Rick’s Cafe

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.

In the dark days of WW2, Churchill and FDR needed a place to meet. News blackouts forbade revealing the location, but one clever radio reporter began his story by saying, “I was over at Rick’s Cafe the other night…”  And everyone knew that he was in Casablanca. Such was the power of the popular movie of that name which was released November 26, 1942.  Bogie, as cynical night-club owner Rick Blaine, and Ingrid Bergman, as resistance-fighter Ilsa Lund, were the star-crossed lovers of the tale, with Dooley Wilson singing “As Time Goes By” in the background. The plot follows several memorable characters and a classic love triangle.  Who is not stirred by the scene where they sing the Marseillaise to counter the Nazis? Who is not in tears during the airport scene?

Our menu today will echo the plot of the movie.  We’ll have a breakfast right out of a Parisian charcuterie, because Rick and Ilsa fell in love there and because “We’ll always have Paris.” And since the entire movie revolves around people trying to evacuate to Lisbon, our dinner will feature Portuguese Fish & Chips in honor of Ilsa and Victor’s escape.

Charcuterie Bake:   278 calories  10 g fat  3.2 g fiber  17 g protein  37 g carbs  198 mg Calcium GF  One Sunday, we invited friends over for what we call a “French Lunch” – bread, sausage, cheese, fruit, wine, and good fellowship. My Dear Husband thought, “I know what breakfast will be.” And he was correct: left-overs reborn as breakfast.Charcuterie Bake w: pears

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                            1/2 oz chorizo sausage                                                                                                                                          ½ Tbsp chèvre cheese, the creamy type                                                                                                             ¼ tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                                                large pinch Herbes de Province                                                                                                                         1-1/2 oz pear                                                                                                                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                                                                                       5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Cut the sausage into a small dice. Cream together with the goat cheese, mustard, and herbes. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin/dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with the sausage mixture and pour into the dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes while you pour the beverages and slice the pear. As simple as the meal which preceeded it.

Portuguese Fish & Chips:  260 calories  6.3 g fat  4.7 g fiber  24 g protein  28 g carbs [27 g Complex]  60 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF flour  From our favorite dinner place in Souris, PEI, 21 Breakwater comes this house specialty from the chef’s native cuisine. The batter is so light that it lets the lime-infused fish shine through. The recipe takes little time to accomplish. I have described it in detail so you can be successful.Portugese Fish & Chips

3 oz tilapia or hake                                                                                                                                                    1 fl. oz lime juice or lemon juice                                                                                                                               1 egg white + 1 egg yolk                                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                        3 oz sweet potato, peeled                                                                                                                                                      ½ tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                                                  ½ tsp granulated garlic                                                                                                                                           ¼ tsp paprika black pepper                                                                                                                                  2 oz asparagus

Marinate the fish in the lime juice with a pinch of salt and pepper for up to 30 minutes. Set the oven to 425 F. Peel the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4” slices. Cut each slice into 1/4” sticks. Put the oil in the non-stick pan that you will use to cook the fish. Add the potato sticks to the pan and toss about to coat with oil. Combine the granulated garlic, paprika, and pepper, and sprinkle on the potato sticks. Toss to distribute the seasonings. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil with the dull side up. Spray liberally with non-stick spray. HINT: You could do this 1-2 hours in advance.Distribute the potatoes on the pan so they do not touch. Put in oven for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the asparagus on to cook. Take the fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge lightly with flour. Whip the egg white into soft peaks. Fold in the egg yolk and remaining flour from dredging the fish. Heat the non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Remove the fries from the oven and turn them over. Return to oven for 10 minutes more. Dip the fish in the egg batter so that it is coated on all sides. Cook the fish on one side over medium heat for 6 minutes, then on the other side for 6 minutes or until fork tender. When fries are done, turn off oven, open the door, and leave the fries in there for up to 5 more minutes. Plate all that good food and live it up.

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