The Dark Day

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

On May 17, 1780, a long drought in the Ontario Province of Canada, caused a raging wildfire. In New England, people noticed that the sun had a reddish hue. On May 19, people in New England woke up to a day without a dawn. It was dark and as the morning went on, the sky became even darker. By noon, the sky was inky black, animals went to sleep, candles were lit, and people were very worried. Churches filled, as residents sought reassurance and answers. No real answers were possible. Meterology was not yet an acknowledged field of study. Today, satellite photos would have shown the reason, and TV weather-casters would have told about the clouds of ash from the fires to the West, as occurred last July in Boston. Ministers preached about the Second Coming, schools closed early, and state legislatures considered adjournment. A stalwart Connecticut lawmaker, Abraham Davenport, declared that if the world were to end, he’d rather that it found him doing his job. Poems were composed, sermons were written citing Joel 3, v 14-16, and Matthew 24, v 29-31, and to this day The Dark Day of New England is remembered.

On the Dark Day, some people thought it was the end of the world — or maybe a recurrence the 10 Plagues of Egypt. Thus, we will have a Passover-style breakfast. What would you eat for dinner if the world were going to end that night? This dinner is delicious, special, easy to prepare, and one of our favorites.

Reuben Matzo Egg: 168 calories 10 g fat 1.5 g fiber 14 g protein 18.6 g carbs [2.5 g Complex] 54 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB  The flavors of a Reuben but Kosher for Passover! What’s not to love? Delicious, filling breakfast. The original recipe is from Kosher in the Kitch.

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.   ½ matzo cracker [14 g], like Streit’s brand  ¼ oz corned beef, sliced thinly and minced 2 Tbsp sauerkraut, drained 1.5 tsp Russian Dressing** freshly-ground black pepper  Optional: black coffee with 1 tsp sugar [16 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water  Optional: 4 oz Kosher orange juice [56 calories]

**Russian Dressing  22 calories/1.5 tsp  1 tsp mayonnaise ¼ tsp catsup 1/8 tsp hot sauce 1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce pinch paprika  Whisk everything together.

Whisk the eggs vigorously, then stir in most of the corned beef and sauerkraut. Pour into a non-stick pan which was spritzed with olive oil. Scramble until done to your preference. Carefully break your half of the matzo in two or three pieces. Spread most of the Russian Dressing on the matzo crackers, then top with the eggs. Garnish with remaining corned beef, a dollop of the Dressing, and black pepper.  Delish.

Ham & Asparagus Popover: 300 calories 10 g fat 3.5 g fiber 18.5 g protein 28.5 g carbs 154.6 mg Calcium What a fine way to recycle the components of a Sunday dinner.  HINT: Recipe serves 2 [two] people. Easy to cut in half or to double.

3 oz ham [from a roast, this has 11% fat] 6 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces ½ cup Bechamel sauce  ½ oz Swiss cheese   per person: 1 popover **

** Makes 12 popoversRecipe from SeriousEats
7 oz shelled eggs
150g all-purpose flour
175g whole milk
2g kosher salt = ½ tsp
25g water = 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp
Combine eggs, flour, milk, water, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until a smooth batter is formed.
Let batter rest at room temperature, 30 mins or overnight in the ‘fridge. Remove from ‘frige while oven preheats and whisk it.
Put oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F /230°C. 
4 Tbsp butter/beef drippings/lardDivide fat evenly among wells of one 12-well standard muffin tin.
Preheat tin in oven ~10 mins.
Take tin from oven and divide batter evenly among wells, filling each about ½- way. 
Immediately return to oven and bake until deep brown all over, 18-20 minutes.
Serve immediately.
Put left overs in a zipper-lock freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat in a hot toaster oven before serving.

Snap off the woody ends of asparagus. Slice the spears and cook until tender. Cut ham into ½” chunks. Dice/grate the cheese and add it to the Bechamel sauce in a sauce pan. Warm gently until the cheese melts. Add the ham and asparagus and season to taste.  HINT: This could be done hours in advance. Bake the popovers until puffed and browned but not dry. Heat the ham/asparagus sauce gently while the Popovers bake. Break open popovers and spoon the ham filling over/in it. Very Special.

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

1 two-oz egg + spinach, fresh or frozen1.5 two-oz eggs  
1/2 whole wheat English Muffin [50 calories]truffle cream
slice of deli ham 3%-fat + nutmegblueberries
bechamel sauce w/ cheese
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Foccacio bun: bread + white whole wheat flour 3 oz breaded pork cutlet
capicola hambeets
truffle cream + sweet potatoessmall red potatoes
Stracciatella cheese or whipped cream cheesemushrooms
arugula + microgreens
sparkling watersparkling water

Potatoes

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Freelancer Remote Jobs who is now Following.

