Who Dunit, Who Ate It? Chapter 5

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 Siddharth menon and LeoAbreu who are now Following.

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

Jules Maigret is a Parisian police detective created by Georges Simenon. In the book Maigret’s First Case, he is on a stake-out, watching a suspect’s apartment. Conveniently, the cafe ‘Vieux Calvados’ is directly across the street, so Maigret and his partner can eat and sleep there while keeping watch. The landlord serves them a curious breakfast: sausages cooked in wine with garlic. Somehow, that sounds off the mark for a Fast Day, so here is a substitute. The sausage is there but the empty calories of the wine are replaced by grapes, roasted to develop their flavor.

Roasted Grapes & Sausage: 212 calories 8 g fat 2 g fiber 5.4 g protein 4 g carbs 14 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage. PB GF  Unusual flavors at breakfast. Delicious flavors at breakfast. HINT: This serves two [2].

Here is a serving for one person, before the cheese is added.
½ c onion, sliced
½ tsp oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss everything together + spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking pan or cast iron pan . Roast mins, until onions turn translucent and thinnest pieces are pale gold at the edges.
10 oz grapes
½ tsp fennel seed
2 oz sausage, 85 calories/oz
Add grapes, fennel seed, and sliced sausage to pan with onions, and toss well. Spread in an even layer and spray with cooking spray or oil.
Roast for 10 minutes. Sausage slices will be browned on the bottom and grapes will be wrinkled but still plump.
Parsley + chives
0.05 oz Parm, shaved
Place grapes, sausage, and onions on plates. Top with chives + Parmesan.
1 tsp rice vinegarAdd vinegar to baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits. Drizzle pan juices over plated food, taste. Sprinkle more salt or vinegar on top, if desired.

Hugo Marston, former FBI profiler, is now head of security at the US Embassy in Paris. He is well-placed to be involved in solving all sorts of mysteries that author Mark Pryor can devise. Hugo enjoys Paris and the food scene, although he himself is no Foodie. In the French Widow, Marston, unable to see his way through a case, goes out to dinner with friends. Another table is served Bleu Cheese and Garlic Pizza, so Hugo orders it. He also eaves-drops on fellow diners and gets an insight into the case. Funny how much can get solved over dinner!

Bleu Cheese & Garlic Pizza:  280 calories 8.6 g fat 5 g fiber 10 g protein 29.5 g carbs 203 mg Calcium  PB When Hugo Marston ate this, I just had to try it. It is good! I based the recipe loosely on one from simplyplayfulfare.com

1 fajita shell [be sure it has no more than 150 calories] 1 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt 1 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out to remove excess moisture 3 or 4 cloves roasted garlic 3 Tbsp [½ oz] bleu cheese crumbles 1 oz finely diced tomato, drained to remove excess moisture 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat the oven to 400 F and roast the garlic cloves, wrapped in foil. Put the fajita shell on an ungreased baking sheet. Smear the yogurt evenly over the fajita then sprinkle the spinach evenly on top. Break off pieces of garlic and distribute them around, then put on the bleu cheese and tomato. Dust evenly with the Parmesan. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt.

There and back again.

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 March 25, Frodo Baggins, with help from the duplicitous Gollum and the faithful Samwise Gamgee, destroyed the One Ring of Power. [Or shall I say: the duplicitous Gollum, aided by a wavering Frodo and the faithful Samwise] This is the main purpose of the grand Quest, as told by J.R.R.Tolkien in his trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Since this book is our great favorite, Dear Husband and I have, for the last thirty-some years, celebrated on March 25 by eating foods named in the books. Tolkien chose that date very carefully to represent the start of a ‘New Age’ because it is the day said to be when the Virgin Mary became pregnant with Jesus: “Annunciation Day.” Tolkien wrote the story as a Christian allegory. Many people, including his friend and fellow Catholic C.S. Lewis, missed that point and see it only as a fantasy. However you see it, we think it is a gripping tale with complex characters and an engrossing plot. End of book review — for now.

