Star-Crossed Lovers, example II

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 johnjo2016 who is now Following.

My mother said that there are seven basic plots in literature, and one of them is the story of the “Star-Crossed Lovers.” This plot centers around two people who are in love yet fate intervenes, in one way or another, to keep them apart. Shakespeare coined the term, implying that one’s astrology [one’s stars] controlled one’s destiny. In real life there are star-crossed lovers and one such famous pair is that of Abelard & Heloise. When they first met in 1115 CE, he was a 37-year old academic, theologian, and a renowned philosopher. She was a teenaged academic phenom and an acclaimed beauty. In the 12th century, only places of learning were the religious houses and institution. Heloise, of uncertain heritage, had been adopted by her uncle Fulbert, who, although not a churchman, held a high post at Notre Dame Cathedral. He had seen to it that she had an excellent education in philosophy and theology and letters. As a young woman, her writings were widely read and admired. Canon Fulbert seems to have esteemed his niece and loved her perhaps too jealously. Abelard was from a minor noble family in Brittany. Instead of becoming a Breton knight like his father, he became a philosopher, studying all over France. He did not take holy orders, despite years of theological training, and became the head of the school of Notre Dame in Paris. Young Heloise, eager to pursue her education but unable to attend university with all the men, was to be tutored at her uncle’s house. Abelard took the position of tutor, with free room and board as payment. First there was a meeting of minds, as two of the most recognized philosophers of the day. Then there was a meeting of the flesh. Heloise was firm in her beliefs that there is no sin if the intent is not sinful. She also viewed marriage as ‘contractual prostitution,’ no doubt referring to arranged marriage in which the woman had no say and was sent off to live with a stranger. Their affair resulted in a pregnancy. Abelard sneaked Heloise off to his sister in Brittany, where baby Astrolabe [!? Why name your baby after an Arab astronomical instrument??] was born. Despite her reservations about marriage, Heloise agreed to wed Abelard in secret. At the time, the church was beginning its preference for celibate leaders, hence the secrecy. Uncle Fulbert grudgingly agreed to the marriage, but when Abelard hid Heloise from him in a convent, Fulbert thought that Abelard had sent her there to get rid of her. While Heloise waited for her husband, Fulbert sent a pack of men by night to attack Abelard in his bed and castrate him. Retiring from the world, Abelard joined a monastery. Heloise eventually took the veil. He became a bishop, she became an abbess. And they wrote letters to each other, reliving their love affair and discussing questions of philosophy and religion. The talk of the town in their own day, their story was revived a century later by troubadours. A translation of their letters was published in 1713. The Romantics of the 1800s, recast the lovers in art and literature to appeal to the time. Today, the reaction is likely to be ‘ick!’ due to the age disparity and seeming power imbalance. In his letters, Abelard implies that he was the aggressor in the relationship — perhaps to absolve Heloise of any blame. Yet Heloise counters that she initiated the liaison and was a willing participant. A different type of ‘he said-she said’ indeed! She died around 1163 and they are supposedly buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Young lovers of today leave letters for them at the site.

For their escape to Brittany, a breakfast with curry, artichokes, and apples — perfect for a new start in life. For dinner, two flavors that go together like Abelard and Heloise: mussels in tomato broth.

Breton Bake: 149 calories 6.5 g fat 3.4 g fiber 9.4 g protein 13.5 g carbs 103 mg Calcium NB: The food values given are for the egg dish and the fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Delicious. Filling. Different.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes 2 Tbsp artichoke hearts, canned or frozen ½ tsp curry powder 1 Tbsp fat-free ricotta 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened   Optional:  5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Chop the artichoke hearts. Stir together the artichokes, tomatoes, curry, and ricotta. Whisk in the egg and pour into an oven-safe dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, brew prepare any optional beverage and portion the applesauce. Enjoy your breakfast on the Cote d’Amor.

Mussels in Tomato Broth: 275 calories 7 g fat 4 g fiber 18 g protein 32 g carbs 84.5 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF bread  Another wonderful way to enjoy these best of bivalves, without the mess of the shells. Rich and flavorful!

3 oz steamed mussel meat [1# mussels steamed with garlic + thyme + parsley in 1” water, 15 minutes. Drain, saving the broth. Remove shells, saving the meats — you will have extra.]  ¾ c tomato-mussel broth, below Side Salad, below fresh basil 1.5 oz whole wheat baguette.

Add the mussels and ¾ cup Tomato Broth to a pan and simmer until warmed through. Pour into a pasta bowl and top with fresh basil. Serve with salad and bread on the side.

Tomato-Mussel Brothmakes 2¼ cups
1 tsp olive oil  ¼ c onion, choppedHeat oil in 8-9” saute pan, then cook onions until transluscent.
2 cloves garlic, choppedAdd garlic and cook less than a minute. 
1 cup mussel broth
15 oz diced or whole tomatoes, canned  1 tsp Italian Herbs 
pinch red pepper flakes  2 tsp capers
Add to the pan and bring to a boil.
Turn down heat and simmer until broth measures 2¼ cups. Divide in 3 equal portions of ¾ cup.

Side Salad: 1 cup baby greens or sliced lettuce leaves ½ tsp olive oil ½ tsp cider vinegar pinch salt grind of black pepper

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