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.

Food can either unite people [look how popular salsa and guacamole are!] or divide them [milk in tea or not? add it at first or secondarily?] There is no denying that foods from one culture can creep into another culture’s favorites and be embraced as ‘home cooking.’ That’s my idea of ‘cross-cultural food.’ Today we will look at some foods from diverse locations that could be at home anywhere.

The breakfast is based on a recipe from Romania which I saw on a French cooking show. The dinner frittata is that Spanish staple of Italian origin which has been embraced by eaters in America and everywhere.

Banana-Papanas:   241 calories 8 g fat 0.5 g fiber 20 g protein 25.5 g carbs [5 g Complex] 161 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  This recipe for Romanian papanas was shown on the French morning TV program Telematin and it looked so easy and unusual that I had to try them….then I added bananas for a play on words and a hint of the tropics.  HINT: The recipe makes enough for two [2] portions, so if only one person is being served today, cook only half of the batter and refrigerate the remainder to prepare later in the week. NB: the cooked papanas do not work as left-overs.

4 Tbsp [63 g] part-skim ricotta 4 Tbsp [63 g] reduced-fat cottage cheese 1 egg, separated 30 g [3.5 Tbsp] flour NB: TRY ALMOND MEAL OR TAPIOCA FLOUR FOR GF ½ tsp sugar 3/4 oz banana, sliced 1 tsp molasses + 1 tsp water NO smoothie today  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Separate the egg white from the yolk. Combine the yolk, cheeses, flour,and sugar in a bowl. Whip the egg white until stiff. Stir 1/3 of the egg white into the cheese mixture to lighten it, mixing until blended. Gently fold the remaining egg into the cheese mixture. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Using a scoop or a spoon [I made 4 using a 3 Tbsp scoop and then 4 using a 1.5 Tbsp scoop], place the batter into the pan in two batches. Cook until browned on one side and loose enough that they will slide if you shake the pan. Carefully flip to the other side. Remove to a plate. Slice the bananas thinly and strew on the papanas. Add the molasses to 1 tsp hot water and stir to combine. Pour the molasses over the bananas. As you sip your coffee, savor the tastes of the Caribbean, via Romania….

Swiss Chard Frittataif serving 4, per portion: 221 calories 14 g fat 0.6 g fiber 15.2 g protein 2.7 g carbs 170.5 mg Calcium  PB GF Susan Loomis is the source of this recipe, which also can be a wonderful breakfast, using 3 eggs to serve two.  HINT: Serves 4 as a main course. Could serve 6-8 as a hearty appetizer.

6 oz swiss chard or fresh spinach ½ tsp olive oil 18 oz eggs = 9 two-oz eggs in their shells 6 pinches granulated garlic + 6 pinches salt + 3 pinches paprika 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 

Dress the chard by holding the leaf flat on the counter and pulling off the stem. Chop the leaves. Put olive oil in an oven-proof pan that can also be used on the stove-top. Cook the chopped leaves in the oil until the leaves are limp, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Be sure to cook off the water/liquid in the pan. Combine the eggs, cheese and seasonings and pour over the chard in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is well set [5 minutes?]. Put under the broiler until the top is cooked. Serve from the pan or slide the frittata out onto a serving plate.

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