Henri IV

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.

Henry of Navarre. Le Bon Henri. What ever you call him, Henry IV was the best king France ever had. He was born in Pau, in the Bearn region of far southern France. He was the King of Navarre and a Protestant. This latter fact made it impossible for him to be King of France. But by lineage, he was the heir to the throne. Eventually, he decided, “Paris vaut une messe,” [Paris makes it worth going to Mass] and he accepted the kingship in exchange for becoming a nominal Catholic. As King, he signed the Edict of Nantes which made the Protestant religion legal in France, ending for the time being the Wars of Religion. He provided street lights in Paris. He built the ‘Pont Neuf‘ [‘New Bridge’] in Paris in 1604, which is still standing. He insisted on stone buildings in cities to prevent fires. He promoted prosperity while minimizing social disparity, seeking a goal of ‘a chicken in every pot.’ [Yes, that is the origin of the political pledge.] Sadly, King Henri was assassinated on a street of Paris in 1610.

Hailing from Gascony, Henri would appreciate today’s menu choices. The breakfast highlights the fruits of the fertile South-West. The dinner is a nod to the Basque people of Aquitaine and their love of peppers.

Fruit Souffle Omelette:  128 calories 5 g fat 2.2 g fiber 8.7 g protein 9 g carbs [6.5 g Complex] 34 mg Calcium   PB GF  From the fruited hills and valleys of Gascony comes this dessert which, with a few tweeks, goes to the breakfast table.  HINT: This serves two. The recipe is difficult to cut to serve one, so enjoy it with a friend or save for dessert tomorrow.

2 egg yolks 3 egg whites ¼ c blueberries ¼ c raspberries ¼ cup goldenberries [feel free to substitute strawberries or cherries] 2 tsp [5 ml] Armagnac, the brandy of SW France 1 tsp sugar

If the fruit is frozen, put it in a sieve while it thaws to catch extra juices. Heat the fruit and sugar in a small saute pan. Add the Armagnac and flame it, gently swirling the pan to be sure all the alcohol is burned off. Remove from heat. Warm the oven to 375F. Find a saute pan that can be used on the cook-top and in the oven as well. Whisk the yolks with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. Using a rotary or electric beater, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Whisk a bit of the whites into the yolks to lighten them, then fold the whites and eggs together. Pour into that saute pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook on the cook-top until the bottom sets and starts to brown. Pour the fruit on top and put in the upper third of the oven. Cook until the eggs are set and puffed. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. A fine treat.

Chicken Basquaise: 263 calories 4 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 21 g carbs [15 g Complex] 87 mg Calcium PB GF Here is another meal inspired by airplane [Air France] food. Once you have prepared the Sauce Basquaise, you can enjoy it as often as you like since the recipe makes lots. 

4 oz chicken breast ¼ c Sauce Basquaise++ 1 slice polenta  2 oz green beans OR 1.5 oz snow peas 1 tsp Dijon mustard

++SAUCE BASQUAISE: makes 5 cups  1/2 cup = 89 calories 4.7 g fat 3 g fiber 2 g protein 8 g carbs [7.7 g Complex] 21.4 mg Calcium 

2 Tbsp olive oilHeat the oil in a large sauce pan
1 cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped  optional: 2 oz Bayonne/Serrano ham or pancetta, diced  3 cups red bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  3 cups green bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  4 cups tomatoes, seeded and dicedAdd the onion, garlic, ham, peppers, and tomatoes.  Cook over medium-low heat until peppers are tender
½ cup red wine 5 g ‘esplette’ pepper or ground cayenne pepper 2 tsp fresh thyme ½ tsp saltAdd to the pan Simmer 10 minutes more
Easy to prepare. Freezes well, but taste for seasoning after thawing.

Choose a saute pan with a lid. Add 3 Tbsp water, Sauce Basquaise, and the chicken. Cover and braise the chicken over low until it is almost cooked. Remove the lid to see if the sauce has cooked down to a thick consistancy. Continue to cook, without lid, if necessary. Cook the green beans. In a small fry-pan, cook the polenta slice on both sides using non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking. Plate with the sauce on top of the chicken and the dab of mustard on the side. A first-class meal.

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

1 two-oz egg  + tomato1.5 two-oz eggs  
feta cheese + Kalamata olivetomatoes
lamb meat + spinachapples + scallions
oregano + peach/nectarinemushrooms
optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

beef + carrot + cabbageeggplant + onion + garlic
parsnip + green beanscorn kernels + zucchini
red potato + spinach + herbscooked chicken + Monterey Jack
white beans + stones [optional]corn tortillas + enchilada sauce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

A Seeper in Titusville

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.