Around 4000 BCE, the Inca people of Peru were growing potatoes. Not only did they grow potatoes, they used selective breeding — as Luther Burbank did in the 1900s — to combine the traits of many varieties to improve them. Those tubers were small and multi-colored and they were a major part of the diet. Introduced to Spain in 1570, potatoes caught on there and in Ireland. Potatoes were once considered the best food for feeding the starving poor: they were easy to grow, stored well, and had a lot of carbohydrates to make one feel full. By some, they were scorned as ‘lazy man’s bread’ since the growing of potatoes was less trouble than wheat. A boiled or baked potato is a source of nutrients. But as they became ubiquitous in the Standard American Diet — as an ingredient in foods that were processed and fried — potatoes were blamed for causing weight gain. Potatoes have a high Glycemic Index: that is to say, they are easily converted to sugar in the body. Eating a lot of potatoes at a sitting [“Bet you can’t eat just one!” said a snack chip advert] can cause your blood sugar to soar. This is because the white potato contains simple carbohydrates when compared to other plant starches like whole grains. All of this makes potatoes a less than optimal choice for people who want to lose weight and avoid diabetes. Are potatoes good as food or are they bad? The answer, as always, lies in preparation and in portion size.

You can still eat your white potatoes, especially in combination with other vegetables. Presented here today, a Scottish combo of potatoes and turnips, and a Netherlandish dish of potatoes and carrots. More complex carbohydrates, more fiber, more flavor. Try them!

Neeps & Tatties:  ½ c = 76 caloreis 0.5 g fat 3.6 g fiber 3 g protein 14.5 g carbs 69 mg Calcium  PB GF  This classic side dish of Scotland and Northern England is best served with sausages, roast beef, or haggis.  HINT: makes 2 cups 

5 oz Russett potatoes, peeled and cubed 5 oz rutabega, peeled and cubed 1 tsp dry mustard powder [Coleman’s] salt & pepper ½ c scallions, chopped

Put vegetable cubes in water to cover and cook until tender. Drain, saving water for baking. Mash the vegetables, adding more liquid if you wish. Stir in the mustard, and add salt, pepper to taste. Either stir in the scallions or sprinkle on top.

Hutspot:  1/2 cup = 76 calories 0.6 g fat 3 g fiber 2 g protein 17.4 g carbs 29.6 mg Calcium   PB GF This is a revered national dish in the Netherlands where it is associated with the victory over the Spanish and the Relief of Leyden in the 1500s HINT: makes 1 cup

2 oz potato, peeled 2 oz carrots, peeled 2 oz onion salt and pepper to taste

Cube potatoes and put into a sauce pan with water half-way up. Cut carrots in coins and put on top of potatoes. Slice onions and put them on top of the carrots. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Drain, reserving the liquid. Mash vegetables, adding reserved liquid if needed. Season to taste. 

Parmentier

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

The Spaniards brought the potato from the New World to Europe in 1500s. There, it was embraced as a good food source. In neighboring France and other nations, potatoes were food for swine. Antoine Auguste Parmentier trained as a pharmacist. In that role, he was serving in the French army when he was captured by the Prussians. As a prisoner of war, he was fed potatoes and grew to respect them as a wholesome, nutritious food. Distressed by the plight of famine-ravaged poor people, Parmentier set his mind to the growing of potatoes; ways to prepare potatoes; and a means to convince the French populace to eat them. The Hotel des Invalides was the military hospital in Paris where Parmentier worked after his release. He planted potatoes on the hospital grounds and posted soldiers around the plot night and day. Local people were curious about these strange plants, so he told them that the roots were special food for King Louis XVI. Just as the potatoes ripened, the guards around the plot disappeared. Naturally, the potatoes were ‘appropriated’ by the neighbors: they ate them, they loved them, and the King congratulated the pharmacist for having “found a bread for the poor.” Parmentier was untouched by the French Revolution and distinguished himself further through his work on vaccination and public hygiene before his death in 1813. Many dishes in French cookbooks have the word ‘Parmentier’ in the title if they contain potatoes, in honor of him.

‘French’ fries [which are actually Belgian] are on the menu of a well-known fast food restaurant chain, which serves a meal similar to our breakfast. No fries today, and none tomorrow if you know what’s good for you. The dinner shows the versatility of Parmentier’s favorite tuber, as found in a very French soup.

Egg-McArnold: 230 calories 6.5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 13.5 g protein 27 g carbs [15 g Complex] 91 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg sandwich only, not the optional coffee. This, of course, is the Fasting version of a fast-food favorite. Works well for eating on-the-run. 

1 two-oz egg 1 Arnold-brand multi-grain Sandwich Thin [or similar @100 calories] ½ oz Canadian Bacon or similar @20 calories/slice  2 oz grapes  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Open up the ‘sandwich thin’ and lightly toast it. Fry or poach the egg to your liking and cook the Canadian Bacon in the same pan. Assemble, using salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy it with your coffee in a to-go cup but don’t eat in the car – sit down and slowly savor this Fast food.

