Battle at Chalons

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. Welcome to Simply Splendid Food who is now Following.

In 450 CE, the Roman Empire was in trouble. Borders were being tested by various Germanic tribes called Goths. Ostrogoths, Visigoths — both groups mingled with the Romans along the Rhine River. Then came the Huns from the East, plundering and sacking as they advanced. This changed the equation, especially in 440 CE when Attila became leader of the Huns. Attila, though a skilled warrior, was not interested in conquest. To ensure the loyalty of his men, they needed loot from the lands they invaded. Afterward, they would return to modern-day Hungary until they wanted to raid again. As the Huns advanced, Goths were pushed further West, into Roman lands. In 451, Attila lead his Huns across the Rhine. Entering France, the Huns sacked Tournai, Amiens, and Beauvais. Legend has it that Saint Genevieve was instrumental in averting an attack on Paris. About to enter Orleans, the Huns desisted and headed northeast toward Champagne. The Roman army, assisted by the Visagoths, were hot on their trail and the armies met near Chalons. Despite his seers telling him that the outlook was not good, Attila planned an attack. On June 20, the Romans took the high ground, broke Attila’s line, and sent his troops to flight. The Visagoth leader died, and his son was proclaimed king. The next day, the Visagoths left to their home territory to crown their new leader, Attila and his army marched East to return home, and the Romans breathed a sigh of relief. The balance of power was restored; the Huns were repulsed; Attila could be defeated. Little did anyone know that this was the last victory of the Roman Empire in Europe. Historians claim that Chalons was important as the high-water-mark of the Hunnic invasion, but the victory did not signify much. The Huns wanted loot, not land. Two years later, Attila was dead and his heirs were in disarray. The Germanic tribes became stronger and the Roman empire became weaker. Chalons marked a turning point in European history, just not the one most people thought it was.

Since the invading Huns’ westward push was stopped in France, She gets the honor of providing our menus. Our breakfast is from the central coast, on the Bay of Biscay. The dinner is from France’s southern coast, the Mediterranean.

Leek & Bacon Bake: 153 calories 7 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 14.5 g carbs 87 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  Once you make this, you will want to repeat it.

One 2-oz egg ¼ cup Leek & Bacon Filling**  1½ oz applesauce, unsweetened  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water dish. 

** LEEK & BACON FILLING: makes ~1½ cups 2 oz American/streaky bacon 3 cups sliced leeks 1 clove garlic ¼ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded 2 tsp mayonnaise/plain yogurt  Saute the bacon in a large skillet, remove and slice into strips. Saute leeks and garlic in the bacon fat until limp. Off heat, stir Gruyere and yogurt/mayo into the mixture.

Combine the egg with the bacon filling. Pour into an oil-spritzed baking dish. Bake at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes. Portion the applesauce and pour the beverages. Umm-umm. And very simple too.

Salade Nicoise: 283 calories 16 g fat 3 g fiber 22.5 g protein 13 g carbs 198 mg Calcium  PB GF A Salade Nicoise is a real treat. Guests might be impressed, but you know that it is very easy to prepare. HINT: If you plan ahead a bit, this meal goes together in minutes. A few days before, eat a meal of baked or grilled salmon, served with green beans. Prepare 3 oz more salmon than you’ll need for that meal and save it for this meal. Also cook an extra bit of green beans and save them in the ‘fridge. TIP: If you won’t need the salmon for a week or more, cooked salmon freezes well. Just leave enough time to thaw it thoroughly. 

3 leaves of romaine, medium-sized 3 oz cooked salmon 3 oz green beans, cooked and cooled 2 black olives, pitted, halved ½ hard-boiled egg, quartered 5 cherry tomatoes 1 radish, sliced DRESSING: 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1.5 tsp olive oil

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide shallow bowl. Add the beans and turn them to coat with dressing. Remove beans to another plate. Coarsely slice the lettuce and toss with dressing. Place the salmon in the center of the salad. Surround it with the remaining ingredients. A wonderful meal in no time flat.

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