Yogurt, DIY

I was so happy to come across this recipe by Priya Krishna in the New York Times food column. In my past, making yogurt has been a chore and the results were not worth the effort and worry of watching the thermometer like a hawk and wishing I could maintain temperatures in my cooler-than-most kitchens. Usually the recipe failed. This has been foolproof and perfect every time.

The recipe’s author’s words are in quotation marks. All other directions are my paraphrasing or telling what has worked for me.

1 quart milk, 1/4 cup yogurt, the heavy pan to heat the milk, the glass jar in which the yogurt will ripen over-night, the little amount of water for the bottom of the heating pot.
4 cups milk
[Smallest burner on high = 10 mins]
“Evenly coat the bottom of a medium Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a thin, 1/4-inch-thick layer of water. (To prevent milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot.)” Set the pot over high heat. “Add the milk to the water in the pot, and heat until it just comes to a boil, watching closely: As soon as you start to see bubbles forming, take off heat.” 
“Let the milk cool until it reaches 130 F. degrees, about 25 mins. If you don’t have a thermometer, the milk should be warm enough that you can comfortably stick your (clean!) finger in it — it should feel hot, but not hot enough to scald (think of a Jacuzzi).” There will be a skin on the top of the milk at this point.
Here is 1 Tablespoon of yogurt in the bottom of the 1-Qt glass jar.
1 Tbsp yogurt  “Smear the bottom of a 1-quart lidded glass container with 1 Tbsp of yogurt. (A dab in the center is fine; you needn’t spread the yogurt evenly to coat the bottom.)
3 Tbsp yogurt “When the milk has cooled, add remaining yogurt to milk and whisk until the yogurt has completely dissolved into the milk.” I use a balloon whisk and stir 50 times clockwise, 50 times counter-clockwise, then 50 times clockwise. You want it thoroughly mixed.
“Pour the mixture into the prepared glass jar and loosely set the lid on top, leaving a little room for air to get out.”
9:28 PM Thursday“Place the container inside an unheated oven. Shut the oven, turn the oven light on and let sit for 4-12 hours” Note: “Depending on the temperature outside, you may want to vary the conditions a bit. In the winter, you may need to leave the oven light on the entire time it takes for the yogurt to set, as directed above; in the warmer months, you may need to shut the light off about an hour after placing the yogurt in the oven.” I like my yogurt firm, so the long ripening times is perfect.
I don’t do this step. Maybe in summer I will….Check the yogurt: When it is done, it will be set (not liquid) but still jiggle like Jell-O. If it’s not yet set, leave it in the oven for 1 hour more. Depending on the humidity and temperature outside, the setting process can take up to 5-½ hours, so don’t fret if the yogurt isn’t done the first time you check.
8:28 AM Friday“When the yogurt is done, top it with the lid to seal. Put it in the refrigerator to chill and fully set before using. The yogurt will keep, covered, for 4 to 6 weeks. (It’ll start to get pretty sour after 2 weeks, which, depending on your tastes, could be a good or bad thing.] You can also freeze a few tablespoons to start a later batch.”
Ready to go! Just right for smoothies, to eat with fruit, use as ‘crema” in fajitas and enchiladas, in coffeecakes — whatever you please.

Roquefort

On June 4, 1411, Charles VI of France, granted to the town of Roquefort a charter naming it the sole producer the now-famous bleu cheese. Ever since, the Lacaune sheep have been grazing the meadows and the cheese from their milk has been ripening in the limestone caves below. Roquefort cheese is named after the town Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, in South-Western France. To maintain the AOC designation, the cheese is carefully made, always staying within the strict guidelines.

“To be called Roquefort, a cheese must be made with the raw, unfiltered, whole milk of sheep who are pastured on the land around the caves. Their milk must be delivered at least 20 days after lambing and made with animal rennet within 48 hours of milking. Penicillium roqueforti is then added, and the whole process of maturation, cutting and packaging must occur in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon on a strip of land only a mile and a quarter long,” says the Cheese Connoisseur.