Edwin Drake had been sent by some ‘sharpsters‘ in New York City to Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859. ‘They,’ a banker and a lawyer, had bought land along a body of water the locals called ‘Oil Creek.’ Seems there was a petroleum seep up-stream at the source of the creek. Everyone knew that petroleum was good for aching joints and that if you rubbed it on your chest, it would cure a cold. But those sharp operators from the City had other plans: oil for lighting, oil for machine lubrication — native oil to replace the dwindling supplies of expensive whale oil. And they were right in their assumptions. Drake, with no experience in petroleum extraction, cobbled together a team to build a drilling rig, similar to ones used locally to pump out salt brine. [We know today that salt deposits and petroleum reservoirs are linked geologically.] After drilling 80-some feet, quantities of oil seeped to the surface on August 27. OK, it wasn’t a ‘gusher’ of an oil well, but it did usher in the dominance of petroleum in the American economy, for better or for worse. In my opinion as an Earth Scientist, it might be good to leave a lot of the oil in the ground — in case we require it decades or centuries from now. Using it all up now is not the best of ideas IMHO. [Read the long, very interesting article from American Heritage: https://www.americanheritage.com/sitting-gusher]

Since oil and America are so inextricably linked, We will enjoy some all-American foods today: a star-studded line-up of cornmeal and hot dogs. This patriotism is further seen at the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, which is closed on all holidays except Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.

Cornmeal Stars with Fruit Yogurt: 133 calories 3.3 g fat 4.2 g fiber 7.6 g protein 21 g carbs [8 g Complex] 46 mg Calcium NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF Cornbread and stars are SO American, that they fit in with any patriotic meal.

Cornmeal Stars: 1 egg white 1 egg yolk, stirred 1 Tbsp white whole-wheat flour 3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal Whip the egg white to soft peaks. Fold in the yolk, the flour, and the meal. Place your largest [3-4”] star-shaped cookie cutter in the center of a non-stick pan. Spray the pan and the inside of the star with non-stick spray. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the star, nudging it into the corners. Loosen the mold from the batter and remove it. Cook the star on one side until starting to brown, then turn carefully to cook the other side. Repeat until batter is all used up. HINT: This can be done a day or so in advance, storing the stars in a plastic bag.

Per serving: 1.5 stars 2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla yogurt 2 Tbsp blueberries 2 oz strawberries, sliced or diced [If frozen, they will need to be thawed and drained]   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]

Plate the stars, slightly overlapping. Dollop the yogurt on top, then strew with fruit.

Hot Dog & 4-Bean Salad: 302 calories 12 g fat 3.6 g fiber 20 g protein 18.6 g carbs 103.7 mg Calcium  GF PB  Hot Dogs and summer salads go together, even for Fasters. This meal is very straight-forward, assuming the 4-bean salad has already been prepared.

1 Hebrew National reduced-fat hot dog 1 deviled egg [hard-boiled egg the yolk of which has been creamed with yellow mustard, salt, and black pepper] ½ cup 4-bean salad  2 oz tomato broiled with ½ Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Grill or pan-cook the hot dog. Prepare the deviled egg. Cut out the stem end of the tomato and carve it in half along the equator. Top the tomato with cheese and broil it. Plate it all with the 4-bean salad. Simple food at summer’s end.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomatoricotta cheese
leek + garlic powderdry mustard + peach
basil + pearwatercress sauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

raw chicken + potato + onionroast ham + potato starch
rich chicken stock + corn1 cup oysters + their liquid
hard-boiled egg + thyme white wine + milk + peas
optional: sourdough bread70-calories whole-grain bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Fly-Over

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 amberbam8 who is now Following.

On August 24, 1932, Amelia Earhart become the first woman to fly across the United States. At that time, flying was still novel and few flew for any reason, let alone travel or business. Today, we look down at the crop-lands of the Heartland as we fly from the East Coast to California, and then watch as the landscape changes to the high plains and then the mountains. From 10,000 feet, as seen from Amelia’s plane, it must have been even more impressive. The states below have referred to by most as the ‘Mid-West,’ the ‘Great Plains,’ the ‘Basin and Range.’ Some today call them the ‘Fly-Over States,’ to the great annoyance of the residents there-of, who feel that their voices and concerns are over-looked by the Great and Powerful of the coastal states. There are a lot of good people on both coasts, and a lot of good people in the middle, too, who should not be ignored just because we fly-over their states. Everyone deserves a voice. That’s why free and fair elections are so important.

Iowa and Kansas are in the middle of the USA. They grow a lot of corn. So breakfast will feature that fine vegetable. Dinner is a Summer meal that you could find at any lunch counter in the Heartland. Worth stopping in.

Ham-Cup Egg with Corn: 140 calories 6.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [10 g Complex] 36.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PG GF Ham and corn are such a grand combination. Easy to prepare ahead for a quick breakfast.