Asparagus Soup:  278 calories  1.5 g fat  5.5 g fiber 22 g protein 27 g carb 277 mg Calcium GF PB  This fabulous soup is from Salute to Healthy Cooking and we have been loving it for years.  Despite its rich taste, it is very low in calories and fat. I ramped up the protein to make it suitable for a main course.  HINT: the recipe makes enough for 6 one-cup servings. Freezes very well for easy meals later. I serve it here with Finn Crisp crackers covered with melted cheese. If you want to eliminate them, go ahead.

One and a half pounds asparagus ½ cup onion, roughly chopped 1 cup potato in 1“ dice 5 cups chicken stock 4 oz raw chicken breast cut into 4 pieces ¼ cup white beans, rinsed and drained salt & pepper to taste  per serving:  optional 1 Tbsp Boursin Light cheese   optional 2 pieces of Finn Crisp crackers  optional  1 oz Swiss cheese [½ deli slice] 

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut spears roughly in half. Pour the chicken stock into a sauce pan. Add the onion and asparagus. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that it will steam/poach while the asparagus is cooking. Add the white beans. Bring the liquid to a simmer and put on a lid. Remove the chicken when it is cooked and put it in the blender, but do not process it. When the vegetables are cooked, remove them and put in the blender, but do not process. Put the potato in the pot and cook until soft. Pour the stock and the potatoes into the blender with everything else. Blend until smooth. Return to the pan and season to taste. Cool and divide into six portions: one for your meal today and five for the freezer.

To serve, warm the soup gently. Adjust seasonings. Cut the slice of cheese into 2 strips, 4” x 2”, and put a portion on each cracker. Warm in the oven until cheese melts. Plop a dollop of Boursin in the center of the soup in the bowl, and stir with a fork to melt the cheese and marble the soup. Delicious taste any time of year.

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

Next week, I will discuss potato1.5 two-oz eggs  + sauerkraut
side dishescorned beef + paprika
Find a new favorite breakfastmatzo cracker + Worcestershire
in the archives.mayo + catsup + hot sauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

potatoes + onionsHam from a roast
carrots + rutabagas/turnips asparagus + Swiss cheese
scallionsBechamel sauce
dry mustard powderpopovers: 4 eggs + milk + flour + butter
Sparkling waterSparkling water

C.W. Post

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to DiEdwards who is now Following.

You have heard of the Post Cereal brand, right? Now you will hear about the eponymous Mr. Post. He was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1854, and grew up there. After a couple of years at the Industrial University, C.W. went off to run a store in Kansas. Back in Springfield, he sold farm implements and invented a few, too. It was all too much for him and he had a mental break at age 31. Depression followed and another breakdown, which took Post to Battle Creek, Michigan to the sanitarium of Dr. Kellogg. Kellogg thought that better nutrition would cure anything and to that end he developed grain-based vegan foods. C.W. agreed and, believing himself cured, he developed some new foods for breakfast: Postum, a coffee substitute; Grape-Nuts cereal, with neither grapes nor nuts; and Post Toasties, a corn flake originally called Elijah’s Manna — a name that was banned in the UK. The Kellogg organization always said that Post stole their recipes, but Post’s Postum Company revolutionized breakfast in America. Post spent his new wealth on real estate, buying huge tracts of land in Texas to establish a model town of ranchers and farmers. At the same time, his marriage was going down hill as was his health. His depression was ongoing, not helped by chronic stomach pains. Great wealth and remarriage did not improve his condition and he shot himself in 1914. His daughter, Marjory Merriweather Post, gave her estate to Long Island University, which they turned into C.W. Post College.

While being treated at the Kellogg Sanitarium, Post was fed a vegetarian diet. Our breakfast fits into that category. The dinner is pescatarian, heavy on the veggies. Both are good and good for you.

Banana Tofu Smoothie: 182 calories 2 g fat 1.5 g fiber 9 g protein 32 g carbs 250 mg Calcium  PB GF  A smoothie for breakfast? Sure thing. This is what I always took for lunch when I was teaching. HINT: This serves two. 

1¼ cups fat-free milk ½ cup firm tofu 6” banana   2 Tbsp sugar  4 ice cubes grated nutmeg Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Put everything in the blender and wizz it on “Low” until it is all chopped up. Then run it at a higher speed until it is smooth. Top with grated nutmeg.

Tuna-Bean-Garlic Patties: 270 cal 6 g fat 7 g fiber 31.6 g protein 23 g carb [22.4 g Complex] 110 mg Calcium PB GF The recipe is from the Fast Diet book, where it appears as a salad. This is my warm weather version, since the patties are served warm.  HINT: recipe serves 2 [two], each serving = two patties

1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed one 5-oz can light tuna in water, drained and flaked 4 oz tomato: 2 oz cubed, 2 oz left whole if bite-sized or sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated salt + pepper + thyme + parsley 3½ oz spinach or mixed greens 1 tsp lemon juice + 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1 tsp olive oil

Set oven at 350 F. Combine beans, tuna, cubed tomato, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Process until smooth/not chunky. Add salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, using a 1/3-cup measure as a mold. Turn out onto a lightly-spritzed baking sheet or silicon baking mat. Bake at 375 F until heated through. Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil in a wide, shallow bowl. Add the greens and the remaining tomato. Toss lightly. Plate the salad decoratively with the tuna-bean patties.

