Ramadan

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.

Ramadan is the Muslim religion’s holiest month. As the ninth month of the lunar calendar, it moves around from year to year [this is because a lunar calendar month of 28 days is shorter than the average Gregorian Calendar month of 30-31 days]. This year, Ramadan began on 5-6 May and will end on 4 June with the Festival of Id al-Fitr.  1.8 Billion Muslims are obliged to Fast during Ramadan in honor of the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammed.  [The Prophet was an early proponent of Fasting.] What does this Fasting entail? No food or drink during daylight hours.  [This is what some people today would call ‘intermittent fasting’ or ‘time restricted fasting’ — in other words, eating during a limited number of hours of the day.]  The fasting of Ramadan is not done to lose weight, but rather to show devotion to one’s religious beliefs.  Often what people save on food, they donate to charity. Is all food forbidden? Yes, but only during daylight hours.  Breakfast is permitted [before sunrise] and dinner is permitted [after sunset].  Can one observe a 5:2 diet during Ramadan?  Of course.  These meals are based on the cuisine of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. From the Hawayij spice, to the coffee [native to Saudi Arabia], to the dates [you are supposed to eat 7 of them each day], to the chicken [Saudis eat more chicken per capita than any other nation], to the watermelon [cultivated in Egypt 1000s of years ago and welcome in the Saudi desert]:  these flavors will put you in touch with the food traditions of the holy month.  If you are Muslim, I wish you “Ramadan Mubarak.”  If you are not Muslim [neither am I], read some of the Qur’an or Ask a Muslim a question, whether at the online site or with a colleague at work. We should all aim to break down barriers and work at understanding.

Arabian Eggs:  153 calories  7.4 g fat  2 g fiber  10 g protein  12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the eggs and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Hawayij spice is widely-used in the cuisine of Saudi Arabia. And it clearly shows trade links to countries further East. Coffee [Coffea arabica  is a native plant] and dates round out the flavors of the country. The sweet dates are a wonderful counter-point to the spicy eggs.Arabian Omelette

1-1/2 two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid to store in the ‘fridge for next week.                                       1 to 1.5 tsp Hawayij spice                                                                                                              2 deglet noor dates                                                                                                              Optional: blackish Arabian coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water    Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs with the spice mixture and pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn down the heat. Leave the eggs undisturbed until puffy and the top is set. Remove from skillet, and serve folded or flat. Pour the beverages and enjoy the fruit/spice combination.

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.Arabian Spiced Chicken

6 oz chicken thigh meat, boneless, skinless                                                                                        1.5 tsp Hawayij spice                                                                                                                     2/3 cups water                                                                                                                                         1/3 cup dry quick-cooking barley                                                                                              1/3 cup chicken broth                                                                                                                    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. Toss the chicken with the spice and sauté it until the meat is 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, turn down the heat, 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.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs + cooked spinach
carrot  + broccoli + granulated garlic grapes  + fat-free ricotta
apple sauce + curry powder mozzarella  +  garlic
curry sauce    [Sidekicks I, 17-Sept-2017] mushrooms
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:

firm, white fish    + egg 2 buckwheat crepes + Chèvre cheese
[white whole wheat] flour + paprika chicken breast  + Mozzarella
sweet potato  +  canola oil + asparagus Mediterranean Vegetables
garlic powder  +  lime juice herbes de Province/ fresh herbs
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Toussaint’s Rebellion

Lobster ‘Lambi’ & Plantains:  270 calories   8.3 g fat   2.8 g fiber  17.8 g protein   35 g carbs [34 g Complex]   51 mg Calcium  PB GF  A simple meal from Haïti. Easy any season of the year, as long as plantains are in the market. Ordinarily lambi is made with the meat of the Queen Conch, but if that is unavailable, try lobster tail instead. The plantains are delicious oven-roasted. Try them! Lobster Lambi w: plantains