1 two-oz egg 1 slice “Cottage Ham” [4” diameter thin slice of ham] I used North Country Smoke House brand at 21 calories/slice 1 Tbsp fresh polenta [see Second Fiddles I-9-’19] 1.5 tsp red bell pepper, diced Sriracha 3 oz watermelon   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]

Fit the ham into an oven-proof container that measures 3.25” in diameter and 1.25” deep. [I used a cleaned tuna can. It was perfect.] You will need to snip the ham on 2 sides and overlap the meat to make it fit better into the mold. Combine the polenta with the diced pepper and season with Sriracha/salt/pepper to taste. Whisk in the egg and pour into the ham cup. HINT: I did this the night before and put it in the ‘fridge. Turn on the toaster oven to 350 F and bake the ham cups for 20+ minutes, until the filling is puffed and set. Prepare the optional beverages and the melon. Use a wide knife to loosten the ham cups from the mold before plating. Some of the egg will have oozed into the mold as it baked, but that is easy to remove too. This is a real treat!

Chicken Salad Platter:  227 calories 3.4 g fat 5 g fiber 22 g protein 23 g carbs 107 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using gf crackers Chicken salad is an old favorite – for a sandwich or stuffed in tomatoes or on a salad plate. Without mayonnaise, it is much healthier and just as good.

½ cup chicken salad, chez moi** ½ cup Swedish Cucumber salad 5 sugar snap peas, or more 2 cherry tomatoes, or more 3 Finn Crisp crackers

**Chicken Salad, chez moi  makes 1 cup ½ cup= 121 calories 3.3 g fat o g fiber 9.7 g protein 1.4 g carbs 88 mg Calcium  5 oz cooked chicken breast 4 Tbsp part-skim ricotta 2 tsp yellow Sriracha 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped salt & pepper to taste   optional: 2 Tbsp minced onion 2 Tbsp mined celery Chop, shred or grind the chicken. Combine with the other ingredients. Taste for seasoning, adding more Sriracha if too dry.

Plate everything in a pleasing arrangement

Natural Selections

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.

On August 20, 1858, Charles Darwin woke up to a day that was going to bring the world down around his ears. As a 22-year old, he had been the naturalist on the research vessel Beagle in her circumnavigation voyage. What he saw opened his eyes and mind to new possibilities about the variety of life on Earth. He became famous for his journals from the trip, since they formed an exotic travelogue for early Victorians. Very quaint. But now, after 30 years of dithering, his article was going to be published in the Journal of Proceedings of the Linnean Society. A letter from Alfred Russell Wallace, another amateur naturalist who was working on the Malay Peninsula, had shocked Darwin into action: Wallace had developed the same ideas and was going to publish them. What ideas were those? That all the species of plants, animals — all life on Earth — had achieved their characteristics slowly, over time, through a process Darwin called “Natural Selection.” He could not explain how that worked, except that it was similar to how hobbyists bred a variety of dogs and pigeons to look very different from each other. After the publication of “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection“, and the full book in 1859, the world of science was never the same.

On that August morning, Darwin probably ate a normal breakfast [unless his stress-induced digestive problems prevented it], and might have enjoyed kippers, perhaps with Yorkshire Pudding. The dinner honors Wallace, who’s name was listed as co-author on Darwin’s paper, who was probably eating food very much like Pork Pad Thai in his research area. By the way, when Fasting, a selection of natural foods [as opposed to processed foods] is always preferable.

Kippered Yorkshire Pudding:  226 calories 5 g fat 5.8 g fiber 11 protein 33.5 g carbs [26 g Complex] 102 mg Calcium  HINT: This is enough for 2 [two] servings. Nothing says Yorkshire like the iconic pudding and kippers. This is a meal to eat at home or to take on the road.

1 oz kippered herring ½ cup 1% milk ½ cup white whole wheat flour [or all-purpose, for lower protein and fiber] one 2-oz egg ½ tsp dry mustard + ¼ tsp salt 3 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Soak the kippered herring in water for 30 minutes. Drain and mince. [If the herring is still quite firm, soak it longer.] Whisk the milk, flour, egg, mustard and salt until combined, but do not over-mix. Spray a 7” pie plate with cooking-spray and sprinkle in some kippers. Carefully pour in the Yorkshire Pudding batter, then sprinkle with the remaining kippers. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Cut into 4 pieces. Plate two pieces per person along with the pear. What a flavor combination!

Pork Pad Thai:  265 calories 7.3 g fat 4.7 g fiber 20 g protein 28 g carbs 94.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is our son’s recipe, with a few tweeks by me to make it fit our calorie requirements. HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings. Share with a friend or pack it up for a later lunch or dinner.

