The Frigate Meduse

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 July 2, 1816, the French naval vessel La Meduse sank off the coast of West Africa. She had set sail, full of optimism and colonial hubris from Southern France, bound on a mission for all the wrong reasons. On board were soldiers and a governor, sent to subdue Senegal and re-claim it for France. The captain was an incompetent political appointee and the governor, eager to begin his duties, urged a change in course and full speed to get there sooner. Mis-reading the charts, they ran the ship aground on a sandbar 60 miles off Mauritania. Did they ditch the cannon to lighten the ship and float her off? No. They put the captain, governor, and soldiers in the two lifeboats, left 17 sailors on board, and 147 passengers/crew were placed on a rickety raft. After two days of towing the raft, the lifeboats cut her loose — leaving those survivors with 6 casks of wine, 1 cask of water, and a bag of biscuits. Thirteen days later, they were rescued. Only 15 people remained. Some had fallen overboard, some were thrown overboard. Some mutinied and were killed, many died of hunger and thirst, some were eaten due to their raft-mates’ hunger. It was a horrible story when told in 1817, and told it was when the ship’s surgeon and the geographer wrote about it. This caught the attention of Theodore Gericault who painted a vast [16×23 foot] canvas, now called Le Radeau de la Meduse. It is a dramatic, astonishing, evocative, disturbing, realistic, and unforgettable work of art hanging in the Louvre.

Our menu for the day begins in Southern France, as did the voyage of the Meduse. The salt cod in the eggs was probably part of the ship’s stores when she set out. The day ends in Senegal, now free of the yoke of colonial rule, with a delicious meal of fish and avocados .

Marseille Omelette: 156 calories 8 g fat 0.7 g fiber 16.5 g protein 4 g carbs 69.6 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Garlic, tomatoes, salt cod, and lavender: all flavors of Marseille on your breakfast plate.

1 ½ 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  1/3 oz salt cod, soaked 1 clove garlic, minced large pinch dried lavender 2 oz sliced fresh tomatoes, salted and sprinkled with herbs   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: soak the salt cod in water for 30-40 minutes, until softened. Mince and combine with the garlic and lavender.  Next morning: Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with the flavorings and pour into the hot pan. Instead of scrambling it, allow it to cook until the bottom is cooked and the top is firming up. Gently flip it to the other side to cook briefly. Plate with the tomatoes. Serve with the beverages of choice.

Senegal Tuna-Avocado Salad:  264 calories 14.6 g fat 6.4 g fiber 13 g protein 18 g carbs 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is my version of a meal which I enjoyed at Bissap Baobab, an excellent Senegalese restaurant, since closed, in Oakland, CA. 

2-1/2 oz white/Albacore tuna 2 Tbsp celery, minced pinch or 2 ground ginger ½ tsp lime juice Sriracha sauce ¾ oz apple, diced 2 oz avocado 2 Tbsp radish or alfalfa sprouts 4 oz cherry tomatoes ¼ oz [½ cup] baby spinach leaves 1 tsp + ½ tsp mayonnaise made with olive oil Lightly combine the tuna with the celery, ginger, dash of Sriracha, lime juice, apple, and ½ tsp mayonnaise. Arrange the spinach leaves in the center of the plate and mound the tuna on top. Slice the avocado and layer on top of the tuna. Mix remaining mayonnaise with Sriracha to taste and drizzle over the avocado. If the cherry tomatoes are not bite-sized, cut in half. Place tomatoes around the edge of the plate and sprinkle with sprouts. A fine meal when you want a taste of lands where the sun shines brightly.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
70-calorie whole grain breadcooked brown rice
raclette cheesewatermelon
blueberriesMediterranean Vegetables w/ chickpeas
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

skim milk + onion + whole cloveschicken breast + lemon
bay leaf + white whole wheat flourapricot preserves/jam
butter + haddock + smoked haddockDijon mustard
shrimp + puff pastry + spinachdelicata squash + sweet potato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Peter and Paul