Hobbits love to eat, even after escaping from dire situations. Tom Bombadil rescues them from the dangers of the Old Forest and they all sit down to breakfast the next day. Farmer Maggot shelters them as they flee Black Riders, and then sends them off to their second dinner with a hot mushroom casserole. Enjoy some Hobbit food today.

Bombadil’s Breakfast: 205 calories 5 g fat 2.5 g fiber 10.5 g protein 15 g carbs [8 g Complex] 312 mg Calcium  NB: the food values given are for the plated items only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF  When Tom Bombadil served his guests breakfast, it was plants, fruit and dairy of his own collection or production. The plants should be watercress [since his wife Goldberry was the River-Woman’s daughter] and the fruit shall be Golden Berries [aka Peruvian Ground Cherries], again in a nod to his wife.

2/3 oz Camembert cheese ½ cup watercress leaves or microgreens ½ cup plain yogurt 1 tsp honey, warmed 2 oz Golden Berries edible flowers [violets, chives, nastursium, or others] Optional : blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Warm the honey and stir it into the yogurt. Plate the items to your taste and enjoy a magical breakfast in The Old Forest. Wear a blue jacket and yellow boots.

Marish Mushroom Casserole: 299 calories 9 g fat 6 g fiber 24 g protein 41 g carbs 165.6 mg Calcium   PB  If you are a mushroom lover, this meal will make you happy. Vaguely inspired by English recipes.  HINT: This preparation is enough to serve two [2] diners. The wife of Farmer Maggot [a man much nicer than his surname] gave Frodo a mushroom casserole, like this, before he left the Shire on his quest.

BATTER: 1 egg + ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup skimmed milk + 1 tsp baking powder
Whisk together and let the batter sit for 30+ minutes. You will need 2/3 cup for this recipe. Remainder can be frozen.
3 slices uncured bacon @ 30 calories/slice Chop bacon and cook until almost done
8 oz mushrooms, several varieties, if possible 
1 clove garlic 
one scallion, sliced
Chop mushrooms, slice the garlic and scallion. Cook in the bacon until vegetables have softend and most of the liquid has evaporated. Take off heat.
2 T Worcestershire sauce 
2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 oz egg [that’s ½ of one US Large egg] 
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
Stir Worcestershire and flour to combine. Then add the egg and cheeese, and stir again. Combine in the pan with the mushroom mixture.
2/3 cup batterPour into an oven-safe dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Smooth the top of the mixture and pour the batter on top.
Bake at 425 until batter is cooked.
½ tsp prepared mustard, per person 
1½ oz green beans, per person
Serve with green beans and mustard on the side.

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

kielbasa or chicken sausage1 two-oz egg + two 8-inch cucumbers 
onion + olive oil + rice vinegarbunch of mint + piment d’esplette
red seedless grapeswhole milk + Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese + parsley + chivesfromage blanc or plain yogurt + cantaloup
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

150-calorie fajita shell + garlicgarlic + egg + marjoram
frozen spinach + tomatochicken or vegetable stock
plain, no-fat yogurtpotato + parsnips + butter
Parmesan cheeserye bread + Swiss cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Burns 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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Dan Henry and HealthAndNutritionAdvice and nutritionalconsultants and healthylifemechanism and Jim Stanson and Cool Products Trending who are now Following.

Burns Day, January 25, is one of those celebratory days which demands that certain foods be eaten. What foods? In general, anything Scottish. In particular, haggis [Burns wrote a poem in praise of haggis]. And why is that? Because it is the birthday of Robert Burns, born 1759. From his humble early life, he became a literary star and assisted in a revival of the Scots language and culture. Snooty Englishmen who had looked down upon the Scots, read his poetry and sought after tartan designs to wear and for home decoration. Of course Queen Victoria’s love of the Scottish Highlands since 1848, helped too. But it was Burns, in 10 short years of writing about what he knew best, living large, and loving widely, who spoke to our hearts and so is remembered.

On Burns Day, it will be oat bannock at breakfast, a family favorite. For Burns Night dinner, Cock-a-Leekie Soup, which Burns would have remembered fondly from his childhood.

