The Canaries

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 Breaking habits support who is now Following.

The Canary Islands lie off the NW shoulder of Africa, 71 miles out to sea. They were first settled in pre-history by unknown people, perhaps fisherman blown off course. The Romans, venturing beyond the Pillars of Hercules, arrived in the 1st century CE and found ruins built by previous settlers. They also found lots of ‘dogs of great size.’ Pliny said that the islands were thus named “Island of Dogs,” or “Canariae Insulae.” Berbers from Morocco called on the islands in 999 CE, but departed. When the Spaniards came in the 1400s, they found a native population living a stone-age life. Eventually the eight islands became the last port of call for Spanish ships headed across the Atlantic or down the coast of Africa. Columbus stopped there on September 6 before sailing West to ‘the Indies.’ Spanish sailors took as pets the little yellow birds that lived on the islands, calling them “canaries.” Back in Europe, the Canary Birds were bred for color and singing ability, and they became the status pet of the rich and famous. In the 1800s, the birds were a fad pet for the masses. Around 1913, John Scott Haldane proposed that small mammals or birds could detect deadly Carbon Monoxide gasses in the air of coal mines. The small animals would sicken or die when the air quality was degraded by undetectable toxic gasses, hence the ‘canary in the coal mine’ as an early-warning system. Today the islands are an autonomous region of Spain. Although the indigenous Guanche language is extinct, Silbo Gomero, a whistled communication method of the Island La Gomera, is being taught in some schools.

The Romans would have recognized the ingredients of our breakfast, and the dinner reflects the tastes of Morocco.

Roman Breakfast: 149 calories 3 g fat 3 g fiber 9 g protein 28 g carbs [21 g Complex Carbs] 35 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  Though my Roman Breakfast is not the morning meal, this is a very good plate of breakfast food. It is based on ingredients available to Romans in the 1st century BCE. The meal is satisfying and flavorful. Try it.

1 Pan Muffin** OR 0.75 oz whole wheat bread 1 oz pear 1 oz cooked chicken 1 oz radish 1 oz cucumber [optional: ½ medjool date = ¼ oz]   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]

Dice all the fruits and vegetables. Add a good finishing salt and gently stir to combine.  HINT: I did this the night before and refrigerated the mixture. Prepare the pan muffin or take from freezer with time to thaw/heat. In the time it takes to brew the coffee, you can plate the muffin and the fruit-veg mixture. Romans did not drink smoothies or coffee, but we will. Hope you’ll enjoy your throw-back breakfast.

**PAN MUFFIN each: 71 calories 2.5 g fat 1 g fiber 2 g protein 11 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix  1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk [combine cereal + milk and let sit while preparing other ingredients. 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. Use 2 Tbsp batter for each griddlecake/pan muffin.  [use 4 Tbsp batter to bake in a muffin tin for Slow Days]

Moroccan Tuna: 278 calories 1.4 g fat 7 g fiber 34 g protein 20.4 g carbs  129 mg Calcium  PB GF  Moroccan spice blend can really add zest to a simple meal. 

4 oz tuna steak [frozen tuna steaks at the supermarket are good]  Moroccan spice blend  or ground cumin or mint 1/3 cup white beans, rinsed and drained   1 slice preserved lemon OR 1 slice fresh lemon per person: 1/3 cup peas with mint OR ½ cup broccoli florets sprinkled with cumin OR 1/3 cup green beans sprinkled with cilantro AND  ½ of a clementine

Rub tuna generously on both sides with Moroccan spices. Chop the lemon and stir into the beans. Bake the tuna on a cast iron skillet for 4-5 minutes per side in a 400F oven. When the vegetable is cooked, drain and stir in the seasoning. Section the clementine and plate it all as pleases your eye.

Hieronymus Bosch

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 1981lluciana and Healthy Desire who are now Following.

