Parthians

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Do you remember studying the Parthians in a world cultures class? No? Me neither. Yet their mighty empire was so strong that they defeated the Romans in their bid to expand eastward under Augustus Caesar. Following the break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire, there was much in-fighting, as the struggle for territory and power played out. After the Parni of NE Iraq conquered the ruling Seleucids of Parthia near the Caspian Sea, a kingdom was formed in 250 BCE. Skip forward to the rule of Mithridates I in 171 BCE, and that kingdom stretches from the Euphrates River to modern Pakistan, from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean. Since the Parthian Empire was on the Silk Road, there was much contact with lands to the East and West, and the Parthians became very rich. Their culture was a fusion of Hellenistic and Persian, as seen in their art, their language, and their food. The 500-year old Parthian Empire ended when the king was killed by a rebel faction on April 27, 224 CE. Their relative obscurity in modern times rather makes one think of the Percy Shelley poem Osymandias, doesn’t it.

Apicus, a Roman merchant, wrote about Parthian food. ‘Parthian Beans’ seemed to have a prominent place in menus of the time. Parthians and Romans were very partial to a briny fish sauce, so they would have liked our eggs based on ingredients in those Parthian Beans. The dinner is an onion soup that Apicus said that the Parthian army ate while on maneuvers.

Parthian Scramble:  179 calories 8 g fat 2.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 16 g carbs 56 mg Calcium PB GF The flavors in this breakfast were favored by the Parthians, as recorded by the Roman historian Apicus. The sweet dates are a fine foil to the briny umami fish sauce in the eggs: very modern tastes.  HINT: this recipe is enough to serve two [2].

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  ¼ c chickpeas 1½ tsp fish sauce ¼ tsp ginger powder 1 Tbsp fennel frond, chopped   per person: 2 deglet noor dates Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Mash the chickpeas with the fish sauce, ginger, and fennel. Whisk into the eggs and cook to your liking. Plate with the dates. If you want more flavor, add a dash of fish sauce to the finished eggs.

Eshkeneh – Persian Onion Soup: 198 calories 9 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 16.4 g carbs 70 mg Calcium  PB GF – if omitting bread  This recipe is from Azlin Bloor who says that it is the modern version of an ancient Parthian soup.  HINT: The recipe makes 2 one-cup servings. Doubles easily. As always, preparing the soup a day before helps to develop the flavor — and there is a lot of flavor here.

A hearty bowl of Parthian soup with gozleme bread.
Sv 2
1 tsp EVOO ½ tsp butter 1 c onion slicesCut onion in half and slice it thinly. Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan, and sauté onions gently for 2 mins.
1 clove garlic Add garlic, fry 30 secs. 
1 bay leaf
½ tsp turmeric
Add bay leaf and turmeric, and fry for another 30 secs.
½ c potato Cut potato in small dice. Add to pan and stir to coat.
fenugreek leaves OR ½ tsp dried seedFinely chop leaves, stopping 2” from stem ends. OR crush the seeds in a mortar. Add, stir, turn heat to lowest setting, cook 2 mins.
2 c meat stock
½ tsp salt
Add stock and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and cook 8-10 mins until potatoes are tender.
½ Tbsp verjus  ½ Tbsp lemon juiceAdd juices, stir and taste. Add a touch of salt if needed. Remove bay leaf.
2 two-oz eggsLightly beat eggs, pour into soup, over low heat. Immediately swirl in eggs with fork for a few seconds.
Black pepper 2 gozleme bread  OR 
1 Mongol flat-bread
Serve soup topped with pepper, with bread on the side. 2 gozleme bread = 52 calories 0 g fat 2 g fiber 2.8 g protein 10 g carbs 40 mg Calcium 1 Mongol bread = 86 calories 1 g fat 1.5 g fiber 4 g protein 21 g carbs 26.4 mg Calcium

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

1 two-oz eggMongol flatbread: white whole wheat flour
white flour, yeast, milk, honey, salt
low-fat cottage cheese blueberries/strawberries
bleu cheeseplain yogurt
applesauce + raspberriesmicrogreens
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

6 oz haddock4 oz cod or other firm-fleshed fish + sherry
Cheddar cheese brown pepper + coriander seed + onion
choice of vegetablesblack pepper + long pepper + ginger root
dandelion greens/spinach + brown rice + vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

eshkeneh soup

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