The Darkest Evening

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Living Paleo and jeffryjune8 and Julian Sirian who are now Following.

“Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farm house near, Between the woods and frozen lake, The darkest evening of the year.”

So begins Robert Frost‘s Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. Many young school children have memorized it. Many older ones have studied its unusual rhyme scheme: AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD Some go on to ponder the meaning, for surely it must mean something. To me, it is no more and no less than an appreciation of winter in Northern New England: the woods; the quiet; the solitude; the snow; the chance to stop and look and think and enjoy the view. “The darkest evening of the year” is, of course, the Winter Solstice. At my latitude, the night will be 15 hours long on December 21.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, we will prepare a breakfast that gives a nod to Autumn and to Winter. The fact that after the Solstice the days grow longer seems cause for a celebratory feast! In Eastern Canada, residents will buy a small barrel of oysters in December, to tide them through the season. In the Eastern US, many Winter meals — from chowders, to stuffings, to cocktail parties [not this year!], to casseroles — feature oysters because they can be kept fresh in the cold weather. So let’s eat oysters!

Winter Solstice Bake: 141 calories 7.6 g fat 1.3 g fiber 9 g protein 12 g carbs 51 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  For the change of the seasons, a meal to mark the occaision. The olives represent Autumn and the cured meat evokes Winter. A great combination any time.

One 2-oz egg ¼ oz proscuitto 2 Kalamata olives pinch of winter savory or rosemary  1 clementine  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water    Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Chop the meat and the olives.  Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs. Stir in the meat and olives, and pour into the ramekin. Resist the urge to add much salt — the meat and the olives are salty to begin with. Bake at 350F. for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the beverage of choice.

Oyster Feast:  267 calories 15 g fat 2 g fiber 12.6 g protein 21 g carbs [4 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium   PB GF  In my opinion, a plate of raw oysters and a salad makes a wonderful dinner for a dieter. Please note that all 12 oysters are for one person: a real feast!

The oysters were delivered to us from Island Creek, Massachusetts, and represent three different varieties.

12 medium raw oysters 2 oz spinach leaves ½ oz walnut meats 2 oz pickled beets, cubed ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Break the spinach leaves into the bowl and toss gently to cover with the dressing. Put the walnuts and beets in the bowl over the salad. Shuck the oysters and enjoy your special meal.

The Nutcracker

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Ethan Cruz and amazingfindss and memo1358 who are now Following.

A special event from my childhood was when our mother took my sister and me into New York City to see the Nutcracker Ballet. My goodness! The costumes! The scene design! The music! The dancing! Truly a special day for a little girl.  Pyotr Tchaikovsky began writing the music at the suggestion of choreographer Marius Petipa who wanted a ballet based on a German folktale as reimagined by Alexandre Dumas, pere. Tchaikovsky began composing in February and previewed some of the music as The Nutcracker Suite in March. The ballet was set to debut in December of 1892, on a double bill with his opera Iolanta. Unfortunately the choreographer became ill, and his replacement was sub par. The set and costumes were rushed, and not up to snuff. The premier was panned by audience and critics. Not until it was reimagined by George Balanchine at the New York City Ballet in 1954, did the work receive wide acclaim, especially due to the dancing of Maria Tallchief. Now The Nutcracker is preformed as a cherished Christmas tradition, leaving more little girls with stars in their eyes.

Today’s menus are both from the Russian cuisine section of the NYT International Cookbook, in honor of the composer Tchaikovsky.

Mushroom Smitane Scramble: 147 calories 7.5 g fat 1.7 g fiber 11.7 g protein 9 g carbs 67.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF A recipe from Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cookbook inspired this breakfast of Russian flavors. 

1½ 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.   2 Tbsp chopped scallion ½ oz mushrooms, chopped 1 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt big pinch paprika + big pinch marjoram 1½ oz pear

Spritz a non-stick saute pan with non-stick spray. Put the mushrooms and scallion into the pan over-medium-high heat and cook them until they begin to wilt. Whisk the eggs with the yogurt and seasonings, and pour into the pan. Scramble to your liking, plate with the pear, and pair with the beverage of choice.