1 oz Asian noodles [I used buckwheat soba noodles] ½ tsp oil + 2-3 Tbsp water ½ cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 cups sliced cabbage 1 cup mung bean sprouts or chopped celery 2 oz scallions [about 3], slice in 1” pieces 3 oz lean pork, cooked or raw, sliced into thin pieces about 1” square 6 oz sugar snap peas, cut in half cross-wise one 2-oz egg 2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce pinch hot pepper flakes + 1 tsp sugar

Heat a wok or large cast iron pan. Stir-fry all the vegetables in the oil and 3 Tbsp water for 3 minutes, adding more water if the vegetables ever stop sizzling in the pan. Boil the noodles according to package directions, drain, rinse, and set aside.  If using raw meat, add to cooking vegetables after 2 minutes. Add the raw egg to the pan of vegetables and scramble it in.  If using cooked pork, add it now. Stir the noodles into the wok and combine with other ingredients over the heat. Mix well as you add the fish sauce, the sugar, and red pepper flakes. Pass the Sriracha for added kick.

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

1 two-oz egg + watermelon1 two-oz egg + blueberries 
4″-diameter thin ham slicewhite whole wheat flour
red bell pepperyellow cornmeal + strawberries
fresh polenta + Srirachafat-free French Vanilla yogurt
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken breast + cilantro100-calorie hot dog + tomato
part-skim ricotta + sugar snap peashard-boiled egg + yellow mustard
Swedish cucumber salad + Sriracha4-Bean Salad
cherry tomatoes + Finn CrispParmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Zucchini, Anyone?

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. 

Its that time of year again — the Days of Zucchini. In the Spring, when everyone decided to plant a ‘Covid Garden,’ people forgot that one zucchini plant is enough to feed a family. But that’s one seed out of a package of dozens — so plant more; heck, plant them all! Now you have enough for the village and, if the deer didn’t get them, enough for the county. What to do?? Give it away! To friends [Dear Friends gifted us with 2 zucchini and 2 yellow crook-necks] or to the Food Bank.

It is time for zucchini at breakfast and zucchini at dinner. On non-Fast Days, you can eat it for lunch as well. Might as well enjoy it now: it won’t be fresh from the garden in December, will it? These meals even qualify for the label “Mediterranean Diet.” How ’bout that.

Zucchini-Herb ScrOmelette: 152 calories 8.6 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 7 g carbs 80 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Summer squashes were made to be combined with lots of herbs. Then add cheese: bliss! 

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.  ¼ cup zucchini, grated 2 Tbsp fresh herbs [or more!], chopped 2 Tbsp grated Jarlsberg cheese 1 oz applesauce OR 1.5 oz peaches  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]

Put the zucchini and herbs into a lightly-spritzed non-stick saute pan. Cook until softened and most of the liquid is evaporated. Whisk the eggs with the cheese and pour into the pan. Scramble it or cook as an omelette, hence ScrOmelette. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. Ahhhh. The taste of Summer.

Zucchini-Feta Fritter Plate: 288 calories 7 g fat 2.4 g fiber 27 g protein 22 g carbs 285 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF flour A delightful meal for a hot day: cool, savory, nourishing.

5 zucchini-feta fritters** 3 oz tomato, sliced or cubed or cherry tomatoes 3 oz shrimp, steamed or grilled previously 2 Tbsp plain yogurt

Arrange on the plate and enjoy your easy evening meal.

**Zucchini-Feta Fritters makes 23-24   each: 34 calories 1.3 g fat 0.3 g fiber 1.5 g protein 3 g carbs 34 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF flour 1-1/8 pound [18 oz] zucchini + salt 1 two-oz egg 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled or diced ¼ cup fresh dill weed OR 2 Tbsp dried 2 Tbsp fresh parsley ¼ c white whole wheat flour ¼ cup self-rising flour Grate the zucchini and put it in a collander over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and use your fingers to toss the zucchini to distribute the salt. Let sit several hours or overnight. Press on the zucchini to remove any lingering water. Place the zucchini in a clean bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Heat a griddle/large skillet and spray with non-stick spray. TIP: I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop, but a heaping tablespoon would do as well. Make piles of the batter on the cooking surface, then flatten them so the insides will cook. Heat until well-browned on both sides.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg  + pear
carne adovadokippered herring
cilantro + apple/applesaucewhite whole wheat flour
roasted green chilis dry mustard + milk
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

egg + lean ground pork buckwheat soba noodles + egg + oil
onion + whole-grain breadsugar snap peas + onion + scallions
lean ground beef + gravysugar + garlic + lean pork + sprouts
ground veal + milk + peasfish sauce + hot pepper flakes + cabbage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Lammas Oncemore

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 inthecaldron13 who is now Following.

