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

Mehmet II

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 ParisVitamin who is now Following.

On March 30, 1432, Mehmet, the second of that name, was born in Edirne, Turkey. His father was the Sultan Murad II, and Mehmet received an excellent education: literature, architecture, fine arts, military science, languages [7 of them!], philosophy, and science. At this time in Western Europe, culture was just emerging into the Renaissance. Mehmet went on to found the Ottoman Empire, conquering first Constantinople [now Istanbul] in 1453, which ended the Byzantine Empire. He next conquered the Greek city states, then the Anatolian peninsula, and the Balkan states. He ruled for 30 years and was known for his erudition and for religious tolerance. Mehmet was painted by the Italian Bellini, wearing a distinctive headdress [‘mücevveze”, a tall cylindrical headgear], which became popular with future Ottoman leaders. And, oddly enough, he is my ancestor! How is that possible for someone with French/English/German antecedents? Ah, that is a tale for a future blog about Mehmet’s Son.

In recognition of his Eastern Mediterranean origins, a plate of felafel seems appropriate for breakfast. And the dinner of stuffed cabbage is caught up in the story of a Swedish King captured by the Ottomans.

Felafel Plate:  219 calories 5 g fat 4.8 g fiber 16.3 g protein 30 g carbs [25.7 g Complex] 165 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple, cubed in bite-sized pieces 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water NO smoothie today

Warm the felafel patties or use at room temperature. Chop the mint leaves and combine with the yogurt. Prepare the beverage of choice and plate the food to please the eye.

Danish Stuffed Cabbage:  282 calories 5.7 g fat 5.7 g fiber 35 g protein 25 g carbs 125 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread   Craig Claiborne’s International Cookbook provided this recipe. Its history involves a Swedish king and the Ottoman Empire. Very royal origin for a common meal found everywhere cabbages are grown.

4 oz turkey meat, raw 2 oz pork meat, raw 2.5 oz veal, raw ½ cup fresh bread crumbs [from whole-grain 70-calorie bread] 2 oz milk 1 oz egg white sage + salt + pepper 4 whole cabbage leaves from a whole head 1/3 c pickled beets dab of mustard

Put the meats, sage, salt, and pepper in the food processor and mince. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the meat until it doesn’t look raw. Cool meat. Combine the bread and milk, stir, let sit until soggy. Add the egg white and meats and stir to combine well. Set aside. Put a head of cabbage in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a simmer. When the outer layer begins to cook, remove the outer leaf. Return the cabbage to the pan of simmering water. Continue to remove the outer leaves as they cook, until you have 4. Return them to the poaching water and cook until very limp. [Put the rest of the cabbage away for something else.] Cut a ‘V’ at the base of each leaf to remove the thickest part of the leaf’s rib. Orient the leaf so the ‘V’ is away from you. Put ¼ cup filling on the leaf. Fold the near side over the filling, tuck in the sides, and continue to roll. Place seam-side down in an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all four rolls. Pour some of the water in which you poached the cabbage into the dish until it comes 1/2-way up the rolls. Put on a lid or foil and bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes or until heated. Plate with the pickled beets and a dab of mustard. Fit for an Ottoman Emperor.

Caroline Herschel

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 fenderf who is now Following.

You may have heard of Caroline Herschel’s famous brother, William who discovered the Planet Uranus. Or his famous son, John. Caroline was another story. Born on March 16, 1750, in Germany, she learned music along with her older brothers. But two diseases in her childhood ended her education, stunted her growth [she never topped 4’3″], and left her partially blind. Her mother was horrified to have a ‘cripple’ for a child and told her she was worse than worthless. The girl became more of a servant than a daughter. Small wonder that, after William was offered a post as composer/choir master at Octagon Chapel in Bath, England, he called for Caroline to be his housekeeper [I think to ‘rescue’ her] and she gladly accepted. William became interested in astronomy and the faithful Caroline, a self-described “well-trained puppy dog,” was his assistant. Soon, she knew as much about astronomy and telescopes as her brother. In 1782, she began recording her own notes about the sky and the following year she discovered two new nebulae. In 1786, Caroline began to discover comets, not as William’s assistant, but in her own right. Eventually, she wrote a new star catalogue, discovered 8 comets, 14 nebulae, and 2 star clusters. Not bad for a woman almost blind in one eye! Thus she made a name for herself in a man’s world: she was awarded a medal and a salary by George III of England, and a gold medal by the King of Prussia. And to think you never had heard of her.