Gen  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 J-O-G-E who is now Following.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul began their lives very differently and in the same region, but ended their lives similarly and in the same city [maybe]. To dissect that, we’ll start with their origins. Peter [then called Simon] was the son of a fisherman in the Galilee area of the Roman Province of Judea. Paul [then called Saul] was born a Jewish Roman citizen in Tarsus [now in Turkey]. Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus, while Paul, at first, ardently persecuted Christians. After Jesus’ death and resurrection and the conversion of Paul, they both traveled widely to promote the new religion’s beliefs. It is said that Peter went to Rome to become the bishop of the growing Christian congregation there. Paul, arrested in Israel for his faith, claimed the privilege due him as a Roman — to be put on trial in Rome. In Rome, we are told, they both were martyred for refusing to abjure their Christianity. The church of Saint John Lateran, in Rome, displays ornate reliquaries which are said to contain their heads.

In view of their Levantine origins and in honor of the Feast of Its Peter and Paul, our breakfast contains flavors which they would recognize. The dinner is one you might enjoy today, whether in Rome or in your own home.

Zucchini-Feta Fritters & Fruit:  178 calories 5.3 g fat 2.7 g fiber 8.4 g protein 31.6 g carbs 208 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  Savory with the feta, sweet with the melon – a flavor adventure for breakfast.

4 zucchini-feta fritters ** TIP: start them hours in advance 3 oz watermelon 2 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Start the fritters the night before to allow the zucchini to drain thoroughly. Using 1.5 Tablespoons per fritter, place the batter on a hot griddle which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Flatten the fritters, and cook on both sides until well browned. Plate with the melon and yogurt. Serve with beverage of choice, noting their calorie count. [Refrigerate the remaining batter until you have time to cook and freeze the remainder.]

**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  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 liberally with salt and use your fingers to toss the zucchini to distribute the salt throughout. Let sit several hours or overnight. 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 outand cook until well-browned on both sides

Eggplant Parmesan: 263 calories 5.6 g fat 4.8 g fiber 19 g protein 44 g carbs [20 g Complex] 203 mg Calcium  PB GF I love eggplant parmesan but I can’t stand cooking all those slices in oil [!!] and then layering everything together. This preparation is just what I need. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Dear Husband enjoyed this.

4 slices peeled eggplant to a total weight of 6.5 oz ¼ c part-skim ricotta cheese ½ cup reduced fat cottage cheese ½ oz egg 1-½ cup canned whole tomatoes basil + garlic powder 3 oz zucchini ribbons [use a vegetable peeler to slice lenghtwise] OR 2 oz spinach leaves 1 oz whole-grain linguine [or other of your choice]

Sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally with salt and lay them in a collander on a plate and let sit 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and cottage cheeses with the egg. Combine the tomatoes with the basil and garlic powder. Rinse the eggplant slices and bake at 375F on an oil-sprayed pan for 15 minutes or until tender. Spray two 8” oven-safe saute pans OR one larger pan with non-stick spray. Measure ¼ c of tomato into each pan and flatten it out. Lay two slices of eggplant, slightly over-lapping, on the tomatoes in the pans. Smear 1 Tbsp of tomato on each eggplant slice. Arrange 2-3 Tbsp of ricotta/cottage cheese mixture on each slice. Put any extra tomato sauce on top and then a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F for 15+ minutes or until eggplant is soft. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes, then take off heat. Add the zucchini to the pasta and let it sit, covered, for another 2-3 minutes. If using spinach, add it to the pasta pan with one minute to go. I like to serve it all in the skillet in which it was baked, but you can plate it to your individual wishes. Melty and tender – just the way I like it.

Glaciers

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.

Glaciers are fascinating things — though made of soft ice, they can sculpt rocks and change entire landscapes. There are rivers flowing through and beneath them. They are made of layers and although they look white, the ice is actually blue. They form when snow from the previous year doesn’t melt and then more snow adds to that the next winter. The snow compresses under its own weight and turns to ice. If the ice becomes 30 feet thick, it is officially deemed a ‘glacier.’ Around the world, they are melting at a great rate. This changes the weather, ecosystem around it, and even the elevation of the land. But curiously, a new glacier has been forming on the West coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Our family saw it in its infancy in 1992, at Gros Morne National Park, and it has been growing ever since. On June 25, 2018, it snowed in Newfoundland, to the amazement of many. An area of ice cools the air around it, causing more snow to fall, fueling the glacier build-up further. This is why we call it ‘climate change’ — some places get warmer, while others become colder.

