Christmas Eve

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.

Just today I was asked if I would be Fasting this week of Christmas. Well, I’ll admit that I’m glad that Christmas will be on a Friday, not Thursday. Fasting can occur as usual on a special day with a little thought. plan A: If you know you must go for the whole Feast for dinner,  have a regular Fast Day until then: a 300 calorie breakfast, no lunch, lots of water, and be sensible in eating at dinner.  plan B: French toast for breakfast and seafood chowder for dinner. The chowder [first posted November 25, 2015] is what we eat on Christmas Eve every year — delicious, out of the freezer [if you made a batch before Thanksgiving in November], and something that you look forward to, instead of feeling deprived.

French Toast    300 caloriesChristmas Tree French Toast

HINT: This recipe makes 4 [four] slices of French Toast. Prepare all 4, but put the other 2 in a bag in the freezer for a really fast breakfast later.                                                                                                         4 slices 70-cal whole grain bread, with a Christmas Tree cut-out                             one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp fat-free milk                                                                                                                  2 oz strawberries, fresh or unsweetened frozen                                                                   1 and 1/2 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                         one 60-cal sausage — I like Al Fresco brand sage breakfast links                         nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                      green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

THE NIGHT BEFORE: Whisk the egg and milk together. Cut the pieces of bread into Christmas Tree shapes, using a cookie cutter. [This step is important for the calorie count to come out right, so don’t skip it even if it seems too much like ‘crafty food.’  Feed the remaining bread to the birds or save for preparing Stuffed Clams, [Aug. 9 , 2015] Put the tree-shaped bread into a rimmed pan which is just big enough for the 4 bread pieces. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread, making sure it is all wetted. Let stand OVERNIGHT. Also combine the strawberries and syrup in a microwave-safe bowl.

The next morning, cook the batter-soaked bread in a hot non-stick pan with a spritz of non-stick spray. Cook until browned on both sides. Cook the sausage, too. Mash the berries a bit and add the maple syrup.   Warm the mixture a little and smear onto the plated toast. Enjoy with the sausage, hot beverage of choice, and green smoothie.

Seafood Chowder   275 calories  11 g. fat  15 g protein   16 g carb  GF This makes 10 one-cup servings. It freezes nicely, but it is great fresh! My husband found the recipe in Yankee magazine. He prepares this every year. It is wonderful. The directions look long and involved but the results are worth it.Seafood chowder on Wedgewood tile

4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced                                                                                     1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced                                                                                   1 pound baking potatoes, peeled + cut in ½” cubes                                              2 pounds steamer clams in their shells                                                                            one lobster, 1 and ½ pounds                                                                                                                                1 pound scallops                                                                                                                            1 pound shrimp, peeled                                                                                                                                      1 quart whole milk                                                                                                                   4 Tbsp butter                                                                                                                                   2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped                                                                                         ¼ tsp paprika plus salt + pepper to taste

In a medium skillet or saute pan cook the diced bacon until brown and crisp. Remove bacon and reserve. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat and add the onions. Cook slowly over low heat, stirring, until translucent [10 mins?]. Set aside with the bacon in a large bowl.

In a separate saucepan, cover cubed potatoes with salted water and boil until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and add to the bacon/onions.

Put clams in a large pot and add 1 quart water. Heat to boiling, cover, and cook until clams open, about 3 minutes. Remove the clams but leave the liquid in the pot. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with paper towel. Remove the clams from their shells and cut them into smaller pieces if necessary. Add to the potatoes, onion, and bacon.

Put the strained clam broth back into the empty pot and bring to a boil. Add the lobster head-first into the boiling broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lobster and let cool. Crack the shell to remove the meat. Cut the meat into 1/2” chunks and add to the previous ingredients.

Heat the broth until boiling. Add the scallops and shrimp. Reduce heat to low. Simmer about 3 minutes, until the scallops + shrimp are just cooked through.

Add all the previously cooked ingredients, along with the milk, butter, parsley and seasonings. Heat until steaming but not boiling.

Cover and cool. Let the pot sit in the ‘fridge or on a cool back porch for 12-24 hours. This really enhances the flavors. When ready to serve, heat to steaming hot but do not boil. Freeze what is left over in freezer containers which are the same size as a serving.

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