3 oz lobster meat such as tail                                                                                                                                          3 oz plantain slices, from a ripe [yellow skin with some black spots] not green plantain                 ½ – 1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                  3 oz cantaloup melon                                                                                                                         1 lime, cut in half along the equator                                                                                               a few fresh spinach leaves

Peel the plantains and carefully slice them so they don’t get squished. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425° F for 10 minutes, then turn the slices and bake for a further 10 minutes. If the lobster is uncooked, stick a skewer into the lobster tail lengthwise and grill it indoors or outdoors while you squeeze juice from half the lime on it. Cut it into bite-sized pieces. If the lobster meat is cooked already, cut it into bite-sized pieces and squeeze lime juice on it. Plate the lobster on top of the spinach, then arrange the melon and plantains. Keep the other half lime for more juice-squeezing to your taste.

 

 

Morning to Night: Puttanesca

How this Fast Diet http://the fast diet.co.uk 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.

Probably everyone knows that the ‘origin of Puttanesca Sauce‘ is connected to Ladies of the Night. Or is it?? Some people say it is from Lazio [Rome], others say Naples.  It seems that the story behind it is as full of holes as an alibi by a philandering husband back from a week-end ‘conference.’  Where ever this sauce came from, it is delicious — full of bold flavors and very easy to prepare with ingredients from jars in the pantry.  Make up a big batch and freeze it in portions.  It is so versatile — on a Fast Day, we will use it at breakfast and at dinner;  on a Slow Day, you could serve it on pasta.

PUTTANESCA SAUCE: makes 5 cups            SAUCY, 6-Dec-2017                                              1 cup = 117 calories 3.6 g fat 5.2 g fiber 3.4 g protein 15 g carbs 125 mg Calcium                              1 Tbsp = 7 calories 0.2 g fat 0.3 g fiber 0.2 g protein 0.9 g carbs 8 mg Calcium                            1 cup chopped onion                                                                                                                            1 or 2 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                                            2 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                        5 cups whole tomatoes, canned and drained                                                                                                                                  1 cup mushrooms                                                                                                                                  2 anchovies                                                                                                                                              ½ cup canned black olives                                                                                                                2 Tbsp capers

Cook the onions and garlic in oil and some of the tomatoes’ juice until transluscent. Add all the other ingredients, mashing the tomato to break into smaller chunks. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour to thicken.

Puttenesca Bake: 268 calories 6 g fat 2.5 g fiber 13 g protein 39 g carbs [34 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium   PB GF  Once you have Puttanesca Sauce in the freezer, preparing this breakfast is very easy.Puttenesca Bake

one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                   1.5 Tbsp puttanesca sauce, drained of excess liquid                                                                        ½ Tbsp Parmesan, grated                                                                                                                  ¼ cup peaches canned in juice                                                                                                         5-6 oz green smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]                                                      blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at 350° F.  Spritz an oven-proof ramekin or small casserole [if serving 2 or more] with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the sauce and cheese. Pour into the baking dish and heat for 12-15 minutes. Portion the peaches and prepare the beverages. Que bella!

Mackerel Puttanesca: 298 calories  17 g fat  3.3 g fiber  22.6 g protein  7.6 g carbs  66.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  Pierre Franey is the source of this simple repast.  Such an easy meal, especially if your sauce is left-over homemade or from the supermarket shelf. Delicious and satisfying. [Don’t be concerned about the fat: it is from the mackerel which is high in Omega 3, so it is good fat] Mackerel Puttanesca

4 oz of mackerel [or other rich, oily fish] fillets                                                                                                  ¼ cup puttanesca sauce, homemade [see SAUCY, Dec 6 ’17] or from a jar                                        2 oz green beans

If using fresh fish, broil the fish for 4-5 minutes per side to cook it. If using mackerel which has been frozen after cooking, thaw to room temperature. NB: Mackerel does not keep well in the fridge uncooked. If you have to buy mackerel prior to the day you will serve it, filet the fish and broil it as soon as you get back to the kitchen. Then you can hold it for a day or two, or freeze it for longer. Mackerel does not freeze well uncooked.  Cook the green beans. Heat the sauce and mackerel together in a covered pan until warm. Plate. Done in minutes!

