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 anniversary 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 oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 1 minute.
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepperAdd kale, stirring as it starts to wilt. Add the salt + pepper. Cover. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is just tender, .
2 tsp Lemon juice Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, 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

Love Thyself

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On your next Fast Day, eat the meals that will be posted here in 3-4 days.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Why do you diet? Because you think your body has betrayed you by gaining weight and you want to punish it?  If you are angry at yourself, you will not succeed in improving your health — physically or mentally. You must like yourself well enough to want to figure out why you over-eat and to recognize that having the right relationship with food will help you to be successful.  Eating more health-fully is the key.   If dieting is about ‘punishment,’ it won’t work.  If it is about loving yourself, then you will want to take care of your body and feed it in a way to make it healthy.  Do you think you will be hungry all the time when Fasting?  There are many moods that masquerade as hunger.  If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer. In Fasting, you will find a better way to eat, focusing on what foods are good for you so that you can feel and look your best.  How can you “Love your neighbor as yourself” if you don’t love yourself?   Be your own best Valentine.                                                                                                                                           In honor of Valentine’s Day, breakfast looks like an indulgence but has lots of delicious nutrition.  Dinner is a meal my Dear Husband and I have often enjoyed on February 14th, and it is very nice indeed.

Fruit Hearts: 198 calories 5.6 g fat 2.7 g fiber 13 g protein 25.8 g carbs 82.6 mg Calcium NB: These values are for the Fruit Hearts alone. PB GF V  This breakfast looks as if it came from the pastry cart, but it fits within our guidelines for Fasting. If you don’t mind doing ‘fiddly food,’ treat someone you love to a special breakfast.

Fruit Hearts

1 oz whole-grain bread cut using a 2+” heart-shaped cookie cutter                                                2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce                                                                                                         2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt                                                                                               1 Tbsp almond meal/flour                                                                                                            fresh fruit of your choosing: fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries or peach slices or blueberries  [The fruit in the center is a ‘Goldenberry’]                                                                      1.1 oz Canadian bacon/back bacon cut into hearts with the same sized cutter                              3oz fruit smoothie [34 calories] or natural apple cider                                                            blackish coffee [53 calories]or tea or lemon in hot water

First, stir the yogurt and almond flour until thoroughly combined. It will thicken slightly. Cut the bread and the Canadian Bacon into hearts. HINT: I did this the night before, storing the bread in a plastic bag overnight to prevent them from drying. Gently cook the bacon hearts so that they are warmed through yet retain their pinkness. Lightly toast the bread hearts. Spread the applesauce evenly over each heart. Pipe the yogurt/almond around the edge of each heart, then arrange the fruit in the center. Sip some low-fat cafe au lait this morning and think lovely thoughts..

Filet Mignon with Tarragon:  278 calories  14 g fat  2.3 g fiber  28.6 g protein  7.2 g carbs [6 g Complex]  49 mg Calcium  GF  We have enjoyed this sumptuous Joanne Harris recipe for years and we still turn back to her My French Kitchen to make it again. HINT: This recipe is enough for two. Worth sharing with a special friend. If serving one, prepare all of the sauce and save it to put in eggs at breakfast or to use at dinner.

2 tsp butter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1/4 tsp olive oil   +  1/4 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                  ½ large shallot [1 Tbsp]                                                                                                                                             2 Tbsp white wine                                                                                                                              1 Tbsp heavy cream                                                                                                                          1 tsp grainy mustard                                                                                                                       ½ clove garlic [½ tsp minced]                                                                                                          2-3 Tbsp fresh tarragon                                                                                                                   two 4-oz filet mignon                                                                                                                           10 spears asparagus, snapped off at the bottom to remove the woody section

Cook the mushrooms on both sides in butter and a spritz of cooking spray. Keep warm off the stove. Heat the oil with a spritz of cooking spray, and cook the shallots until softened. Add the wine to the pan, then simmer for 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add the cream, mustard, garlic, and tarragon. Heat long enough to heat the sauce but do not let it boil. Cook the asparagus. In a separate heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and a spritz of non-stick spray over high. Cook the meat 1-1/2 minutes/side if you like it rare or 2 minutes/side for medium. Place the cooked steak on the mushroom cap, surround it with asparagus, and top it with the sauce. This is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg   +  cooked spinach 1.5 two-oz eggs
cottage cheese   +  scallion  +  nutmegeggplant  + garlic
Manchego cheesetomato/tomato sauce +  Onion
granulated garlic   +  strawberriespear  +  Herbes de Province
Whatever you need for your smoothieWhatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverageWhatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

no-cheese Béchamel + spinach [5 oz]  no-cheese Béchamel [Sidekicks I]     +  chicken breast
celery  +  onion  + celery saltsherry wine  +  carrot
garlic powder + dill + basilangel hair pasta
2 crepes [Sidekicks I] + ham broccoli   +   Parmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Bikini Season

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                     Welcome to Jasmine Eclipse who is now Following.