Kublai Khan

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Did Kublai Khan live in a ‘stately pleasure dome’ in Xanadu? Did he feast on honeydew and milk? Mostly. The 5th Great Khan, Kublai established his summer capital at Shangdu/Xanadu in southern Mongolia. As a prince, he had been trained in riding, archery, and warfare. After the death of his brother, Kublai defeated another brother to become the leader of the Mongol Empire on May 5, 1260. To make nice with the conquered Chinese, Kublai called his dynasty the Yuan. A Chinese advisor designed Xanadu according to the principles of Feng Shui and filled the gardens with rare and exotic plants. [The poet Coleridge, who wrote the poem Kubla Khan, never visited the place and made up his descriptions out of whole cloth.] Although Kublai still favored his fellow Mongols in key positions, he freely appointed non-Mongols and even non-Chinese [like Marco Polo] to government jobs. For 30 years Kublai was the Great Khan and ruled over a vast empire, from Eastern Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Kublai Khan was notable for improving infrastructure, relative cultural tolerance, and enhancing trade with the use of paper money. He died of obesity and alcoholism [with goiter and gout for good measure] in 1294. Xanadu was destroyed in 1369 by the Sung Chinese. As for the honeydew? What Americans call ‘honeydew melons’ originated in Egypt/Levant/Western Asia many thousands of years ago. It is entirely possible that they made their way along the Silk Road to the court of the Great Khan.

In the summer, the Mongols enjoyed a ‘white diet’ that was based on dairy products and foraged plants. Thus we begin our day with yogurt and a bread made with milk. In the winter, the Mongols ate a ‘red diet’ that was based on hunted meats. Our dinner will revert to summer, when fish from the rivers would be eaten. We will use ocean fish instead of freshwater fish. The ancient Mongols were subject to goiter [‘fat neck’], caused by a lack of Iodine in their diet. Eating seafood supplies Iodine.

Mongol Morning: 158 calories 1 g fat 2.5 g fiber 10 g protein 34.5 g carbs 229 mg Calcium PB The Mongols were nomadic herders and ate dairy products at all meals. This breakfast is based on dairy, ‘foraged’ plants, and a traditional bread. It is very good.

1 Mongol flatbread** ½ c plain yogurt  ¼ c blueberries/strawberries ¼ c microgreens Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [44 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Cook the flatbread or take from ‘fridge. Plate with yogurt, berries, and greens for an excellent breakfast. The yogurt can be spooned onto the bread then topped with fruit or greens, or you may eat these items in any combination you wish.

**Mongol Flatbread: makes 9 breads  1 of 9 = 86 calories 1 g fat 1.3 g fiber 4 g protein 21 g carbs 26.4 mg Calcium  PB The recipe is from ucook.com. The result is delicious. Just great as a flatbread accompaniment, but I would like to try them as pancakes for breakfast.

1 c white whole wheat flour ½ c white flour
1 tsp honey 1½ tsp yeast 1 tsp salt
Combine these together in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. 
½ c + 2 Tbsp milk ½ c + 2 T water .Warm milk and water slightly Add to flour mixture and whisk vigorously, 5 mins, to make a smooth batter. 
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place 2 hours while dough doubles and bubbles.
Whisk the batter 1 minute and it’s ready to go
¼ tsp vegetable oil Put oil in a nonstick frying pan over med-low heat, then wipe out with a paper towel. Fry ¼ cup of batter at a time, a few minutes on each side, until well browned. Wipe pan at whiles with the oiled paper towel.

Cod for the Khan: 223 calories 2.4 g fat 6 g fiber 24.6 g protein 28 g carbs 176 mg Calcium  PB GF  This meal is based on ingredients from a Mongol Carp Soup. Instead of boiling, the fish is pan-cooked and it comes out well. The Mongols were not known for eating vegetables, but they did include onions in their recipes. The rice would have come from the southern provinces of the Mongol Empire.

Marinated Cod:  4 oz cod fillet ¼ tsp brown pepper, ground ¼ tsp coriander seed, ground 1 ½ tsp onion, chopped 1 Tbsp Chinese wine or sherry Stir together the spices, onion, and wine in a glass pie plate. Marinate the cod on the pie plate, turning often, for 30-60 minutes.

The Dinner: marinated cod  1 cup foraged greens: dandelion leaves, chickweed, chives, sheep-sorrel, spinach ¼ cup onion, chopped ¼ cup brown rice, cooked 1 Tbsp chives, chopped optional: splash of vinegar

Spray a small cast iron pan with cooking spray and add the cod. Cook over medium for 4 minutes, turning to heat both sides. Pour in the marinade, cover, turn down heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillet. Chop the greens roughly. Put onion in a small pan with ¼ cup water and simmer until transluscent. Add the greens, turn down heat, cover, and simmer to wilt the greens. Heat the cooked rice and stir in chives. Test fish to see if it ‘flakes’ [when a fork is brushed over the side of the fish, the meat comes off in flakes]. Salt to taste and add a splash of vinegar. Plate the fish with the rice and greens, pouring extra pan juices over the fish and rice. Does it make your dream of ruling the world?

