Under the Influence: Nova Scotia

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.

Locations are shaped by the peoples who inhabit them. Local cuisines are influenced by the peoples who move into an area, bringing new food stuffs and new techniques. The Canadian provence that is now called “Nova Scotia” was originally settled by the Mi’kmaq people who called their land “Mi’kma’ki.” They were the Eastern relatives of the Abenaki of New Hampshire and Maine [see 10 October, 2021]. In 1632, French settlers arrived and called the land “Acadia.” The Scots came in 1773, eventually taking over Cape Breton Island and giving the province its name: ‘New Scotland’ or Nova Scotia in latin. Scottish language and food still pervade beautiful Cape Breton, recently raked over by Hurricane Fiona, September 2022. The English were a major population from that time too, building up Halifax as a commercial and military hub. In the late 1800s and early decades of the 1900s immigrants arrived in the city to earn a living in a new land. A Greek restauranteur named  Peter Gamoulakos tried selling lamb gyros, but they were not so popular. He changed the meat to beef, added a sweet new sauce, and the Donair was born. Halifax has been crazy for Donair as a late-night snack since it was commercialized in 1971. In case you didn’t know, October is Mi’kmaq History Month.

Haggis is the best food for honouring the Scots who pioneered New Scotland and raised sheep. The dinner of Donair shows the influence of immigrants from the Mediterranean. Donair is available at every pizza joint and you can buy the components to make it at home. Quite frankly, the sweet, flabby commercial donair leaves me cold. I took the original elements and made it my way. Halagonians may scream, but there it is.

Haggis Bake: 144 calories 8 g fat 1.4 g fiber 13 g protein 8.6 g carbs 37 mg Calcium PB GF  Haggis could be described as a Scottish lamb sausage. ‘Sausage and eggs’ are a winning combination, so why not ‘haggis and eggs’? Canned haggis is available some places, or prepare your own from my recipe.

1 two-oz egg 2.5 Tbsp/0.7oz haggis  1 oz pear  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

Whisk together the egg and haggis, and pour into an oven-safe dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Portion the fruit, pour the optional beverages, and have a bonny day.

Donair: 297 calories 15.5 g fat 2.5 g fiber 19 g protein 18.5 g carbs 96 mg Calcium  PB  The original Halifax Donair is based on a lamb gyro sandwich, so here it goes back to its roots. You can prepare the bread dough in advance and cook it right then, or cook it in advance.

1 gozleme bread made from 2.4 oz dough 3 oz ground lamb 1 oz tomatoes, diced  2 Tbsp raw onion, chopped 2 Tbsp ‘donair sauce’ + 1/4 cup cucumber with plain yogurt and dill carrot sticks

+’My Donair Sauce‘  makes ~ 2 Tbsp, enough for one serving 2 Tbsp vanilla yogurt 2 tsp cider vinegar 2 tsp garlic powder Stir together and put in a side dish for serving.

Prepare gozleme bread, dividing the dough into 4 portions. [You need one bread per person for this meal] Roll as thinly as you can to create a large round. Cook bread on a griddle on both sides. Brown the lamb meat and drain off all the fat. While the lamb is cooking, dice the tomato and chop the onion. Prepare the sauce. Plate the bread and top with lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Top with tomato and onion. Put the dish of sauce on the plate. Spoon on sauce to taste, then bring up the sides of the bread to enclose the toppings and start eating. That’s what donair should taste like!

If you want to see what Donair has become in the modern era, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px0vBD5DBx4

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

1 two-oz egg + kalamata olive1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomato + feta cheesesmoked chicken sausage
cooked lamb + spinachoregano + parsley
oregano + peach/nectarineapplesauce or apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

green bell pepper + cucumber4 six-inch rice spring roll wrappers
olive oil + white wine vinegar + garliccarrot + Haggis filling 
tarragon + onion + dry white winelettuce + cherry tomatoes
small shrimp + piment d’espletteflavorful oil + vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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