Breakfast is white and creamy, like a pile of snow, and it is served cold. Similarly, the dinner is a cold meal, best enjoyed on a hot day.

Citrus Breakfast: 149 calories 1.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15.7 g protein 19 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 118 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. It is a vitamin-blast.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp fat-free plain or fat-free French Vanilla yogurt   1 clementine, peeled and sectioned 2 Tbsp black currants  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Combine all the dairy and fruit [or combine the dairy and garnish with fruit after plating]. Knowing that I would have a busy morning, I did this the night before and refrigerated it. Great for a grab-and-go meal, if you prep it the night before.

Gazpacho:  171 calories 6.3 g fat 2.4 g fiber 13.8 g protein 14.6 g carbs 57.6 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF croutons This is from Craig Claibourne’s Gourmet Diet cookbook from 1980. We used to make this, then it fell out of the repetoire. Time to re-embrace this classic Summer soup.  HINT: Serves 3 [three]. Makes a fine follow-up lunch. 

1 pound red ripe tomatoes 1 tsp minced garlic ½ cup diced onion ½ cup green or red pepper in ½” dice ½ cup cucumber, diced 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp olive oil ¼ cup tomato juice generous grinds of black pepper + pinch Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper  garnish per serving:  2 oz shrimp, peeled, cooked, cut in ½“ pieces ¼ oz [about 5] whole-grain croutons

Core and dice the tomatoes. Put them into a blender. Add the next seven ingredients in order. Put the spices on top and turn the blender on to medium speed. When you are finished, all the ingredients should be mixed throughout but there should still be chunks of vegetables. Measure 1 cup of the soup into each bowl and top with the garnishes and a pinch of finishing salt. Just what we need in the Summer.

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

1 two-oz egg + plain yogurtmango + pineapple 
zucchini + feta cheeseoven-roasted plantain slices
flour + watermelongoat cheese
self-rising flourcoconut dumpling
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggplant + egg + basil + reduced-fat cottage cheese Albacore tuna + lime juice + spinach leaves
canned tomatoes + Parmesansprouts/microgreens + celery
part-skim ricotta cheese + zucchini or fresh spinachavocado + mayonnaise + Sriracha
whole-grain pasta + garlic powdercherry tomatoes + apple + ginger
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Science

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 jimmdetoxman who is now Following.

The word “science” is from the latin word “scientia,” meaning “knowledge.” It is called that because it is based on facts which can be tested and verified. This sets it apart from opinion, which is not necessarily based on fact. Ex: It is a fact that Earth has a moon, but there are many opinions as to how that moon formed. Galileo [1564-1642] was a real scientist. He collected data to test his opinions until he knew which were facts and which were not. Ever since he improved on existing telescopes, he had been collecting information about the motion of the planets in our part of space. In his time, it was popularly believed that the sun and all the planets orbited around the Earth, since that had been the idea of Aristotle and Ptolemy. This view was first challenged by Copernicus and then more mathematically by Kepler. [In between was Tycho, who tried to strike a middle ground with a hybrid theory.] Kepler’s work was scorned as fake-news by the Church and popular culture. The idea that Earth, God’s best creation, was only one of a multitude of planets orbiting the little sun seemed to diminish humans’ importance. Furthermore, to challenge the Church’s view was to challenge the Church’s authority and beliefs. In 1616, Galileo had been warned by the Church not to talk or write anymore about the sun-centered ideas which his telescope confirmed. Many Church leaders, including the pope who was a personal friend, had gone to ‘telescope parties’ at Galileo’s house to see how the planets moved. But the Church would not be moved. Galileo published one more book and was put on trial. After years of waffling, he was at last forced to renounce his scientific work and he recanted his ideas on June 22, 1633. A bad day for science, a good day for people who think science should be bent to fit their political agenda.