On August 8, 1516, Hieronymus Bosch died and the legends began. So did the forgeries. Bosch [not his real surname, but he chose it to honor his hometown ‘s-Hertogenbosch] was the most famous painter of his time. While he drew from the compositions of his predecessors, Bosch was the most copied artist for the next century — with many of those works ‘signed’ with his name. His ‘surreal’ style of art struck a real chord with his contemporaries. The late 1400s was a time of pessimism and the church preached that people should fear Divine Retribution. Savonarola with his bonfires was on the same wave-length. Bosch took this to heart since he was a religious conservative who thought that some clergy were part of the problem. His art spotlighted the sins of humankind, constantly repeating that repentance would help us to avoid a horrible punishment in Hell. Few artists were so inventive in their depictions of the netherworld as Hieronymus. One of Bosch’s most famous works is the Garden of Earthly Delights, a triptych begun in 1490. The left-hand panel shows the totally innocent Adam and Eve in Eden, while demons fall from Heaven as Lucifer is thrown out. The middle panel depicts a landscape with rather sex-less, nude, White and Black Barbie-doll figures disporting in all sorts of merriment — activities that will land them in the Hell depicted in the right-hand panel. There, those Barbie-dolls experience the horror of dreadful demons and cruel punishments. The artist was not all about monsters: he produced works on Biblical themes, such as Christ Carrying the Cross [in Vienna]; the Adoration of the Magi; and St Christopher Carrying the Christ Child which show his command of landscape perspective, color use, and depicting the human form. There are only about 20 works which have been attributed to Bosch and many more by his students and copiers.

To me, an hilarious aspect of the Garden of Earthly Delights painting is the giant fruit. In our house, if one picks a particularly large strawberry, it is dubbed ‘an Hieronymus Bosch berry.’ Our breakfast features strawberries and other fruits. To Bosch those represented lust and gluttony — to me, they represent a healthy breakfast. Our dinner involves good ingredients roasted under high heat, but no Fires of Hell are involved.

Red White and Blue150 calories 1 g fat 2.6 g fiber 14.5 g protein 20 g carbs [10.5 g Complex] 331 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage. PB GF – if using GF bread Ricotta is higher in protein and Calcium than cottage cheese, but you could substitute that if you wish.

½ cup fat-free ricotta ¼ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen [if frozen, keep frozen until ready to use] ½ cup sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen [after slicing, put into a strainer to let the juices drain] 1 slice of 70-calorie multi-grain bread [Nature’s Own/ Dave’s Thin-Sliced] 2 large pinches of cinnamon sugar  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]

Fish Roasted with Vegetables290 calories 5 g fat 5 g fiber 29 g protein 16 g carbs 180 mg Calcium  PB GF Delicious one-pan meal. AND it is low in calories and fat. Can you believe that a women’s magazine had a similar recipe for 425 calories!!

4 oz pollock, halibut, or other white fish 1½ slice [0.2 oz] American/streaky bacon 2 oz carrots in ½” chunks 2 oz Brussel sprouts cut in half 2 oz cauliflower florets, cut in half or quarters 3 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese 

Set the oven at 450 degrees F. Cook the bacon in an 8” oven-proof pan, such as cast iron. Remove the bacon, chop it and set aside. Put the prepared vegetables in the pan and toss to coat with the bacon fat. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove the pan of vegetables from the oven. If you think they will need more than 10 minutes more of cooking, put them back in for 2-3 minutes. They will not be cooked through at this point. Turn oven down to 400 degrees F. Move the vegetables aside so the fish will sit on the hot pan, with the vegetables nest to it. Salt and pepper the fish. Return the pan to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fish. Sprinkle the entire contents of the pan with Parmesan cheese and bacon. You could eat it right from the pan.

Bunsen Burner

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 mrinspire and Diets & Weight Loss Plans who are now Following.