The delectable bleu cheese can be eaten in so many ways! On bread, in salads, in desserts, in main dishes — let me live long enough to taste them all. I have several meals for Fast Days for bleu cheese…it was difficult to choose only two for today. These are delicious. If needs must, you can substitute a lesser bleu cheese. But don’t say that in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.

ForeStreet ScrOmelette:  137 calories 8.4 g fat 0.6 g fiber 10.4 g protein 6.6 g carbs [5.9 g Complex] 66.7 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Based on a pizza from one of our favorite Portland, Maine restaurants, these flavors are terrific together.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1-½ eggs per person 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.  1/2 oz bleu cheese ½ oz mushrooms ¼ oz leeks 1 oz pear  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]

Spritz a non-stick pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Slice the leeks and saute with the mushrooms until both are cooked. Whisk in the eggs and pour over the leeks and mushrooms. As the eggs begin to set, crumble the bleu cheese on top. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the pear, serve with the beverages of choice. 

Oyster & Bleu Cheese Piepie filling only, 1 of 6 servings = 116 calories 8 g fat 0.7 g fiber 5.6 g protein 5 g carbs [3 g Complex] 88 mg Calcium  With pie crust, 1 of 6 servings: add 193 calories [the entire pie crust for an 8” pie plate = 1160 or fewer calories]   PB GF  NB: if you want a GF meal, do not use any pie crust – especially not a purchased GF crust which is very high in calories.  This makes a fabulous, indulgent meal but it is low in protein and fiber. For a very special treat, it is wonderful. 

The left-hand column gives the recipe is for an 8”, full-sized pie plate, which serves 6. The center column gives amounts to prepare a 6” pie plate to serve 4.   HINT: leftover pieces freeze well.

8” pie pan with optional pie crust6” pie pan + optional pie crust Optional: Roll out dough + fit into pie pan. Crimp edge. Blind bake 15 mins. Remove foil and weights + bake until golden, ~ 10 mins or so.
1 Tbsp butter  ½ c finely chopped leeks ½ c finely chopped fennel bulb ½ c finely diced Granny Smith apple ½ tsp ground black pepper pinch salt 2 tsp butter ¼ c leeks ¼ c fennel ¼ c apple ¼ tsp pepper pinch salt Melt butter in a skillet, add leeks, fennel and apple. Sauté on low until tender and translucent. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Heat oven to 400F.
12 oysters – we like briny East Coast oysters


6-8 oysters





Place oysters flat in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Heat pan on medium high until water reaches 131F/55C, measuring with a food-safe thermometer. Shut off heat and let sit on burner for 5 minutes. Remove oysters from water and cool in a bowl. Open shells + a remove oysters, doing so over a bowl to catch the juices. 
4 oz blue cheese 3 Tbsp reserved oyster juice
1 egg white
2 oz blue cheese 1.5 Tbsp oyster juice ½ egg white In a separate bowl, mash cheese, adding reserved oyster juice. Beat egg white until softly peaked and fold into cheese.
Spread leek mixture in pie shell. Spread cheese mixture on top. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes.
fennel fronds

4-5 asparagus stalks/person
fennel fronds

asparagus
Remove pie from oven and arrange oysters on top. Bake 2 minutes more. Strew with fennel fronds. Let pie set about 10 minutes, then cut in portions and serve with steamed asparagus.

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

1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white1.5 two-oz eggs 
rhubarb + sugarpork scrapple
flour + baking powderscallions or chives
milk + Canadian or back baconstrawberries
Optional smoothieNo smoothie or only 3 oz
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Next week, I will offershaved, rare roast beef
2 relishes for meat or fishprovolone cheese
made from rhubarb.broccoli + onion
Enjoy a dinner from Archivespotato bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

CGE

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.

Tomorrow will be our younger son’s birthday. It is hard to think that my last ‘baby’ is now in his late 30s. As an offshoot of studying jujitsu [third degree Black Belt], he became interested in Asian cooking: Thai, Japanese, Chinese. Often he suggests recipes to us and they turn out to be good! A fine cook, he enjoys honing his knives [as a hobby, he makes his own] and knife skills in the kitchen. He is a loving son, a loyal friend, and a man of many parts: the sort of off-spring of whom his parents are proud.