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

fat-free milk1 two-oz egg 
firm tofuArnold-brand multi-grain Sandwich Thin = 100 calories
banana + sugar/honey Canadian Bacon @ 20 calories/slice
nutmeggrapes
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

canned garbanzo beans + herbs1.5# asparagus + canned white beans
garlic + Parmesan cheeseonion + chicken stock + chicken breast meat
white wine vinegar + tomato + canned tunapotato + Finn Crisp crackers
salad greens + olive oil + lemon juiceSwiss cheese + Boursin cheese, light
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Leonardo: architect

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to laborsettadelladonne who is now Following.

Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents. His paintings are legendary, but we can also call him an architect. It is rare for a painter to practice architecture — brushes and tints do not seem compatible with bricks and mortar. In the Renaissance, people were more free to experiment, and Leonardo proclaimed that architecture was art. What buildings did he design and build, you ask? Well, he designed a lot of them — in his sketchbooks. He was fascinated with symmetry, which appealed to his mathematical brain, and with domes and spiral staircases. [He liked spiral stairways for their aesthetic appeal, for the engineering challenge, and because of the lack of corners. In the cities he knew, men would use any available corner as a urinal.] One of his most ambitious imaginings is his ‘ideal city,’ which he drew towards the end of the 1400s. It was his reaction to the crowded warrens of medieval cities where houses were dark and airless and street filth bred disease. He saw a double-decker city: the top half, for the wealthy, had public spaces and pedestrian-only streets. The lower layer, supported by colonnades and equipped with lots of light from above, was for the working class [OK. Do we now label him class-ist? Yeah, guess so.] There was housing for people and work animals; even wider streets; and flowing canals to facilitate the delivery of goods to workshops and for sanitation. Da Vinci was not the inventor of ‘urban planning,’ but he took it to new heights. In the 500 years since he designed it, his city has informed efforts at improving the design of cities. While living in France as the art and engineering guru for King Francois I, Da Vinci was in the process of designing the ‘ideal’ palace complex for the king in Romorantin when the artist died on May 2, 1519.

The ideal city was light and airy with contrasting shadows to lead the eye into the distance. Our foods today are light in tone, with some color accents. Like the redesigned city, today’s foods will promote good health. Da Vinci did not eat meat, so we won’t either.

Bleu Cheese Bake: 136 calories 7 g fat 1.4 g fiber 9.5 g protein 8.5 g carbs [8 g Complex] 77.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  You’ll go ga-ga over these flavors!

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz bleu cheese, crumbly rather than creamy 1 Tbsp fat-free cottage cheese, drained 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened, with 2-3 raspberries mixed into it  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Mash the cheeses together with a fork and whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 degrees until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Dish up the applesauce and add the raspberries. Pour the smoothie, pour your hot beverage, and have a delightful day.

White Fish Baked with cheese: 145 calories 6 g fat 0 g fiber 33 g protein 0.2 g carb 129 mg Calcium NB: These food values are for the fish and cheese only.  PB GF  Another winner from the Fast Diet book. There are those who say that one never serves fish with cheese….and this recipe proves them to be wrong.

6 oz firm white fish fillets such as haddock or cod ½ oz cheddar cheese, grated   Your choice of vegetables to add up to 125 calories: ½ cup pickled beets [74 calories] 3 oz green beans [26 calories] ½ cup peas [62 calories] ½ cup carrot coins [12 calories] 3 oz broccoli florets [30 calories] 2 oz parsnip, sliced as coins [42 calories] 1 cups salad greens + ½ tsp lemon juice + 1 tsp olive oil [48 calories] 3 oz tomatoes [15 calories]

Heat the oven to 400 F. Put the fish in an oven-proof dish which has been lightly smeared with olive oil. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables of your choice. How easy it is to be healthy!

Parthians

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Do you remember studying the Parthians in a world cultures class? No? Me neither. Yet their mighty empire was so strong that they defeated the Romans in their bid to expand eastward under Augustus Caesar. Following the break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire, there was much in-fighting, as the struggle for territory and power played out. After the Parni of NE Iraq conquered the ruling Seleucids of Parthia near the Caspian Sea, a kingdom was formed in 250 BCE. Skip forward to the rule of Mithridates I in 171 BCE, and that kingdom stretches from the Euphrates River to modern Pakistan, from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean. Since the Parthian Empire was on the Silk Road, there was much contact with lands to the East and West, and the Parthians became very rich. Their culture was a fusion of Hellenistic and Persian, as seen in their art, their language, and their food. The 500-year old Parthian Empire ended when the king was killed by a rebel faction on April 27, 224 CE. Their relative obscurity in modern times rather makes one think of the Percy Shelley poem Osymandias, doesn’t it.