Our breakfast involves flavors of Florence, Italy, Galileo’s beloved home town. The dinner is from China. Why? you ask. In the early 1600s, Jesuit missionaries had gone to the Chinese court, seeking to preach Christianity and to demonstrate [superior] European culture. One of the technologies that they proudly displayed, between 1626 and 1634, was a Galilean telescope.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories 6.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 6 g carbs 61.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF This bake is so flavorful that you will not notice the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crepes for dinner. Same kind of deliciousness.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp ham Florentine mixture** 2 oz applesauce Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg and stir in the ham Florentine mixture. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the applesauce and pour your choice of beverages. This is a breakfast to prepare often.

**Ham Florentine Fillingmakes 1.5 cups  Freeze the remainder to fill crepes or in small quantities for eggs. ½ cup no-cheese Bechamel Sauce [see SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17 ] 1 cup ham in ¼ ” dice 1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, fresh or frozen ½ cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped onion pinch of each: celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through.

Shrimp Fu Yung:  239 calories 14 g fat 2 g fiber 23.4 g protein 9 g carbs 132 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here is the Cantonese classic, as delicious as ever. Americans seem to think it should have brown chicken gravy on top – not very authentic. I have recreated the look using a very savory sauce.

1-¼ oz shrimp, cooked or raw ¼ stalk celery [substitute: leaf rib of Swiss Chard] 2 Tbsp chopped mushroom ¼ cup mung bean sprouts [substitute: chopped cabbage] 1-½ scallions [spring onions] ¼ tsp ginger powder 2 two-oz eggs 1 oz spinach leaves + garlic powder + ¼ tsp sesame seed ½ tsp sesame oil   Sauce: 1 tsp hoisin sauce + 1 tsp soy sauce + 1 tsp oyster sauce

Cut the shrimp into small slices and put in a bowl with the mushrooms. Slice the celery ¼” thick and put into another bowl. Slice the scallions and add to the same bowl, along with the sprouts. Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside. Whisk the eggs with the ginger. In a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick spray and a tablespoon of water, cook the spinach, stirring, until it is just limp. Remove from heat, stir with a sprinkle of garlic powder. Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return the pan to the stove over high heat. Spray again and add the sesame oil. Put the vegetables into the pan and stir for 60 seconds. Add the shrimp/mushrooms and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Pour the eggs in a circular motion into the pan, trying not to disturb the other items. Tilt the pan as you lift the edge of the eggs to let the uncooked egg down to the pan. After a few minutes, flip the egg disk to the other side to cook. [I put a plate over the pan and inverted it, then slid the egg disk back into the pan.] Soon the bottom will be cooked. Slide the eggs onto a cutting board and slice into quarters. Arrange them on the plate next to the spinach. Drizzle the sauce on top and enjoy every bite.

Voting Rights

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 June 18, 1872, Susan B. Anthony showed up to vote. She was promptly arrested and fined $100 for her temerity. Anthony campaigned tirelessly against slavery and then turned her sights on women’s right to vote. Her strong suits were organizing and strategizing as she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton lead a large nationwide push for equality for women. Some might criticize her for speaking against the 14th and 15th Amendments, which gave black men the right to vote. Anthony was not a racist — she thought the new amendments should go further to include women, too, both black and white. Her Quaker upbringing caused her to be ardent for “Men, their rights, and nothing more. Women, their rights, and nothing less.” She never got the right to vote, but her wish for “liberty and justice for all” [words of F. Bellamy, 1892] inspires all of us to action.

Susan B. Anthony was born in Massachusetts and spent her adult life in New York State. Sausage and apples would have been a familiar flavor combination to her. Although servants did her cooking, she would surely appreciate the convenience that a modern woman has of preparing a lot of food in advance and freezing future meals. Such is the soup for our dinner. This strategy frees her up for campaigning, working, and making the world more just for everyone.

Sausage-Apple ScrOmelette: 152 calories 10 g fat 0.5 g fiber 12.8 g protein 3.5 g carbs 43.2 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 = 33 calories 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 apple and slice the sausage. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the apple and cook them a bit. Add the sausage to warm it. Whisk the eggs with the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sausage/apple in the pan. Let cook, as an ‘omelette plate’ to your favorite degree of doneness, and plate. Partake of your beverages of choice. YUMM — sweet apple, savory sausage.