Pojarski Cutlets: 246 calories 6.7 g fat 5 g fiber 45 g protein 15 g carbs 79 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread From an inn between Moscow and St Petersburg, comes a recipe to turn chopped meat into cutlets. Very simple to prepare. Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cook Book.  HINT: makes 3 cutlets – one for now, two for a Slow Day.

7¾ oz ground bison meat
3¾ oz chicken breast
 ½ ounce egg [1 Tbsp]
Cut the meat roughly into 1-inch chunks. Put in a food processor with the egg and process until blended and well chopped.
Form the meat into 3 tear-drop shapes, about 1/2″ thick.
2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour ½ oz egg [1 Tbsp] + 1 Tbsp water  6 Tbsp fresh bread crumbsDust the meat with flour, then brush with the egg/water. Sprinkle with the crumbs and pat them on to make them stick. 
Non-stick spraySpray on a medium-hot non-stick pan and cook the ‘cutlets’ until browned on both sides.
5-6 oz asparagusCook and plate with the cutlets.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + broccoli
prosciutto + kalamata olivestomato + black olive
winter/summer savorycottage cheese + Parmesan cheese
clementinestrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

12 medium fresh oystersleft-over pot roast
spinach leaves + pickled beetsboiling onions + carrots
walnut piecessmall red potatoes
olive oil + balsamic vinegarbeef gravy
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Halcyon Days

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Eat Think Wellness and Solute21 and Weight Loss Review who are now Following.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, in the middle of December, the weather is usually fair and calm, good for voyaging by boat. When the ancient Greeks wanted to explain a natural phenomenon, they would create a legend about it. As we are told, the minor gods Alcyone and Ceyx drew the wrath of Zeus and he killed them. The other gods and goddesses took pity and turned them into kingfisher birds [Family Halcyonidae, Genus Alcedo]. These kingfishers were said to build a floating nest in which to hatch their chicks. Needing calm seas to achieve success, the birds would cast a spell on the weather to ensure it: those were the Halcyon Days. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Halcyon Days begin on December 14 this year. The original meaning seems to have morphed to connote happy times, when all is well — a modern interpretation indeed of ‘calm and sunny’ weather. As the Covid vaccines are approved and delivered into waiting arms, perhaps our 2021 will have a long stretch of Halcyon Days.

It is a Greek legend, so Greek food is on the menu: morning and evening.

Creamy Greek Omelette:  165 calories 9 g fat 2 g fiber 12.6 g protein 14 g carb [11.7 g Complex] 89 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF The feta lends a tang to the eggs, while the cottage cheese gives a wonderful melting texture. A real treat.

1 ½ 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.  3/8 oz feta cheese 1½ Tbsp cottage cheese Greek oregano + salt + pepper 1½ oz of apple  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Mince the feta and combine with cottage cheese and oregano. Spritz a non-stick skillet with oil or non-stick spray and heat the pan over medium-low heat. Beat the eggs well with 1 spoonful of the cheese mixture using a rotary mixer. Pour the eggs into the pan and let cook undisturbed until the edges set. Lift the edges gently to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. Before the top surface sets, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put dollops of the cheese mixture on half the omelette and make an attempt to spread it out. Fold the omelette in half and continue to heat in the pan. Filling will heat and may ooze out a bit. Brew and pour your beverages. Plate the apple and the omelette. Oh yum.

Greek-style Hake:  263 calories 11 g fat 7.7 g fiber 25.5 g protein 24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 173 mg Calcium  PB GF  The cookbook Ikaria by Diane Kochilas is related to the National Geographic study of locations world-wide where there is the greatest longevity. Thinking that nutrition has something to do with it is one direction that could take you.

4 oz hake ½ tsp olive oil 1/3 cup onions, halved then sliced ½ clove garlic, sliced pinch sugar 1½ cup canned whole tomatoes 1 Tbsp [½ oz] dry red wine 1½ Tbsp good Feta cheese, crumbled 2½ oz asparagus OR one Side Salad 

Saute the onion slices and garlic in the oil, adding some water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove garlic and discard. Add tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Cook the vegetables down to reduce the liquid. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, cover loosely, turn down the heat and cook until the fish flakes [about 10 minutes]. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus or Side Salad. Top the fish with the crumbled Feta before serving.

