Maud

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 Bhadra who is now Following.

100 years ago, if you asked who was the most famous Canadian author, the answer would have been Lucy Maud Montgomery. She was born in a little yellow [now white with green trim] house in Clifton, on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island. While she was yet a toddler, her mother died and her father sent her to be raised by her maternal grandparents in Cavendish. [There is no ‘Avonlea, PEI.’] In photos, they look about as friendly as the folks in American Gothic. Maud [“I am ‘Lucy’ for my grandmother,” she said. “I am ‘Maud’ for myself”] grew up as a very lonely child with a vivid imagination. She wrote poetry, submitting her first at the age of 13 [rejected], and then short stories, and then her break-through book: Anne of Green Gables. Of course you know that book or at least one of the many television series that interpret it. Is the book autobiographical? No, her series Emily of New Moon is more like her life. But everything was grist for Maud’s literary mill, especially her beloved Prince Edward Island which is always in her work. Even when Maud married and moved to Toronto, she wrote exclusively of PEI. How land-locked she must have felt in Ontario! And how sad her life became: one son with a mental illness; another child stillborn; her clerical husband’s distant nature and her own spiral into barbiturate addiction. But PEI shone like a lighthouse beacon: a land ’emerald, sapphire, and ruby’ when she described the colors of the landscape. The sense of home that she felt there is palpable when she wrote, “You never know what peace is until you walk along the shores…of Prince Edward Island in the summer twilight..”

In honor of Maud Montgomery’s birthday on November 30, we will have a delightful breakfast from our favorite PEI inn. And for dinner, a local delicacy from the Gulf of St Lawrence: halibut with your choice of fruit sauces. Tomato salsa is very popular in PEI.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate:  125 calories 7 g fat 1 g fiber 17 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.

4 oz canteloupe 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 mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] 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.

Halibut with Fruit Sauce: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium   PB GF  Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit salsa makes for a splendid topping. Two different ones are detailed below.

Here, the halibut is topped with the Rhubarb-Onion Relish and a very plain salad.

4 oz halibut filet side salad = lettuce, carrot, tomato, beets, cucumbers, vinaigrette  fruit salsa, your choice

Tomato Salsa:  makes 3 cups 1 serving = ¼ cup  From the Ball Blue Book 15 calories 0.3 g fat 0.9 g fiber 0.9 g protein 5.8 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

2 cups chopped tomatoes  
1 cup/5.3 oz chopped green sweet peppers  
1 cup chopped onion  
½ cup jalapeno/serrano peppers, chopped  1 clove garlic, minced  1 tsp salt  ¼ c cider vinegar
Put everything in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.If storing, put salsa in canning jars with 2-part lids and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Peach Salsa: 21 calories 0.3 g fat 1 g fiber 1 g protein 7 g carbs 9 mg Calcium To ¼ cup Tomato Salsa, add ½ oz diced peaches. Superb on fish.

Rhubarb-Onion Relish:  makes 1 cup  From Marion Cunningham  2 Tbsp [1 fluid ounce] = 26 calories 0 g fat 0.1 g fiber 0.1 g protein 1.5 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2¾ Tbsp vinegar ¼ tsp salt 1/3 cup light brown sugar, unpacked pinch each ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick. Can be canned in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Sausage

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.

In English it is ‘sausage.’ In German, ‘wurst.’ In French, ‘saucisse.’ In China, xiāngcháng. The English and French words derive from the latin ‘salsicia’ meaning salted. Sausages are ground meat of any kind, combined with flavorings and stuffed into a tube formed by the intestines of animals. This is why many think that Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” [but he didn’t] As cool weather arrives, around St Martin’s Day, meat animals are killed on farms all over the world: the animal has been fattened; it is more economical to kill it than to continue to feed it; the weather is cool enough to provide natural refrigeration for the meat. Farm wives are brilliant at getting the most out of any food resource, so they take the little scraps of meat that cling to the bone and make sausage in a wide range of varieties.

Our menus today feature sausage for breakfast, paired with apple in a winning combination. The dinner is the central-European classic, sausage with sauerkraut, another marriage made in heaven.

Sausage-Apple ScrOmelette: 152 calories 10 g fat 0.5 g fiber 13 g protein 3.5 g carbs 43 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF   A hearty breakfast to start your day right.

1 ½ 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 and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 link chicken breakfast sausage = 35 calories per sausage ¾ oz apple sage, fresh or dried   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Dice the sausage and apple. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the sausage/apple and stir to warm them and cook them a bit. Whisk the eggs with the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sausage/apple in the pan. Scramble to your favorite degree of doneness. Partake of your beverages of choice.

Sauerkraut and Sausage: 255 calories 5.7 g fat 12.6 g fiber 21 g protein 33.5 g carbs 196.4 mg Calcium  GF PB  Does this meal make you picture over-weight Teutons? Brunhilde, anyone? Now check the calories and change your mind. Sauerkraut is a great choice for dieting. 

