Slow Days: A Late Spring Dinner

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the Fast Diet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Early May is the mid-way point between the Vernal Equinox [start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere] and the Summer Solstice [start of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere] — so why not have a special meal? Floral-themed, of course. And since the coronation of King Charles III occasioned much discussion of the Coronation Quiche, that would be the main course. Although I tried to stick to the original recipe, some changes had to be made: 1] No lard to be found, so I prepared the crust using all butter. 2] The amount of milk given was insufficient to moisten the crust ingredients, so I added more, once tablespoon at a time, followed by more water until it was right. 3] In the UK, a ‘large’ egg is larger than a US ‘large’ egg. So I provided the weight of the egg so you will have sufficient liquid in the quiche. 4] I recommend using Half&Half or Blend Cream instead of Heavy/Whipping/Double cream. Same result, less saturated fat. 5] The original recipe has the white beans tossed in whole. I mashed them so the texture would be more creamy. 6] The original recipe does not tell the cook to squeeze the excess liquid from the cooked spinach. This is a necessary step, so I included it. 7] After baking the quiche for the recommended 20-25 minutes, it was not quite set in the center and the top was colorless. I cooked it 10 minutes longer and it turned out very well. 8] Cheese type was unspecified, so I emphasized the upstart colonies and used American and Irish Cheddars. I would definitely prepare this again.

125g plain flour
Pinch salt
25g cold butter, diced
25g lard
125g white whole wheat flour Pinch salt 50g cold butter, dicedSift flour + salt into a bowl. Add fats and rub mixture together with finger tips until you get a sandy, bread crumb-like texture.
2 Tbsp milk 
OR use 250g of ready-made shortcrust pastry
5 Tbsp milk + waterAdd milk a bit at a time to bring ingredients together into a ball. Cover, rest in fridge 30-45 mins. Or overnight
On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a circle ~5mm thick, a bit larger than tin.
Line pan with pastry, mending any holes. Cover, rest 30 mins in fridge.
Preheat oven to 190°C./375F
OR MAKE A CRUSTLESS QUICHELine pastry with parchement + baking weights. Bake 15 mins. Remove paper, weights.
Lower oven to 160°C./320F 
125 ml milk 175 ml double/heavy cream two large UK eggs
Salt and pepper
125 ml milk 175 ml half + half two 2.7-oz eggs Salt and pepperWhisk together these ingredients, without making it frothy..
60g canned white beans30g canned white beans Puree or mash, add to egg mixture.
180g cooked spinach 
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon
180g cooked spinach 
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon
Squeeze spinach, roughly chop it along with tarragon. 
50 g grated cheese50 g grated Cheddar 
I used Irish Cheddar here
Scatter cheese on pie crust, top with spinach, then pour egg-bean mixture evenly over all.
50 g cheese50 g Cheddar cheese
I used Vermont Cheddar here
Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20-35 mins until lightly golden, set — might take 10 mins more
1 of 6 Sv: 229 calories 18.6 g fat 0.8 g fiber 10 g protein 3.6 g carbs 208 mg Calcium CRUST 1/6: 134 calories 8.2 g fat 2.7 g fiber 2.7 g protein 14 g carbs 2.6 mg CalciumFILLING 1 of 6 Servings: 166 calories 11.4 g fat 0.8 g fiber 10.4 g protein 6 g carbs 220 mg Calcium ALL BUTTER CRUST 1/6: 127 calories 7.4 g fat 2.7 g fiber 2.7 g protein 14 g carbs 3.6 mg Calcium

To emphasize the floral theme of the meal, an Artistic Foccacio with vegetable flowers and a Panna Cotta for dessert, topped with a drizzle of Dandelion Jelly and decked with Candied Violets.

The dessert recipe is from I am very fond of make-ahead desserts.

makes 6 ramekins or 8 mini-Mason jarsLightly spray six ¾-cup ramekins or custard cups with nonstick spray or 8 mini-Mason jars with lids
2 tablespoons water 1½ tsp unflavored gelatinPour water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens, ~10 mins.
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
½ cup sugar
Heat these in medium saucepan over med-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. 
Increase heat and bring just to low boil, stirring occasionally. Do not over-heat the mixture!
Add gelatin mixture, take off heat. Stir until gelatin dissolves. 
Pour into a bowl. Cool mixture to lukewarm, stirring often. 
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Stir in these. Divide mixture among ramekins. Refrigerate panna cotta until set, ~4 hours or overnight.

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