The Ice Storm

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Go Heathy Eating and Evelyn D. Greene and ujaechpfmbmqy2k who are now Following. 

We went to bed on December 11, 2008, with forecasters predicting rain and freezing rain overnight. We woke at 4 am, listening to ice tik-tikking against the windows and slithering off the White Pine trees to tinkle to the ground. At 4:30 am, a pine limb jolted us out of bed as it crashed through a skylight in the kitchen. Hours later, after sawing apart the limb and tacking a large trash bag over the gaping window [and mopping the water and sweeping the broken glass], the reality of our situation revealed itself: the inches of ice on the trees had brought many to the ground, bringing down power lines all over Northern New England. Within those few hours, we had been yanked out of the 21st century and propelled back to the 18th century: no electric lights, no indoor plumbing [the well pump runs on electricity], no central heating, no refrigerator or freezers. For us, this lasted for 10 days. We coped pretty well. Heat came from 2 wood stoves; we hauled water from the stream to flush toilets; melted snow for water for washing dishes; covered the freezers with blankets and moved refrigerator food to boxes on the back porch. Life went on. It was an adventure for us, a life-threatening problem for others. When we started our Pandemic State of Emergency in March, 2020, it made me think of the Ice Storm days — we were on our own, not going anywhere, not seeing anybody. Gosh we were glad when the power came on again! Now, in the winter, when the meteorologist predicts freezing rain overnight, people still get a little nervous….and check the flashlight batteries.

Our meals for the Ice Storm Anniversary could easily be cooked on the wood stove, using ingredients that might be on hand in a thawing refrigerator. In case you are wondering: yes, one puts the food in a pot or saute pan — not directly on the metal of the stove.

Creole ScrOmelette: 154 calories 8.5 g fat 0.9 g fiber 16.7 g protein 7.5 g carbs [6.5 g Complex] 72.5 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking was the source of this recipe. It is amazing!

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.  1 Tbsp diced tomatoes or 1 Tbsp tomato puree 1 Tbsp minced onion 2 Tbsp green bell pepper, diced 1 Tbsp diced bacon ½ Tbsp mozzerella cheese, grated pinch file powder + pinch chile powder   ½ oz pear  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

HINT: dice all the vegetables and bacon the night before to save time in a.m. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the chopped veg and bacon. Add the seasonings. Saute until beginning to brown. Whisk the eggs and pour them over the cooked ingredients. Sprinkle the cheese on top and scramble the eggs until done as you like them. Plate with portioned pear and your beverages of choice. Off to a tasty start.

Ham & Cheese Street Crepes: 272 calories 9 g fat 2.4 g fiber 21 g protein 25 g carbs 212 mg Calcium  NB: The photo shows a meal for 2 [TWO]. The recipe below is for one serving. This is the familiar street-vendor lunch in Paris, except that the food values will not break the bank on a Fast Day. Very quick and easy to prepare, especially if you had made the crêpe batter before and have it thawed out. HINT: can be prepared in advance and rewarmed later. Good for traveling or planning ahead.

1 serving = 2 crepes

2 crêpes  1 wedge “Laughing Cow” [Vache Qui Rit] cheese at room temperature 2 oz sliced deli ham ½ oz deli sliced Swiss cheese 2 oz tomatoes 

Cook the crepes on both sides. Remove to a work surface. Spread the Laughing Cow cheese on one half of each crêpe. Lay the ham on the cheese side of each crêpe and top with the Swiss cheese slices. Fold in half. Heat a heavy skillet, adding maybe a spritz or 2 of non-stick spray. Lay the folded crêpes on the hot skillet to heat one side, then flip to heat the other side. You want the cheese to get melty. Fold each crêpe once more into tidy triangles, and push down on them with the turner to flatten them. Plate them with the tomatoes and voilà!