Our meals today, like Caroline, begin in Germany and end in England. Both are delicious. [The meals, not the countries]

German Breakfast:  136 calories 2.8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 9 g protein 15 g carbs [5 g Complex] 104.4 mg Calcium Sturdy whole-grain bread, some curd cheese with chives and a slice of ham will get you going in the morning, just as it does for the inventive Germans.

1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed’] 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives [cheese + chives is similar to ‘quark‘ in Germany] 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 [75 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

The night before: chop the chives/scallion and mash into the cottage cheese to make the curd cheese more creamy. The next morning: toast the bread lightly and spread with the ‘quark-like’ cheese-chive mixture. Place the ham slice on top of the cheese and plate with the pear. Serve with hot beverages of your choice and have a “guten Morgen.”

Pheasant Casserole: 250 calories 9.5 g fat 5.4 g fiber 22.5 g protein 21.6 g carbs [19 Complex] 86 mg Calcium PB This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18th century. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick 1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top] 2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy 2 oz pheasant [or chicken] meat, cooked and taken off the bone ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thin in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Quid Pro Quo

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.

There are so many words and phrases in the English language which were lifted directly from latin [that’s a lower-case ‘l’ since the language is no longer spoken in daily life]. “Quid pro quo” has seen a lot of use lately. From its early use in medicine, in common law it has come to mean “something for something” or in the vernacular, “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your’s.” Dieting is a bit of a quid pro quo — you do this and you should get that result. It doesn’t always happen that way — due to illness; or slow transit; or cheating on the diet; or there is a food that causes you to gain weight [for me, it is white rice]; or it is the wrong diet for you. Someone I know tried a low fat diet, but that didn’t do anything; then tried cutting calories every day, but that ended because it seemed like a punishment. Then the Fast Diet worked! Two days of 600-calorie eating [QUID] with the result of losing 1-2 pound each week [QUO]. This could work for you, too. Give it a try.

Sweet Potato Pancake Plate: 122 calories 2.2 g fat 2.6 g fiber 9.4 g protein 26.4 g carbs [21 g Complex] 27 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using Brown Rice Flour I suppose you could call these ‘hash-browns’ but they look more like pancakes. Sorta. These potato pancakes are a fine side dish and they hold their own as the star of this breakfast.

2 potato pancakes *** 2 oz applesauce 30-grams Canadian bacon/back bacon = 2 slices Jones brand 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]

Prepare the pancakes or warm them if prepared the night before. Warm the applesauce, and the bacon. Savory and delicious.

***Potato Pancakes  makes 8   8 oz sweet potato, peeled and grated 1.5 oz egg [Whisk one entire egg and measure 1.5 oz of it for this recipe. Use the remainder in baking.] 2 Tbsp minced/grated onion 4 tsp white whole wheat flour OR brown rice flour ½ tsp salt Combine the ingredients while you heat a griddle or heavy skillet. Melt a dab of bacon fat or olive oil in the pan, then spray with non stick spray. Drop the ‘batter’ in 10 piles [I used a ¼ cup measure] on the griddle, then flatten them out to a diameter of 3-4”. Cook on one side, then flip to cook on the other. Save the remaining pancakes for a side dish tomorrow or as part of lunch another day.

Squash-Cupped Bison Chili: 215 calories 3.5 g fat 6.8 g fiber 14.7 g protein 34 g carbs 120 mg Calcium  PB GF  What an easy, delicious, and satisfying meal.  HINT: One squash is enough for 2 servings, so invite a fellow-Faster for dinner. Save the remaining chili for another meal later.

Bison Chilimakes 4 one-cup servings per cup – 136 calories 3.2 g fat 4.8 g fiber 13 g protein 14.5 g carbs 57 mg Calcium  4 oz ground bison 15 oz canned tomatoes – in chunks or diced drained in a sieve [save the juice] 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 cup red onion, chopped 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped 3/4 cup canned red or black beans, drained and rinsed 2-4 tsp chili + ¾ tsp salt + ½ – 1 tsp ground cumin   Cook the venison, onion, garlic, and green pepper in some of the tomato juices until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently until the chili is hot throughout. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. 