Apicus, a Roman merchant, wrote about Parthian food. ‘Parthian Beans’ seemed to have a prominent place in menus of the time. Parthians and Romans were very partial to a briny fish sauce, so they would have liked our eggs based on ingredients in those Parthian Beans. The dinner is an onion soup that Apicus said that the Parthian army ate while on maneuvers.

Parthian Scramble:  179 calories 8 g fat 2.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 16 g carbs 56 mg Calcium PB GF The flavors in this breakfast were favored by the Parthians, as recorded by the Roman historian Apicus. The sweet dates are a fine foil to the briny umami fish sauce in the eggs: very modern tastes.  HINT: this recipe is enough to serve two [2].

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  ¼ c chickpeas 1½ tsp fish sauce ¼ tsp ginger powder 1 Tbsp fennel frond, chopped   per person: 2 deglet noor dates 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]

Mash the chickpeas with the fish sauce, ginger, and fennel. Whisk into the eggs and cook to your liking. Plate with the dates. If you want more flavor, add a dash of fish sauce to the finished eggs.

Eshkeneh – Persian Onion Soup: 198 calories 9 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 16.4 g carbs 70 mg Calcium  PB GF – if omitting bread  This recipe is from Azlin Bloor who says that it is the modern version of an ancient Parthian soup.  HINT: The recipe makes 2 one-cup servings. Doubles easily. As always, preparing the soup a day before helps to develop the flavor — and there is a lot of flavor here.

A hearty bowl of Parthian soup with gozleme bread.
Sv 2
1 tsp EVOO ½ tsp butter 1 c onion slicesCut onion in half and slice it thinly. Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan, and sauté onions gently for 2 mins.
1 clove garlic Add garlic, fry 30 secs. 
1 bay leaf
½ tsp turmeric
Add bay leaf and turmeric, and fry for another 30 secs.
½ c potato Cut potato in small dice. Add to pan and stir to coat.
fenugreek leaves OR ½ tsp dried seedFinely chop leaves, stopping 2” from stem ends. OR crush the seeds in a mortar. Add, stir, turn heat to lowest setting, cook 2 mins.
2 c meat stock
½ tsp salt
Add stock and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and cook 8-10 mins until potatoes are tender.
½ Tbsp verjus  ½ Tbsp lemon juiceAdd juices, stir and taste. Add a touch of salt if needed. Remove bay leaf.
2 two-oz eggsLightly beat eggs, pour into soup, over low heat. Immediately swirl in eggs with fork for a few seconds.
Black pepper 2 gozleme bread  OR 
1 Mongol flat-bread
Serve soup topped with pepper, with bread on the side. 2 gozleme bread = 52 calories 0 g fat 2 g fiber 2.8 g protein 10 g carbs 40 mg Calcium 1 Mongol bread = 86 calories 1 g fat 1.5 g fiber 4 g protein 21 g carbs 26.4 mg Calcium

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

1 two-oz eggMongol flatbread: white whole wheat flour
white flour, yeast, milk, honey, salt
low-fat cottage cheese blueberries/strawberries
bleu cheeseplain yogurt
applesauce + raspberriesmicrogreens
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

6 oz haddock4 oz cod or other firm-fleshed fish + sherry
Cheddar cheese brown pepper + coriander seed + onion
choice of vegetablesblack pepper + long pepper + ginger root
dandelion greens/spinach + brown rice + vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

eshkeneh soup

Saint Mark

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Zocido who is now Following.

Mark [or is it John Mark??] was a very young man when he met and began to follow Jesus. He was not in the inner circle of Apostles, but he was one of the group of people who followed the Rabbi [teacher] from place to place to hear him speak and to see what miracles might be performed. Perhaps he is the young man described as running away when Jesus was captured, Mark 14:51-52. Mark was one of the ’70 disciples’ who were sent out to preach after Pentecost. While he traveled with Peter, he heard Peter’s account of being one of the Apostles from the start. Mark eventually wrote these down in what became the Gospel According to Mark, the 2nd book of the New Testament. Throughout the book, hints are given as to who Jesus really is — but most of the Apostles don’t get it, except for Peter, sometimes. Mark leaves us hanging until the end of the book, where he details the death and resurrection of Jesus. Now the common reader can understand the full story, and that was Mark’s goal. Mark went to Alexandria, Egypt, where he became the bishop. The Coptic Christians trace their origin to him. Centuries after his death, merchants from Venice went to ‘liberate’ his remains. Fearful that the Muslim rulers of the region would not permit the export of the saint’s skeleton, the merchants hid the bones in baskets and covered them with a top layer of pork.

They knew that the Muslims would not touch the ‘unclean’ meat — and it worked! The relics went to Venice and Saint Mark’s Cathedral is their resting place. A mosaic on the front of the church depicts the daring ruse.