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

1.5 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + tomato
feta cheesebacon + onion + green pepper
cottage cheese + oreganomushrooms
apple or applesaucepaprika + pear
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

hake + olive oil bison or venison meat
garlic + sugar + onion chicken breast meat + asparagus
red wine + whole tomatoeswhite whole wheat flour
feta cheese + side saladegg + fresh bread crumbs
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Supernova!

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to holisticlifehacker and fastabsburner, who are now Following.

A ‘supernova‘ is usually the explosion of a large star, which, having run out of Hydrogen, explodes violently. Such stars are rare and they send out so much light that they can be seen many 1000s of light-years away. The first such event to be recorded by humans was seen on Dec 7, 185 by Chinese astronomers, who reported a ‘guest star.’ The Chinese did not attempt to interpret what they saw, they merely made note. In 1572, Tycho Brahe was the first European to observe a supernova, and he called it a ‘new star’ [stella nova]. Having found a new star in the presumably unchanging heavens won Tycho lasting fame. Whether guest or new, a supernova is an old star which is newly visible from far away. Often this last gasp of a star’s life lasts for months before fading out, and may be visible during the day as well.

Foo Yung ScrOmelette: 150 calories 7.6 g fat 1.5 g fiber 13 g protein 8 g carbs [6.8 g Complex] 68 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Here we take the Cantonese classic and prepare it for breakfast. Filling and nutritious.

1 ½ 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.  2 Tbsp crab meat ¾ tsp soy sauce ¼ c mung bean sprouts ¼ oz mushrooms green parts of one scallion, sliced ¼ tsp ground ginger + splash of hot sauce 1 oz pear slices or applesauce   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

The night before, combine the crab, soy, sprouts, mushrooms, scallion, ginger and hot sauce in a small bowl. Next morning, spritz a non-stick saute pan with oil or non-stick spray and briefly cook the crab mixture to heat it thoroughly. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour into the pan, scrambling to incorporate the crab mixture. Cook to your favorite degree of doneness. [Alternately, cook like pancakes: put half of the crab mixture in the pan, then pour half of the egg on top. When done on the bottom, turn to cook the top. Repeat with other half of ingredents.] Dish up the fruit, brew your hot beverage, and prep the smoothie. And your fortune cookie says: “You will lose weight.”

Shrimp Egg Rolls:  238 calories 3.5 g fat 2.5 g fiber 15.6 g protein 29 g carbs 46 mg Calcium  PB I learned to make egg rolls when I worked for Jerry Willis at his ffirst restaurant. These have always been a favorite. But they are NOT deep-fat fried, which keeps their calories and fat down to permissable levels.  HINT: This recipe makes 4 rolls and one serving = 2 rolls. Put 2 in the freezer for another day or eat for lunch later in the week.

3 oz shrimp, fresh or frozen, shells removed 1 Tbsp oyster sauce 1 Tbsp soy sauce one 1/4″ slice of ginger, minced ½ garlic, sliced 2 oz carrot, sliced 1 oz onion, sliced 3 oz cabbage, sliced 4 six-inch egg roll wrappers 1 tsp canola oil 3 oz tomato slices duck sauce + hot sauce [wasabi or Sriracha]

If shrimp are frozen, thaw them in advance. Then slice in half across the body and mix with the oyster and soy sauces, the garlic and onion. Prepare the vegetables and put them all into a hot wok or wide saute pan with ¼ cup water and a squirt of Sriracha. [If the pan gets too dry, add a bit of the marinade combined with a few spoonsful of water.] Stir-fry the ingredients for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are just a little shy of done. Add the shrimp and marinade and stirfry about one minute longer – shrimp should be thoroughly cooked. Put everything from the wok into the food processor and run until coarsely chopped. [If a lot of liquid remains, cook it down some more until it is thick and add back to the ingredients.] Lay one of the wrappers on a flat surface and moisten the edge farthest from you with water. Measure out 1/3 cup of the filling and roll up the wrapper. There are usually diagrams on the back of the package to show you how. Put the oil in a clean, flat-bottomed pan and heat it. Put the egg rolls in the pan and roll them around to coat with the oil on all surfaces. Heat until the rolls are beginning to get brown and blister-y on one side, then turn to cook on the other side. You could continue in this way or you could put the pan in a 375 degree oven until they are crispy. Plate with the tomato slices and the dipping sauce.

