Hometown Heroine: Geneva

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.

Catherine Cheynel Royaume was no doubt an unassuming woman. She had lived with her second husband Pierre in Lyon, France until 1572. At that time, the Protestant Huguenots were being persecuted by the Catholic majority, so the Royaumes and other families left France for Geneva. Pierre found work there as an engraver of coins and because of that, they had an apartment in the city wall above the Port de la Monnaie [Coin Gate] where taxes were collected on goods brought into the city. On December 11/12, 1602, when Catherine was 62, couldn’t sleep so she went to stir the soup that was always cooking over the coals of the fire. Hearing a noise outside the window, she looked out to see soldiers of an invading army from Savoie! As they began to scale the walls to take Geneva by surprise, Madame Royaume picked up her pot of hot soup and threw the contents on the soldiers. Then she sounded the alarm and hit an invader on the head with the pot. Other residents joined the fray, throwing furniture from windows to knock soldiers off their ladders. Eventually, the Savoyard army gave up and Geneva was saved. Catherine is remembered as “Mere Royaume” and tiny chocolate soup pots filled with marzipan vegetables are consumed every year in her honor.

The Royaume family was from Lyon, France, a rich agricultural area. Our breakfast features a French recipe using ripe cherries. Our dinner is one version of the soup that Mere Royaume used to save the day.

Cherry Flamusse:  194 calories 5 g fat 1.3 g fiber 11 g protein 27.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 157 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour     This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Served with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [As a dessert, one serving has 177 calories, since there would be no clementine.]

2 two-oz eggs 6 oz milk 4 tsp flour OR tapioca flour 1.5 Tbsp sugar 10 sweet cherries, pitted ½ clementine 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]

Spritz 2 ramekins or an oven-proof dish [1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Soup Royaume: 152 calories 0.3 g fat 6.3 g fiber 12.6 g protein 24.6 g carbs 84 mg Calcium   PB GF  A fine meal for winter, made hearty with autumn vegetables and lentils. Add as much seasoning as you wish. Any soup can be improved by preparing it ahead and letting it sit for 8-24 hours. HINT: The recipe makes four [4] servings.

2.5 oz pork loin, raw or cooked ½ cup onion, chopped 3.5 oz dry lentils, small green ones from France if possible 3 oz rutabega/turnip, cubed 2 oz carrot, diced 3 oz parsnip, diced 3 cups chopped cabbage mace + dry mustard + caraway seed [optional] salt + pepper ½ cup frozen spinach, chopped 3 cups water per serving: several leaves of fresh spinach

Put the pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan and cook until browned. Add the rutabega/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings. Cover with water, using more if needed. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasonings, add the frozen spinach, and heat through. Divide into 4 equal servings and freeze the servings you don’t need today. Roughly chop the fresh spinach and put it on top of the soup when serving. 

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