Far-flung Food

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.

Sometimes one gets into a culinary rut: meal after meal of ‘________’ [you fill in the blank: American comfort food? Thai fried rice? Mexican? Chinese takeout?] Let’s go a little wild and crazy and get out of that rut. Our meals today are easy to prepare, made with ingredients you might have on hand, and are a delicious departure from the ordinary. Plus, they are geographically and culturally divergent as can be: Cajun and Korean!

Cajun Bake:  128 calories 5.2 g fat 2.5 g fiber 8.6 g protein 13 g carbs [11.8 g Complex] 78 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Green peppers, onions, and celery are three key ingredients in Cajun cooking, so naturally they find their way into this breakfast. A ‘Cajun’ is someone from Louisiana who is descended from the French ‘Acadians’ of Canada. They were deported to Louisiana by the English in the 1700s.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp green pepper [3/4 oz], chopped 2 Tbsp celery, chopped 2 Tbsp onion, chopped 2 pinches Cajun Seasoning dash or two of Tabasco   1 Tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese, drained 2 oz pear 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]

Drain the cottage cheese overnight to remove excess liquid. Chop the pepper, celery, and onion and cook them in a little water until they are softened. This can be done in the microwave or on the cooktop. Drain the vegetables and put them in an oven-proof dish that has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with the cottage cheese and Cajun Seasoning, and pour into the ramekin. Bake at 350 degrees F. 12-15 minutes. Prepare beverages of your choice and plate the fruit. Pass the Tabasco if you like extra heat.

Korean Seafood Pancakes “Haemul Pajean”: 266 calories 2.1 g fat 5.6 g fiber 33 g protein 37 g carbs 88 mg Calcium   PB  What’s not to love about this pancake, plump with yummy seafood and served with a savory sauce?

1/4 cup white whole wheat flour ½ cup water 1 egg white 1.5 oz scallion, sliced 4.5 oz cooked seafood – all one type or a mixture [ex: shrimp, chopped into 1/2” pieces, if large; lobster, chopped into 1/2” pieces or use smaller shreds; flounder, flaked] Per serving: 2 oz tomato dipping sauce** or commercially-available Korean spicy sauce

Whisk flour, water, and egg white until well-blended. Combine the seafoods in a bowl with the scallions. Heat a non-stick pan [I found a ceramic pan to work very well] and pour in ½ of the batter. Swirl it around so that it covers the bottom. Quickly sprinkle half of the seafood/scallion mixture over the top of the pancake before it sets. [ALTERNATELY: Combine half of the batter with half of the seafood and pour into the pan.] Cook for 6-8 minutes, then flip and cook until beginning to brown. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Pile the cooked pancakes on top of each other and cut into wedges. Serve with tomato wedges and 2 Tbsp dipping sauce**.

**Dipping Sauce [HINT: THIS IS ENOUGH FOR 2-3 SERVINGS]  3 Tbsp soy sauce 2 tsp rice vinegar 3 Tbsp chives, chopped pinch crushed red pepper flakes pinch sugar Combine in a micro-wave-safe bowl and heat until sugar dissolves.

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