We’ve come another quarter turn in the old Celtic calendar, from Beltane [in May] to Lammas, the Harvest Festival. It runs for several days, as did all good ancient fests, in the first few days of what the Romans called August [after Caesar Augustus]. The Christians co-opted the old celebrations, turning the original Luignasa into Lammas — a corruption of the words ‘Loaf Mass.’ [Though possibly ‘Lady’s Mass’ since the Assumption of Mary is on the 15th.] Thus the harvest festival, marked by making breads from the new grain, became a church service for blessing loaves of bread [probably from the new grain] at a service dedicated to Our Lady. Thus the Grain Mother, embodied in the corn dollies made from the last grain harvested, became the Virgin Mary and the bread became the eucharist.

We’ll bake a Lammas Bread for breakfast on a Slow Day. For our Fast Day, we will celebrate with foods of Summer: BLTs and vegetables at their peak. For a touch of cereal grains, whole-grain bread at breakfast and whole-wheat pasta at dinner. Take some long stalks of grass and learn how to make a corn dolly.

Breakfast BLT:  191 calories 8.6 g fat 4 g fiber 10 g protein 18 g carbs 54 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffee.  PB GF – if using GF bread   A Summer evening favorite is the inspiration for this filling breakfast.

By wrapping the lettuce leaf around one side, you provide a handy place to hold the sandwich while you bite into it.

1 slice whole-grain bread [such as Dave’s Killer Bread] one 2-oz egg 1 strip uncured bacon [the streaky American type @ 30 calories/slice] 0.75 oz tomato, sliced 1 large leaf of lettuce 3 cherries   NB: with the high calorie count, be mindful of the beverages you add to the meal. Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Eggplant Patties w/ Onion Marinara: 273 calories 4 g fat 8.3 g fiber 46 g carbs [20 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF bread/flour/pasta Marcella Hazen, in her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, gives the recipe for the patties and a sauce in which to serve them. I added the pasta to the meal. Even Dear Husband, who is aubergine-averse, enjoyed these.

A serving should be 4 patties, but only 3 seem to have gotten into this photo…

4 eggplant patties**, portioned with a 1-½ Tbsp scoop 1 oz pasta– If you use a whole grain or high fiber pasta, so much the better ½ cup tomato-onion marinara++ 

**Eggplant Pattiesmakes 7 when using a 1-½ Tbsp scoop = 32 calories each   9 oz eggplant with skin still on 2 Tbsp bread crumbs 1 Tbsp spinach, cut as a chiffonade 1 tsp minced garlic 1 egg yolk 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour Roast the eggplant at 400F until soft, around 15 minutes. Peel it and cut in rough cubes. Place in a collander over a bowl and let it drain, pressing down lightly. Put in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a fork until well-combined. Heat a skillet and spray with non-stick spray. Using a 1-1/2 Tbsp scoop, place the eggplant mixture into the hot pan, flattening it a bit. Cook on each side until starting to brown.

++ Tomato-Onion Marinara makes 1.5 cups  1.5 cups onion, thinly sliced 1.5 cups canned whole tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Spray a saute pan with non-stick cooking oil and heat it. Add the onions and cook at medium-low until the onions begin to turn golden. Add the tomatoes, chopping them into smaller pieces with a plastic or wooden utensil. Cook until the tomatoes have thickened a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the pasta while the patties are cooking. Heat the marinara, then add the cooked pasta. Put some of the sauce in the center of your plate and position the patties on top. Arrange the pasta and sauce around the center, as pleases your eye.

Who Dunnit? Who Ate It? Chapter III

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.

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two widely different sources.

Flavia de Luce is an 11-year-old English girl who’s family has many secrets. She is also an unlikely sleuth, solving many murders through 10 books by Alan Bradley. The GoodReads website describes her thusly: A “Precocious, motherless 11-year old fascinated with chemistry and death, bicycles around Bishop’s Lacey from ancient country house Buckshaw in 1950s England.” The few servants at the house have secret strengths, but the cook does not have cooking in her repetoire. All she serves for breakfast is a horrid porridge which Flavia loathes. She would like this better, I’m sure.

10-Grain Cereal: 143 calories 0.8 g fat 4.3 g fiber 8 g protein 28 g carbs [22 g Complex] NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB This is one of our favorite breakfasts – even on a Slow Day! 

3 Tbsp uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal   ¼ cup low-fat milk + 1/3 cup water  Toppings: 2 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen + 2 Tbsp milk   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]

If preparing the night before: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Next morning: Heat the cereal in the microwave for about a minute, then top with berries and milk.  If preparing in the morning: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into the bowl and top with berries and milk.