The breakfast is based on the flavors of a Thai Fried Rice dinner our son prepared for us. It knocked our socks off with its taste. Great as a breakfast, too. The dinner is one he recommended, as ‘child to parent,’ and I finally tried. Glad I did. These meals are minimalist and fascinating, just like him.

Thai Bake: 133 calories 5.2 g fat 3.3 g fiber 8 g protein 14.6 g carbs 106.3 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Low in calories yet high in flavor, this delicious bake will start your morning with a bang.

1 two-oz egg ½ clove garlic 3 Tbsp scallions, sliced 1/4 cup cooked spinach ½ tsp fish sauce dash Sriracha, use more to taste 2 oz applesauce -OR- ½ cup blueberries  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 or press the garlic. Squeeze then chop the spinach. Combine the vegetables with the fish sauce and hot sauce, then whisk in the egg. Pour into a lightly-oiled baking dish and bake at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes. Serve with the sliced apples and beverages of your choice. A bit more Sriracha is a great idea.

Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg Bowl):  214 calories  5 g fat  6.5 g fiber 20 g protein 17 g carbs 38 mg Calcium  PB GF  Younger Son commended this recipe to us. That is fitting since oyakodon means ‘parent and child’, as it contains both chicken and egg. It is by Nakimo Chen from Just One Cookbookand we found it to be easy and delicious. HINT: This recipe is designed to serve two.  If serving with ¼ c cooked sushi rice, add 75 cal 0.1 g fat 0.6 g fiber 1.3 g protein 16.5 g carbs 38 mg Calcium

2/3 cup dashi 1-½ Tbsp mirin  1-½ Tbsp sake [or dry sherry] 1-½ Tbsp soy sauce 1-½ tsp sugarCombine in a bowl or a measuring cup for liquids.  Add sugar and mix all together until sugar is dissolved. Divide the seasoning liquid into 2 equal portions and set aside. 
½ onion optional: mitsuba [Japanese parsley]Thinly slice the onion and divide into 2 equal portions. Chop mitsuba and divide into 2 equal portions
2 large eggsBeat one egg in a small bowl. Beat the other egg in a diffferent bowl
6 oz raw boneless skinless chicken or turkey thighs  Slice the meat diagonally + cut into 1.5″/4 cm pieces. Divide chicken into two equal portions
Use 2 small frying pans at the same time OR one pan used sequentially. I used two 8” cast iron pans.In each of two small frying pans, add the onion and parsley in a single layer. Add the chicken on top of the onion. Pour in the seasoning mixture. The sauce will come up to the top of the onion and chicken.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to medium-low. Skim off any foam. Cover + cook until chicken
is no longer pink. About 5 mins
Slowly and evenly drizzle the beaten egg over the chicken and onion. Cook covered on med-low heat until the egg is done to your liking. In Japan, Oyakdon is served with almost set but runny egg.
Garnish: small bunch Mitsuba or green onion/chives  1/4 c steamed rice per servingAdd the garnish right before removing from heat. Pour the chicken and egg on top of steamed rice along with the sauce.

Market Town

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.

We love Market Towns. In Pennsylvania, where I was raised, county seats would have market buildings for weekly or semi-weekly sales of all possible meats, fruits, vegetables, baked goods. After our sons were born and we lived in New Hampshire, it was always a special treat to return to PA and take the boys to the market. Their eyes would widen at the pies and pastries, and the apple seller would give them one for free. When we go to Europe on vacation, we seek out the country markets: pop-ups in the town square [Thoiry, Ferne-Voltaire, Annecy, Paris] or those in ancient, covered halls [Durham, Venice, St Helier]. We love to shop there for our provisions and to wander around, feasting our eyes, wishing we could be there for weeks on end to try all the items on sale. Sigh. New Hampshire has nothing like that.