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.

Maundy

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.

“Maundy Thursday” is the Thursday before Easter.  Are you asking yourself “What’s a ‘maundy'”??? You might not be alone. On Maundy Thursday 33 AD [which that year was the first night of Passover], Jesus sat down to a Seder with his 12 closest friends.  That ‘Last Supper‘ is what is usually celebrated on Maundy Thursday, with communion services at Christian churches reenacting the blessing and distribution of bread and wine by Jesus.  What also happened at that dinner was that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet [to demonstrate selfless service to others] and gave them a new mandate: that they love one another as He had loved them. The latin word ‘mandare’ [to command or order] became corrupted into ‘maundy,’ and here we are today.                                                                                         The foods we have for tomorrow are not what would have been eaten at the Last Supper.  Rather, they are in tune with the type of eating that is traditional during Lent: meatless.  In addition, they are simple meals — the sort that carpenters and fishermen might have eaten so many years ago. Felafel is typical of Palestine/Israel, and the soup is hearty peasant food from France.  We like to eat plainly on Maundy Thursday.

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 beverage.   PB GF V A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.Felafel Plate w: Pineapple

4 felafel patties   [from your freezer or see Stocking Up 4-Jan-’17]                                                     4 oz cantaloupe melon or pineapple                                                                                                      3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt  +  ½ tsp mint leaves                                                     Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                         NO smoothie                                                                                                                                    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.

Green Split Pea Soup:   262 calories   1.6 g fat  19 g fiber   20 g protein   46 g carbs [46 g Complex]  30 mg Calcium   PB GF   For years we have loved this soup from Picardy, France which comes to us via Anne Willen’s French Regional Cooking. The easiest recipe in the world!Green Split Pea Soup

16 oz bag dry green split peas [Goya brand is excellent]                                                                             1 quart water                                                                                                                                     2 slices bacon                                                                                                                                                   2 stems of thyme salt + pepper to taste

Put the dry peas in a bowl and add water to cover them by 2”. Let them sit and soften for 1.5 hours. Drain. [TIP: you will not need the water for the soup, but use it to water the houseplants] Put the peas, bacon, thyme, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat , cover, and simmer for 1.25 hours. NB: Not all the liquid will be used up.That’s fine. Remove the bacon and the thyme stems. Using a food processor, blender, or immersion wand, puree the soup. There should be 6 cups. Soup should be loose enough to run off a spoon, but not too thin. Add water, if necessary, to adjust thickness. Taste for seasonings. Cook the bacon in a saute pan until it is crisp. Crumble it and add to the soup. HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings. What you don’t use today, freeze in serving-sized portions.

Ingredients for next week:

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

prosciutto     + melon 1.5 two-oz eggs
red onion pickle  + balsamic vinegar sauerkraut
mint or basil leaves corned beef
Parmesan cheese Russian dressing  + Matzo crackers
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:

tuna  +  canned white beans + tomato canola oil   +  watercress + potato
feta + red bell pepper  + garlic powder celery  + onion  + garlic  + chèvre
black olives  + baby greens  + olive oil vegetable broth  + sweet potato
lemon juice  + herbes de Province + egg optional:  mozzarella, tomato
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Colorful Veggies

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 nutrifitvitamins who is now Following.

Time was, when it was late winter, vegetables were in short supply.  Home-canned green beans were an option or vegetables that had been stored in the root cellar: cabbage, turnips, potatoes, parsnips.  Carrots if you were lucky.  While there is nothing wrong with those plant products, what do you notice about that selection? Not much color variation. Now we have many more varieties of vegetables available most of the year ’round.  [Thanks, globalization.  Caution, locavores]  And now we know that the more colorful the vegetables are, the more nutrition they provide. Today we will celebrate the orange veg; the green veg; the red veg  — all served up in a riot of flavor.