Bannock & Bacon:  143 calories 3.5 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 15 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  For years we have enjoyed this on Slow Days, only to find that it fits for Fasting, too.

3 two-inch bannock 2 slices Hormel Canadian Bacon OR Jones brand Canadian bacon [similar to back bacon of 60-70 calories] ½ cup applesauce, unsweetened 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]

Prepare the bannock according to the recipe and bake. Warm and lightly brown the Canadian bacon. Plate the applesauce and pour the beverages. We like to dip the bannock in the applesauce. Simple and delicious.

Cock-a-leekie soup:  202 calories 4 g fat 3 g fiber 13 g protein 22 g carbs 44 mg Calcium  PB GF   This Scottish farmstead soup goes back to the middle-ages, as you can tell by the Old World, Northern Europe ingredients. The ‘cock’ refers to a rooster, which can be eaten only if stewed for soup. This delicious recipe is from Graeme Taylor.  HINT: Makes 11 one-cup servings.

Preheat the oven to 200˚c/ 400 F
2 leg quarters + 1 back = 1 #
9 oz water
Roast chicken pieces ~ 30 minutes in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pour water over chicken until it is covered. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour, in oven or on stovetop to produce stock.
1 onion, chopped = 1cup
2 leeks, sliced = 1.5 oz
2 carrots, chopped = 3 oz
12 prunes, chopped 
2 sprigs of thyme + 1 bay leaf ½ tsp salt + grindings of pepper
Add in the vegetables, prunes, herbs, salt, and a good grinding of pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces, take the meat from the bones and stir meat back into soup. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Strain the soup through a collander into a bowl, saving the soup solids and the stock. 
Cool and skim the fat from the top of the stock. I ended up with 3½ cups stock. Reunite solids with the stock. Check for seasoning and let sit in the pot for 8 hours+. Portion and freeze what you don’t serve today.
Per serving, 2 Tbsp quick barley Stir barley into the pot. Simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. Serve.

St Clement

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to apetitegirlsguideto2964 who is now Following.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why to Start

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Tomorrow is the 1st of the month which is a good day to start a good habit. Have your heard the news from health departments around the world? Recently, they have reported that being overweight is a contributing factor to deaths from COVID-19. Being obese doesn’t cause COVID, but it makes one more likely to be very ill or die from the disease. This is NOT fat-shaming. This is telling an unhappy truth. The National Institute of Health says so, as does the New England Journal of Medicine. The Lancet in the UK and the chief epidemiologist in France concur. If ever you needed a reason to lose weight, fear of COVID-19 could be it. You don’t need some bread-and-water crash died — you need a new style of eating. The Fast Diet is a lifestyle in which you change your diet two days a week. Surely you can do that, especially when your health is at risk. Yes, you can.

Try out these two simple meals: meat and bread for breakfast; bacon and eggs for dinner. Start the Fasting Lifestyle tomorrow. Need another reason? If all the days seem the same to you now, then you’ll find that the Fast Days punctuate the week and give you two days that are different from the others.

Czech Breakfast: 233 calories 5 g fat 3.8 g fiber 11.7 g protein 37 g carbs [18 g complex] 65.6 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffee. I’m told that the majority of citizens of the Czech Republic eat this for breakfast daily. Join them.

1 to 1.6 g sourdough rye bread 1 oz sliced ham, 3% fat ½ oz Hermelin cheese, or substitute Camembert 2 yellow plums, or other color of your choice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO Smoothie today unless you forgo the coffee.

Whether you pile everything on the bread and eat it that way, or sample each item separatly, this is a hearty way to start the day. For those of you who start your day with lunch, this is for you.

Asparagus Omelette:  270 calories 14.7 g fat 3.3 g fiber 18 g protein 10 g carbs 178 mg Calcium  PB GF  Susan Herrmann Loomis comes up with another super dinner omelette. HINT: This recipe serves two [2], but you could cut it if you wish, or double it to serve four [4]. 