For tonight’s meal: 5 oz delicata squash, seeds removed one cup Bison Chili or use Chili Non Carne [Sidekicks II, posted 4-Oct-’17] 2 oz melon, as a side savor

Weigh the delicata squash whole and uncut to get a sense of how much will be 5 oz. You will be cutting off one end of the squash and removing the seeds. Cut a small slice off the very end, so it will stand up as a cup for the chili. Put the squash in the microwave oven and cook it until it can be easily pierced with a skewer. Assemble by standing the squash cup in the middle of the plate and pouring the chili in and around it. Then position the melon. Unusual! Teriffic!

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

2 two-oz eggs1.5 two-oz eggs 
sweet onion + beef/chicken brothcooked mackerel
soy sauce + mirinleek + Dijon mustard
scallionstrawberries
Japanese dry noodles, 190 cal/ 2 ozoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

ham slice + walnuts + egg whitelobster tail + plantains
whole-grain bread + carrotslime + olive oil
tilapia or perch + soy saucespinach leaves
sherry wine + beets + scallionmelon
Sparkling waterSparkling water

me-me-me-me

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 will be my birthday, and this blog is all about ME. I know a woman who describes people who are vain or show-offy as ‘Opera Singers’ – – all ‘me-me-me’. So this will be my opera singer day as I talk about some of my food favorites. There are people who say, “I couldn’t diet because I love food too much. You who diet obviously don’t like food.” What I don’t like is eating when I’m not hungry. What’s the point? No food tastes as delicious as when you are hungry! I like foods that are savory; and foods that are sweet; and foods that are easy to prepare; and foods that take some finagling. One of the reasons that Dear Husband and I look forward to Fast Days is that the food will be varied and delicious. [Yes, I’m bragging again.]

Fasting works. It is a break from high-on-the-hog eating and a chance to re-set the bathroom scale to a more reasonable number. What foods would I choose if my natal day fell on a Fast Day? A strawberry-filled crepe at breakfast seems so elegant, yet is simple to pull off. The fish and vegetables for dinner is a meal SOOOO easy and yet really delicious. Through Fasting, I have maintained my average weight at my Target for over 4 years. If you can say the same, good for you! If you are not where you want your weight to be, try Fasting.

Strawberry Crepe: 193 calories 7.5 g fat 1.9 g fiber 9.5 g protein 23 g carbs [8 g Complex] 211 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  Isn’t it a treat to enjoy ‘Strawberries & Cream’ once in a while? If you haven’t made the crepes already, this is a good reason to try them. Mine were ready in the freezer.

1 sweet crepe*** 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese 3 Tbsp vanilla low-fat yogurt 3 oz strawberries, sliced and put in a sieve over a bowl, especially if frozen 1 slice uncured bacon or 1 slice ‘Canadian’ bacon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO SMOOTHIE 

Stir the ricotta and yogurt together. Add most of the berries, saving some for garnish. If there is a lot of juice, cook it down slowly to make a little syrup. Cook the bacon. Place the crepe on the plate and spoon the cream filling onto it. Fold over the crepe and top with the extra berries and syrup. Plate with the bacon and prepare your hot beverage of choice.

***CREPES, SWEETmakes 16 eight-inch crepes  each = 55 calories 0.7 g fat 0.2 g fiber 2.7 g protein 9 g carbs [0 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium 154 g all-purpose flour 14 fl oz milk [416 g] 2 tsp vanilla sugar 2 two-oz eggs

Whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Add the eggs one at a time. Whisk vigorously until the batter runs off the whisk in ropes. The batter can rest for up to an hour. Heat a small cast-iron pan or ceramic saute pan.  Lightly spritz with oil, then wipe out the pan. Dip a ¼ cup measure into the batter and let the extra drain off. Grasp the handle of the cook pan with one hand as you slowly pour the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan in a swirling pattern to let the batter form a circle roughly 6” in diameter. Don’t get hung up on perfectly round or perfectly flat. Watch the crepe cook and look to see when the edges start to dry and curl a bit. Using a heat-resistant but non-scratching tool [I use my fingers], lift the crepe and turn it over. Cook the other side until done. Time will vary, depending on the heat of your pan. Lift out the cooked crepe, put it aside, and cook the next one. HINT: if storing them for later today or tomorrow, let them cool on a tea towel, then stack and freeze in a plastic bag. 

