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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

If these were ‘normal times,’ this past week-end would have been a whirl-wind of activity. Our town’s Rhubarb Festival usually occurs the first Friday/Saturday of June. Some of us started it in 2013, to raise money for the library‘s building fund and to have our own ‘village fete.’ As the years went on, the Festival increased to quite an event, and this year was to be bigger and better. But these are not ‘normal times.’ Our State is slowly re-opening, more cautiously than some — and caution is good. But town and county festivals and fairs are casualties of that. Still, the rhubarb grows like crazy in our 20′ x 20′ patch. Last year, I took the prizes for the ‘longest stalk’ and ‘widest leaf’ — best rhubarb in town! Gotta use it!

Our breakfast features a genuine New Hampshire rhubarb pudding, from neighboring Greenfield. Very good! For dinner, how about some grilled or baked fish with a Rhubarb Sauce? Two are offered below. Eat rhubarb!

Rhubarb Pudding:  142 calories 3.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10.6 g protein 24 g carbs [4.5 g Complex] 155 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 Hayden Pearson has a wonderful dessert call “Blanche’s Super Rhubarb Pudding” in his iconic Country Flavor Cook Book. This is a scaled-down version that is fit for breakfast: slightly tangy, lightly sweet.

6 Tbsp cooked, mashed rhubarb 1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white 1-1/2 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp flour OR 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp milk ½ tsp baking powder   per person: 1 slice Canadian Bacon [= ½ oz back bacon]  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cut up 1 cup rhubarb and stew it in a little water. Drain thoroughly and mash. Measure the 6 Tbsp you need and save the remainder for another use. [Add to a smoothie; serve with yogurt] Whisk the egg and white, then add all the other ingredients [but not the bacon!] Spoon into a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. HINT: I did all this the night before. A real time-saver. Bake at 350 F until the batter is firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. While the pudding bakes, cook the bacon and prepare the optional beverages. Delicious.

BRISTOLIAN SAUCE:  makes 2 cups = 16 fluid ounces Per fl oz [2 Tbsp]: 16.5 calories 0 g fat 0.5 g fiber 0.2 g protein 3.4 g carbs [0.9 g Complex] 25 mg Calcium  PB GF Britishfoodinamerica is the source for this recipe. Very simple to prepare.  TIP: Prepare the sauce hours in advance to give the mace a chance to develop its flavor. I suggest hot-water canning in small jars to preserve it, or freeze the leftover sauce.

1 lb chopped rhubarb
½ cup hard cider [alcohol]
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Tbsp brown sugar
½ teaspoon mace or nutmeg
Put everything in a heavy pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the rhubarb breaks down — usually in 15 minutes or less.
Puree/mash the sauce. Serve cold or hot.

RHUBARB AGRODOLCE:  makes 2 cups  = 16 fluid ounces   per fl oz: 23 calories 0.8 g fat 0.6 g fiber 0.3 g protein 3 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF  Todd English uses this in the preparation of chicken. But we have used it for fish as well. The name mean ‘sour-sweet.’ Extra sauce can be frozen or canned in boiling water.

1.5 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced ½ cup onion, chopped
1 pound rhubarb, chopped in ½” dice
Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Add the ginger, with some water, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the rhubarb and cook for 4-5 minutes.
1 Tbsp butter
¾ cup hard cider
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Add each item one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Bring to a low boil and cook until reduced by half – about 10-15 minutes.
1.5 tsp brown sugarAdd sugar and stir to combine.

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