Eggs In Sweet Potato Nests: 163 calories   9.7 g fat   1.2 g fiber  10.6 g protein  9 g carbs [8 g Complex]  137.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg/potato mixture and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF Saw this discussed on line and decided to try it. Preparation is a little fussy but it is done the night before making for an easy morning. HINT: this recipe serves 2 [two] people, each person gets 2 nests. I’m told these refrigerate well for the next morning.Eggs in Sweet Potato Cups

½ oz [¼ cup] grated sweet potato                                                                                                                  1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                       1 Tbsp grated Cheddar cheese                                                                                                           pinch or two garlic powder                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp chopped watercress or parsley to sprinkle on top                                                                 5 cherries                                                                                                                                      Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                       Optional:  3 oz  fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [44 calories]

Grate the sweet potato and cheese. Toss thoroughly in a bowl with the garlic. Divide among 6 cups of a muffin pan and push it around, pressing up the sides a bit. NB: I used a flexible non-stick muffin pan which worked well with no sticking. If you don’t have one, use liners or spray the muffin pans very well.  Bake the cups in a 375° F. oven for 10 minutes. Whisk the eggs with some salt and pour over the baked sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the egg with chopped watercress or parsley. HINT: I left this on a cool counter/refrigerator over night.  Bake at 350° F. for 15+ minutes or until the eggs are set.  Let them sit just a bit to firm up before using a knife to loosen the egg nests, then removing them to the plates. Add cherries and the beverages of your choice and try this new flavor combo.

Red & Green Shakshuka:  220 calories  10.6 g fat  5.3 g fiber  11.6 g protein  16.7 g carbs [15 g Complex]   207 mg Calcium  PB GF   There is Red Shakshuka and there is Green Shakshuka. And here we have the combination: Christmas colors! It is delicious!Christmas Shakshuka

½ tsp oil                                                                                                                                                              ¼ c onion, chopped                                                                                                                          3 Tbsp chopped celery                                                                                                                      1 clove garlic, chopped                                                                                                                            1/3 cup red or green sweet pepper, chopped                                                                                 1.5 cups fresh spinach                                                                                                                       ½ cup mashed whole tomatoes                                                                                                      1/3 cup eggplant cubes, optional          If not using the eggplant, add more bell peppers.                                                                                                   cumin + paprika + oregano                                                                                                             1 egg                                                                                                                                                  1.5 Tbsp Feta Cheese

Use an 8″ cast iron or other oven-safe skillet that has an oven-safe lid. Set the oven at 375° F. Cook the onion and celery in the oil until a bit softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the sweet pepper, tomato, and eggplant, along with the seasonings. Cook until tender. Put the spinach in the bubbling vegetables and stir/toss them until the leaves are softened but not limp. Make a slight indentation in the vegetables and crack an egg into it. Sprinkle with the Feta. Cover the skillet and bake it in the oven for 5 minutes. Check to see if egg is done to your liking. If not, recover and cook another minute or two. Serve in the skillet. NB: You could cook two eggs on top for one person if you wanted to boost the protein = 290 calories /15 g fat / 5.3 g fiber / 18 g protein / 17 g carbs / 235 mg Calcium

Soup Time

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 for 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.

Winter + Soup — was there ever a more perfect pairing? Here in Northern New England, we do winter.  Robert Frost [Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening] winters.  John Greenleaf Whittier [Snowbound, A Winter Idyl] winters. And in our household, we enjoy the season.  If you don’t like winter, move to a different latitude instead of griping about it.  Winters are dangerous but they are often beautiful and they are good for our local environment. Plus, Spring and Summer are even more enjoyable after a hard winter. The calendar might say that Spring is on the way, but we know better.  Live in the moment and appreciate the weather where you are. During Winter, eat soup.                                                                                                          Today’s meals include a Japanese breakfast soup with a ‘Hot Spring Egg’ and a French dinner soup.  Each will warm your innards.