Easy Rawlins is a detective created by Walter Mosley. De-mobbed after the 2nd World War, Rawlins gets into detective work without wishing to but finds that the work suits him. His life and experiences are real and sometimes his decisions are unsettling, all of which make him very human. The author decided on the character after hearing his father’s stories of his life as a veteran in segregated America. Easy Rawlins books are not known for talk about food, but I’m am captivated by this Mosley anecdote about his father: “….like the time he decided to eat at an all-white cafe in the late 1940s. Making it as far as the counter, he ordered a tuna melt. “That sandwich tasted like freedom,” he told me. But suddenly the white man sitting next to him dropped dead. “I realized right then and there that, freedom aside, no man, no matter who he is, can escape his death.” Here is a Fast Day tuna melt and I hope that everyone who eats it will feel and be free.

Tuna Melt: 309 calories 18.5 g fat 2.9 g fiber 33.1 g protein 24.6 g carbs 300.5 mg Calcium PB GF – if using gf bread  This is the All-American classic sandwich, open-faced and delicious.

1 slice 70-calorie multi-grain bread [I like Dave’s Good Seed] ½ of a 5-oz can of water-pack tuna, drained 1 Tbsp onion, finely chopped 1 Tbsp celery, finely chopped 1 pinch celery seed + salt + pepper 1 and ½ tsp low fat or ‘made with olive oil’ commercial mayonnaise OR BÉCHAMEL Sauce without cheese 1 slice Swiss cheese, the deli kind ½ cup romaine lettuce, shredded 1 oz tomato, cubed ½ tsp lemon juice & ½ tsp olive oil

Combine the tuna, onion, celery, celery seed, and mayo/Bechamel as you would for tuna salad. Toast the bread. Spread the tuna mixture over the bread and top it with the cheese. Toast or broil until cheese is melting. In a wide bowl, whisk the oil and lemon juice. Toss the lettuce and tomato with the dressing and relax while you dine.

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

1 two-oz egg + tomatoNext week, I will discuss the
uncured baconrole of fiber in the diet
70-calorie whole-grain bread
large lettuce leaf + cherries
Optional smoothieFind a new favorite breakfast
optional hot beverage from the Archive.

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

eggplant + spinach leaves + pasta Next week, I will discuss
egg yolk + garlic + onion + breadthe role of fiber in the diet
Parmesan cheese + whole canned tomatoes
white whole wheat flourFind a new favorite dinner
Sparkling water from the Archive.

…not by bread…

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.

As it is my habit to link a new post to recipes in an older post, imagine my dismay when I discovered that the ‘Not by Bread’ post [from February 2018] had disappeared into the ether! Here I have resurrected it, as best I could, for your use.

The Good Book says that “Man shall not live by bread alone.” [Matthew 4, verse 4] Most people on a diet of any sort start by cutting down on bread and some diets cut it out altogether. With the Fast Diet, entire food groups are not eliminated: on a Fast Day, they might be minimized; on a Slow Day, they are fine to eat in moderation. Here are a few ‘breads’ that I use on Fast Days as part of a meal. You will notice that I usually use ‘white whole wheat’ flour instead of just plain white. The former is higher in fiber and slightly lower in calories, which makes it a better choice for a Fast Day.

BANNOCK:  each 2” bannock = 16 calories 0.5 g fat 0.2 g fiber 0.4 g protein 2.2 g carbs 4.2 mg Calcium  Bannock is part of the diet of the Scots, the way Soda Bread is to the Irish. This recipe makes the full batch, which yields 3 cups of dry mix. The dry mix keeps well in a sealed glass jar in a cool dry place. Splendid for breakfast [ex: Bannock & Bacon] or with a soup. NB: 1-½ cup of dry mix makes 16 [sixteen] 2” bannocks 

Bannock & Bacon with applesauce = an excellent start to the day.

1 cup flour ½ cup white whole wheat flour 1 cup rolled oats, called ‘old fashioned’ in the US, as opposed to ‘instant’ 4 Tbsp butter at room temperature or cold 1.5 Tbsp sugar + pinch of salt + 1 Tbsp baking powder

To prepare the dry mix: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until well-incorporated. Measure out the amount you need into a bowl, and put the remaining dry mix into a jar for storage. To prepare the dough: Add milk a little bit at a time to the bowl of mix and stir with a fork. Add a little more milk until a stiff dough ball is formed. Roll out on a lightly-floured board until 1/3” thick. Cut out with a 2” round cutter. Gather the scraps together, reroll, and continue to cut out the rounds. Bake on a lightly-greased baking sheet at 400 F. for 10-12 minutes.

DUMPLINGeach = 70 calories 0.2 g fat 2.6 g fiber 3.0 g protein 23 g carbs 130 mg Calcium This savory dumpling is the type you cook over a stew, such as Chicken Fricasse. It comes from Fannie Farmer. HINT: makes 2, but the recipe can be easily increased.