Arctic Char with Peas, 3 ways: Arctic Char is a member of the Salmon Family which can be both sustainably fished in the wild and farm-raised. It is delicious, too. There are three presentations given: two are ridiculously easy, the other slightly more complex. All are great.

Version I: 263 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 28 g protein 10 g carbs [10 g Complex] 25 mg Calcium  PB GF   4 oz arctic char fillets ½ cup green ‘English’ peas, fresh or frozen Salt and pepper the fish and bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes/inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Cook the peas and serve over/around the fish.

Version II: 247 calories 8.7 g fat 2 g fiber 26.7 g protein 7.3 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 74.7 mg Calcium   PB GF   4 oz arctic char fillets ¼ cup watercress sauce [see SIDEKICKS II oct 4, 2017 ] 1 cup snow peas, stems and strings removed Salt and pepper the fish. Bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes/ inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Warm the watercress sauce and serve over the fish. Cook the peas and plate. 

Version III: 274 calories 7.4 g fat 8 g fiber 25 g protein 16.4 g carbs [16.4 g Complex] 54.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  3 oz arctic char ¼ cup edamame [soy beans] ¼ cup ‘English’ peas ½ cup snow peas

Remove the stems and strings from the snow peas. Bake the fish at 400 F. for 10 minutes/ inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Meanwhile, cook the peas and edamame according to package directions. Plate the fish and surround it with beautiful green peas.

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

1.5 two-oz eggTWO BREAKFAST MENUS:
anchovies3%-fat ham + sourdough rye bread 
tomatoHermelin or Camembert cheese
melon or mangoyellow plums
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken meat + stock + stock cubes [bouillion cubes]THIS IS A BREAKFAST MENU
canned creamed corn + scallions1 two-oz egg + chèvre cheese
sesame oil + corn starch + gingerspinach, frozen or pre-cooked
egg white + 1 oz ham slicelemon-dill seasoning + apple/pear
Sparkling wateroptional beverages

Literary Reference

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 literary reference is when an author has a situation/event/character in one book which is recognizable as something in another book by a different author. I love to see those: it is as if the author is winking and nodding at me, saying “I know you’ll get that”. Some people debate whether one can have a ‘literary’ reference to a movie or TV show, but hey — a screen play is literature, too. Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary makes recurring reference to Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. Anyone who asserts that he/she is “Shocked. Shocked!” is referring to the screenplay of Casablanca. The list goes on and on! Shakespear, Homer, all authors are grist for the literary reference mill. What fun.

Today’s meals are a culinary form of literary reference. The Keats poem The Eve of St Agnes describes in length the meal set by the love-struck swain Porphyro for his beloved. Read The Arabian Nights by Richard Francis Burton and you will want a meal flavored with ‘the spices of the East’.

Porphyro’s Picnic:   252 calories 5.7 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 poem The 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. HINT: The photo below shows the meal for two [2] people on one plate — true love doesn’t mind sharing.

2 Tbsp lowfat Plain OR 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 Medjool date, cut in 4 pieces. NO smoothie coffee or tea ONLY if it is black 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.

Arabian Spiced Chicken:  297 calories 4 g fat 5.4 g fiber 24.4 g protein 46 g carbs [45 g Complex] 35 mg Calcium   PB GF  Using ingredients originally from the region, it is possible to craft a very authentic meal that could have been enjoyed by ancient Arabs. They would have eaten by grasping the stew with the flat-bread called fatir — but on a Fast Day, we will choose a fork.  TIP: This recipe makes enough for 2 [two] meals.