Is there a connection among the atom bomb, swimwear, and the Fasting Diet? Yup.  On July 1, 1948, the US detonated an atom bomb on its test site named “Bikini Atoll” in the Pacific Ocean.  On July 5, 1946, Louis Réard debuted a novel 2-piece bathing suit in Paris. He had been beaten to the punch by a designer from the Riviera who called his skimpy suit “L’Atome” since the atom was the smallest particle known.  Réard dubbed his version “le Bikini”, after the site of the nuclear test.  The suit, made from 4 tiny triangles of fabric, was daring in its brevity and that it showed the wearer’s navel.  The name stuck but Réard, a mechanical engineer by training, had difficulty making many sales at his mother’s Paris lingerie shop because of social reaction. There was a popular song in  1960 about bikinis, but not until Ursula Andress rose from the sea in a white bikini did the look really take off.  The rest is history.

It is Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and people are going to the beach. Are you going in a muu-muu or a bikini? The Fast Diet will help you to get into a slimmer body better than any diet I’ve ever tried.  What you wear after you achieve your target weight is entirely up to you. Today’s breakfast is delicious and easy to prepare.  The dinner is full of the rich flavors of the French Riviera. Both are perfect for getting you onto the beach for a trim swim.

Citrus Breakfast:  290 calories   1.6 g fat  3.6 g fiber   21 g protein   48 g carbs [38 g Complex] 289 mg Calcium   PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, any day. And it has tons of Vitamin C and A and D.Citrus Breakfast

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                          2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla                                                                                                                                                                                     1 clementine, peeled and sectioned                                                                                                                 2 Tbsp black currants                                                                                                                                             5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

Combine all the dairy and fruit [or combine the dairy and garnish with fruit after plating]. Knowing that I would have a busy morning, I did this the night before and refrigerated it. Great for a grab-and-go meal. With the hot beverage and smoothie, it is a vitamin-blast.

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. Perfect for a hot summer evening.Feta:tuna:bean:egg Salad

1 oz canned tuna, drained                                                                                                                                  1/4 cup white beans, drained and rinsed                                                                                                                 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                                  2 oz tomatoes, cubed                                                                                                                                                         1.5 oz red bell pepper, cut as large dice                                                                                                            1 pitted ripe olives, sliced                                                                                                                                      1/2 hardboiled egg, in wedges or chopped                                                                                                                                 1-1/2 cups baby greens  OR full-sized leaves sliced cross-wise                                                                                                                                             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.

Eggless

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                   Welcome to 2020 Cooking Adventures who are now Following.

Some people just don’t like eggs — don’t want to see them, don’t want to taste them. Not for breakfast, not for dinner.  So while we are delighted to eat eggs for breakfast on both Fast Days, that idea is repugnant to others.  If you are one, I have some breakfast ideas for you.

Bannock & Bacon: 284 calories   3.8 g fat   Bannock & Applesauce                                                                                             3.2 g fiber  18.7 g protein   43.6 g carbs [33 g Complex Carbs]   176.5 mg Calcium PB     For years we have enjoyed this on Slow Days, only to find that it fits for Fasting, too.  See 15 April 2018 for recipe.

 

 

 

Citrus BreakfastCitrus Breakfast:  290 calories   1.6 g fat   3.6 g fiber  21 g protein  48 g carbs [38 g Complex] 289 mg Calcium]  PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. And it has tons of Vitamins C and A and D.  See 28 March 2018 for recipe.

 

Herring Plate: 292 calories 8.4 g fat 4.9 g fiberherring Plate w: cherries                                                                                    12.6 g protein 32.8 g carbs 199 mg Calcium                                                                                         PB  If you like herring, this is the breakfast for you. It makes a nice change from morning eggs and this is prepared in no-time-flat.  See 30 July 2017 for recipe

 

 

 

Oatmeal Pudding:   301 calories  3 g fat   3 g fiber   15 g protein  16.3 g carb   198.6 mg Calcium GF PB   A riff on a recipe found in Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book,  this can easily be prepared the night before. NB: THIS MAKES ENOUGH FOR TWO [2] SERVINGS. Make them both, as two are as easy as one, and freeze the other.  See 15 Nov 2017 for recipe.

