Under the Influence: Spain

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.

In the year 711, the ‘Berbers’ crossed the Strait of Gibralter to invade Spain. Who were the Berbers? That was a non-specific name for the people of Northern Africa. Sometimes, they were called the Moors — like Othello. They occupied Spain until 1492, and they had a big affect on the culture and cooking of Andalusia in particular. Foods that came in with the Berbers included: saffron, rice [can you make paella without these two?!], couscous, carrots, eggplant, almonds, artichokes, apricots, coriander, grapefruit, and sugar. Hard to imagine cooking without those staple ingredients, isn’t it? Even though Isabella and Ferdinand eventually expelled the Berbers, the cuisine of Spain today owes much to having been under their influence.

Breakfast features the classic preparation of the Spanish Omelette [minus the potatoes, since they came centuries later] with many of the ingredients which arrived with the Berbers: rice, eggplant, coriander. The dinner stars the flavor of apricot, another import, and borrows from the Jewish community in old Spain, people who were tolerated by the Muslims of that time.

Berber Spanish Omelette: 194 calories 8 g fat 2.7 g fiber 12 g protein 14 g carbs 39 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the egg dish and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The Berbers brought rice and eggplant to Spain. The omelette was invented later, but we can enjoy them together now.

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.   1/3 cup Mediterranean Vegetables with chickpeas 2.5 Tbsp cooked brown rice [save some if you cooked it for a previous meal] pinch coriander: ground dried or chopped fresh leaves 2 oz watermelon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Put in the rice and cook it until it is warm. Add the vegetables and cook until warm. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the pan without disturbing the vegetables and rice, so they are evenly distributed. Cook the eggs until they are set, and cooked on one side. Turn the egg round over without breaking it and cook the other side. To serve, cut in wedges and plate with the melon.

Apricot-Glazed Lemon Chicken: 262 calories 1.8 g fat 4 g fiber 29 g protein 35 g carbs [24 g Complex] 65.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  Lightly sweet, slightly sour. This chicken is very easy to prepare and it is delicious. You will want to eat this often. The recipe comes from the Great Hadassah Wizo Cookbook, via Omgyummy.com. So you know that then I modified it….

3-4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast 1.5 tsp apricot preserves/jam ½ tsp chopped lemon zest 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 or 2 slices of lemon ½ cup delicata squash, cubed 3 oz sweet potatoes garlic powder + paprika + pepper + salt

Take one boneless chicken breast and place it on a cutting board. Put one hand flat on top of it and cut through the meat parallel to the cutting board. This should give you two equal pieces of breast meat, each 3-4 ounces. [Set aside the other piece of meat, unless you are serving two today.] Whisk the jam, mustard, lemon juice, and zest. If the jam is too solid, warm it gently so it will combine with the other ingredients. Spray a baking pan or pie plate with olive oil and put in the chicken. Pour the sauce over it and place the lemon slices on top. Cut the delicata squash, skin and all, and put into an oven-proof dish, such as a pie plate. Cut the sweet potato into skinny French Fries, toss them with garlic powder, paprika, and pepper, and add them to the pie plate. Spray liberally with non-stick oil or olive oil. Put the chicken and the vegetables into a 400 F oven for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and salt them. Return to oven, raise the temperature to 425 F and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Happy eating awaits.

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

1 two-oz egg + pear1.5 two-oz eggs 
Tattie Scone: mashed potatosalami
white whole wheat flourmozzarella
egg white + baking powderwild greens or arugula
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

smoked haddockraw chicken breast + basil leaves
cabbage + nutmegtomato + garlic
bechamel sauce, no cheesefresh mozzarella cheese
Brie or Camembert or Goudapesto + asparagus
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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