Saint George

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                             Welcome to Lick My Spatula who is now Following.

Saint George and the Dragon — now there’s an iconic image: The noble knight rescues the fair princess by killing the dragon.  Sigh. So romantic.  The real Saint George was born to Greek parents who were Christians in the 3rd century AD.  He joined the army and soon attained high rank and favor with the emperor. This did not do any good when Emperor Diocletian decided that all Christians had to be purged from the army.  George voluntarily declared that he was a Christian and maintained his faith despite the emperor’s efforts to bribe him to change his mind. His example is considered heroic since a horrible death was his fate. Where does the dragon come in???  Some say the dragon represents an evil local king, subdued by George and his soldiers.  Some say the dragon was an actual crocodile to which the locals were going to offer a princess [after daily sheep were not enough].  Some say the dragon represents internal struggles of faith and ethics.  What is your dragon? Do you want to lose weight but fear you won’t succeed?  The Fast Diet is here for you.  Today’s breakfast has the Greek component of St George’s life: the classic flavors of moussaka.  The dinner represents England, a country which has embraced the legend of St George as part of its national mythology. What is more English than Steak & Mushroom Pie?

Moussaka Bake:  277 calories   8.6 g fat   2.8 g fiber   15 g protein   35 g carbs   216 mg Calcium PB GF      The lamb, the eggplant, the feta – what’s not to like about this delicious Greek combination?Moussaka Bake w: melon

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                 1 Tbsp moussaka sauce**    HINT: Prepare days before and refrigerate.                                                       1/8 oz feta cheese, diced or crumbled                                                                                                               2 tsp parsley, chopped                                                                                                                                              2 oz melon                                                                                                                                                         nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                          6 oz green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                              

 **Moussaka Sauce     [makes 3 cups]                                                                                                                                              1 pound eggplant, skinned and cubed               1 pound ground lamb                                                                                            1/4 cup chopped onions        1/2 tsp cinnamon                                                                                                   1 cup Marinara Sauce [see Saucy Dec. 6, 2018 for recipe]                                                                     Cook the lamb  in a little water, it will give off its own fat.                                                                  Drain the fat from the lamb and run the meat under hot water to remove more.                        Cook eggplant and onions until onions are translucent.                                                                       Add marinara sauce and cinnamon and cook until eggplant is soft.                                                Run through a food processor, then add the meat.                                                                                       Use to prepare a Moussaka Casserole or put on pasta.

Spritz a ramekin [for 2 people, my husband prefers to use a 4×6” oval casserole] with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350 degrees. Stir the cheese, parsley, and sauce together then whisk in the egg. Pour into prepared baking dishes and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the hot beverage and the smoothie. Plate the bake with the melon and savor the moment.

Steak & Mushroom Pie:  277 calories  4.8 g fat  6.9 g fiber  27 g protein  25.6 g carbs  34 mg Calcium    Two very compatible flavors together again, topped [not encased] in puff pastry. Similar to a meal enjoyed at The Sign of the Angel in Lacock, Wiltshire, England. A real treat. HINT: recipe serves 2 [TWO], photo shows one serving.Steak & Mushroom Pie

4 oz grilled sirloin steak [leftover from a previous meal?]                                                                       1.5 cups mushrooms                                                                                                                                               1 Tbsp red wine                                                                                                                                                                                      ¼ cup creamed onions                                                                                                                                            ½ tsp thyme + salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                 1/6 sheet puff pastry [Pepperidge Farm, frozen sheets are easy to find and use]                               per person: 1/3 cup peas

Thaw the frozen puff pastry for 40 minutes on the counter. Rewrap and return one sheet to freezer. Remove one of the sheets, unroll it carefully, and cut the sheet into 6 squares. [TIP: stack the remaining 5 pieces with waxed paper or cling wrap between the layers. Pop into a zipper bag and freeze for later use.] Cut the steak into 1/2”-1” cubes. Combine the meat with the mushrooms, wine, onions, seasonings in an oven-proof dish just large enough to hold the meat mixture yet large enough to be topped with the puff pastry. Heat the meat mixture until it is warm. Lay the puff pastry on top, decoratively slitting the crust. Bake at 400 F. about 15 minutes, until the crust is well-browned. Cook the peas and imagine that you are in an English country restaurant.

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