Washington Irving

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.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It would seem impossible to celebrate Hallowe’en in the US without invoking the tale of the Headless Horseman! We owe that story to the fertile pen of historian, diplomat, and author Washington Irving. When he was born on April 3, 1783, his patriotic parents named their 11th child for the leader of the Revolution and the first among equals of the Founding Fathers. Irving was educated at local schools until age 16 — an indifferent student but an avid reader of adventure/travel books. A few years later he was a reporter for his brother’s newspaper under the nom de plume ‘Jonathan Oldstyle.’ In that role, he covered the trial of Aaron Burr. He read for the law until his eyesight began to fail, so in 1804 he took off to Europe for a Grand Tour of sorts to a spa in Bordeaux. Quickly picking up the French language, the gregarious Irving made himself welcome all over the continent. His return to New York saw him become a lawyer and become engaged to Mathilda Hoffmann. She died at age 17, and Irving never had another woman in his life. Irving did not really care for the law, and to relieve his ennui he wrote a book: 1809 –  History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty by ‘Diedrich Knickerbocker.’ When the British burned Washington DC in the War of 1812, Irving was an enthusiastic soldier and a military secretary. At war’s end, he traveled to England and remained in Europe for 17 years. He was tapped to be aide-de-camp for the American Minister to London. In that time, he published two collections of short stories: The Crayon Papers and The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon [another one of his pseudonyms] These tales put him on the map, being widely popular in both the US and in Europe. At that time, only James Fenimore Cooper had an audience on both sides of the Atlantic. While in Spain, Irving turned to history, writing The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828), Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada (1829), and Tales of the Alhambra (1832). Once returned to America in 1832, Irving bought a homestead in the Hudson Valley and named it Sunnyside. He lived there for the rest of his life, except when he was sent back to Europe as Minister to Spain. His 16 books of history, travel, and biography would certainly cement his place in literary history. But more than that, he is hailed as the creator of the American Short Story form of writing. His stories are humorous and Gothic and highly readable. Irving’s stories are given credit for the way Hallowe’en and Christmas are celebrated in the USA. His fame is well-deserved.

The lower Hudson River Valley was heavily influenced by the Dutch colonizers, and many of Irving’s characters have Dutch names: ex: Rip Van Winkle. Our breakfast also has a Dutch name. Our dinner combines meat and fish — country food from a coastal region.

Dutch Baby: 165 calories 8 g fat 4 g fiber 8 g protein 17 g carbs 95 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  On Sundays, we sometimes have Dutch Babies as a special breakfast treat. The recipe, found in the Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham, is delicious. I was determined to make these fruit-covered popovers work for a Fast Day. Here it is: still delicious, but I would save it for a day with a high protein dinner. HINT: This recipe makes 2 [two] of the Dutch Babies. Either invite a friend for breakfast or freeze half of the batter for another time.

3 oz of egg [one 2-oz egg + 1 egg white] ¼ cup milk 3 Tbsp white whole wheat flour + 1 Tbsp high gluten flour 2 tsp melted butter ¼ cup raspberries sprinkle of confectioner’s/icing sugar 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 

If starting the night before: combine the egg, milk, and flour in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. The next morning, beat in the melted butter with a mixer. If starting in the morning: combine the egg, milk, flour and beat in the melted butter with a rotaty mixer. Set the toaster oven at 450 F. Spritz two 4” custard cups or 4” cast iron pans with non-stick spray and pour the batter into them. Bake for 15 minutes, until the babies are puffed up, golden brown, and cooked on the bottom. Remove from baking dishes to plates, top with berries and a sprinkle of 10X sugar. Celebrate something special while you enjoy your optional beverage.

Ham-Stuffed Fish267 calories 5.4 g fat 4.5 g fiber 32 g protein 21 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread Another recipe of unknown origin… very similar to Nero Wolfe’s “Trout Montana.” Glad I saved it.

4 oz perch or sole 1 oz 3%-fat sliced ham from the deli ½ tsp soy sauce + ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 egg white ½ piece of whole-grain 70-calorie bread 1 Tbsp finely-chopped or ground walnuts 1 oz carrots, cut as batons + 1 oz celery, cut as batons 1/4 cup pickled beets 1 scallion, sliced 2 slices lemon

Trim the fish so that it is in 2 pieces of equal length and thickness. Crumble the bread into the finest crumbs and blend thoroughly with walnuts. Whip the egg white until it is very frothy. Blend in the soy sauce and sherry. Make a ‘sandwich’ of the ham slice between the two pieces of fish. Dip in the egg mixture to coat, then dip in the bread/walnuts. Cook in a heavy non-stick pan, sprayed with non-stick spray, until fish is cooked – about 5 minutes per side. Cook the carrots and celery. Warm the beets or serve cold. Plate vegetables. Plate the fish, top with lemons, and sprinkle with sliced scallion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s