Chicken Fricassee with Dumplings is one of our favorites.

5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2/3 tsp baking powder pinch salt + pinch sugar + spices or herbs 2 Tbsp/1 fl. oz milk 

Combine all the dry ingredients, then stir in the milk. The batter should be stiff but not dry. [add a little stew broth or water if needed] Bring your stew to a simmer. Spoon the batter onto the stew so that the batter is on not in the liquid: the dumpling should steam not poach. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, then cover and cook another 10 minutes.

PAN MUFFIN  each: 71 calories 2.5 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10.8 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium These are a dandy little bread to add to a breakfast plate. You will see them in Roman Breakfast, and Cottage Breakfast with egg.

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix   
1-¼ cup buttermilk/soured milk
Combine cereal and milk in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, while preparing other ingredients.  
1/3 cup butter   1/3 cup sugar 1 two ounce egg Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg. 
1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. 
2 Tbsp batter for each pan muffinPortion the batter onto a hot griddle or flat-bottomed pan spritzed with non-stick spray. Cook on both sides.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING:  ¼ cup = 77 calories 0.7 g fat 0.6 g fiber 4 g protein 17 g carbs 25 mg Calcium 1/3 cup = 107 calories 1 g fat 0.8 g fiber 5 g protein 23 g carbs 35.6 mg Calcium On a Fast Day, Yorkshire Pudding and its sister, the Popover, are a delightful addition to a meal. On a Slow Day, this treat is still permissible in meals such as Toad in the Hole and Kippered Yorkshire Pudding.

Here are mini Toad in the Hole for breakfast near Christmas.

one 2-oz egg ½ cup white whole wheat flour 1/2 cup unbleached white flour ½ tsp salt ½ cup water + ½ cup fat-free milk

Mix all the ingredients together and let the batter stand at room temp for 30-60 minutes or in ‘fridge overnight. You will need ¼ cup to 1/3 cup of the batter per person. HINT: The remainder can be frozen in 1 cup or 1/3 cup batches for future meals. When it is time to use the batter, beat it with a rotary beater until it is frothy.

The Van Gogh Affair

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 adom1479 who is now Following.

On 27 July, 1890, Vincent van Gogh turned up at the inn where he stayed with a gun shot wound in his torso. Two days later, he died. Right away, even before a cursory investigation by the police in Auvers-sur-Oise, everyone proclaimed it to be a suicide. After all, the Dutch-born painter had seen a life-time of disappointments that sent him into deep bouts of depression… Like the time he threw his heart and soul into being an evangelical preacher to the poor in a Belgian mining town, only to be dismissed by the bishop for having given all his money to the poor and no longer looking distinguished enough to be a pastor. Or the time it took him two years to get over a broken heart. Wasn’t he more than a little crazy? Hadn’t he attacked his friend Gauguin with a knife and then cut off his own ear? Case closed on the death of an odd-ball artist who liked to paint things that were yellow. OR NOT! In 2014, a journalistic investigation sure made it look as if van Gogh’s death was not suicide, but either a prank gone wrong, if not murder. Does a man at the height of his artistic powers, who has placed an order for paints and canvasses kill himself? Does a right-handed man shoot himself in his left side? Read about it and draw your own conclusion. At any rate, 130 years ago a revolutionary artist died too soon. Poor Vincent, “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you,” wrote Don McLean.

In honor of the scenes of van Gogh’s life, we will enjoy a breakfast made with galettes/crepes from Brittany and ratatouille from sunny Provence, both places where he painted. For dinner, a soup that features potatoes and sauerkraut — foods that would have been familiar to the Belgian family depicted in The Potato Eaters, the first van Gogh work I knew as a child.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  A perfect blend of the cuisines of Northern and Southern France.

1 crepe/galette   one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables, drain and reserve excess liquids ½ oz fresh mushrooms  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]

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids. Use the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe and top it all with the egg. Eat with your hands or use a fork.

Jota: 169 calories  4.5 g fat 7.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 25.7 g carbs [all Complex] 83.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The flavors of Africa and and the mediterranean meet in this bean stew. Very satisfying. HINT: This recipe is enough for 4 [four] 1-cup servings.

Here, the Jota is served with spinach leaves.