Slow Days: Pot Roast

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 FastDiet 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.

I have fond memories of my mother’s pot roast during my Connecticut childhood. No idea what cut or size of beef she used…I do remember long chunks of carrot and large chunks of potato infused with the braising liquid. Probably cooked in a pressure cooker, and following the recipe in Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Delicious way to fill up a family. Dear Husband suggested recently that we do a Sunday pot roast. It seemed appropriate as the Autumn advances during a deepening season of Covid cases. We looked at Jacques Pepin Celebrates, and there was his ‘Connecticut Pot Roast.’

4.5 pounds of beef bottom round were browned in butter in a large Dutch Oven. Then braised in 1-1/2 cups water with salt for 3 hours in the oven at 275 F. Next, add 1-3/4 pound small red potatoes, one pound of carrots, 1 pound onions the size of large radishes, and 2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms are added, along with 1-1/2 cups water and a bit of salt. The covered pot returns to the oven for 2 more hours. At that point everything should be tender. Remove the meat and vegetables and boil the liquids down to 3 cups. Thicken the broth with 2 teaspoons of potato starch dissolved in 2 Tbsp of red wine.

Here is all the meat, with most of the vegetables — wow – that’s a lot of food!

Plated, it looks like this, served with a California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Napped with the thickened stock, this is a wonderful meal.

Since we started with 4.5# of meat, we ended up with lots of meat and vegetables left over. In the next few weeks, you will see how different ways this meal can be used for a Fast Day: repeated as is; as a cold plate supper; as cottage pie. So this might be a great thing to prepare during the holidays, since it provides many subsequent meals.

Gilbert Stuart

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to The Health Solution and Evaking who are now Following.

Who showed us the face of the American Revolution? Gilbert Stuart, portraitist of the Founding Fathers.  Born on December 3, 1755, in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, Stuart showed promise at an early age. His first commission was done when he was 12 years old. He was tutored by a Scottish painter, who took Gilbert to Scotland at the start of the American Revolution. Although his mentor died within a year, the artist began to cultivate the famous and powerful, painting many portraits in the UK, thanks to the help of artist Benjamin West. Upon his return to the USA after the war, Stuart had a studio in the new city of Washington, DC. EVERYBODY sat for him and he was very prolific. He had to be: as brilliant as he was with a paint brush, he was equally unskilled with a check book. His famous portrait of George Washington was in great demand. Stuart kept it until he died, endlessly making copies to sell to try to stay out of debt. Until his death at age 72, he had painted 1000 portraits: 6 presidents, bishops, First Ladies, Supreme Court Justices, children and wives of rich men. His portraits looked natural and made his subjects seem alive. People enjoyed sitting for him, since he was a lively conversationalist. Want to visit his grave? No such luck. So in debt was he when he died, that his family buried him in an unmarked grave, always intending to come back and give him a headstone. But 10 years later, they couldn’t find him, and he is lost in the Central Burying Ground of Boston Common.

Even in the late 1700s, people from the Azores, fishermen and whalers, were moving to Rhode Island. Our breakfast has the flavors of their Old Country that they brought here. All-American ‘succotash’ is from Rhode Island, just like Gilbert Stuart. The word is from the language of the Narragansett Indians who settled the land long before the colonizers arrived.

Azorean Omelette: 197 calories 10.4 g fat 0.9 g fiber 12.6 g protein 5.4 g carbs [4.2 g Complex] 126 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the Omelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF When we were on vacation in the Azores, these local ingredients made for a wonderful breakfast. When at home, just as fine.

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.  0.3 oz Azorean cheese OR Gouda 1 oz Pimenta da Queijo    1 oz kiwi fruit   optional: blackish Portuguese or Brazilian coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea [from the Gorreana Tea Plantation] or lemon in hot water

Grate/shred the cheese. Whisk the eggs with the pepper sauce and turn into a lightly-oiled nonstick pan. Sprinkle the eggs with the cheese and cook as you would an omelette. Plate with the fruit and serve one of those delicious beverages. Excellent.