Our meals today are provisioned from markets in Brittany and Normandy. When purchasing, one must be sure to get only enough for your stay — a real shame to have leftover food to discard. The breakfast was born of necessity, utilizing odds and ends for one more meal. The dinner features a serendipitous find at market, which provided two meals.

Breton/Norman Bread Pudding:  204 calories 8 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11.6 g protein 13.8 g carbs [6 g Complex] 124 mg Calcium This dish was invented to clear out the fridge when leaving a rental cottage in Brittany. We repeated it when departing Normandy. It works well anywhere, even in your own home kitchen.

¾ fluid oz milk ½ slice whole-grain bread 1 egg 1 oz cooked fish OR ¾ oz cooked chicken 1 oz tomato ¼ oz cheese, grated fresh herbs, as available 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   No Smoothie

Cube or dice the bread and tomato. Flake the fish/chop the chicken and grate the cheese. Stir together everything, except the strawberries. The mixture should be moist throughout, but not soupy. TIP: I like to combine it all the night before so the bread has time to absorb the liquids. Heat a saute pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Turn the bread pudding into the pan. Pat and nudge it into a large, flat patty. Cook until brown on one side, then turn it over. [Alternatively, bake it in an oven-proof dish at 350F for 18 minutes.] When done, it should be set and cooked all the way through, and browned on both sides. Plate with the berries and reminice about the vacation you just enjoyed.

We attended the market in Caen, Normandy. What an experience!! It was the largest open-air market we had ever seen, stretching for blocks along the port and into the city center.

So much to choose from that we didn’t see a fraction of it. But we found all the supplies for the week [except breads, which we buy at the local boulangerie]: eggs, vegetables, cidre, seafood. When we saw the fresh pasta cart, we were in heaven. Rabbit Ravioli caught my eye and I envisioned a plate of pasta on Wednesday and a ravioli salad for the following Fast Day. Here it is: a lightly-dressed salad topped with cooked raviolis re-warmed in a barely buttered pan.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
garlic + scallionsbleu cheese
fish sauce + applemushrooms
cooked spinach + Srirachaleeks + pear
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken/turkey thigh + egg6-12 oysters + leeks + apple
mirin + soy sauce + dashfennel bulb + fronds + egg white
sake or dry sherry + sugarbleu cheese + butter
onion + parsley + riceoptional: pie crust, not GF
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St Roch

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.

Saint Roch is considered to be one of “Les Saints Qui Guérissent” [Saints who Heal]. He was often invoked to heal Black Plague victims, since he himself was one. Or was he?? Roch was born in Montpellier [now in France] in 1295. As a young man, he sold his worldly goods, donated to the poor, and went to Italy as a pilgrim. While tending the sick in Piacenza, he fell ill and was banished from town. Roch, called Rocco in Italy, recovered, helped by a dog who brought him bread. He went back home but he was clapped into prison, accused of being a spy. [Possible family intrigue involved] He died alone, after five years in prison, unrecognized by his relatives. When being prepared for burial, Roch was identified by a birth-mark. Roch died in 1327. When shown in art, he raises his hem to reveal the tell-tale engorged lymph node called a bubo, the mark of the Black Death. But the plague did not reach Italy until 1347, 20 years after his death. The term ‘plague’ was used loosely in the 1300s: small pox, bubonic, leprosy. Roch did not have bubonic plague, but he had something. And he recovered. Good news, full of hope.

Brandade, made from salt cod, was a staple food in Europe in the 1300s, so breakfast will include that. The dinner also is made with foods common from Southern France to Italy [OK. not the quinoa]. Eat like a saint. Be healthy.

Brandade Bake: 145 calories 8.3 g fat 1.2 g fiber 11.2 g protein 4.3 g carbs [2.8 g Complex] 44.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  The marvel of Southern France, brandade, is worth trying. Here it is at breakfast, all creamy and garlicy.