The Bunsen burner is the work-horse of the laboratory. Except for a beaker or flask, no piece of equipment is as universally recognized. It was invented in 1855 by the German Chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen. He had been investigating the fact that different elements [Copper, Strontium, Potassium] gave off distinctive colors [blue-green, hot pink, lilac] when heated, known now as the Flame Test. To pursue this study, he needed a reliable source of flame that would burn with no color of its own. With the assistance of the mechanic Peter Desaga, he developed the method for delivering a controllable, compact, safe jet of flame. Perhaps his quest for a safe lab flame grew from an early science experiment that exploded, blinding him in one eye. Bunsen went on from there to analyze sunlight, drawing the accurate conclusion that the sun was made of Hydrogen and Helium gasses. With Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, Professor Bunsen invented the spectroscope. They were co-discoverers of the elements Cesium [Cs] and Rubidium [Rb].

Our German Breakfast might have been familiar to the professors and mechanics at the University of Heidelberg. When I was a young teacher, I often would rush to work in the morning with a raw egg in my pocket. During the class prior to lunch, I would boil it in a beaker of water over the Bunsen Burner on the lab bench. However you cook your eggs, you will need one for our dinner.

German Breakfast: 136 calories 3 g fat 4.4 g fiber 9 g protein 15 g carbs [3.5 g Complex] 104.4 mg Calcium Sturdy whole-grain bread, some curd cheese with chives and a slice of ham or turkey will get you going in the morning, just as it does for the Germans.

1 slice whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed‘] 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat [similar to ‘quark cheese’ in Germany] 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives ½ oz slice of 3%-fat ham** from the deli, thinly-sliced 1 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [85 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories] **you could substitute 1 oz turkey breast from the deli, thinly sliced

Toast the bread lightly or not. Spread with the cheese and sprinkle with chives. Top the cheese with the ham and plate with the pear. So nice. This would be a fine lunch for a Slow Day.

Herring Salad:  278 calories 6 g fat 7 g fiber 16 g protein 24 g carbs 103 mg Calcium   PB GF  Luchöw’s Restaurant in New York will live in memory as long as a certain generation yet breathes. And there was a lot to remember about it: the decor, the old-world service, the menu. Not a hokey tourist trap – it was the genuine German article. This is one of their fine Old World recipes. NB: if you take a MOIA anti-depressent, be aware that herring has high amounts of tyramine. 

1½ oz herring marinated in wine, drained ¼ cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced 1½ oz apple, peeled and diced ¼ cup white beans, drained and rinsed ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 2 Tbsp onion, minced 1/2 oz dill pickle, chopped pinch sugar 2 tsp vinegar, or more 1 cup lettuce, shredded

Put the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until everything is well-incorporated. Taste to see if it needs more sugar or more vinegar. A herring-lover’s delight.

Industrial Revolution

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.

These days, when people discuss climate change or atmospheric pollution, the Industrial Revolution is often mentioned. Before that time, factories were a cottage industry. Literally. A woman might make hats or butter to sell from home. A man might be a weaver, right in the front room of his cottage. In the 1760s, textile making was speeded up by the invention of spinning and weaving machines in Northern England. Larger manufacturing spaces were built and people were lured from subsistence farming by higher wages. Once, machines were powered by water; now steam engines, perfected by James Watt of Scotland, powered factories by burning coal. Some people decried smoke-stacks belching black coal smoke into the once-pristine country air, but locals said, “It smelled like money.” Now instead of being made one-by-one, items were mass-produced. Improvements in steel-making lead to railroads and their speeding trains. Factories became larger as manufacturing became mechanized. Cities grew in population as the countryside emptied. Fortunes were made, and work life ran by the clock instead of the sun. Modern life as we know it began with the Industrial Revolution, and our use of fossil fuels has grown over the years because of it. Early on, the new factories were seen as a blessing to areas with marginal farmland. Young men and women could work for a few years in a factory, then return to the farm with modest wealth. Were there benefits from mechanization? Yes. Did it create problems that are still with us? Decidedly. Now we must deal with the unintended consequences of industrial expansion and the use of fossil fuels. We must balance production of goods with quality of life for humans and other life on our planet. We can do it.

Our meals go back to pre-Industrial days, when most people lived on and from the land, even if they lived in a small town. Oatmeal and shepherd’s pie would have been very familiar foods to an agricultural family in Northern England.

