Rhubarb Festival!

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. 

The Pandemic of 2020 meant that a lot of events were cancelled, including our town’s annual Rhubarb Festival on the first Saturday in June. We all stayed home last year and most of us got through it safely. This year the Festival is on! Musical groups, rhubarb pie contests, rhubarb flower arrangements, bake sale, farm animal petting zoo, food vendors, craft vendors, a ‘hollering contest,’ rhubarb wine and beer to sample — it is lots of fun for our tiny town of <1500 residents. Rhubarb is the ‘first fruit of the season,’ giving us good things to eat before the strawberries ever think of ripening. The plant, not a fruit but a vegetable, is native to central Asia and the roots were considered to be valuable for medicinal use 5000 years ago. It first arrived in North America when Benjamin Franklin sent a box of roots, for medicine, to his friend John Bartram. Finally, in the 1800s, people in the US got around to eating the stalks. Pie and jam are the first things that comes to mind, but for Slow Days, I make muffins and coffee-cakes from rhubarb as well. From May to September, fresh rhubarb is on the menu in our house. If you can grow it, you should.

Because rhubarb is so low in calories, it can be an ingredient on a Fast Day, as long as there isn’t too much sugar with it. Here it appears in a splendid breakfast and in a relish which is served on fish, chicken, or meat. Very delicious. NB: If you are new to rhubarb, one eats only the stalks. The leaves should never be eaten as they contain oxalic acid/oxalate.

Yogurt Creme Brulee: 208 caloreis 2 g fat 2.5 g fiber 19 g protein 28 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  Let’s have dessert for breakfast! A Bobby Flay dessert was the inspiration for this breakfast recipe.  This is delicious! HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings.

You will need a small blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. DO NOT use the broiler, lest you melt the yogurt.
8 oz plain Greek** yogurt, fat-free -OR- ‘yogurt cheese’ [see below]
½ tsp vanilla
Stir yogurt and vanilla together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate 30+ mins to allow the flavors to meld.
1 cup chopped rhubarb
2 Tbsp water + 1 tsp sugar
Put fruit in a small saucepan and add water. Simmer until just softened, ~5 mins. Add sugar and stir. Let cool slightly.
two 8-oz ramekins
¼ c rolled oats, toasted
Divide fruit between ramekins. Toast oats in a dry skillet and sprinkle on the fruit. Fill the ramekins with yogurt. Cover and freeze 5 mins.
2 tsp turbinado sugar per ramekinSprinkle sugar over each ramekin. Caramelize by slowly sweeping the blowtorch flame back and forth. Let sugar harden, ~2 mins.
**Or put 2 cups plain, fat-free yogurt in a sieve lined with paper toweling. Let sit for 30 minutes as the whey drips out. The concentrated yogurt is call ‘yogurt cheese’ and is the same as ‘Greek Yogurt.’

In addition: 1 oz 3%-fat ham slice  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

While the ramekins are in the freezer, cut the ham slice into ribbons and quickly cook in a dry skillet. Plate the ramekin with a wreath of ham around it. A fine mix of opposite flavors, temperatures, and textures.

Halibut with Fruit Relish: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium  PB GF Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit relish makes for a splendid topping.

4 oz halibut filet 5 oz asparagus -OR- side salad   2 Tbsp rhubarb-onion relish**

Rhubarb-Onion Relish:  makes 1 cup  From Marion Cunningham’s Supper Book.    2 Tbsp [1 fluid ounce] = 26 calories  0 g fat 0.1 g fiber 0.1 g protein 1.5 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 ¾ Tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, not packed
pinch each of ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick.
You could make a bigger batch and preserve by canning in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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

1 two-oz egg + blueberries1 two-oz egg 
kale + cayenne + sage70-calorie whole grain bread
quinoa + garlic powder + turmericParmesan cheese
reduced-fat cottage cheeseblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz wild-caught Pacific salmonpork tenderloin + apples
4 oz broccolichicken stock + broccoli
bechamel sauce
carrot + thyme + sage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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