James Baldwin

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 Master Magic University and ketodietreviews who are now Following.

James Baldwin was born in Harlem on August 2, 1924. His mother was single and his father was not in the picture. Strike One. His step-father was a Baptist minister and young James had success as a preacher in his mid-teens. But he looked around Harlem and found that he was not happy. Reading was an escape and he read everything he could. In high school, he wrote for the school newspaper and was a published author by the time he was graduated. College had to wait while Baldwin worked to support his mother and his siblings after his step-father died. On the job and on the streets, he was shown that he could not succeed because he was Black. Strike Two. While working part-time jobs, he wrote essays and poems, which lead to work as a reviewer. His former religious life left him with questions about his sexuality. Strike Three. When his best friend committed suicide, Baldwin decided that he had to flee Harlem and the United States. lest he end up as a statistic. With $40 and a one-way ticket, he left for Paris in 1948. All he knew about France was from reading the works of Balzac, but he learned the language and found that felt at home there. His first novel, Go Tell It On The Mountain, was published in 1953. In a later interview, Baldwin said, “The French gave me what I could not get in America, which was a sense of ‘If I can do it, I may do it.’ ” From the other side of the ocean, Baldwin began to write more and more about racism in America and the equal rights movement. On visits to the US, he met and worked with the leaders of the movement. Plays, short stories, and essays were his way of being a ‘witness to the truth.’ Although in his last years he was a professor at an American college, he died in his little house in Provence, with its wonderful view of the Mediterranean.

For his Harlem childhood, a breakfast based on the soul-food favorite, Red Beans & Rice. For his love of France, a meal that would be at home in Provence, just like James Baldwin. Watch If Beale Street Could Talk on Hulu.

Red Beans & Rice Bake: 138 calories 5 g fat 2.4 g fiber 8 g protein 15 g carbs 54 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Eggs are a fine vehicle for left-over foods. This combination is particularly good. Plan to make it some morning after the next time you serve Red Beans & Rice.

1 two-oz egg 3 Tbsp red beans & rice  large pinch of garlic powder 1 oz pear   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 ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350 F. Whisk the egg with salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste. Stir in the red beans & rice. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the pear.

Langostino with Garlic:  264 calories 3.4 g fat 9 g fiber 26 g protein 35 g carb 120 mg Calcium  PB GF  I wish I knew the source of this recipe, because I really like it. ‘Langoustine’ is either a large shrimp or the tail of a Norway lobster, according to LaRousse. Sometimes you find them frozen and when I see them, I buy them. HINT: the amounts shown serve TWO people. This is a good meal to share and more difficult to cut down for one serving. If you are into leftovers, make the whole thing and enjoy it for lunch or even dinner on a Slow Day.

1 tsp olive oil 2 clove garlic, chopped pinch of hot pepper flakes 5 oz langostino chunks or 4½ oz cleaned shrimp/prawns 5 oz broccoli florets or asparagus, cut into 2” pieces 1 cup cabbage, sliced [3 oz] 2 Tbsp dry white wine salt & pepper 15 oz tomatoes, coarsley chopped or canned diced tomatoes ¾ c white beans, rinsed and drained ½ cup fish stock

Pour the tomatoes through a sieve, saving the juice that drains out. Heat the oil in a saute pan or wok. Add the garlic and pepper flakes to the pan and stir for 10 seconds or less – you don’t want to burn the garlic. Add the broccoli [or asparagus] and cabbage. Saute for 3-4 minutes. If the pan gets too dry [ie: no sound of cooking], add some reserved tomato juices and/or some of the fish stock. Pour in the wine, then sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Cook to reduce the wine to almost gone. Add the beans, tomatoes, and remaining fish stock. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add the langostine/shrimp/prawns and cook to thicken the broth. The prep is fussy, the cooking is quick, the result is delicious. If you wish, serve with a side salad of 1 cup baby greens, sprinkled with a quality vinegar and herbs. Or stir the greens into the saute pan at the last minute to wilt them.

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