Plum Blossoms

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.

From mid-February to mid-March, one goes to look at the blossoms on the plum trees in Japan. Ume plums, actually closer to apricots, were introduced to Japan by the Chinese more than 1000 years ago. There are many culinary recipes for ume when they ripen in the Summer, especially for the beloved umeboshi or pickled plum. In February, the blossoms are a sign and hope of Spring. Looking at them means paying attention to a brief space time that will not come again. Is it the beauty of the blossom? or the transience of the event? or the chance to get out of our usual routine? or the opportunity to leave our laptops and very interior lives of these days and go to see something rare and beautiful and fleeting? Does it matter why? No — just do it. Go outside and watch the snow fall; or the birds at the feeder; or the leaves blowing in the wind; or the clouds moving across the sky; or water flowing. The moment has no meaning, except to enhance our awareness and to be a chance to meditate on the ordinary. Take a moment to have a Zen Moment.

Today we have a breakfast for a special day: Soufflé Pancakes, garnished with plums. Breakfast goes so much more smoothly when you have laid out a mise en place the night before. After a day of touring to see the blossoms, you want a quick meal. The curry for dinner is prepared as quickly as you can chop the vegetables. Cut them beforehand, and it goes even faster.

Japanese Soufflé Pancake Breakfast: 223 calories 6 g fat 1 g fiber 16 g protein 32 g carbs 132 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the pancakes and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. Here is a delightful breakfast treat. Dear Husband was most pleased. HINT: One batch serves 3 people, if each person has 3 pancakes.

You can add one more pancake and another sausage. I was a bit skimpy on this serving.

3 souffle pancakes — see full recipe below 2 turkey breakfast sausages @ 30 calories each 1 plum [two halves], canned in light syrup   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Prepare the batch of Souffle Pancakes. Cook the sausages. Cut the plum in thirds so you will have one piece to garnish each pancake. Plate the 3 pancakes and place a piece of plum on each one. Drizzle with syrup from the can of plums. Place the sausages on the plate and enjoy the lightest, fluffiest pancakes ever – like eating a cloud.

4 egg whites [6 Tbsp] Separate the night before but keep egg white refrigerated until it’s ready to be whipped.
Set griddle temperature to a medium-low setting – you want to cook them slowly.
2 egg yolks [2 Tbsp]
1 ½ Tbsp milk
4 tsp [10 g] white-whole wheat flour
4 ½ tsp [10 g] all-purpose white flour
½ tsp baking powder
Mix egg yolk in a bowl with milk. Sift the flour and baking powder into the yolk mixture and mix well. Measure all the ingredients out the night before to have your mise en place all ready.
Refrigerated egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Take egg whites out of the ‘fridge and add cream of tartar. Whip egg white until bubbles start to form
5 g sugar 
10 g sugar 
10 g sugar
[scant 2 Tbsp total]
Add sugar to egg white, whipping until fine bubbles form. Add more sugar and continue to whip. Add last sugar and whip until foam is shiny and forms soft peaks .
Gently fold 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture. Add another 1/3 meringue, and carefully fold. Pour yolk mixture into the meringue bowl and carefully mix it all together with a rubber scraper/spatula.
Cooking spray + smear butterDrop 1/3-1/2 cup of batter onto greased griddle, then top with an additional dollop on top of each pancake [to add height] and cook it for 3 mins. Flip them over and cook for 3 mins or until both sides are browned.
Plums to garnish

Japanese Curry with Meat:  297 calories 12 g fat 6 g fiber 24 g protein 32.6 g carbs 89 mg Calcium  PB GF  Curry is popular in Japan. So popular, that there are many good pre-fab curry mixes available: add vegetables/meat and you’ve got a meal. The dinner is no more difficult to prepare than chopping vegetables.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2] people. Good for a subsequent lunch.

4 oz broccoli or cauliflower florets 4 oz onions, sliced 3 oz carrots, cut as coins ½ oz kale, roughly chopped 6 oz any meat – one type or mixed – cut into bite-sized pieces 1 tsp sesame or canola oil 1 clove garlic, sliced 27 g curry sauce mixture   per person: ¼ c brown rice

Prepare the vegetables and set up a mise en place. Cook the brown rice. Warm a wok over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and a good spray of non-stick spray. Stirfry the meat and vegetables for approximately 5 minutes. Add water to the wok and bring the wok contents to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and add the curry ‘bricks’ broken into crumbles. Put back on low heat and stir until curry is totally dissolved. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring and adding water if needed. Serve with rice. Very nice.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  
capicola + marinated artichokes in a jarasparagus
blueberriesParmesan cheese
plain, fat-free yogurtapplesauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

sea scallops + frozen peasdried navy, kidney, and soldier beans
béchamel sauce + white whole wheat flourcanned tomatoes + chili powder
Romano cheeseonion + meaty ham bone + lemon juice
lemon zest + chivesbasil + fresh spinach leaves
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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