Soupe au Pistou:  212 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 9 g protein 34 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread and pasta  Here is the summer soup of Southern France: garden vegetables with a basil pistou [pesto in Italian] to flavor it. The recipe is from Anne Willan’s Country Cooking of FranceHINT: This makes enough for 9 [nine] one-cup servings or 6 [six] 1-½ cup sv. = 271 calories/bowl, with bread.

½ cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup thinly-sliced leeks ½ pound [8 oz] tomatoes, ½ inch dice ½ cup carrots, ½ inch dice 2 cups potatoes, ½ inch dice 8 oz zucchini, ½ inch dice ½ cup onion, diced 2/3 cup green beans, cut in 1” pieces ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen 1-¼ oz short pasta, such as orzo or ditalini or tiny shells ¼ cup pesto, purchased or homemade 1 one-ounce slice whole-grain sourdough bread

Prepare all the vegetables. Simmer them in 1 quart of water with salt and pepper for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer 5 minutes more. Add the pasta and simmer 5 minutes more. Take off the heat and stir in the pesto. HINT: If possible, cool, cover, and let sit in a cool spot for 8-24 hours to deepen the flavors.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with a slice of whole grain sourdough bread. Delicious for dinner or lunch. Freeze the remainder.

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

1 two-oz egg + applesaucereduced fat cottage cheese
Bechamel sauce + spinachfat-free French Vanilla yogurt
celery + onion + ham + basilclementine
celery seed + dill + garlic powderblack currants
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggs + shrimp + celery + spinachtomatoes + garlic + onion
mushrooms + scallion + sesame oilItalian pepper + cucumber
bean sprouts _ ground gingerred wine vinegar + shrimp
hoisin + oyster + soy saucesolive oil + tomato juice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mix Up

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.

“Mixed up” refers to someone who is a little crazy, as in “You can’t blame him, he’s really mixed up.” That sad lad’s past might cause him to become involved with bad company [c. 1900]. “He went to jail after being mixed up with some gang members.” The term “crazy mixed up kid” is from the 1940s-50s, could be a condemnation of teenagers by adults OR a bit of a compliment, meaning someone who was ‘hep’ and not a conformist. To “mix it up” says that a quarrel or fight is going on. A baseball announcer might say, “Uh-oh — they seem to be mixing it up at third base…” as the umpires and coaches rushed over. Further, “mix ups” can be the result of confusion [c. 1800]. Waitress: ‘I’m sorry — you didn’t order the venison? I must have mixed up the order.” In food preparation, we mix up the ingredients to incorporate them. All in all, the words ‘mixed up’ can leave a non-English speaker a little mixed up in a conversation. English is said to be the most difficult language to learn.

Our menus today have no particular theme — taken together, they are as mixed up as can be. We start with a sweet, loving breakfast and move on to a spicy, angry dinner [‘arrabbiata’ means ‘angry’ in Italian]. Guess that makes me a little mixed up.

Peachy Waffle Hearts148 calories 3.4 g fat 3.6 g fiber 3.6 g protein 29 g carbs [13.7 g Complex] 59.4 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF waffles Where is it written that hearts are reserved for Valentine’s Day? Make this breakfast to show someone that he/she/they are loved. Make it for yourself for affirmation.

3 sections of waffle that are heart-shaped [our waffle-maker has 5 sections] 3 Tbsp French Vanilla yogurt, low-fat 2 Tbsp almond meal/almond flour 3 oz peach 2 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [44 calories]

Combine the yogurt with the almond meal and let it sit to thicken a bit. Can be done overnight. Mash the peach through a sieve to make a mush. Warm the waffles to take off any chill and spread with the peach mush. Pipe or spoon the yogurt around the edges of the hearts and plate with the pear. A pretty treat.

