Floralia

The ancient Romans threw a 5 day festival in honor of Flora, the goddess of flowers and Spring.  In southern France, towns celebrate in early May with floral displays and parades of flower-bedecked floats. I like to recognize the season with meals based on flowers, fruits, and vegetables. We can celebrate Flora and the Fasting Lifestyle.  Put some fresh flowers on the table, use the flowered napkins, and eat your way to better health.

Ratatouille Eggs     292 cal       PB    [GF if you use GF bread]Ratatouille Egg-toast

1 piece 70-cal multi-grain bread [I use Nature’s Own]                                                                            one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables [see Saint Swithen’s Day from July 15, 2015]                                                                                    5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider                                         blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Toast the bread. Warm the vegetables briefly and spoon onto the toast. Fry the egg using a non-stick or cast iron pan and put the egg on top of the vegetables on the toast. Pour the beverages and you have a fine breakfast as well as a head-start on your 5 servings of vegetables for the day.

Shad with Chickpea Ragout    297 calories        13 g fat       7.5 g fiber       20 g protein    26.5 g carbs       62.7 mg Calcium      PB GF                                                                                                                                                    Shad fish used to be a highly-anticipated event of Spring. They ran up-river from the sea, heralded by the blooming of the Shad Bush [genus: Amelancher]and were devoured for their flesh and roe. Now much more rare, their flesh is still delicious and full of Omega 3. The chickpea ragout is from Jacques Pepin and could be a meal in itself.Shad w: chickpea ragout

Chickpea Ragout         nb: entire batch has 484 calories, so break into portions      PB  GF  divided in 2: 242 calories 4.8 g fat 10.7 g fiber 11.7 g protein 40.3 g carbs 51.3 mg Calcium divided in 4: 121 calories 2.8 g fat 5.3 g fiber 5.8 g protein 20 g carbs  26 mg Calcium   HINT: If you aren’t serving 4 people, freeze the remainder in single serving portions.

This is from Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. Of course he doesn’t mean my kind of ‘Fast Food,’ but Pepin has long been a proponent of healthy cooking. He presents this as a side dish, which for our purposes is best prepared with seafood or another protein source. If you want to eat it on its own, top it with some cheese.                                                                                     ½ tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                          ½ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                              ½ cup scallions, chopped                                                                                                                                       1 Tbsp garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                          2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, drained                                                                                         1 and ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned                                                                                 ½ cup chicken stock                                                                                                                                                   ½ tsp salt  &  ½ tsp pepper

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onion, scallion and garlic. Stir briefly over the heat then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken stock,  salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until liquids are mostly evaporated. If using now, separate out your portion and keep warm. Cool the remaining ragout and freeze it in serving portions.

2 oz shad, boned                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp salsa verde I like Herdez brand: lots of flavor, next-to-no calories                                              2/3 cup chickpea ragout                                                                                                                                         3 oz snow peas

Put the shad in a small oven-proof dish and spoon the salsa verde on top. Turn the fish to coat on both sides. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. String the snow peas and steam or boil until tender-crisp. Warm the chickpea ragout [in microwave, if using ragout made before] and plate it all. So-o-o-o easy!

NB: Can’t find shad? You could substitute 4 oz of swordfish or halibut or smelts or 3 oz salmon

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