The Mediterranean region was ruled by Romans, so breakfast will have ingredients from modern Italy. For dinner, typical foods and flavors of the area and of the time.

Pizza Bake:  130 calories 6.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 9.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs 93.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Forget the cold slice, congealed on a greasy box…. pizza for breakfast just got healthier and more delicious. 

One 2-oz egg salt + pepper to taste 2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes 1 thin slice pepperoni, minced ¼ oz mozzarella cheese, grated ½ oz bell pepper, chopped large pinch Italian herbs 1.5 oz pear OR ¼ cup blueberries Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [70 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Prepare your beverages. Poach the bell pepper in a little water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Put the cheese, pepperoni, and bell pepper in a lightly-spritzed ramekin. Whisk the egg with the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs, then pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Pour the beverages, portion the fruit, and enjoy a healthy taste of pizza for breakfast.

Meze Meal: 297 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 21.5 g protein 22 g carb 174 mg Calcium  PB GF ‘Meze’ is the Greek equivalent of Spanish Tapas. Small servings chosen from multiple small plates make it easy to eat on a hot Mediterranean night. Well, we don’t live on a vast inland sea, but we’ll take good low calorie, low fat, delicious food where ever we can find it. There are lots of good recipes in the book Meze by Rosemary Barron.

¼ cup white beans ½ Tbsp capers ½ oz marinated mushrooms 2½ oz tomato, cubed generous pinch Greek oregano 2 oz cooked shrimp OR 1-1/4 oz cooked chicken 1 oz mozzerella cheese -OR- 1 oz feta 1½ oz lemon-marinated carrots   marinade: 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + pinch of granulated garlic + pinch oregano

Combine the white beans with the capers in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the tomatoes and the oregano with salt. Slice the carrots into small logs or coins and cook until tender. Drain and combine with the marinade in a small jar with a lid. Shake well, remove the lid and let the carrots cool in the marinade. Attend to the protein — seafood or chicken — and arrange on serving plate. Drain the marinade from the jar and pour it over the shrimp/chicken, and mix some with the white beans. Slice or cube the cheese. Plate the ingredients to please the eye. Look at photos of the Aegean Sea….

Walking Sticks

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.

What do Lady Danbury, French King Louis XIV, and Johnny Walker all have in common? They all have a ‘walking stick.’ Now Lady Danbury actually uses her’s for walking [or rapping on the floor for emphasis], but the others carried theirs’. So what’s with walking sticks? In the court of King Louis, swords were banned because the king feared assassination. Walking sticks came into fashion, I suppose to provide a nobleman something to hold onto instead of a sword hilt. These were not a prop for old age or infirmity, a walking stick was a prop, in the theatrical sense, suitable for posing. Eventually, the sticks became the de rigeur fashion accessory for men. They were not ‘carried:’ the proper term was ‘to wear’ a walking stick. By the time of the English Regency, no gentleman would be seen without one. In the late 1800s in the USA, a walking stick could also be for self defense when walking in an unsafe neighborhood. I own the stick of a Civil War veteran. The head is weighted with lead and it has a steel ferule on the tip — either end could hurt you. In 1909, the walking stick was still such a thing that the Boston Post newspaper, in a remarkable public relations scheme, donated 700 walking sticks/canes to small towns in their distribution region. The canes were given to the eldest man in town, to be handed down to the next town elder in perpetuity. 500 of the gold-topped ebony Boston Post canes are still in existence. The walking stick has come a long way since the 1600s — maybe there will be a revival in 2022.

Our meals really have nothing to do with fashion accessories, but by Fasting you will become healthier and slimmer, and everything will look better on you.

Spinach Fritatta: 131 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 11 g protein 6.6 g carbs [6 g Complex] 127 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF Long an item in food magazine brunch articles, it was time to take frittata to the Fasting table. Wait no more: this is delicious and filling.

1 two-oz egg 1 egg white 2 Tbsp cottage cheese ¼ oz Manchego cheese, grated ¼ cup scallions, chopped 3 Tbsp cooked spinach, pressed, drained, and chopped salt to taste + nutmeg + granulated garlic 2 oz grapes or strawberries   Optional: 5 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

Combine the cheeses, spinach, scallions, and flavorings. Spritz a 4” custard cup with non-stick spray and spread the cheese mixture evenly in the bottom. [Since I was cooking for 2, I used an oval 5×7” baking dish]  HINT: do this the night before and leave on the counter. Set the oven for 375 F. Beat the eggs until broken up and frothy. Pour over the spinach/cheese mixture and bake for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. Breakfast is great.

Whole-grain Bowl w/ Sausage: 252 calories 5 g fat 5 g fiber 9 g protein 38.5 g carbs 67 mg Calcium  PB  Some cooked grains in the ‘fridge inspired this meal. It turned out to be beyond hum-drum left-overs, becoming a very nice meal indeed. HINT: This preparation serves two [2] people.