4 two-oz eggs  ½ oz [3 Tbsp] Parmesan-Reggiano cheese Whisk the eggs, just to blend in the yolks. Grate the cheese and stir it in.
4 oz asparagus, tough stalk-ends snapped offCook until tender, about 7 minutes. Cut off the bud ends and slice the stalks thinly.
2 slices uncured bacon [30 cal per slice] cut into ½” pieces   Cook in a non-stick pan until ‘lightly golden’, 2-3 minutes.Drain off all but ½ Tbsp fat.
1 scallion [1 oz], thinly sliced
bud ends of asparagus
Saute in fat until transluscent and add the asparagus. Cook until hot. Add eggs without disturbing the other ingredients. Cook until the top is done to your liking. Fold and plate, garnished with bud tips.
1 cup Baby greens, sliced beets, 1/2 oz tomatoesToss with 1 tsp good vinaigrette.

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

1 two-oz egg + bacon1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomato + onion + Cheddaruncured capicola ham
green sweet pepper oregano
creole seasoning + apple/pearapple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

water-canned tuna + celerybeef or chicken stock + egg
2% fat cottage cheese + oniongarlic + Swiss cheese
hot dog bun + corn on the cobpotatoes + parsnips + butter
4-bean saladrye bread +marjoram
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Robert Flower of Knaresboro

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.

A fun thing about delving into one’s genealogy is the discovery of some unusual characters in the family tree. One such find was St Robert of Knaresboro. A saint!! An eccentric hermit!! What fun. He was born in Yorkshire around 1160, the son of the Mayor of York. From an early age, Robert Flower knew he wanted a religious life, so he became a novice of the Cistercian Abby at Newminister while yet a child. He then decided that the life of a hermit was what he wanted. Robert was forced to move from place to place — he should be the Patron of Displaced Persons. Along the way, he gained a reputation as a holy person who gave good advice. He settled in Knaresboro, near York, in a cave that was chiseled from solid rock. People came to see him and to drink from his holy well — from King John to common pilgrims. Robert was never actually canonized as a saint, but the Trinitarian friars deemed him venerable and there are churches and stained glass windows dedicated to this kindly man who helped the poor and worked to free the prisoners. St Robert’s Cave is open to visitors.

September 24 is the day Saint Robert Flower died in 1208. You will ask why the breakfast planned for him relates to Tolkien‘s Hobbits. The first line of The Hobbit reads, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.” Saint Robert lived in a hole in the ground. In addition, September 24 is the birthday of the Hobbits Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Furthermore, St Robert’s father’s first name was “Took,” used as a surname for a prominent Hobbit family. Continuing that theme, the dinner is a simple soup prepared from the leftovers of a famous meal from the Azores: Cozido, cooked in a pot in a hole in the ground. Saint Robert Flower would have enjoyed its simplicity.

Hobbiton Breakfast:  217 calories 6 g fat 3.4 g fiber 5.7 g protein 29.4 g carbs [11 g Complex] 60 mg Calcium   NB: These values are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB  A simple-to-prepare and delicious combination of textures and flavors. For Halflings and Big People alike.

1 full-size or 2 half-size [from 3 Tbsp Scone ‘Mix’.] Seedy Scones*** 3 oz apple ½ oz Camembert cheese   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] NO Smoothie today

***Seedy SconesThis makes 2 cups of ‘Mix’. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup white whole wheat flour 3 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1.5 tsp cream of tartar 2 Tbsp unsalted butter buttermilk or sourmilk, as needed mixed seeds + a pinch of salt Combine the dry ingredients [except seeds] in a bowl. Cut in the butter until well incorporated. 

Prepare the Scone Mix. Take out 3 Tbsp [1.6 oz] of the mix and stir in just enoughbuttermilk or sour milk [1-1/2 Tbsp? 2 Tbsp?] to cause the dough to come together in a rough ball. TIP: store the remaining mix in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a lid. Ready to use when you wish. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Pat out into one scone, or divide into 2 scones. Brush the surface with milk and scatter the seeds on top. Place in a buttered dish to bake  HINT: I did this the night before and left it on the counter to bake in the morning. Slice the apple and cheese. Bake the scone[s] at 400 F. for 7-10 minutes. Plate to please the eye. Serve with the beverage of your choice.