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp brandade [see St Bernard, posted 19 August 2018]    shake of granulated garlic 1 oz peach slices + ½ oz blueberries   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]

Cream together the cottage cheese, brandade, and garlic. Whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 F. until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. With the fruit and beverages, you have a fine start to the day.

Mediterranean Vegetables with Seafood: 278 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 28 g protein 24.8 g carbs [24 g Complex] 290 mg Calcium   PB GF  This dinner qualifies as a hurry-up meal. If you have Mediteranean Vegetables in the freezer, you can serve this in the time it takes to cook the quinoa.

1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables, without chickpeas see: Sidekicks II  3 oz seafood: shrimp, fish chunks, bivalves, whatever you have 1 oz mozzarella, shredded 1 oz mushrooms, coarsely-chopped 1/3 cup cooked quinoa 

Start cooking the quinoa. Put the frozen Med Vegetables in a sauce pan with a lid. Warm them gently until they are mostly thawed. Add the mushrooms and seafood. Continue to heat, covered, until everything is warm and cooked. Plate with the quinoa and top with cheese. 

Slow Days: Bruschetta

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 your 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.

“Bruschetta” … what does that word mean to you? And how do you pronounce it? The cookbook Diary of a Tuscan Chef gave us a recipe for this concoction, which we ate happily for years — a tomato relish on bread. And we called it ‘bruce-SHET-ta.’ Had we turned the cookbook page, we would have had the real story. When olives are being pressed into oil, [a late-Fall, cool-weather activity] one of the workers will toast bread over a fire, rub it with garlic, and drizzle the new oil over it so everyone can have a snack and a taste of the crop. THAT is bruschetta!

Bread, garlic, and olive oil = bruschetta

Of course, as the idea of ‘putting some food on toast’ moved around the world, something was lost in translation, including the pronunciation. When on tour in Italy, I asked the guide, a Roman, how to pronounce this culinary creation. Chuckling, he said that Americans always ask that and for the longest time he had no idea what they meant by ‘bruce-shet-ta.’ The correct way to say it? ‘bruce-KAY-ta’ The aforementioned Tuscan Chef Cesare Casella writes: “Americans seem to think bruschetta is chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil on toast. I don’t know why. For us that is crostini con pomodoro.” He concludes that there seems to be an “American craving for cubed tomatoes.”

On the right you see Cesare Casella’s ‘tomato relish’ on the bread.

When Older Son began baking, he sent us a recipe for his ‘no-knead focaccia’, which is great but makes more bread than Dear Husband and I can eat in a week. So Older Son prompted us to eat it as Bruschetta. I protested that there would be very little protein in that: just bread and tomato relish. Being wise, our son suggested additional toppings: herbed ricotta cheese, slices of chicken or turkey breast. Anchovies would be good.

So here is the evolution of a meal that is perfect in Summer or any warm evening. Perhaps we should call it ‘Crostini’ but we don’t. We’re Americans, you see.

Jane Addams

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.

Jane Addams lived up to the label of “New Woman” — one of the college-educated cohort of the late 1800s who saw it as their duty to roll up their sleeves and improve the life of those less fortunate. Born into the family of a small-town mill owner, she had a privileged upbringing. On a visit to London, she saw a ‘settlement house‘ in action: helping poor factory workers and immigrants get food security, better health, and education. Addams decided then and there that Chicago needed the same thing. She and like-minded women established Hull House in the industrial West Side of the city and Addams remained its director until her death in 1935. The list of services provided there is long: from cooking classes and day care to live theater produced by the immigrant communities themselves. Addams, never condescending, favored the idea of a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ and she would take vats of soup to the factory gates at lunch time to sell for 5 cents a bowl.

At the same time that Jane Addams was working in Chicago, hungry workers were eating an early version of ‘Chicago Hot Dogs’ for lunch. Today’s breakfast uses the ‘drag it through the garden’ vegetable sides to flavor the eggs. The soup for dinner features canned tomato sauce to remind us that Hull House taught the skill of home canning to make meals more nutritious.

