out under the stars.

Sicilian ScrOmelette: 157 calories 11 g fat 0.5 g fiber 13 g protein 2 g carbs 129 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF  A protein-packed salad meets eggs for breakfast. This is based on our Sicilian Shepherd’s Salad which we enjoy for dinner.

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.  ¼ oz salami sausage ¼ oz mozzerella 2 Tbsp chopped wild greens [ex: dandelion, wild sorrel] or arugula Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Chop the sausage, the cheese, and the greens, and combine them gently. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, then pour into the heated pan. As the eggs set, sprinkle the sausage mixture over the eggs. Scramble or fold as an omelette and enjoy with the beverages

Caprese Chicken: 289 calories 15 g fat 2.5 g fiber 35.6 g protein 6.3 g carbs 140 mg Calcium  PB GF ‘Caprese’ means ‘from Capri,’ the fabled island off the West coast of Italy. In cooking, it often means the use of fresh mozzerella, basil, and tomatoes, as in this recipe. HINT: This recipe serves two [2]. The amounts can be cut in half for one person.

The pasta on the side is how to serve it on a Slow Day, or for a non-Fasting guest.
8-oz chicken breast Kosher salt + pepper Bone and skin the chicken and pat it dry. Remove the tenderloin and save for another use. Hold the meat flat on the cutting board with your hand flat. Cut it lengthwise parallel to the cutting board, so you have two, equal, thin pieces. Pound the meat to make as thin a filet as you can. Season on both sides .
2 oz mozzerella, sliced 2 oz sliced tomatoes 6-8 basil leaves Place cheese, tomato + basil on each filet. Fold the filet over to enclose the filling. You might need to hold it closed with a toothpick/skewer or tie with kitchen twine. TIP: Filet can be prepped to this point, covered + kept cool up to 24 hrs
Non-stick cooking spray 1-½ tsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, sliced  Heat oil + non-stick spray in a 10-12” nonstick pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove garlic and reserve it, leaving oil in the pan.
Sauté meat bundles until golden on the bottom, about 46 mins. If the meat darkens too fast, lower heat. Flip + cook for 45 minutes. Cover + cook 2 to 3 mins more, until chicken is cooked and filling is hot.
2 tsp Pesto basil leaves 3 oz asparagus per person Cook asparagus. Transfer chicken to the plates. Add pesto to pan juices and whisk. Pour pan juices over the chicken. Garnish with cooked garlic and basil leaves. Serve asparagus on the side.

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

70-calorie whole grain bread1.5 two-oz eggs 
cottage cheese + chivesguacamole
smoked salmon + cucumber
white wine vinegar + dill + sugar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

tuna, fresh or cannedeggs + olive oil
cucumber + avocadobell pepper
4-bean saladwhole-wheat sourdough bread
scallion + celeryside salad
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Alexander III

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 arun ard who is now Following.

Thomas the Rhymer [1220-1298], a poet and sooth-sayer, whom some said had lived with and gained wisdom from the Faery Folk, was flippantly asked by Lord Patrick Dunbar what the weather would be the next day. Thomas answered that on the next day a strong wind would shake the kingdom of Scotland. When the next day was fair and mild, the nobleman scoffed, saying that Thomas was no prophet. Then it was learned that King Alexander III [1249-1286] had died in a riding accident. The wind that shook the kingdom was the lack of an heir for Alexander’s line, leaving the country without a strong leader. Crowned on July 13, 1249 at age 21, Alexander had been a good king, dealing shrewdly with the English and ousting the Norsemen from the Western Isles, uniting Scotland. After his death, arguments broke out among 13 families, each vying for the crown making Scotland weaker as England grew stronger. War with England followed, with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce trying to unify the kingdom. Eventually, England won and kept its thumb on Scotland for centuries. A strong wind indeed.

The tattie scone is a typical item on the Scottish table, although not in Alexander’s time, since potatoes were introduced into Scotland in the 1600s. Our dinner selection is very true to his time, as every ingredient was eaten in that era — the smoked haddock came in with the Vikings; the cheese and spices from the import trade; the cabbage from the kitchen garden, and the Béchamel Sauce nods to the strong historical connection between Scotland and France.

Tattie Scone with Egg: 145 calories 5 g fat 2.6 g fiber 8.7 g protein 18.4 g carbs 87 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB  Tattie Scones have been part of a Scottish Breakfast ever since potatoes were considered fit to eat. Easy to make with left-over boiled potatoes.

One 2-oz egg 1 tattie scone*** 2 oz pear  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]

***TATTIE SCONES  makes 3, each at 43 calories 1 Tbsp egg white ½ cup mashed potatoes, no milk, no butter 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp milk ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp baking powder Combine all ingredients so that it looks like thin Cream of Wheat.  Measure ¼ cup portions and pour into a heavy skillet which has  been well-seasoned or spitzed with non-stick spray. Spread out  the batter to about 4.5” diameter. Cook slowly on one side until  the scones are cohesive enough to turn over. Cook on the other side. Cool and store until you need them.

Prepare the Tattie Scone [HINT: Do this the night before and cook them, too.] and keep warm or re-warm. Fry the egg to your liking. Prepare the fruit and beverages. Plate the scone, top with the egg. Plate the fruit and pour the beverages. Almost instant, if you made the scone beforehand.

Finnen Haddie & Cabbage:  287 calories 12 g fat 6.7 g fiber 25.7 g protein 18 g carbs 250 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF flour in the Bechamel  The flavor of smoked haddock is so marvelous that it elevates the humble cabbage to new heights.

3 cups sliced cabbbage and/or kale 1/3 cup [100 ml] Bechamel sauce, without cheese   nutmeg 2.5 oz finnen haddie [smoked haddock], skin removed ½ oz Brie or Camembert cheese, chopped

Cook the cabbage, covered, in boiling water for around 10 minutes. Drain, saving some of the water. [use remaining water for baking] Place the Bechamel, 2-3 Tbsp of the cabbage water, and the finnen haddie in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the fish and break into pieces less than an inch in size. Add the cooked cabbage to the sauce with a sprinkle of nutmeg, and stir until well-combined. Add the fish and turn into an oven-safe dish. Strew the cheese bits on top and bake at 375 F for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sigh. Delicious.