Twelfth Night

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.

As the song tells us, there are 12 Days of Christmas. The counting begins on Christmas Day and continues into January. The 12th Day is the day before Epiphany, January 6, which traditionally marks the day that the Three Kings and their gifts visited the baby Jesus and his family. Because of this, January 6 is a day of gift-giving in many countries. It is also called Three King’s Day and it marks the official ‘end’ of the Christmas Season. Because the twelfth day was the end of festivities and the next day was a Holy Day, the night before Epiphany was the last night for partying and took on particular significance. That night before is called ‘Twelfth Night.’ Yes, Shakespeare wrote a play of that title. Special parties and revelry were planned, along with certain foods. A King Cake was a typical in France, a tradition transplanted to the French colony of Louisiana. This confection was baked with non-edible tokens inside and party-goers would hope to find in their slice of cake a coin [symbolizing wealth for the up-coming year] or a ring [next to marry] or, in today’s New Orleans, a tiny plastic Baby. If you find the Baby, then you are crowned King or Queen of the night, complete with a crown — and you will have to host the party next year. And after Twelfth Night came the Feast of the Three Kings and after that it was back to the hum-drum work-a-day world. Except that we are talking about celebrations in the 12th through 17th centuries and the nobility who lived then — their work-a-day world was far different from that of the hundreds of peasants and servants who made the nobles’ lives possible. My parents always gave their seasonal party on 12th Night, and it was always a success.

Our breakfast contains three principle ingredients, in honor of the Three Kings. Our dinner is typical of the American South at New Year’s: greens and sausage are a classic meal, right down to the touch of molasses.

Carne-Green Chili ScrOmelette: 168 calories 13.5 g fat 1.4 g fiber 12.5 g protein 13 g carbs 48 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  The directions below are for an omelette, or as the name ScrOmelette implies, you could scramble it all.

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.    ½ oz roasted green chilies [Hatch brand is very good] ½ ounce carne adovada [pork shoulder with hot spices boiled until it falls apart: make ahead and freeze for future use] 1½ oz apple or unsweetened apple sauce  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

Whisk the eggs with salt + pepper to taste. Drain the chilis, if too liquidy, and stir with the carne. Put the eggs into a hot pan spritzed with cooking spray. Once the bottom of the eggs are set, sprinkle with carne and chilis, fold and plate. Slice or dish the fruit, prepare your beverages. Enjoy your fine South-Western breakfast with mocha coffee for authentic taste.

Andouille with Beans & Greens:  213 calories 7.5 g fat 6 g fiber 16.5 g protein 22 g carbs 120 mg Calcium  PB GF  After reading Vallery Lomas’ recipe in the New York Times, I decided to see if I could make these flavors suitable for a Fast meal. Here is the result and it is a treat.  HINT: This recipe serves three [3].

6 oz Andouille, slicedCook and stir sausage in a heavy skillet until browned, 5-7 mins.
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
Mince shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent, ~2 mins.
3c/4 oz collards
salt & pepper
Coarsely chop and add greens. Add 3 Tbsp water. Toss-cook to wilt, 2-3 mins. Add salt and pepper. 
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 c. cannellini beans
1 c. diced tomato
2 tsp molasses
Rinse and drain the beans. Add these ingredients and toss to warm through. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
fresh chives + kiwi fruit2 oysters
Parmesan cheeseuncured American bacon
reduced-fat ricotta cheesestrawberries or cherries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

olive oil + garlic + oregano sprig + parsleychicken or turkey thigh meat, uncooked + dashi
collards or kale or Swiss chard + shallotsoy sauce + mirin + chives/scallions
canned beans, like kidney + red pepper flakessaki or dry sherry + sugar
whole wheat pasta or brown rice or barley2 eggs + parsley: Italian or Mitsuba
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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