Rome Burned

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 edwardlorilla2051tower who is now Following.

In 64 CE, the great capital of the Roman Empire caught on fire. This was a serious problem in the closely-packed city with people cooking over fire at home and giving burnt offerings to the gods in temples. The fire seems to have started in the shops on the grounds of the Circus Maximus — the site of chariot race in the movie Ben Hur. Quickly it spread through the crowded city of one million, burning for six days. Once it was out, it started again. Three days later, 10 of the 14 districts of the city were destroyed. Did the Emperor Nero play his fiddle as he watched Rome burn? No, because violins had not yet been invented yet. Besides, he was out of town, vacationing. Nero laid the blame on that new Jewish sect and cheerfully set out to eradicate the Christians. Nero’s detractors said that Nero was happy about the fire — had even started it as a form of urban renewal — so that he could build a huge new palace complex. Indeed, the fire spurred moves toward city planning. Streets by law became wider and less-flammable building materials were mandated. Fire patrols walked the neighborhoods, looking for fires to control. The Pantheon/Church of Saint Mary and the Martyrs was rebuilt of stone and cement as a result. The unsupported dome of the Pantheon influenced architecture for centuries. Should you ever visit the city, think of the horror of ancient Rome on fire.

The Roman Empire surrounded the Mediterranean Sea, called ‘Mare Nostrum’ or ‘our sea’ by the Romans. Our meals come from the island of Sicily and the waters of the Mediterranean. What would Nero have eaten? Let’s not go there.

Sicilian Bake:  138 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 8.4 g carbs 88 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Lynn Rosetto Kasper tells of shepherds in Sicily spending the summer in the high meadows with their flocks. They make a salad, based on simple ingredients. That recipe informed the flavors of this breakfast.

1 two-ounce egg half of a 3” diameter thin slice of salami ½ clove garlic, minced 2 Tbsp sheep sorrel or arugula, coarsely chopped ½ Tbsp Parmesan-Reggiano cheese or pecorino cheese, grated 1 Tbsp ricotta cheese 5 cherries  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]

Chop the salami and put it in a small, dry, non-stick skillet with the garlic. Cook, stirring, until salami is getting a little crispy. Take pan off heat and stir in the greens. Spritz an oven-safe dish with non-stick spray. Put the warmed ingredients into the prepared dish. Whisk the egg with the cheeses, plus salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the prepared dish, and bake at 350F. For 12-15 minutes. Plate with the cherries. 

Mackerel Puttanesca: 298 calories 17 g fat 3 g fiber 22.6 g protein 7.6 g carbs 66.4 mg Calcium  PB GF Such an easy summer meal, especially if your sauce is left-over homemade or from the supermarket shelf. Delicious and satisfying. [Don’t be concerned about the fat: since the mackerel is high in Omega 3, the fat is ‘good fat’]

4 oz mackerel or other rich, oily fish ¼ cup puttanesca sauce, homemade or from a jar 2 oz green beans

If using fresh fish, broil the fish for 4-5 minutes per side to cook it.   If using mackerel which has been frozen after cooking, thaw to room temperature. NB: Mackerel does not keep well in the fridge uncooked. If you have to buy mackerel prior to the day you will serve it, filet the fish and broil it as soon as you get back to the kitchen. Then you can hold it for a day or two, or freeze it for longer. Mackerel does not freeze well uncooked. Cook the green beans. Gently heat the sauce and mackerel together in a covered pan until warm. Plate. Done in minutes!

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