‘Original’ Succotash: 270 calories 2.6 g fat 9 g fiber 18 g protein 50 g carbs [all Complex] 71 mg Calcium  PB GF  The Mystic Seaport Cookbook  contains many quaint and curious old recipes. What follows is my combination of two of them. It is ‘original’ because it gets us back to what succotash once was [a main dish, not a side] and because it is my own version.  HINT: This recipe makes 3 cups of succotash, which could be 3 servings. 

½ cup lima beans [Green Giant frozen Fordhook] ½ cup green/snap beans ½ cup corn kernels ¼ cup canned navy beans 2 oz corned beef [New England style is grey because it contains no nitrates] 1 slice cornmeal mush aka: polenta   sage + pepper + salt to taste [mind that the corned beef might be salty] 

Cook the vegetables until they are tender. Drain the cooking water and reserve ½ cup. Mash the navy beans and whisk into ¼ cup vegetable water. Put all vegetables and the meat into a pan along with the mashed beans. Add sage and pepper to taste and more vegetable broth if you wish. If it needs more salt, add it, too. In a non-stick pan, saute the corn mush on each side until it is warm. Plate the mush with one cup of succotash. It is very filling.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + crab meat1.5 two-oz eggs + pear
soy sauce + bean sproutstomato + bacon + onion
mushrooms + scallion + applegreen bell pepper + mozzarella
ginger + hot saucefile powder + chili powder
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggroll wrappers + soy sauce2 crepes + tomatoes
shrimp + oyster sauce + gingersliced deli ham
garlic + carrot + onion sliced deli Swiss cheese
cabbage + tomato + canola oilVache Qui Rit cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Maud

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Bhadra who is now Following.

100 years ago, if you asked who was the most famous Canadian author, the answer would have been Lucy Maud Montgomery. She was born in a little yellow [now white with green trim] house in Clifton, on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island. While she was yet a toddler, her mother died and her father sent her to be raised by her maternal grandparents in Cavendish. [There is no ‘Avonlea, PEI.’] In photos, they look about as friendly as the folks in American Gothic. Maud [“I am ‘Lucy’ for my grandmother,” she said. “I am ‘Maud’ for myself”] grew up as a very lonely child with a vivid imagination. She wrote poetry, submitting her first at the age of 13 [rejected], and then short stories, and then her break-through book: Anne of Green Gables. Of course you know that book or at least one of the many television series that interpret it. Is the book autobiographical? No, her series Emily of New Moon is more like her life. But everything was grist for Maud’s literary mill, especially her beloved Prince Edward Island which is always in her work. Even when Maud married and moved to Toronto, she wrote exclusively of PEI. How land-locked she must have felt in Ontario! And how sad her life became: one son with a mental illness; another child stillborn; her clerical husband’s distant nature and her own spiral into barbiturate addiction. But PEI shone like a lighthouse beacon: a land ’emerald, sapphire, and ruby’ when she described the colors of the landscape. The sense of home that she felt there is palpable when she wrote, “You never know what peace is until you walk along the shores…of Prince Edward Island in the summer twilight..”

In honor of Maud Montgomery’s birthday on November 30, we will have a delightful breakfast from our favorite PEI inn. And for dinner, a local delicacy from the Gulf of St Lawrence: halibut with your choice of fruit sauces. Tomato salsa is very popular in PEI.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate:  125 calories 7 g fat 1 g fiber 17 g protein 13.4 g carbs [13 g Complex] 135 mg Calcium  PB GF  Once again the Inn at Saint Peter’s inspires a breakfast! Nothing beats the salty-sweet flavor combination of this meal.  HINT: I plated everything the night before and stored the plates in zipper bags in the refrigerator.