Cozido Soup: Cozido  is a specialty of the Azores island of Sao Miguel. Some of the dormant volcanoes still have warm magma and send out steam through vents and fissures. Local people lower cauldrons of meats and vegetables into steaming wells, then serve the cooked meal at restaurants or at home.. The serving for two at O Miroma in Furnas consists of vast quantities of beef, pork knuckles, blood sausage, carrots, potatoes, collards, cabbage, and turnips. Like a New England Boiled Dinner, but cooked in a volcanic vent! We took the remainders from our meal home. 

The next day, I put the bones, sausage, and juices in a pot with water and Piment da Queijo. While that simmered, I cut up the vegetables and meat into bite-sized pieces [discarding the blood sausage to which I have an aversion]. Combined, it provided a hearty, nourishing, and low-calorie soup for a Fast Day.

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

1.5 two-oz eggCamembert or Hermelin cheese
apple + heavy cream3%-fat ham
sugar + cinnamonsourdough rye bread
butter + peachplums, preferably yellow
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

green peppers + cucumber + garliceggs + streaky American bacon
white wine vinegar + tarragon Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
olive oil + shrimp + onionasparagus + scallion
piment d’esplette + dry white wineside salad with beet + tomato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

LHC

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.

The Large Hadron Collider is an enormous machine. It lurks 300 feet underground in a ring of tunnel. The tunnel channels charged particles [protons, which are classified as Hadrons] around and around the ring in opposite directions, eventually to slam the protons into each other inside the LHC. There they splinter into even tinier particles [quarks, gluons] which are detected by the various layers of the machine. On September 10, 2008, the LHC went on-line, a very exciting day for our family. Our Elder Son worked for three years at CERN, the research center that designed and built the LHC, in partnership with universities and science facilities around the world. He was a graduate student in physics and he was building and testing the Muon Filters before they were installed in the End Cap of the collider. Dear Husband and I were thrilled beyond measure to visit him there and to be taken on a tour of the work site. And I have the T-shirt to prove it.

The colors represent various sub-atomic particles leaving a proton collision.

Though an excellent cook, Elder Son nonetheless opted for convenience on workdays: he would prepare a smoothie for breakfast before he caught the bus for work. In that spirit, here is a morning shake to start your day. The dinner involves Swiss Chard, a nod to the fact that CERN is located just outside of Geneva, Switzerland.

Strawberry-Banana-Tofu Smoothie: 199 calories 3.4 g fat 3.7 g fiber 14 g protein 26 g carbs 360 mg Calcium  PB GF This is a dandy ‘shake’ for breakfast or lunch.

2 oz banana ½ c plain, fat free yogurt ½ cup sliced strawberries 2 Tbsp sugar 2.8 oz soft or firm tofu, which is 1/5 of a package 

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. HINT: If you want to, add another ½ cup of yogurt, or skimmed milk which will add more volume and bring the calorie count to 259.

Swiss Chard Fritatta:  284 calories 12.5 g fat 4 g fiber 18.7 g protein 24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 166 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF bread or omitting it  Susan Loomis is the source of this recipe, which also can be a wonderful breakfast, scaled down to serve two. HINT: Serves 2 as a main course. Could serve 4-6 as an appetizer.

3 oz swiss chard or fresh spinach 1/3 tsp olive oil 8 oz eggs = 4 two-oz eggs in their shells 3 pinches granulated garlic + 3 pinches salt + large pinch paprika 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1 oz 7-grain sour-dough bread, or something similarly hearty ¼ cup pickled beets 

Clean the chard by holding the leaf and pulling off the stem. Chop the leaves. Put olive oil in an oven-proof pan that can also be used on the stove-top. Turn on the broiler and move the upper rack to the top. Cook the chopped leaves in the oil until the leaves are limp, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Be sure to cook off the water/liquid in the pan. Combine the eggs, cheese and seasonings. Whisk well and pour over the chard in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is well set [4-5 minutes]. Put under the broiler until the top is cooked. Serve from the pan or slide the fritatta out onto a serving plate.