Shrimp Arrabbiata:  287 calories 8.5 g fat 6.4 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs [21.8 g Complex] 240 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF pasta The box of pasta says that this recipe is from Sarah Leah Chase’s book Cold-Weather Cooking. I added the shrimp and it is great.  HINT: This recipe serves three [3] people. Invite friends or enjoy on two following days.

1-½ oz pancetta or serrano ham, sliced in ribbons 3 cloves garlic, sliced 1 tsp red pepper flakes or more to taste 6 plum tomatoes, diced 3 oz whole-grain ‘penne’ pasta 6 oz shrimp 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese   per person: 3 oz asparagus + 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Remove the shells from the shrimp and set aside. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray. Add the pancetta and garlic and cook until garlic is golden-colored. Add the crushed red peppers and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer. Meanwhile, put the pasta in boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes, then remove pan from heat but do not drain. Scoop out the pasta and add to the tomatoes, along with several tablespoons of the pasta-cooking water. Add the shrimp, some salt, and 1 Tbsp grated cheese to the tomatoes and cook until the shrimp are done. The pasta will continue to cook in the liquid from the tomatoes – if getting too dry, add some more water. Cut the asparagus into 1” pieces and cook in boiling water until soft to your taste. Test the pasta to find out when it is done. Portion and plate with grated cheese on top. Restaurant quality, at home.

Franklin and His Stove

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.

Benjamin Franklin was a Renaissance Man and a true participant in the Age of Enlightenment. By trade, a printer and humor-writer; by philosophy, a humanist; by necessity, a diplomat and political strategist; by avocation, a scientist and inventor. In his time, buildings were heated by fireplaces — smokey, inefficient affairs that really did not work too well. On or about June 11, 1742, Franklin invented his ‘Pennsylvania Fireplace’ which came to be known as the Franklin Stove. He did not patent it and so an English ironmonger was able to take out his own patent, disenfranchising Franklin and his own stove manufacturer. Might that have fueled Franklin’s ire at high-handed Englishmen which resulted, 30 years later, in the American Revolution? Not for me to say. The Franklin stove caught on, despite the improvements of Count Rumford in fireplace design later in the century. Today, many homes have a wood stove based on Franklin’s idea. They really take the chill off Winter.

Although born and raised in Massachusetts, Ben Franklin is forever linked to Philadelphia. Today’s breakfast utilizes the classic Philadelphia Scrapple for its flavor. The dinner features a more modern Philly meal, but the garnish evokes the Liberty Bell, a sacred shrine of the Revolution in Pennsylvania.

Scrapple Scramble: 168 calories 14 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11.4 g protein 9.4 g carbs 64.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF – scrapple is supposed to be made with cornmeal and buckwheat flour, not wheat flour  This is a great way to use any left-over scrapple, in case you cooked too much earlier in the week.

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.   ½ oz scrapple, cooked, diced 2 Tbsp scallion or chives, sliced thinly 1.5 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]

Dice the scrapple and slice the scallion. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and cook the scrapple and scallion until they are warm. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the ingredients in the pan. Scramble to your liking. Plate with the fruit and enjoy your beverage of choice. This is a real taste of South-Eastern Pennsylvania!

Philly Cheesesteak en Casserole: 264 calories 11 g fat 1.2 g fiber 33.7 g protein 11.3 g carbs [8.9 g Complex] 263 mg Calcium    The iconic street food of Philadelphia has been made over for Fast Day. By the way, provolone is the original cheese for this dish – NOT Cheeze-Whiz.

2-1/2 oz rare roast beef, shaved into very thin slices 0.8 oz Provolene cheese [2 thin slices] 1 oz onions, sliced 1-1/2 oz broccoli florets 1 slice 70-80-calorie whole-grain bread [Martins’ is the best choice]

In a small skillet sprayed with non-stick spray, cook the onions in a little water until they are limp but not browned and set them aside. Take a slice of Martin’s potato bread and cut out a bell shape [for the Liberty Bell, of course] using a 3-4” cookie cutter. Lightly toast the bread. Add the beef to the pan and cook the meat while chopping at it with a metal turner. Add the onions when the beef is grey-colored and soft. Boil/steam the broccoli while the meat cooks. Lay the cheese over the meat and take off the heat. The cheese will melt onto the beef. Make room in the pan for the broccoli and top with the bell-shaped bread. Enjoy your taste of Philadelphia while you hum the theme to Rocky.