4 oz canteloupe melon [Charentais melon would be fabulous!] 1 oz thinly-sliced prosciutto ¼ cup red onion pickle 0.1 oz shavings of Parmesan cheese fresh basil or mint leaves OR crumbled dried basil drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction, optional  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes [8 pieces look well on the plate]. Cut the prosciutto into 8 long strips [mine were 1”x4”]. Arrange the melon and ham in a circle on the plate with the red onion in the center. Shave off curls of Parmesan and place them on top. If using fresh herb leaves, tuck them in here and there. If using dried herbs, rub the leaves in your palms to crumble over the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you wish. Serve with your chosen beverages. Wonderful flavors, however you combine them on your fork.

Halibut with Fruit Sauce: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium   PB GF  Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit salsa makes for a splendid topping. Two different ones are detailed below.

Here, the halibut is topped with the Rhubarb-Onion Relish and a very plain salad.

4 oz halibut filet side salad = lettuce, carrot, tomato, beets, cucumbers, vinaigrette  fruit salsa, your choice

Tomato Salsa:  makes 3 cups 1 serving = ¼ cup  From the Ball Blue Book 15 calories 0.3 g fat 0.9 g fiber 0.9 g protein 5.8 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

2 cups chopped tomatoes  
1 cup/5.3 oz chopped green sweet peppers  
1 cup chopped onion  
½ cup jalapeno/serrano peppers, chopped  1 clove garlic, minced  1 tsp salt  ¼ c cider vinegar
Put everything in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.If storing, put salsa in canning jars with 2-part lids and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Peach Salsa: 21 calories 0.3 g fat 1 g fiber 1 g protein 7 g carbs 9 mg Calcium To ¼ cup Tomato Salsa, add ½ oz diced peaches. Superb on fish.

Rhubarb-Onion Relish:  makes 1 cup  From Marion Cunningham  2 Tbsp [1 fluid ounce] = 26 calories 0 g fat 0.1 g fiber 0.1 g protein 1.5 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2¾ Tbsp vinegar ¼ tsp salt 1/3 cup light brown sugar, unpacked pinch each ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick. Can be canned in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Sausage

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

In English it is ‘sausage.’ In German, ‘wurst.’ In French, ‘saucisse.’ In China, xiāngcháng. The English and French words derive from the latin ‘salsicia’ meaning salted. Sausages are ground meat of any kind, combined with flavorings and stuffed into a tube formed by the intestines of animals. This is why many think that Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” [but he didn’t] As cool weather arrives, around St Martin’s Day, meat animals are killed on farms all over the world: the animal has been fattened; it is more economical to kill it than to continue to feed it; the weather is cool enough to provide natural refrigeration for the meat. Farm wives are brilliant at getting the most out of any food resource, so they take the little scraps of meat that cling to the bone and make sausage in a wide range of varieties.

Our menus today feature sausage for breakfast, paired with apple in a winning combination. The dinner is the central-European classic, sausage with sauerkraut, another marriage made in heaven.

Sausage-Apple ScrOmelette: 152 calories 10 g fat 0.5 g fiber 13 g protein 3.5 g carbs 43 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF   A hearty breakfast to start your day right.

1 ½ 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.  1 link chicken breakfast sausage = 35 calories per sausage ¾ oz apple sage, fresh or dried   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Dice the sausage and apple. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the sausage/apple and stir to warm them and cook them a bit. Whisk the eggs with the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sausage/apple in the pan. Scramble to your favorite degree of doneness. Partake of your beverages of choice.

Sauerkraut and Sausage: 255 calories 5.7 g fat 12.6 g fiber 21 g protein 33.5 g carbs 196.4 mg Calcium  GF PB  Does this meal make you picture over-weight Teutons? Brunhilde, anyone? Now check the calories and change your mind. Sauerkraut is a great choice for dieting. 

1½ cups sauerkraut, canned or bagged or fresh 2 tsp caraway seed 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened ½ cup onions, chopped coarsely 1 cob-smoked chicken sausage with apple [OR any other sausage with 110 calories] left whole or sliced into ½” chunks 1½ cups raw collard greens OR kale OR chard, chopped or sliced cross-wise in ¼” strips [chiffonade]  salt + garlic powder + pepper to taste.