Oatmeal Pudding:  258 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 36 g carb [34 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the pudding only, and do not include the optional beverage.  GF PB  A riff on a recipe found in Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book, this can easily be prepared the night before. HINT: MAKES ENOUGH FOR TWO [2] SERVINGS.  Make them both, since two are as easy as one, and freeze the other.

½ cup rolled oats, cooked in 1 cup water 2 tsp maple syrup ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon 4 Tbsp. blueberries [fresh or frozen]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea  

Cook the oatmeal in the water. Take off the heat, stir in the maple syrup and nutmeg. While it is still a little warm, stir in the cottage cheese. Let sit to cool.  HINT: I did this part the night before while cleaning up after dinner.  If cooking for one, pour half of the pudding into a freezer container and top with 2 Tbsp blueberries. Freeze it. HINT: make the entire batch, eat half of it today and freeze the rest for a really simple-to-prepare breakfast for another day. With the remainder, stir in 2 Tbsp blueberries and pour the pudding into a ramekin. Nuke it for a minute to heat through – longer than that and it will bubble over. Serve with the hot beverage of your choice for a hearty, healthy meal.

Shepherd’s Pie:  276 calories 12 g fat 2 g fiber 21.6 g protein 21.6 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  PB GF  The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like to top this pie with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste.  HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast lamb, ground or minced 1 two-oz egg, separated ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower ½ cup lamb gravy, as fat free as you can make it 1 cup lettuce ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice OR cider vinegar 1 oz tomatoes

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the roast lamb, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the eggwhite until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the lamb mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1 two-oz egg1 cup plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt 
scrapple + scallionrolled oats + vanilla extract
raspberriesrhubarb + turbinado sugar
fat-free French-vanilla yogurtslice of 3%-fat ham
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

3# chicken + onion + celery4 oz halibut per person + side salad
carrot + Worcestershire saucerhubarb + onion
white whole wheat flour + peascider vinegar + brown sugar
dumplingsground cloves + allspice + cinnamon
Sparkling waterSparkling water

That Wonderful Wizard

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.

Which came first for you: reading the Wizard of Oz or seeing the 1939 movie? When I was three years old, my parents took me to my first movie: “The Wizard of Oz.” I loved it, though I was terrified of the green-faced Wicked Witch of the West! The movie was of course based on the book by L. Frank Baum, published on May 17, 1900. Lyman F. Baum was born in upstate New York in 1856. Tutored at home as a child, he dropped out of high school due to a heart problem. Baum kicked around in several different jobs — actor, salesman, newspaper man — and married a suffragette’s daughter in 1882. Frank [he hated the name Lyman] enjoyed telling stories to his four children and found his calling. In 1897 and 1899, he published best-selling children’s books: Mother Goose in Prose and Father Goose, His Book. Then came the big pay-off with an orphan girl from Kansas: on May 17, 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published. Baum said the book “was written solely to pleasure children today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heart-aches and nightmares are left out.” [The Flying Monkeys did not get that memo!!] It was a runaway best seller, the first in a series of Oz books. The book turned into movies and Broadway plays [one by Baum, then The Wiz and Wicked] and spawned a debate over whether or not the Wizard of Oz is a populist allegory. In some places, the books are banned due to the presence of witches, good and wicked alike. You can decide for yourself.

When Dorothy leaves her ruined farmhouse to go explore Munchkin Land, she fills her basket with food from the kitchen. Bread, apples, and cheese are fine foods for the road. Our breakfast is made of apples and cheese. Dinner shows what you can do with sandwich bread on a Fast Day.

Apple-Cheese Pancake Plate:  142 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 11 g protein 17.5 g carbs 31 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  The preparation is so simple – if the pancakes were already made. I cooked the batch the night before. Fine for a Fast Day breakfast or, on a Slow Day, serve with a bit of peanut butter.

2 Apple-Cheese pancakes ** 1 slice Canadian bacon [back bacon] 2 oz melon   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]

Cook the bacon, warm the pancakes, and plate with the melon. Perfect.