1-½ cups sauerkraut, drained 1-½ cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed bay leaf 4 oz red potatoes, cooked and diced 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 oz smoked ham hock, cubed ½ cup or more vegetable broth or water   Optional*: 1 clove garlic, crushed + 1 tsp flour + 1 tsp oil Optional**: raw leaves of baby spinach

Spray a heavy sauce pan with non-stick spray and cook the garlic until golden brown. Add the sauerkraut to the pan with the broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. In another pan, heat the beans with the bay leaf until warm. Remove half of the beans and put them in a food processor with the cooked garlic and half of the potatoes. Puree, adding water/broth to adjust the liquids. Add the puree, uncrushed beans, potatoes, and meat to the pan with the sauerkraut. Taste for seasonings. Add some water/broth to bring the volume to 4 cups. *Optional: Simmer a garlic clove in 1 tsp oil until brown. Remove garlic and whisk in 1 tsp flour, then add some stock to make a roux. Stir into the stew as a thickener. **Optional: When the soup is in the bowl, tear the spinach leaves into bits and poke them into the hot liquid to add some extra color, texture, vitamins.

Omelette

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.

Omelettes [or omelets] are found in many cuisines. Surely, as long as people have had eggs and a pan to cook them in, they have been eating omelettes. The ancient Persians had their Kuku, which sounds rather like the ‘bakes’ we have on Mondays. Cookbooks in France mention ‘alumete’ in 1393, long before Mere Poulard. India eats its Pora. Canton, China enjoys eggs fu yung, and Japan serves tamagoyaki. The Spanish omelette [they call it a ‘tortilla’], which is cooked on both sides in a pan, seems to have caught on in 1798; while the Italian frittata, pan-cooked then baked, lacks an origin story. Louis XV of France whipped up a dinner of omelettes for his friends — weren’t they surprised! Whether king or commoner, the omelette is a fine meal. Whether Faster or feaster, omelettes provide flavor, nutrition, protein, and calcium in a low-calorie form.

There are omelettes for breakfast and dinner and dessert. Just about every Thursday, as you have seen, we enjoy an omelette for our Fast breakfast. Of late, since the hens are laying well, we have sampled the joys of dinner eggs: Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian. Here are some examples:

Guacamole Eggs:  145 calories 11.4 g fat 1g fiber 11 g protein 5 g carbs [45. g Complex] 45 mg Calcium   PB GF  Avocado and eggs are a very good combination. Both are high in fat, but the plant fat helps to mitigate effects of the animal fat. Here, we use Haas avocados.

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.  3 Tbsp Guacomole, homemade** or purchased  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]

**Guacamole: makes 1 cup  1 jalepeno pepper, sliced. Remove the seeds if you wish it less hot. 1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh 1-1/2 avocados 1/3 cup minced onion ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves salt lime juice, and hot pepper flakes to taste Peel, seed, and mash the avocados. Stir in the other ingredients and mash again or run through the food processor.

Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour them into a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Cook, without stirring or scrambling, until the top is almost set. Spread the guacamole on half of the eggs, then fold the omelette over. Serve with optional beverages. Mocha coffee would be the more traditional choice for a Mexican food theme.

Omelette Basque:  274 calories 14.8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 16.7 g protein 20 g carbs [14 g Complex] 69.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread A savory omelette is a wonderful dinner, any day of the week. Susan Herrmann Loomas’ French Farmhouse Cooking is the source of this delicious meal.  HINT: serves two [2].

4 two-oz eggs 8 oz Italian bell peppers, green +/or red, cut in 1”x2” pieces 1 tsp olive oil ground espelette or Aleppo pepper or smokey paprika   per serving: one side salad with tomato   per serving: 0.8 oz whole-wheat sourdough bread

Cut the peppers as described above. Heat the oil in a 10-12” saute pan along with some healthy sprays of non-stick spray. When the oil is hot, add the peppers and cook, tossing them to turn to the other sides, until they have blackened parts. Lightly salt and pepper the peppers. Remove and separate into two portions. Whisk the eggs. Divide the eggs into two equal portions and add a pinch of espelette or Aleppo pepper to each batch. Put the pan back on the heat and add one portion of the peppers. Arrange them so that they are evenly distributed on the pan. When the pan is sizzling, add one portion of the eggs to the pan. Tilt the pan around so the eggs flow over the bottom and around the peppers. As the sides cook, lift the edge and let uncooked egg go to the bottom of the pan. Lightly salt and pepper the eggs. As the top just sets, remove the pan from the heat. Lift up one-third of the omelette and fold it over the rest. Fold the other side over the center, too, and ease the omelette onto a plate. Cook the other omelette right away. Plate with the salad and the bread. Everything you want in a dinner: delicious, quick, healthy.

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

1 two-oz eggBob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal 
mushroomslow-fat milk
galettes/crepesblueberries
Mediterranean Vegetables
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Smoke ham hock70-calorie multi-grain bread
sauerkraut + garlictuna + onion + celery + tomato
canned red beanscelery seed + Swiss cheese
red potatoes [raw spinach]reduced-fat mayonnaise or Béchamel
Sparkling waterside salad + Sparkling water