Why so many saints?

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.

Our elder son and I were in the Louvre together. He asked me to show him what I knew about pre-Renaissance art, since I had studied it and he hadn’t. At one point I leaned in toward a medieval work to see the details and the title. “Oh. Saint Barbara,” I said. “I should have known from the tower.” Curious, my son asked what that meant. He had never learned about the “iconography” of saints in art — that every saint has an “attribute,” a symbol to carry, to stand next to, or to wear so that we can recognize them when we see them: in a statue; on a window; in a painting. [Saint Barbara’s symbol is a tower. Saint Catherine’s is a wheel.] He was as intrigued as I had been, sitting in a dark lecture hall viewing slides during Freshman year in college: it was like a secret code book to a world of identification. Fascinating! Thus I became interested in saints [and knowing their iconography got me through many art history courses]. That’s how a “nice Protestant girl” got to know a lot about saints, and why I often choose saints for blog post topics. Some of the saints are old favorites, others are obscure yet interesting. I like their stories and how they fit into old customs and cultures. By their attributes shall ye know them.

Italy and France, respectively, have more native saints than any other countries [Spain is a close third] so our foods today will come from those nations. Breakfast is named after a French Saint and the dinner from Parma recalls their patron saint, Ilario.

St Denis ScrOmelette:  144 calories 8 g fat 2.2 g fiber 12.5 g protein 6.4 g carbs [5.3 g Complex] 57 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesGF James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking gives us the recipe for this breakfast. Delicious, and rich, and wonderful. Worth getting up for.

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.   1 Tbsp leek or scallion, minced ½ clove garlic, minced ¼ oz mushrooms ¼ oz ham [3% fat], minced 1 tsp chicken liver OR chicken liver pate parsley for garnish 1 oz watermelon OR 4 Bing cherries   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]

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the leek, garlic, ham, and mushrooms and stir to cook. Whisk the eggs with the pate and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Cook as thoroughly as you like. The optional beverages are prepared and the fruit is plated. What a remarkable start to your day.

Chicken Parmesan: 238 calories 2.6 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 11.4 g carbs 242.5 mg Calcium  PG GF – if using GF bread  At last! The restaurant classic made suitable for Fasters, with lots of protein and Calcium. And it is delicious. 

3-½ oz raw chicken breast meat, boneless, skinless 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1 tsp dried oregano and/or thyme ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried 1 Tbsp milk ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade or jarred ¾ oz mozzerella, grated 2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese 1 cup baby greens + ½ oz grated carrots ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp red wine vinegar

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Pour the milk onto a small plate. On another plate combine the Parmesan, herbs, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the other two cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the chicken in the milk on both sides. Dredge the chicken in the crumb/cheese mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the chicken about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the chicken with the marinara sauce, then mound the cheese over it. Broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Prepare the salad ingredients and toss with dressing. For atmosphere, light a candle stuck in a wine bottle.

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

Next week I will discuss actual
menu choices made while on vacation.
1.5 two-oz eggs 
Choose a new favorite from
the Archives.
2″-diameter slice of pepperoni

mozzarella + bell pepper

crushed tomato + apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Choose a new favorite dinner from
the Archives.
Chicken breast, boneless, skinless

sherry wine + carrot + broccoli

Bechamel sauce with cheese

angel hair pasta + Parmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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