**Apple-Cheese Pancakes  makes 10 From Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. ½ cottage cheese ½ c grated apple  1/3 cup white whole wheat flour 1½ tsp honey 1 ½ tsp almond meal 2 eggs, separated 2 tsp Parmesan lemon juice cinnamon Stir together everything except the egg whites. Whip the whites until they are stiff and fold them gently into the batter. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet a bit warmer than ‘medium’. Spray it with cooking spray. Meter out the batter using a 3-Tbsp scoop or something similar, and place batter on the hot griddle. Flatten out a bit. Be careful not to cook too fast, lest the inside not be cooked. When brown on the bottom, flip them over. Serve hot or let them cool to store. They reheat very nicely.

Chicken Salad Sandwich: 292 calories 7 g fat 7 g fiber 28 g protein 35 g carbs 145 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF bread  If you bought a chicken salad sandwich, it might ‘cost you’ 500 calories and 16 g fat. This sandwich is much less ‘expensive’ and tastes great.

2½ oz cooked chicken breast 2 Tbsp part-skim ricotta cheese 1 tsp yellow Sriracha, or more 2 tsp chopped onion 2 tsp chopped celery 2 tsp chopped cilantro leaves salt and pepper to taste 2 slices 70-calorie whole-grain bread with seeds [such as Dave’s Killer ‘Good Seed’] lettuce + 1 oz tomato slices ½ cup Swedish Cucumber Salad

Shred or chop the chicken. Mix with the ricotta and flavorings, including Sriracha. Add more Sriracha if the mixture needs to be moistened further. Toast the bread, if you like. Spread the chicken salad on one slice of bread, add the lettuce and tomato. Top with the other piece of bread and plate with the Cucumber Salad. A good ‘on-the-go’ meal.

Peasants

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.

OLD JOKE: The agitated servant, singed and battered, runs pell-mell into the presence of the Lord of the Manor. “Sire,” he pants, “the peasants are revolting!” His master, looking bored and missing his meaning, lifts a perfumed handkerchief to his nose and sighs, “Of course they are.” People [read: the privileged classes] have been making disparaging comments about the ‘lower classes’ for so many centuries that we have a mental picture: loutish, stupid, unwashed. But what is a peasant, really? The word is from the latin, meaning ‘from a canton,’ thus: someone from the provinces far from the sophistication of the city. Called ‘serfs’ in Russia and medieval Europe; ‘contadino’ in Italy; ‘paysan’ in France; ‘subsistence farmers’ in the US, they have gotten a bad rap. Until the rise of Big Agra, peasants grew all the food that fed the world — in many places, they still do. Their lives were difficult but sometimes their close-to-the-land lifestyle had appeal: Marie Antoinette would retire to her ‘petit hameau’ on the grounds of Versaille to live a simpler life. Breugal painted peasants at work and play while the Limbourg Brothers often showed the turn of the seasons via the work of peasants.

The adage “Eat breakfast like a king and dine like a peasant” is often given as a formula for a healthy diet. This implies eating fewer calories at night. In addition, ‘peasant’ foods were home-grown and/or foraged, low in animal protein, unprocessed and unadulterated. And in small portions. To eat like a peasant also means eating at a lower trophic level. Our breakfast of fruit and grains and our dinner of grains and beans fit the requirements of wholesome, inexpensive, simple food.

Fruited Porridge:  183 calories 1.4 g fat 9 g fiber 7 g protein 38 g carbs [38 g Complex] 36 mg Calcium  PB Here is a delicious way to get your superfoods in one meal. Berries and whole-grain cereal are unbeateble together and easy to prepare as well.

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 [85 calories]  or lemon in hot water

If the fruit is frozen, as mine was: place in a sieve over a small bowl the night before 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.

Red Beans & Rice:  295 calories 1 g fat 13 g protein 57.5 g carb   PB GF  This is the old classic recipe for the ‘perfect protein’. Once we were afraid that we wouldn’t like it, since it sounds bland, but we do like it. Yeah, you’re right, the carbs are way out of control, but these complex carbs are really good for you. HINT: This is enough for 4 servings! Either have a gathering or cut the recipe or freeze for later.