6 oz chicken thigh meat, boneless, skinless 1.5 tsp Hawayij spice 2/3 cups water 1/3 cup chicken broth 1/3 cup dry quick-cooking barley   Per serving: 3 deglet noor dates + 5 oz watermelon cubes

Skin and bone the chicken thigh and cut it into 1” chunks. Heat a non-stick skillet and spritz it with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the chicken with the spice and saute it until partly cooked. To the pan, add the water and heat it, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the dry barley. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir gently until everything is heated through. Plate with the dates and watermelon on the side. Sprinkle the stew with more Hawayij if you like. The peppery stew is fabulous with the cool, crisp melon and the sweet, musky dates. What an Arabian Delight.

Saint Ursula

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

As a child I loved to look at a book called Famous Paintings, An Introduction to Art for Young People by Alice Elizabeth Chase. One of the paintings shown and described was “The Dream of Saint Ursula” by Vittore Carpaccio. Into the Saint’s peaceful bedroom, walks an Angel who heralds Ursula’s eventual martyrdom. But all is calm and we know that Ursula will go serenely to her violent death on October 21, in the year 383. The story of St Ursula is an odd one. She was a princess of a kingdom in Britain and she was betrothed at age 12. Ursula, buying herself time before the marriage, proposed a pilgrimage to Rome. She chose 11 gal-pals to go with her — and here the confusion begins. Poor translation from early latin texts turned “Ursula and 11 Virgins” into “Ursula and 11,000 Virgins”!! According to the legend, they all got to Rome, were blessed by the Pope, and turned around to go back home. While sailing down the Rhine [how many boats does it take to transport 11,001 or more people??], they were attacked at Cologne by Huns and all died when Ursula refused to marry their leader. When a midden of bones was discovered in Cologne in 1155, they were declared to be the remains of Ursula and her friends. [Even though some of the bones seem to belong to large dogs…] Take this tale as you will: in 1969, the Roman Catholic Church took Ursula off the list of official saints. Medieval and Renaissance artists loved to depict her, and when I arrange my slippers under the bed, as Carpaccio shows in his painting, I think of Saint Ursula.

Since Ursula went to Rome, we will enjoy a Roman Breakfast. And since she was boating down the Rhine to return home, our dinner will be served in Cucumber Boats.

Roman Breakfast: 270 calories 3.3 g fat 3.2 g fiber 9 g protein 28 g carbs [20.8 g Complex Carbs] 35 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB Though a bit unusual, this is a very good plate of breakfast food, based on ingredients available to Romans in the 1st century BCE. It is satisfying and flavorful.

1 Pan Muffin** 1 oz pear 1 oz cooked chicken, diced 1 oz radish 1 oz cucumber [optional: 1 deglet noor date = ¼ oz]   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]

Dice all the fruits and vegetables. Add the chicken and 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 0.8 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10.8 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. 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 [and use 4 Tbsp batter in muffin tins for Slow Day breakfasts].

Cucumber Boats with Salmon: 258 calories 12.4 g fat 3.2 g fiber 20.4 g protein 19 g carbs 162 mg Calcium   PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.

2-¾ oz cooked salmon one 3.5 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one person 1/2 Tbsp watercress sauce [see Sidekicks II, posted 4 Oct, 2017] 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/8 oz leek ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]

Slice the leek and blanch in a little water in the microwave. In a bowl break up the salmon and combine with the watercress sauce, mustard and leek. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the seeds with a melon-baller. Mound the salmon into the cucumber boat and plate with the 4-bean salad.

S.A.D

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.

How curious that the initials of what nutritionists call the ‘Standard American Diet‘ spell the word ‘SAD.’ That diet is blamed for many of the Western World’s health woes. It makes one sad to think about it. How did this start?? In the late 1800s, there was a health-food movement that saw the invention of processed breakfast cereal. By the early 1900s, growing urban populations needed food and they couldn’t afford to have it spoil. Enter the Kraft brothers. J.L. Kraft moved from Canada to Chicago in 1904, and sold cheese door to door in a cart. He lost lots of money since the unsold cheese became either moldy and too dry to sell. In 1906, brother Charles joined the company. They started trying to make a ‘processed cheese‘ in a tin which would have a longer shelf life. In 1916, they perfected it — just in time to sell thousands of tins to the US Army during WWI. Doughboys returned with a taste for the stuff and the company took off. By 1923, company sales equalled $22 million! Five years later, they added salad dressing and ‘oleomargarine.’ This was the start of the Kraft Food Company. Now allied with the Heinz Company, they make 200 items sold world-wide.

