La Chandeleur

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.

In the Christian Church calendar, first there is Christmas, when Jesus was born, and 40 days after that, there is the day that baby Jesus was presented at the Temple by his parents, according to Jewish religious law. In the Temple was an old and devout man named Simeon. All his life he had waited for the Messiah, hoping to have some word of the arrival of Yahweh’s chosen, before he died. When Mary and Joseph entered the Temple, Simeon approached and asked to hold the baby. He then said the words known as the nunc dimittis : “Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace…for my eyes have seen thy salvation…a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people, Israel.” In pre-Christian Rome, there was a festival in mid-February called Lupercalia. It honored fertility and health. Naked men would run through the streets, and hook-ups would happen when girl’s names were plucked from a bowl. Candles were lit at midnight and people ate small flat cakes, hoping for the return of the sun and summer. During his four-year papacy, Pope Gelasius I tried to stamp out the pagan customs that were still practiced by his flock. In honor of the Presentation of Jesus, he held candlelight processions through the streets and used the occasion to dedicate the next year’s candles for the church. Gelasius called this festival “Candle-mass.” Why all the candles? Because Simeon called Jesus ‘a light’, hence the tie-in to candles during dark days. Gelasius also handed out crepes to pilgrims who came to Rome. When those pilgrims returned home, they told of the festival of candles and their own congregations adopted the idea. Brittany and Normandy, France, where crepes and galettes had long been popular, embraced the idea of celebrating February 2 by eating crepes. And once chocolate was introduced to Europe, enjoying chocolate crepes for La Fete de la Chandeleur became the rage. The first crepe to be cooked is always placed on the top shelf of the cupboard, to ensure luck for the next year. In Germany and the USA, February 2nd is Groundhog Day. Which would you rather eat on Candlemas: a chocolate crepe or a groundhog?

A breakfast of chocolate crepes, bien sur! And for dinner, savory galettes with a traditional and delicious French filling.

Chocolate Crepe Breakfast: 231 calories 4.6 g fat 5.5 g fiber 16.4 g protein 32 g carbs 191.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  Crepes! Chololate! Such delights at breakfast on Chandeleur. Make the crepes ahead for a very easy meal.

oops! forgot the bacon!

2 chocolate crepes** 3 Tbsp 2%-fat cottage cheese 3 Tbsp non-fat vanilla yogurt 3 oz strawberries 1 slice uncured bacon @ 30 calories/slice dusting of icing sugar   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Slice berries or thaw frozen berries in a sieve. Warm the crepes but only briefly, so they do not become dry. Stir together the cottage cheese and yogurt. Stir in some of the berries, saving some for garnish. Cook the bacon. Divide the strawberry cream between the crepes, roll them, and plate. Dust crepes with powdered sugar. Dollop with reserved strawberries, place the bacon. Yum.

**CHOCOLATE CREPES: makes 16 eight-inch crepes  1 crepe= 53 calories 1 g fat 2 g fiber 3 g protein 9 g carbs 38.6 mg Calcium Just what you need to celebrate Chandeleur on February 2nd.

A chocolate crepe, ready to turn over. Hold a gold coin in your left hand as you flip the pan so that the crepe turns over in the air and lands back in the pan. lol. This is to ensure food luck for the following year.
100 g unbleached flour
50 g white-whole-wheat flour  20 g unsweetened cocoa powder 3 tsp sugar
Whisk flours, cocoa, and sugar together.
14 fl oz milk [416 g]Add milk and whisk until combined. 
2 two-oz eggsAdd eggs one at a time. Whisk vigorously until batter runs off the whisk in ropes. 
Let the batter rest for 60+ minutes.
Cooking sprayHeat an 8” cast-iron pan or ceramic saute pan. Lightly spritz with oil, then wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Save the towel.
Dip a ¼ cup measure into batter and let extra drain off. Grasp handle of the cook pan in one hand as you slowly pour batter into center of the pan. Tilt pan to swirl the batter to form a circle roughly 6” in diameter. Don’t get hung up on perfectly round or perfectly flat.
Watch it cook and look for when edges dry and curl a bit. With a heat-resistant but non-scratching tool [I use my fingers], lift the crepe and flip it. Cook the other side. Time will vary, depending on heat of the pan. Lift out crepe, put it aside, and keep cooking.

Leek & Bacon Galettes: 260 calories 5.5 g fat 4.6 g fiber 10 g protein 37 g carbs 114 mg Calcium  PB  Joanne Harris writes in her French Market cookbook about buying these at a market stall in France. Now you can make them at home.  NB: It is easier/quicker if you prepare the galettes/crepes in advance.

buckwheat galettes/crepes  ½ cup Leek & Bacon Filling  2 oz fresh tomato, diced and seasoned with basil or thyme + salt

Gently warm the galettes and place them on a baking sheet. Warm the Leek&Bacon filling and divide it between the crepes, spreading it on one half of each. Fold the crepes in half, then in half again, placing them on the baking sheet so that the filled part is upper-most [this prevents unfolding in the oven]. Cut and season the tomato. Warm the galettes/crepes thoroughly in the oven.

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

1 two-oz egg + applesauce1.5 two-oz eggs 
carrot + broccoli
garlic powder
Indian curry powder  or  curry sauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

3 oz halibut fillet + olive oilprosciutto + melon
fresh spinach + shallot + scallionsred onion pickle + Parmesan cheese
Thai red curry paste + chicken brothmint or basil leaves
light coconut milk + lime juicebalsamic vinegar optional: whole-grain bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water


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