1¾ cups brown rice, cooked ½ cup celery, chopped ½ cup sweet yellow or other color pepper, diced 1 cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced ¾ cup crushed tomato oregano + black pepper 1¾ cups red beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup green beans or peas

Cook the rice. Saute the celery, pepper, and onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomato sauce and seasonings. Stir in the red beans and heat through. When the rice is done, add 1 and 3/4 cups to the mixture.  HINT: if there is extra rice, it freezes well. Serve with the cooked green vegetable. 

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

1 two-oz egg + soy sauce1.5 two-oz eggs 
ginger + bean sproutsapple or unsweetened applesauce
crab meat + scallionscooked spinach
garlic powder +pear chèvre
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4-oz bison burger + mushroomstilapia fish + sweet potato
curried catsupegg + white whole wheat flour
choices from a variety of vegetablescanola oil + garlic powder
asparagus + paprika + lime juice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Flora, Goddess of Flowers

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 Health Specialist who is now Following.

The Romans were pantheistic. There was a diety for everything in the natural world and the political, since deceased emperors were made into gods. One of my favorites is Flora, the goddess of flowers and flowering plants. She was originally a goddess of the Sabine People, who introduced her to Roman culture. In the Greek legend, the nymph Chloris attracted the love of Zehpyrus, the Springtime wind. He married her and granted her dominion over all blooming things: plants, nubile teenagers, and pregnant women. In 238 BCE, a festival called Floralia was instituted in her honor. Today, towns and cities throughout southern France there are floral festivals in early May and it is traditional to give a nosegay of Lily of the Valley/Muguet du Bois to someone to express your love or wish good luck. I like the idea of celebrating the blooms of Spring, so early in May I honor Flora with food and flowers.

The famous Roman Cato the Elder, 234–149 BC, in his agriculture book tried to promote traditional practices of farming and eating. He describes the tradition of baking Libum to leave in the household shrine to the gods. It is made with honey, which Flora is said to have given to the world. There’s our breakfast. Dinner is a modern salad with all sorts of Springtime ingredients: eggs, asparagus, young greens, and flowers. Food for the gods.

Cato’s Breakfast:  235 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 13 g protein 47 g carbs 89 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  Cato, the Roman orator and senator, included Libum in his book de Agricultura. The other elements of the meal were popular foods in ancient Rome.

225 g/1 cup light ricotta cheese
113 g/1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 oz = ½ egg
2 Tbsp honey
Combine these ingredients to a Play-Doh consistency.
0.2 oz pine nuts, about 45 pinonsForm dough into 11 balls, each made with 2 Tbsp dough [33-g]. Top each ball with 4-5 pine nuts.
11 bay leaves TIP: you can do all this the night before and bake in the morning.Lightly spritz a baking pan with non-stick spray and lay the bay leaves on it. Place one dough ball on each leaf.
Warm honeyBake at 350 F for 20 minutes. While still warm, brush with honey.

2 Libum [33-grams of dough each] 2 oz pear 1 deglet noor date 1 oz chicken breast meat  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

Bake the Libum and plate with the other ingredients. Although Cato probably would have served wine with breakfast, that would not be a good option.

Springtime Shrimp Salad: 192 calories 7 g fat 3.6 g fiber 17 g protein 17 g carbs 114 mg Calcium   PB GF  In Spring, the clementines are decreasing in the markets and the asparagus is increasing. A salad with shrimp is delightfully delicious.

2 cups mesclun OR baby greens 2.5 oz small shrimp 8-9 sections clementine 1¾ oz asparagus edible flowers for garnish ¾ oz mango ½ hard-boiled egg 2 tsp Spicy Aioli Dressing 

Prepare all the ingredients, cutting or cooking as necessary. Combine the Dressing and measure 2 tsp into a large bowl. Toss the salad greens with the dressing and a pinch of salt. Turn onto the serving plate and arrange the other ingredients atop the greens. Enjoy the colors and flavors of Spring.

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.