Japanese Onion Soup with Onsen Tamago Egg:  195 calories  5 g fat  1.6 g fiber  15.6 g protein  24 g carbs [9 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium   PB GF  Our Younger Son prepared this for us one morning after a day of heavy eating and it was a revelation: light yet hearty and so delicious. “Onsen Tamago” means ‘hot spring’ and it is a very different [to me] way to cook a soft egg. HINT: This recipe is enough for 2 servings. Easy to save for another breakfast or lunch one or two days from now.Onsen Tamago Soup

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                  ½ cup sweet onions                                                                                                                         2 cups chicken or beef broth                                                                                                                      3 Tbsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp mirin                                                                                                                                      1 oz dry  Japanese noodles, such as soba @ 95 calories/ounce                                                  Sriracha, to taste                                                                                                                                garnish: scallions, chopped                                                                                                                 2 oz melon                                                                                                                                  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                   NO SMOOTHIE

Onsen Tomago Egg:    HINT: The eggs can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. 2 whole eggs in shells                                                                                                                           1 liter water   +    1 cup cold tap water                                                                                         Bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from the heat, and add 1 cup of cold water. Using a slotted spoon, place eggs into the hot water and cover. Let sit for 17 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Serve hot or refrigerate for up to 2 days. NB: You can cook up to 4 eggs with this same volume of water.

Onion Soup:  Cook noodles according to package, shock in cold water and put in serving bowls. Place sliced onions and stock into pan and bring to boil. When stock comes to boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer and cover. Cook until onions are soft (they should not be rigid when you pick them up with chopsticks). When onions are almost finished, add soy sauce, mirin, and sriracha and stir. If the liquid has reduced noticibly, add water. When the onions are finished, pour the onion and broth over noodles. Carefully crack onsen tamago egg into broth. Garnish with green onion and serve the melon on the side. Eat with chopsticks and a Japanese spoon.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories  11 g fat  5 g fiber  14 g protein  25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex]  66 mg Calcium   PB GF   Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it: “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather.”Cabbage Soup

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat                                                                                               1 ½ cups onions, sliced                                                                                                                             6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups)                                                                                6 cups water                                                                                                                                 1 cup chickpeas                                                                                                                           16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks                                                                       8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced                                                                                   1¼ teaspoons salt

Chef Pepin continues, “Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to keep the meat from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One serving = 1 cup.

Ingredients for next week:

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

watercress or microgreens   10-Grain Cereal, Bob’s Red Mill
plain yogurt, low-fat + honey applesauce  + maple syrup
Golden Berries or Blue Berries reduced fat cottage cheese
Camembert cheese nutmeg  + cinnamon
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:

rabbit meat   +  onions + herb savory salt cod   + garlic cloves
3% fat ham  +  chicken broth + thyme olive oil + boiling potato  + cauliflower
portobello mushrooms + potato starch milk  + carrots  +  black pepper
Arnold Sandwich Thin or whole-grain bread  +  carrots fennel seed  + tomato slices
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Stolen

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.

Isabella Stewart was an excellently-educated young New Yorker of a good family when she married Jack Gardner of Boston. Their honeymoon on the Continent and a subsequent trip for her health lead to Mrs Gardner’s love of the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance.  Eccentric, larger than life, and rich as Croesus, Isabella was a great collector of art. She and her husband planned to build a museum for their collection and after his death, Mrs Gardner completed their ambition in 1903 — The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fens, in a park designed by Fredrick Olmstead. It is a fabulous place and houses an eclectic array of art.   On March 18, 1990, the museum was robbed.  Five million dollars of art vanished, taken by men dressed as police in a well-orchestrated heist. [The event is always referred to as a ‘heist.’]   To this day, the whereabouts of the art is unknown and the $10,000,000 reward is unclaimed. The tale of the theft is as remarkable and unusual as Mrs Gardner herself.