‘Chicago’ ScrOmelette: 135 calories 7.3 g fat 1.8 g fiber 10 g protein 7.3 g carbs 53.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  One of my methods for creating a new breakfast is to take flavor elements from a favorite dinner and then put them in eggs. Here, we have a ‘Chicago Hot Dog’ without the sausage and without the bun. Dear Husband deemed it ‘very good!’

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 oz tomato, diced 1 Tbsp chopped onion healthy squirt of yellow mustard 1 ‘sport pepper’ or 1 pepperoncini, chopped pinch of poppy seed + pinch celery seed 1 oz apple 

Cook the onion and mustard in a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add the tomato, pepper, and seeds and heat through. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the apple for a taste sensation.

Hull House Soup: 183 calories 4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 7.5 g protein 23 g carbs 34.6 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF pasta  An Italian woman in Chicago once served Jane Addams a meal of pasta with a simple ragu sauce, which opened her eyes to how food connected immigrants with their home country. This simple soup packs a lot of flavor.

2 cups spaghetti sauce, canned** 2 cups chicken stock 2 [1 Tbsp] cloves garlic sliced, chopped  3 oz [2/3 cup] green pepper in ½” dice  1 cup chick peas 1 cup chopped cabbage chopped fresh rosemary 2-3 pinches red pepper flakesPut in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

**I used Classico brand “Florentine Spinach and Parmesan” sauce
½ cup water 1 oz [¼ cup] short pasta like ditalini salt and pepper to tasteAdd to the soup in the pot and cook 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and add water if too thick.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
brandadewhole grain bread + tomato
cottage cheesefish or chicken meat + cheese
peach + blueberrymilk + strawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

Mediterranean Vegetablesthe topic will be foods from
a Farmers’ Market
mixed seafood Salad fixings for two portions
mushrooms + Mozzarellavinaigrette dressing
quinoaravioli, purchased
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Going South

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 amyrichards who is now Following.

“Going South” has several connotations. In a business sense, it means a downward trend in sales or income. To First Nations people of far North America, going South means that something is going wrong, like the food stores going bad. As the Treebeard character muses in the Two Towers movie: “I always like going South: somehow it seems like going downhill.” In modern times, residents of Canada and the Northern US are called ‘snow birds’ because of their going South for the winter.

Today’s foods check off two of the meanings of Going South. We are ‘going South’ for a breakfast of Hoe Cakes which was a popular food item there among all classes of people. The dinner is useful if you have a bin of vegetable about to ‘go South,’ which you can turn into a fine meal. If your attempts at dieting have been going South, try the Fast Diet. It works for us.

Hoe Cakes with Fruit & Yogurt:  173 calories 1.7 g fat 4 g fiber 13 g protein 36 g carbs 75 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here the old Southern meal of cornmeal cakes is updated with healthy fruit and yogurt. HINT: The recipe yields 6 hoe cakes, which is enough for two servings of 3 cakes each.

3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal  2.5 Tbsp hot water  Combine by stirring well to make a mush. Let sit for 15 minutes.
1 oz egg white ¼ tsp yeastStir into the warm cornmeal mush and let sit for 1-12 hours. TIP: I did this the night before.
2 Tbsp cornmeal 2 Tbsp water ¼ tsp saltMix into the mush. If you take some up on a fork, it will sit on the tines, with a little batter dribbling through. If it is not like this, add more cornmeal or more water.
Using a little less than 2 Tbsp of batter, drop onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. Make 6 cakes. Cook on both sides. Best if eaten fresh.
per serving: 1/4 cup blueberries 1/2 tsp honey, warmed 4 oz [1/4 c] plain, fat-free yogurt
2 slices Canadian Bacon
Put the yogurt and honey in a small dish and stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir it in.
Warm the Canadian bacon on the same griddle used to cook the cakes.
Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water or mocha cafe au lait [65] Serve with the bacon. Enjoy the dish of berried yogurt on the side or slathered on the hoe cakes.

Fajitas with Chicken + Vegetables:  286 calories 5 g fat 3.9 g fiber 24 g protein 35 g carbs [ g Complex] 183 mg calcium  PB  A quick, delicious, and a good way to use vegetables. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people.

