Flora, Goddess of Flowers

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. Welcome to Health Specialist who is now Following.

The Romans were pantheistic. There was a diety for everything in the natural world and the political, since deceased emperors were made into gods. One of my favorites is Flora, the goddess of flowers and flowering plants. She was originally a goddess of the Sabine People, who introduced her to Roman culture. In the Greek legend, the nymph Chloris attracted the love of Zehpyrus, the Springtime wind. He married her and granted her dominion over all blooming things: plants, nubile teenagers, and pregnant women. In 238 BCE, a festival called Floralia was instituted in her honor. Today, towns and cities throughout southern France there are floral festivals in early May and it is traditional to give a nosegay of Lily of the Valley/Muguet du Bois to someone to express your love or wish good luck. I like the idea of celebrating the blooms of Spring, so early in May I honor Flora with food and flowers.

The famous Roman Cato the Elder, 234–149 BC, in his agriculture book tried to promote traditional practices of farming and eating. He describes the tradition of baking Libum to leave in the household shrine to the gods. It is made with honey, which Flora is said to have given to the world. There’s our breakfast. Dinner is a modern salad with all sorts of Springtime ingredients: eggs, asparagus, young greens, and flowers. Food for the gods.

Cato’s Breakfast:  235 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 13 g protein 47 g carbs 89 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  Cato, the Roman orator and senator, included Libum in his book de Agricultura. The other elements of the meal were popular foods in ancient Rome.

225 g/1 cup light ricotta cheese
113 g/1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 oz = ½ egg
2 Tbsp honey
Combine these ingredients to a Play-Doh consistency.
0.2 oz pine nuts, about 45 pinonsForm dough into 11 balls, each made with 2 Tbsp dough [33-g]. Top each ball with 4-5 pine nuts.
11 bay leaves TIP: you can do all this the night before and bake in the morning.Lightly spritz a baking pan with non-stick spray and lay the bay leaves on it. Place one dough ball on each leaf.
Warm honeyBake at 350 F for 20 minutes. While still warm, brush with honey.

2 Libum [33-grams of dough each] 2 oz pear 1 deglet noor date 1 oz chicken breast meat  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

Bake the Libum and plate with the other ingredients. Although Cato probably would have served wine with breakfast, that would not be a good option.

Springtime Shrimp Salad: 192 calories 7 g fat 3.6 g fiber 17 g protein 17 g carbs 114 mg Calcium   PB GF  In Spring, the clementines are decreasing in the markets and the asparagus is increasing. A salad with shrimp is delightfully delicious.

2 cups mesclun OR baby greens 2.5 oz small shrimp 8-9 sections clementine 1¾ oz asparagus edible flowers for garnish ¾ oz mango ½ hard-boiled egg 2 tsp Spicy Aioli Dressing 

Prepare all the ingredients, cutting or cooking as necessary. Combine the Dressing and measure 2 tsp into a large bowl. Toss the salad greens with the dressing and a pinch of salt. Turn onto the serving plate and arrange the other ingredients atop the greens. Enjoy the colors and flavors of Spring.

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