Dwellings: Abenaki

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 weighttrimmers who is now Following.

The Abenaki, called the Dawnland People due to their lands in the far East of the continent, are the indigenous people of New England and parts of Canada. There were many sub-sets to the group, but they were related in their Algonquian language and culture. Although at odds with the powerful Iroquois, the Abenaki learned their agricultural practice of planting the “3 Sisters” as crops. Primarily a hunter-gatherer-fisher folk, each family within the tribe would travel a singular route throughout the year, reuniting at the sea coast or a river for fishing in the summer. These are the people whom the Pilgrims met when they disembarked in Massachusetts [an Algonquian word] in 1620. These are also the people who sided with the French in the ‘French and Indian War’ of the mid-1700s. Their dwellings were constructed of saplings, covered with woven mats and bark. Extended families lived in domed “wigwams, easy to build from found materials. The door of a wigwam always faced East, toward the rising sun. Smaller teepee-shaped wigwams were used on hunting trips, to sleep up to three. In the winter, an oval longhouse, large enough to house more people, was lined with blankets and furs for insulation. Their villages always had a longhouse for council meetings and tribal gatherings to arrive at decisions by consensus. To avoid depleting resources, villages were moved a few times a year — inland for the winter, near a water body for the summer.

It is interesting to me to learn how people lived and ate in other places and times. There have been indigenous people here in New Hampshire since the glaciers melted 10000 years ago. The Abenaki were here before the 1600s and they are still here today. Their cuisine was based on fish as the principle source of protein, along with game. Agriculture centered on the growing of squash, corn, and beans for drying. Today’s menus are based on those foods.

Summer Vegetable Bake129 calories 6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 8 g protein 11 g carbs 33 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg-bake and fruit only, not the optional hot beveragePB GF  Corn, beans, and tomatoes are native American foods and they find themselves to be right at home in this breakfast.

1 two-oz egg ¼ cup corn-black bean-tomato salad  pinch of chili pepper 2 oz melon   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]

Whisk the egg with the chili pepper. Heat the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray and put the corn salad into it. Pour the egg on top and bake for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the melon for a taste of Meso-America.

3 Sisters Stew: vegetarian version: 211 calories 3 g fat 9 g fiber 8 g protein 41.4 g carbs 71 mg Calcium  meat version: 280 calories 5 g fat 11 g fiber 20 g protein 41.4 g carbs 81 mg Calcium  PB GF  The author of this recipe, Alex Aguilera, based it on a classic Chilean dish, but First Nations people all over temperate North, Central, and South America would recognize the ingredients of this stew. Turkey was a common food of early Americans and can be added if you wish.  HINT: this recipe makes 4.5 cups of stew. One serving = 1 cup. Very filling.

¾#/12 oz butternut squash 2 c corn kernelsPeel, seed squash and cut as 1” cubes. Put vegetables in pan with water to cover. Add a lid and simmer until squash is just tender, ~10 mins.
9 oz kidney beans, cannedDrain and rinse beans, and add to the pot. Cook until beans are hot.
Put 1½ cups stew in a food processor or blender, along with some of the liquid. Puree, then return to pot to keep warm.
½ Tbsp canola oil
½ c onion
½ red bell pepper
½ green bell pepper
Coarsley chop onion and peppers. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and bell peppers, and cook over moderate heat, stirring sometimes, until softened, 8 minutes.
½ tsp cumin, seeds or ground ½ tsp oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper salt & pepper
Add seasonings to vegetables in the skillet. Cook, stirring, ~4 minutes until fragrant. Stir into the stew and season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your preference.Serve 1 cup per person, freezing the remainder.
Optional per serving: 1½ oz turkey dark meatIf turkey is raw, add it to the previous step.
If turkey is cooked, add it now and heat stew to warm the meat.

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