Charles Kraft was born on October 17. We will note that while eating foods that are purchased but are low in sugar, saturated fat, simple carbs — unlike the overly-processed foods that constitute the S.A.D. Today’s menu features meals with lots of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and flavor.

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

3 Tbsp uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal ¼ cup low-fat milk + 1/3 cup water  Toppings: 2 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen + 2 Tbsp milk  Optional: blackish coffee [ 53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

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

Tortellini with Black Kale:  209 calories 9 g fat 3.5 g fiber 10 g protein 24 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium PB Packaged, dried tortellini is a handy item to have in the pantry. It makes for a fine Tuscan meal [Mediterranean food!] when pared with Black Kale. The recipe is from ‘thekitchn‘  NB: I used the recipe below for the kale as two servings, when paired with the pasta. But the calories are so low that you could use it as one serving alongside the pasta. 

27 g dried cheese/spinach tortellini [Barilla brand is good] 3 oz diced tomato 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese PLUS ingredients shown below for the kale.

For the Kale:

3 oz black kaleUse your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic pinch red pepper flakes
Heat the oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepperAdd the kale, stirring as it starts to wilt. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
2 tsp Lemon juice Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and serve.

For the Meal: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 9-11 minutes, then drain. Combine with the diced tomatoes and Parmesan. Plate the pasta surrounded by the kale.

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

one Pan Muffin1 two-oz egg  + pear
cucumber + pear
turkey breast meat, raw or cooked
cooked chicken + radish
olive oil + celery + onion
optional deglet noor date
70-calorie whole-grain bread + herbs
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

cooked salmon + Dijon mustard
ground lamb
medium-sized cucumber
Gruyere cheese
4-Bean Salad + leek
brown rice
Watercress sauce
Mediterranean Vegetables
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Earth 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 toting alipis who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be Earth Day.  First observed in 1970, on April 22, its goal was to harness the energy of college students to point out the dangers that threaten the environment.  Rallies, protests, and marches were held all over the country.  Even better, people turned out to clean parks, beaches, and roadsides.  Now the movement has gone world-wide.  Clean air and clean water are vital to everything’s existence — our’s and that of every other living thing on the planet.  Small steps that individuals take build up into widespread change.  We must each be part of that change by using less water; by keeping toxic chemicals out of our air or soil; by saving energy.  Some people will do that by eating less food and eating lower in the trophic pyramid:  less meat, more plants.   Today’s Earth Day menus are low on meat and high on nutritious plants. Just what you’ll need for a day of environmental activism.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate: 125 calories  7 g fat  1.2 g fiber  16.8 g protein  13.4 g carbs [13 g Complex]  135 mg Calcium  PB GF  Once again the Inn at Saint Peter’s inspires a breakfast! Nothing beats the salty-sweet flavor combination of this meal. HINT: I plated everything the night before and stored the plates in zipper bags in the refrigerator.Prosciutto-Melon Plate

4 oz cantaloupe melon [Charentais melon would be fabulous!]                                                           1 oz thinly-sliced prosciutto                                                                                                             ¼ cup red onion pickle                                                                                                                              0.1 oz shavings of Parmesan cheese                                                                                               fresh basil or mint leaves OR crumbled dried basil                                                                    drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction, optional                                                                         Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                         Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes [8 pieces look well on the plate]. Cut the prosciutto into 8 long strips [mine were 1”x4”]. Arrange the melon and ham in a circle on the plate with the red onion in the center. Shave off curls of Parmesan and place them on top. If using fresh herb leaves, tuck them in here and there. If using dried herbs, rub the leaves in your palms to crumble over the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you wish. Serve with your chosen beverages. Wonderful flavors, however you combine them on your fork.