In recognition of the infamous heist, today’s meals were ‘borrowed’ from other places.  However I always give credit where credit is due and acknowledge my sources: The cookbook from the 1990s version of Peter Christian’s Tavern [New London, NH] and French Regional Cooking by Anne Willan. [‘Mrs Jack’ would have liked the Florentine connection.]  I’m not stealing from anyone, but if you eat like me you might lose a lot.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories  6.5 g fat  1 g fiber  8 g protein  6 g carbs   61.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  This bake is so flavorful that you will not notice the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crêpes for dinner. Same kind of delicious. The ham Florentine is from Shirley Edes’ Peter Christian’s Recipes.Ham Florentine Bake

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                       2 Tbsp ham Florentine mixture – see Savory 27 Jan, 2019 [I had put some in the freezer]                                                                                                      2 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                     5-6 oz fruit smoothie [79 calories] or natural apple cider                                                    blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at 350° F.  Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg and stir in the ham Florentine mixture. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the applesauce and pour your choice of beverages. This is a breakfast to prepare often.

Trout with Hazelnuts: 267 calories  18 g fat  3.3 g fiber   21 g protein   6.3 g carbs  75 mg Calcium   PB GF   From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willen’s French Regional Cooking. Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious. Trout w: hazelnuts + haricots

3 oz trout, boned and trimmed                                                                                                                             1 tsp butter                                                                                                                                                           ½ oz hazelnuts, coarsly chopped 2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly cook the trout on one side for about 3 minutes. Turn the trout to the other side.  Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

Ups & Downs

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.

One feature of the book Bridget Jones’ Diary was her frequent recording of her weight — up and down it would go, much to her dismay.  Of course we readers knew it would do that, since Bridget was an ‘emotional eater‘ and often drank too much.  But those fluctuations were very relatable to dieters, even Fasters.  We want to think that once we get to our Target Weight [and there is no magic to that — it is the weight you want to be], we will magically remain there, day after day.  Having Fasted for many years, I can tell you that weight can rise by as much a 2 pounds [0.9 kg or 0.14 stone] from one day to the next. And then a Fast Day or two sets things to right again. Or weight could drop by a pound — inexplicably!  Do not be discouraged if your weight fluctuates. It happens and life goes on.  It is what you do with the information that matters — does it make you stop the Fasting Lifestyle or does it make you double down and do better? Your choice.    On March 15, 1892, the modern escalator was patented, designed to take people up and down stairs without effort.  Did you think that maintaining your weight and avoiding its ups and downs would be without effort?  Fasting is the closest thing to that I know.

Mackerel-Leek ScrOmelette:   157 calories   9.5 g fat   1.1 g fiber  12.6 g protein  5.8 g carbs [6.2 g Complex]  61 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  If you can’t find fresh mackerel, substitute another high-Omega-3 fish like salmon or arctic char.Mackerel ScrOmelette

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week                                                    1 oz cooked mackerel   [I clean and cook mine as soon as I get it home, then freeze it.]                                                                                                                        1.5 oz leeks                                                                                                                                                     ½ tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                        1 oz strawberries                                                                                                                       Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                     Optional: 3 oz green or berry-yogurt smoothie [38 calories]or unpasteurized apple cider

Spritz a hot sauté pan with non-stick spray and stir in the leeks and mackerel, to soften the leeks and warm the fish. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings and mustard. Pour into the pan and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the beverages and plate the berries. Oh my!