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

heart-shaped waffle sections1.5 two-oz eggs 
almond mealchicken breakfast sausage [@33 cal]
low-fat French Vanilla yogurtapple
peach and pearsage
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

pancetta + shrimpcanned white beans + leek
red pepper flakes + plum tomatoestomatoes + carrot + potato
whole wheat pasta zucchini + onion + chunky pasta
Parmesan cheese + garlicgreen beans + peas + pesto
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Rhubarb!

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.

If these were ‘normal times,’ this past week-end would have been a whirl-wind of activity. Our town’s Rhubarb Festival usually occurs the first Friday/Saturday of June. Some of us started it in 2013, to raise money for the library‘s building fund and to have our own ‘village fete.’ As the years went on, the Festival increased to quite an event, and this year was to be bigger and better. But these are not ‘normal times.’ Our State is slowly re-opening, more cautiously than some — and caution is good. But town and county festivals and fairs are casualties of that. Still, the rhubarb grows like crazy in our 20′ x 20′ patch. Last year, I took the prizes for the ‘longest stalk’ and ‘widest leaf’ — best rhubarb in town! Gotta use it!

Our breakfast features a genuine New Hampshire rhubarb pudding, from neighboring Greenfield. Very good! For dinner, how about some grilled or baked fish with a Rhubarb Sauce? Two are offered below. Eat rhubarb!

Rhubarb Pudding:  142 calories 3.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 10.6 g protein 24 g carbs [4.5 g Complex] 155 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour Hayden Pearson has a wonderful dessert call “Blanche’s Super Rhubarb Pudding” in his iconic Country Flavor Cook Book. This is a scaled-down version that is fit for breakfast: slightly tangy, lightly sweet.

6 Tbsp cooked, mashed rhubarb 1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white 1-1/2 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp flour OR 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp milk ½ tsp baking powder   per person: 1 slice Canadian Bacon [= ½ oz back bacon]  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cut up 1 cup rhubarb and stew it in a little water. Drain thoroughly and mash. Measure the 6 Tbsp you need and save the remainder for another use. [Add to a smoothie; serve with yogurt] Whisk the egg and white, then add all the other ingredients [but not the bacon!] Spoon into a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. HINT: I did all this the night before. A real time-saver. Bake at 350 F until the batter is firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. While the pudding bakes, cook the bacon and prepare the optional beverages. Delicious.

BRISTOLIAN SAUCE:  makes 2 cups = 16 fluid ounces    Per fl oz [2 Tbsp]: 16.5 calories 0 g fat 0.5 g fiber 0.2 g protein 3.4 g carbs [0.9 g Complex] 25 mg Calcium  PB GF Britishfoodinamerica is the source for this recipe. Very simple to prepare.  TIP: Prepare the sauce hours in advance to give the mace a chance to develop its flavor. I suggest hot-water canning in small jars to preserve it, or freeze the leftover sauce.

1 lb chopped rhubarb
½ cup hard cider [alcohol]
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Tbsp brown sugar
½ teaspoon mace or nutmeg
Put everything in a heavy pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the rhubarb breaks down — usually in 15 minutes or less.
Puree/mash the sauce. Serve cold or hot.

RHUBARB AGRODOLCE:  makes 2 cups  = 16 fluid ounces   per fl oz: 23 calories 0.8 g fat 0.6 g fiber 0.3 g protein 3 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF Todd English uses this in the preparation of chicken. But we have used it for fish as well. The name mean ‘sour-sweet.’ Extra sauce can be frozen or canned in boiling water.

1.5 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced ½ cup onion, chopped 1 pound rhubarb, chopped in ½” diceSpray a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Add the ginger, with some water, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the rhubarb and cook for 4-5 minutes.
1 Tbsp butter ¾ cup hard cider 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped Add each item one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Bring to a low boil and cook until reduced by half – about 10-15 minutes.
1.5 tsp brown sugarAdd sugar and stir to combine.

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