Feta-Tuna-Bean Salad: 306 calories  14.6 g fat  5.3 g fiber  19.3 g protein  24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 230 mg Calcium PB GF This salad has a lot going for it:  easy to prepare, made from simple and available ingredients, filling, and delicious.  Perfect for Earth Day after a day of service to the environment. Feta:tuna:bean:egg Salad

1 oz canned tuna, drained                                                                                                            1/4 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed                                                                                     1 oz feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                    2 oz tomatoes, cubed                                                                                                                      1.5 oz red bell pepper, cut as large dice                                                                                                   2 pitted ripe olives, sliced                                                                                                                                                         1/2  hardboiled egg, chopped                                                                                                          1-1/2 cups baby greens                                                                                                                       1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + lots of herbes de Province + pinch garlic powder

Prepare the vegetables as described above. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, herbs and garlic in a 2-cup bowl. Add the greens and toss gently but thoroughly. Place the greens in the serving bowl and nestle the tuna in the center. Arrange all the other ingredients on top in a manner that pleases you.

Lenten Fare

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.

Now we are entering the 4th week of Lent and you might be running out of food ideas.  When I was a child, my mother would always ask what my sister and I would “give up for Lent“.  Sometimes it was candy or chocolate, but then we would always say bubble gum. [We were forbidden to chew gum of any sort, so that was said in jest. I’m sure my mother always hoped we’d stop bickering with each other.]  Six weeks was a long time to a child.  Adults sometimes vow to eat more plainly; to give up meat; or to practice other food-related abstentions. The idea of Lenten eating is to deprive yourself.  Here are some ideas for meatless meals, for Lent or anytime you want to eat on a lower trophic level. You won’t feel deprived. Just virtuous.

10-Grain Pudding:  181 calories  1.3 g fat  5.4 g fiber  10.4 g protein  35 g carbs [29 g Complex]  43.5 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the cereal pudding only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB  V   Delicious hot cereal for any day of the week. The applesauce and maple syrup give just the right touch of sweetness.10-Grain Porridge

1/4 cup uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal                                                                                 2 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                     1 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                                                              1.5 Tbsp applesauce                                                                                                                     large pinch of nutmeg + large pinch of cinnamon                                                                       blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                  3 oz berry-yogurt smoothie [40 calories], green smoothie or natural apple cider

Put the cereal in 3/4 cup of boiling water, turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. HINT: Do this the night before. Cool the cereal, then mix in the cottage cheese, maple syrup, applesauce and spices until well-combined. Put into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until hot through. Pour the optional beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Codfish Brandade:   250 calories   5.8 g fat   5.7 g fiber  77 g protein  22.3 g carbs   270 mg Calcium   PB GF    Since salt cod is so popular all over southern France, it follows that Brandade is a favorite. The garlic, olive oil, and fennel mark this version as Provençal. [HINT: This batch serves 4. Either invite friends or use what you need and freeze the remainder.] The recipe is from Jacques Pepin.Brandade w: tomatoes & Carrots

8 oz salt cod                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup potatoes in 1/2” cubes                                                                                                                        1 cup cauliflower puree                                                                                                                     ½ cup milk                                                                                                                                         4 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                    ¼ tsp fennel seed                                                                                                                                          1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                         ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste                                                                                                            per serving: 4 oz sliced tomatoes  +  2 oz raw carrot, as coins or sticks + parsley leaves

Soak the cod in water for 8 hours. Drain and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes. Drain. Pick over the fish to break it into 1” pieces, removing bones, skin. Put fish in a pan with potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Pour it all into a food processor and process it for about 10 seconds. Add the pepper and add the oil with the machine running. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasonings. Divide the brandade into 4 portions. Freeze the remainder. Slice the tomatoes and spread with brandade. Serve remaining amount in a bowl with the carrots stuck into it. Very traditional flavor.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
cottage cheese   + granulated garlic Swiss cheese  + cooked pork
cod brandade [St Bernard 19-Aug-’18] 3%-fat ham
peach + blueberries dab of mayonnaise  + dill pickle
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

zucchini   +  garlic + mozzarella Ham chunks + fresh pineapple
roasted red peppers  + Parmesan cheese asparagus +  Swiss cheese
1 slice polenta [Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-2017] Béchamel sauce with cheese  [Sidekicks I, 17-Sept-2018]
firm white fish  +  herbs de province Yorkshire Pudding [Not by Bread.., 7-Feb- 2018
Sparkling water Sparkling water