10-Grain Pumpkin Pudding:  277 calories Pumpkin Pudding                                                                                        7.6 g fat  6.8 g fiber  12.8 g protein                                                                                                               41 g carbs 249.4 mg Calcium PB                                                                                                              The delicious, nutty grains in the cereal                                                                                              seemed to call out for pumpkin and spices, and here’s the result. This recipe is easily prepared the night before and refrigerated for a quick and delicious breakfast. See 21 March 2018 for recipe.

Citrus

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

On March 29, 1912, English explorer Robert Falcon Scott wrote in his diary, “The end is near.”  He and his men were camped on Antarctica after a failed attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. Discouraged after being beaten to the Pole by rival Roald Amundsen, the British Antarctic Expedition members were exhausted after dragging their equipment for 1000s of miles on scant rations. A blizzard trapped the three remaining team members in their tent only 11 miles from a food cache. Although they died of hypothermia, frostbite, and malnutrition, a major contributor to their deaths was scurvy. It was known since the 1700s that citrus fruits cured and prevented scurvy.  British sailors were given juice from fresh lemons and then limes [British sailors were known as ‘limeys’] which removed the scourge of scurvy by adding Vitamin C to their diet. Had Scott’s men had access to Vitamin C [onions, cabbage] and fresh meat [as Amundsen’s crew did]; had the weather not been dreadful; had their fuel tins not leaked, they might have survived.  Today, we will eat citrus fruit and ponder the sad deaths of members of the Antarctic Expedition.

Citrus Breakfast:  290 calories  1.6 g fat  3.6 g fiber   21 g protein   48 g carbs [38 g Complex] 289 mg Calcium   PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. And it has tons of Vitamin C and A and D, from the food as well as from the fruit smoothie and the milk in the coffee.Citrus Breakfast

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                       2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla yogurt    [our favorite is Stonyfield brand]                                                      1 clementine, peeled and sectioned                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp black currants                                                                                                                                                5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie                                                                                                   blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

Combine all the dairy and fruit [or combine the dairy and garnish with fruit after plating]. HINT: Knowing that I would have a busy morning, I did this the night before and refrigerated it. Great for a grab-and-go meal. With the hot beverage and smoothie, it is a vitamin-blast.

Chicken with Limes: 283 calories  7.2 g fat  3.3 g fiber   23 g protein  35 g carbs [29.5 g Complex]  61 mg Calcium   GF  Limes, chicken, and pineapple were added to the ecosystem of Tahiti by various visitors, and were promptly incorporated into the cuisine. We served this at a dinner party and no one would guess that it was a Fasting meal. Here is the one-serving method for Poulet avec Limettes.poulet avec Limettes

3 oz chicken breast, boneless, skinless, and cut in 2 pieces across the width                                                             1 lime: ½ of it zested and juiced; ½ of it sliced                                                                                                  ¼ cup chicken stock                                                                                                                                                       ½ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                                                        1 tsp cornstarch [cornflour]                                                                                                                                    ½ oz heavy cream                                                                                                                                                        3 oz slice of pineapple, fresh or canned                                                                                                 thyme, salt, pepper                                                                                                                                                ¼ cup brown rice, cooked

Marinate the chicken in the lime juice, zest, salt, pepper, and thyme in the ‘fridge for at least 2 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and put 1/3 of the liquid into one small container and the remainder into a sauce pan. We grilled the chicken briefly and then removed it to a plate while the pineapple grilled. If you are not grilling today, put the pineapple under the broiler until hot all the way through. Meanwhile, add the stock and chicken to the pan with the marinade and heat it until the chicken is mostly cooked. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Bring the liquids to a boil and reduce by 1/3 of the volume. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and remaining marinade. Reduce the heat and heat until thickened. [this happens rather quickly] Return the chicken to the pan, add the cream, and stir to combine and to coat the chicken with the sauce. Plate with the rice and pineapple and lime slices for a taste of Tahiti.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 kiwi fruit  prepared horseradish
 ricotta cheese  beets, cooked fresh or pickled
 fresh chives  parsley
 Parmesan cheese  applesauce with cinnamon
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 ham from a roast  salad greens   +  parsley
 asparagus  celery   +   walnut halves
 Béchamel sauce with cheese: see Sidekicks I, Sept 17, 2017  apple
Yorkshire Pudding batter [ Not by Bread.. Feb-7-2018]   hard-boiled egg
 fresh pineapple  cooked roast lamb
 Swiss cheese  horseradish dressing: for recipe, see SAUCY Dec 6, ’17
Sparkling water Sparkling water