Beef & Beet Salad:   248 calories  8.5 g fat  3.4 g fiber   24 g protein  17 g carbs [10 g Complex]  24 mg Calcium   PB GF   This unusual salad was found in James Peterson’s Glorious French Food. Should you have left-over roast beef, this is the dish to try.Beet & Beef Salad

2.75 oz thinly-sliced roasted beef                                                                                                 3.5 oz pickled beets, as thinly-sliced rounds                                                                              1/4-1/2 cup shredded lettuce                                                                                                            dill pickle spear                                                                                                                                1.5 tsp dressing***

Dressing   [makes 6 teaspoons — save the remainder]                                                                                                      2.25 tsp Dijon mustard                             1 Tbsp chopped shallot                                                 1.5 tsp wine vinegar                                     4.5 tsp olive oil

Slice the beef and the beets as matchsticks about 2-3” long. Put in the serving bowl/plate and drizzle the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Plate it. Wonderfully simple.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg   + beef or chicken broth
Ham Florentine [see Savory 27-Feb-’19] soy sauce  +  mirin
applesauce scallion + sweet onion
dry Japanese Soba Noodles [190 cal/ 2 oz]
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:

Trout filet Bulk pork sausage meat
butter chickpeas  + potato
hazelnuts onions  +  scallion
haricots or green beans Savoy cabbage
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Clean Monday

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

Clean Monday”  Does this sound like something Marie Kondo would do? She probably would. But tomorrow, the start of the 7th week before Easter [in the Greek Orthodox Church], is a very special day in Greece.  It is the beginning of Lent, a time of penance.  Clean Monday, “Kathari Deftera,” commences the night before, with people apologizing to those whom they have wronged. [Clean Conscience]  The next step involves eating fish and sea food — lots of it. [Clean Diet, free from meat]  And don’t forget Flying Kites!!  Families go to parks or the countryside to launch 100s of kites in honor of Spring. [Good Clean Fun]                                                                                                                                                    We should all have a Clean Day at some point.  Start now.  Be kind, crank up your Fasting, and let your kite transport you to a new level of optimism that THIS time, you can lose weight.

Herring Plate:  195 calories   8 g fat   4.4 g fiber   8 g protein   13.7 g carbs [11.7 g Complex]     33 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the main dish only, not the optional beverages.  PB  V  If you like herring, this is for you.  It makes a nice change from morning eggs and comes together in no-time-flat.  NB: If you are taking an MOAI anti-depressant medication, ask your physician if you can eat herring safely since it is high in tyramine.herring Plate w: cherries

3 Finn Crisp crackers                                                                                                                             1.25 oz herring marinated in wine [not sour cream]                                                                                                2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese                                                                                                                          4 Bing cherries OR ½ cup strawberries, sliced                                                                                     3 oz berry-yogurt smoothie [44 calories] or natural apple cider                                                        blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water                                                           Do I need to describe this preparation? Spread the cream cheese on the crackers and pile on the herring. Delicious and so satisfying.

Greek-style Hake:   257 calories   9 g fat   5.5 g fiber  25 g protein   25 g carbs [23 g Complex]  181 mg Calcium   PB GF   The cookbook Ikaria by Diane Kochilas is centered in on of the National Geographic study of locations world-wide where there is the greatest longevity. Thinking that nutrition has something to do with longevity is one direction that study could take you.Greek-style Hake

4 oz hake                                                                                                                                                    ½ tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                    ¼ cup onions, halved then sliced                                                                                                            ½ clove garlic, cut in half                                                                                                             pinch sugar                                                                                                                                      1 cup canned whole tomatoes                                                                                                                     1 Tbsp [½ oz] dry red wine                                                                                                                         1 Tbsp good Feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                one Side Salad [see Second Fiddles 9-Jan-’19]

Saute the onion slices and garlic in the ½ tsp oil, adding some water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove garlic and discard. Add tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Cook the vegetables down to reduce the liquid. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, cover loosely, turn down the heat and cook until the fish flakes [about 10 minutes]. Meanwhile, prepare the Side Salad. Top the fish with the crumbled Feta before serving.