1 tsp oil + 3 tsp water 6 oz chicken breast 2 cups veg, including: >3 oz sweet pepper + 4 oz zucchini >1 oz red onion + 1.25 oz broccoli 1 tsp chili powder + sprinkle AdoboCut the meat into strips. Cut the vegetables into strips or other edible sizes. Heat oil in wok, stir-fry meat, veg, and seasonings for ~ 7 minutes or until cooked and vegetables begin to brown
four 5” corn tortillasWrap in damp kitchen towel. Nuke 30-45 seconds. -OR- Warm on a griddle or in a dry skillet until pliable and starting to brown.
1 Tbsp plain nonfat yogurt per tortilla Divide the meat/veg among the tortillas and top with yogurt.
1 lime ¼ c cilantro leavesServe as garnish

Hometown Heroine: Vinland

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.

Freydís Eiríksdóttir is not a name that rolls trippingly off the tongue. Nor is she a household name. In truth, she might not have been a very nice woman at all. She was the daughter of Eric the Red, who established a colony in Iceland when he was banished from Norway for murder. She was the sister of Leif Erickson, who founded the Greenland colony when he was banished from Iceland for murder. In her own right, Freydis is said to have killed her rivals, men and women alike. But she was also very brave. Around 1000 CE, Freydis, her husband, her brother Erik, and their boat’s crew were living on the coast of Northern Newfoundland near l’Anse aux Meadows, which might be the Vinland of the old Viking sagas. [Some scholars say they came ashore to explore and/or to repair their ship. They stayed for about 18 months, then left.] Vikings though they were, they were rather afraid of the indigenous people, whom they called ‘skraelings.’ One day, a group of the local Beothuk tribe came from the trees and approached the Vikings. Fearful of the natives, they ran away. Freydis ran too but, being seven months pregnant, not as fast. She called to her kinsmen to wait up — to stand and fight — but they threw down their weapons and kept going. Freydis decided to face the fierce natives by herself. Grabbing a discarded sword, she turned to the skraelings and stood her ground. She ripped open the bodice of her gown, and thwacked her breasts with the flat of the weapon, while shouting trash talk in Norwegian. The Beothuk stopped their pursuit — this was not way for women to behave: what kind of people were these???!?! The natives retreated. The attack was over, the Vikings were safe, and it was Freydis who had saved the day.

For Freydis, a breakfast that she might have prepared, even in the New World: grains cooked with fruit. For dinner, a meal with smoked salmon, very typical of the food of the Baltic/North Sea region.

Fruited Porridge: 183 calories 1.4 g fat 8.7 g fiber 7 g protein 38 g carbs [38 g Complex] 36 mg Calcium  PB  Here is a delicious way to get a couple of superfoods in one meal. Berries and whole-grain cereal are unbeateble and easy too.

¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal + ¾ cup water ¼ cup diced strawberries ¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup raspberries   Optional: a few tablespoonsful of milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  or lemon in hot water

If the fruit is frozen, like mine: place in a sieve over a small bowl over night to thaw. Save the juice to add to a smoothie. Cook the cereal in the water for 8 minutes, stiring twice. Take off heat and add the fruit. Stir gently and serve with a little milk, if you wish.

Lithuanian Smoked Salmon Salad:  282 calories 11 g fat 3.3 g fiber 19 g protein 24.8 g carbs [8.5 g Complex] 30 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread  We loved this when we dined at Alemeda’s Mama Papa Lithuanian Restaurant  and I was determined to replicate it at home. SO unusual and yummy.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2] people.

1 cup cubed cucumbers ½ cup cubed fresh tomatoes ½ cup Romaine lettuce, cut crosswise in a fine chiffonade ¼ cup thinly-sliced red onions 1 cup shredded smoked salmon 1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled 2 Tbsp special sauce**   per person: 1 oz sourdough rye bread

**Special Sauce makes 5 Tablespoons  2 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp honey [If your honey is very viscous, warm it] 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill Whisk all the ingredients to blend thoroughly. Store remainder in a jar.