4 oz/¼ cup cooked quick barley 4 oz/¼ cup cooked whole wheat orzo 4 oz/¼ cup cooked brown rice 1 link meat sausage @ 150 calories/link per serving: 3 Tbsp puttanesca sauce 1 oz cooked broccoli

Combine the cooked grains and warm them slowly. Cook the sausage and slice it. Cook the broccoli. Divide the warm grains between two bowls. Arrange the sausage slices on one side, the broccoli on the other side, and spoon the sauce into the middle. So easy. So filling.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
crushed tomatoes + pepperonichickpeas + fish sauce
mozzarella + bell pepperginger powder + fennel fronds
Italian herbs + pear or blueberriesdeglet noor dates
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

white beans + capers + olive oilonion + garlic + butter + olive oil + turmeric
shrimp or smelts + carrots + lemon juicebay leaf + fenugreek leaves or seeds
marinated mushrooms + tomato meat stock + verjus/lemon juice + egg
mozzarella or feta cheese + garlic powderpotato + gozleme bread or Mongol bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Paul Revere

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to unclearer who is now Following.

Apollos Rivoire was born in south-western France in 1702. His family were Huguenots, followers of the reformer Calvin, and Huguenots were not welcome in Roman Catholic France. Life became so difficult that the family left for the British Isle of Guernsey. In 1712, Apollos arrived in Boston, Massachusetts where there was a Huguenot population. He apprenticed as a goldsmith at age 18 and when his master died two years later, Apollos changed his name to Paul [1] Revere, bought out his contract, and set up shop on his own. He married and together he and his wife produced eight children, the 3rd of whom was named Paul [2] Revere [b. 1734/5]. Paul the son learned the gold-smithing trade from his father, inheriting the business when his father died. Paul [2] was drafted into the Massachusetts Colony militia for a stint in up-state New York to fight the French, then returned to Boston to establish his own name in his trade. In addition to making gold and silver pieces, Revere was a copper-plate engraver and had a side hustle as a dentist. [He did not make George Washington’s false teeth.] He became involved in local political groups as an intelligence gatherer and a courier. And so we get to the famous Midnight Ride. The Boston patriots [not the American football team] learned that the British were going to land troops in Boston, then march all night to Lexington to capture rebel leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Both Revere and William Dawes set out, but Revere made it to Lexington first. Neither man warned Concord, that was done by Samuel Prescott. Henry Longfellow’s poem makes it sound as if the whole thing was Revere’s idea and that he alone rode “to spread the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm.” More likely, it is difficult to find words to rhyme with ‘dawes.’ After service in the Revolutionary War, Paul Revere expanded his metals business: a hardware store in addition to the gold smithery; casting church bells [New England is peppered with them]; running America’s first mill for rolling copper [Old Ironsides and the Massachusetts State House are clad in his copper]. “Revere Ware,” a brand of copper-bottomed cook pans, was originated by him. After the War, Revere wrote an account of his ride on April 18, 1775, which held him in memory until Longfellow hit it out of the park with his poem in 1860, immortalizing Paul Revere for the ages. Ever since 1894, Massachusetts has celebrated Patriot’s Day on the day following Paul Revere and William Dawes’ ride. Before that, it was an official state Fasting Day.

We will observe National Poetry Month by providing a meal from one poem protagonist, Porphyro from Eve of Saint Agnes, to salute the protagonist of Paul Revere’s Ride by Longfellow. And as a nod to the American hero’s French ancestors, a French-inspired dinner.

Porphyro’s Picnic:  252 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 6.5 g protein 53 g carbs [43 g Complex] 128 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poemThe Eve of St Agnes. The meal is rather sweet [key to a teenage girl’s heart?] despite its low calorie count – it needs some other taste to cut it. A cup of black coffee? Full of fiber, this meal is sure to kick-start your tally of fruits/vegetables for the day.

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal 2 oz apple, diced 2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season 2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ oz Deglet Noor date, cut in 4 pieces. NO smoothie coffee or tea ONLY if it is black/blackish or lemon in hot water

Stir the yogurt and almond meal together and spoon onto the center of the plate. Chop the apple, cube the melon, and arrange them around the almond cream, along with the plums. Place the pieces of date at random. Combine the cider syrup with the cinnamon and drizzle it over the apple and melon. All set to eat and you still have 48 calories left over. Not responsible for what happens if you eat this by moonlight on January 20.

Mini-Quiche Dinner: 241 calories 11 g fat 3 g fiber 17 g protein 11 g carbs 315 mg Calcium  PG FG   A light, delicious, and nutritious dinner. If the the quiches were prepared previously, this is quick as a flash to prepare.

oops! Forgot to plate the asparagus!

3 slices of tomato, each 1 oz 5 oz asparagus spears or 1 cup cut asparagus 3 mini-quiches, just baked or re-warmed

Plate the tomato slices and salt them with a flavorful finishing salt. Cook the asparagus and plate it around the tomato slices Place the warmed quiches on top of the tomato slices. Isn’t that a treat for the eye? Now taste it!