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

1 two-oz egg + 2 cucumbers1.5 eggs
mint + piment d’empletteParmesan cheese
whole milk + Parmesanapplesauce
Fromage blanc + cantalouphaggis
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

cod cheeks + olive oilSalmon + leek + peas
heavy cream + garlicclam juice/fish stock + cayenne
Dijon mustard + asparagusgarlic + milk + cornstarch
white wine + chivesgreen beans + nutmeg + dill
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Wilgefort

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 Athletic & Fit who is now Following.

Did you ever hear of Saint Wilgefort? Perhaps by her nickname: Saint Uncumber? No? Well, don’t feel bad, because this saint never existed. She was the creation of active minds seeking the answer to a question and she is the result of an hilarious mix-up of cultures. The Christian Church of the West shows Christ on the cross mostly unclothed, to reveal the gruesome details of his death. The Eastern Church prefers to depict the crucified Christ fully clothed, in the garb of a church leader [as seen in the Holy Face of Lucca]. When images of the Eastern crucifix spread into Northern Europe with missionaries, the non-Christian population, seeing the priestly robes as women’s garb, began to wonder: Why has a woman been killed like that? Why does she have a beard??? Imaginations ran rampant and a plausible explanation emerged, and here is the story: “This was the image of Saint Wilgefort [from the latin for Virgin who is Strong]. She had been the pretty, pliant daughter of a pagan family, but she secretly became a Christian. Her father told her to marry the man of his choosing, which she did not want to do. Wilgefort was going to be forced to marry, so she prayed to heaven to make her look repulsive and thus the wedding would be canceled. Behold! When she awoke on her wedding day, she had grown a full beard! Her prospective groom called off the ceremony and her father demanded an explanation. Hoping to show how strong her faith was, she told him everything. Her father, furious, said if she liked Christians so much, she could die like one and had her crucified.” This idea spread through Europe, popular with young women who wanted to marry for love, and with married women who wanted to get rid of a brute of a spouse. These women wished to ‘uncumber’ themselves of their unwanted men, and now they had a patron saint for that. Believe it or not, there are statues to her in churches and her image was widely distributed in the 1400s, before her following was stamped out by authorities.

July 20 is the feast day of Saint Wilgefort. Since the name ‘Saint Uncumber’ makes me think of cucumbers, both of our meals today will feature that vegetable. You will enjoy these whether you have a beard or not.

Cucumber-Smoked Salmon Sandwich:  143 calories 3.3 g fat 3.7g fiber 10 g protein 18 g carbs 75.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffeePB GF – if using GF bread  Such a simple and delicious way to start your day!

1 slice 70-calorie whole grain bread [Dave’s Killer Bread is perfect] 1 Tbsp cottage cheese + 1-½ teaspoons chives, chopped 1 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced ¼ cup [4 slices?] Swedish Cucumber Salad** 1 oz strawberries

Lightly toast the bread. Cream the cottage cheese and chives together with some grindings of fresh black pepper. Spread the cheese mixture on the bread. Place the salmon on top, then the cucumber slices on top of that. Serve with the sweet, fresh berries. Wonderful.

Tuna Cucumber Boat: 226 calories 9.4 g fat 5.6 g fiber 17.4 g protein 21 g carbs 69 mg Calcium  PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.

2 oz cooked or canned tuna one 8 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one person  ¼ cup scallions  + 2 Tbsp celery, minced ¾ oz avocado  +  1-½ tsp mayonnaise     ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]  

Slice the scallion finely and put it in a medium-sized bowlBreak up the tuna and combine with the scallion.  Mash the avocado with the mayonnaise. Mince the celery. Stir them all into the tuna. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a melon-baller. Mound the tuna mixture [heaping half-cup] into the cucumber boat and plate with the 4-bean salad.

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

Hometown Heroine: Vinland

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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