Prepare all the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the salmon to the bowl and pour on one tablespoon of the sauce. Toss again to coat the vegetables. If you think you need more, add it a bit at a time to get it just right. Plate the salad or serve in the bowl. Chop or slice the hard-boiled egg and strew it on top of the salad. Serve with the bread and tuck in.

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

white from 1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + apple
yellow corn mealonion + tomato + poppy seed
raspberriessport or pepperoncini peppers
honey + yogurtyellow mustard + celery seed
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken breast meat + broccoli + lime1 quart Marinara sauce + garlic
corn tortillas + cilantro + adobostubby pasta + green pepper
Italian bell pepper + zucchinigarbanzos + parsley + cabbage
red onion + chili powder + plain yogurtSwiss chard + chicken stock
Sparkling waterSparkling water

3 Chilly Saints

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 toondebacker who is now Following.

“Mamertus, Pancras, and Gervais were three early Christian  saints. Because their feast days, on May 11, 12, and 13, respectively, are traditionally cold, they have come to be known as the  Three Chilly Saints.” Thus says the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and they know all about weird weather. Mamertus died in 475 in Arles, France. Pancras died around 304 at the age of 14. Gervais died in the 2nd century. German farmers often add St Boniface [May 14] to the list of Eismanner.

Naturally, chilly weather makes one want to eat ‘chili.’ But what is ‘chili’? To begin with, chili is a plant [Capsicum annum] which originated in Mexico around 7500 BCE. Chili also refers to the fruit of that plant, nicknamed ‘chili peppers’ by Columbus, because the spicy flavor reminded him of black pepper. There are many types of chili, of varying heat. In New Mexico, when you say ‘chili,’ only the New Mexico ‘Chile’ [note the spelling change] is being discussed. These can be green or red, fresh or roasted or dried, and they define the local cuisine. ‘Chili’ also means the meal, prepared with or without beans, which is one of the tentpoles of cooking in the American South-West.

We will have chili and chiles for breakfast and chili with chiles for dinner. Chilly enough for you?

Chili-Chile Eggs:  139 calories 10 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 11.8 g carbs [10 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Two of the American South West’s best flavors: 2 spellings in one breakfast bake.

one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Chili Non Carne [see SIDEKICKS II Oct 4, 2017 for the recipe], drained if too soupy 1 Tbsp canned green chiles {Hatch brand is the best] pinch of salt 1/8 oz cheddar cheese, grated 2 oz melon   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]

Whisk the chile and chilis with the egg. Add salt to your taste. Pour into a lightly-spritzed ramekin and top with the grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The egg mixture will puff up and be firm to the touch when done. If it is very jiggly in the middle, keep baking it. Prep the fruit and pour the optional beverage of choice. You are off to a chili start, even if your weather is hot.

Chili Verde with Beans: 265 calories 2.8 g fat 5.4 g fiber 14 g protein 31 g carbs [29 g Complex] 169 mg Calcium   PB GF  In the great debate about what makes ‘authentic’ chili, beans are often the issue. Here, they are served as a ‘side dish.’  HINT: This makes enough for 3 [three] servings.

Without the beans, this chili would be great in flautas or fajitas or corn tortillas.
½ tsp oil  ½ cup red onion, choppedCook onion until softened.
3 cloves garlic, mincedAdd to onion and cook one minute more
2 Tbsp tomato sauce 2 tsp green chili powder one 4-oz can New Mexico green chilis 1 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp [Mexican] oregano ½ cup salsa verde [purchased is fine] ¼ cup waterStir in tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Then add chilis, seasonings, salsa and water. Turn heat down to a simmer.
Enough cooked turkey or chicken to make 1-1/2 cups shredded meat – about 200 grams pinch or two saltShred the chicken or grind it and add to the pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the salt and continue to heat.
Per serving: 1/3 cup small white beans, canned 1/4 cup chopped green onionPlate with scallions on top and the beans on the side.