Thaw the sausage, if it is frozen. Cook it partly, if it is raw. Combine the sauerkraut, caraway seed, applesauce, and onions in a saucepan large enough to hold the sausage [if leaving whole]. Cook slowly, uncovered until half of the liquid is gone. Add the sausage, cover, and continue to cook until everything is hot. Meanwhile, put the collards into ½ cup water with seasonings, and cook covered until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

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

cantaloup melon1.5 two-oz eggs 
prosciutto + balsamic vinegarAzores cheese or Gouda
red onion picklepimenta da Queijo
mint or basil + Parmesan cheesekiwi fruit
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Halibutlima beans + green [snap] beans
side saladcorn kernels + corned beef
Rhubarb agrodolce or tomato salsacanned white beans
[tomato, green pepper, onion, jalapeño, garlic, cider vinegar]polenta
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St Clement

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to apetitegirlsguideto2964 who is now Following.

” “Oranges and lemons,’ say the bells of St. Clements” according to the nursery rhyme. There is dispute as to whether that was St Clement Danes or St Clement Eastcheap, but that doesn’t matter since the poem is more about word play than churches. First printed in 1744, the poem could be discussing various trades working in London at the time. The real Saint Clement was the 2nd or 3rd pope in Rome, Italy. In the 1st century, his Christian faith drew the ire of the Romans and he was arrested. Exiled to a forced labor camp [in modern-day Ukraine], he ministered to and converted his fellow prisoners. For that, he was drowned in the Black Sea, tied to an anchor. In Rome, is the Church of San Clemente. To visit it is to take a trip through time. The church has been excavated to reveal 3 sub-levels: a 2nd-century Roman house; a 3rd-century temple of the Cult of Mithras; a 4th-century church dedicated to St Clement. And on the street level, the current basilica, finished in 1108 in fine Romanesque style. When in Rome, it is worth a visit.

November 23 is the Feast of Saint Clement. Legend has it that the fruit called ‘clementines’ are named for a Moroccan orphanage. Not true, but we will enjoy clementines in our breakfast. Since St Clement was sent ‘to swim with the fishes,’ our dinner will be a seafood take on an Italian classic.

Mango-Citrus Parfait: 284 calories 7 g fat 2.6 g fiber 24.5 g protein 29 g carbs [21 g Complex] 336 mg Calcium  PB GF Fast Food Restaurants decided years ago to offer ‘healthy options’ in the form of yogurt parfaits. Full-fat yogurt, fruit, and lots of high-fat granola. Poor choice. Here is a more acceptable breakfast option, full of protein yet low in fat and enough calories to keep you going for hours.  NB: This could be a healthy Slow Day lunch option.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt 1 oz mango, diced ½ clementine [skin it and use half the segments] 2 Tbsp granola  Optional: coffee with ¼ c skimmed milk and ½ tsp sugar [30 calories] or blackish tea  NO SMOOTHIE

Stir the cottage cheese and yogurt to combine thoroughly. Divide the fruit into two portions. Spoon half of the dairy mixture into a wide-mouthed wine glass and top with half the fruit. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of granola. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order, topping with granola. Prepare the coffee and enjoy that dairy-fruit goodness.

Fish Parmesan:  238 calories 2.6 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 11 g carbs 242.5 mg Calcium   PG GF – if using GF breadcrumbs  A new version of the restaurant classic, made suitable for Fasters. And it is delicious. 

4 oz fish, firm-fleshed variety — tilapia works nicely 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1 tsp dried oregano + 1/2 tsp thyme ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried 1 Tbsp milk ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade or jarred ¾ oz mozzerella, grated 2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese 2 oz green beans

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Pour the milk onto a small plate. On another plate combine the Parmesan, herbs, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the other two cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the fish in the milk on both sides. Dredge the fish in the crumb/cheese mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the fish about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the fish with the marinara sauce, then mound the cheese over it. Broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Prepare the green beans and plate with the fish. Light the candle stuck in the wine bottle for atmosphere.

oranges and lemons, say the bells of st Clemens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Clement%27s,_Eastcheap#%22Oranges_and_Lemons%22