1½ cups sauerkraut, canned or bagged or fresh 2 tsp caraway seed 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened ½ cup onions, chopped coarsely 1 cob-smoked chicken sausage with apple [OR any other sausage with 110 calories] left whole or sliced into ½” chunks 1½ cups raw collard greens OR kale OR chard, chopped or sliced cross-wise in ¼” strips [chiffonade]  salt + garlic powder + pepper to taste.

Thaw the sausage, if it is frozen. Cook it partly, if it is raw. Combine the sauerkraut, caraway seed, applesauce, and onions in a saucepan large enough to hold the sausage [if leaving whole]. Cook slowly, uncovered until half of the liquid is gone. Add the sausage, cover, and continue to cook until everything is hot. Meanwhile, put the collards into ½ cup water with seasonings, and cook covered until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

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

cantaloup melon1.5 two-oz eggs 
prosciutto + balsamic vinegarAzores cheese or Gouda
red onion picklepimenta da Queijo
mint or basil + Parmesan cheesekiwi fruit
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Halibutlima beans + green [snap] beans
side saladcorn kernels + corned beef
Rhubarb agrodolce or tomato salsacanned white beans
[tomato, green pepper, onion, jalapeño, garlic, cider vinegar]polenta
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Santa Fe Trail

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 meelissaat who is now Following.

The Santa Fe Trail is the stuff of legends. First Nations people traded goods between current Mexico and the American upper mid-West centuries ago. In the early days of the American Republic, there was a strong desire to find a route from the East to the supposed riches of Mexico. The route was traveled for the first time in 1821, by William Becknell and four companions who arrived at Santa Fe on November 16. Running from Santa Fe, Mexico to Independence, Missouri, the trail became a major trade link between the Mexican North and the central USA. Fortunes were made, as people at one end were eager to buy what people at the other end wanted to sell. By 1848, Santa Fe found itself to be part of the United States, following the Mexican-American War. By 1880, the railroad pushed so far west that the trail was obsolete and much of the American West was changed forever.

Our menus today feature the flavors of the American South-West — Mexican food and bison — what could be more appropriate for the Santa Fe Trail?

Enchilada Bake:  140 calories 6 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15 g protein 12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 75 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Since we enjoy enchiladas for dinner, why not have the same flavors at breakfast?

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, slightly drained ½ oz green chili pepper, minced 1 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt ¼ oz chicken breast, cooked and chopped 1/8 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar ½ tsp cornmeal ¼ tsp oregano [Mexican, if you can find it] pinch chili roja [red pepper flakes]  2 oz apple OR applesauce  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Put the cornmeal and minced chilis into an ungreased cast iron skillet and toast it over direct heat until cornmeal becomes darker in color and fragrant. Do not let it burn or scorch. Remove from hot pan to a bowl. Into the ramekin, put the chicken and the cheese. HINT: you can do this the night before. Whisk together the egg, cornmeal, chilis, half of the yogurt, and seasonings, and pour into the ramekin. Bake 12- 15 minutes while you portion the fruit and prepare the beverages. Top the eggs with the remaining dollop of yogurt.

Bison Chiliper cup – 136 calories 3 g fat 4.8 g fiber 13 g protein 14.5 g carbs 57 mg Calcium  PB GF  This chili is based on my mother’s recipe. Using bison meat gives good flavor to this classic. HINT: makes 4 [four] one-cup servings

4 oz ground bison 15 oz canned diced tomatoes – drained in a sieve [save the juice] 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 cup red onion, chopped ½ cup green pepper, chopped ¾ cup canned red or black beans, drained and rinsed 2-4 tsp chili powder + ¾ tsp salt + ½ to 1 tsp ground cumin 2 oz melon [adds 20 calories]

Cook the venison, onion, garlic, and green pepper in some of the tomato juices until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently until the chili is hot throughout. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. 

Indigenous Peoples

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 Colorful Sisters who are now Following.

‘Indigenous’ is from the latin word ‘indigenus,’ meaning ‘native.’ In North America, there are 562 recognized groups of Indigenous Peoples. Many more are in Central and South America, not to mention other areas around the world. The colonizers were amazed by native foods, taking them back to introduce to Europe. Corn [Zea mays], beans [Phaseolus vulgaris], and tomatoes [Solanum lycopersicum] subsequently entered into the cuisine of Spain, and then other countries. Corn, beans, and squashes were the foundations of indigenous agriculture and food culture — and where would we be today without them? Whether you call the original people ‘indigenous’ or ‘First Nations,’ tomorrow is a day to celebrate their culture and foods.

The basic salad of three ‘American’ ingredients is a fine dish by itself. It can be added to other ingredients for a breakfast or a dinner. Very versatile! [I use the word ‘American’ to mean North, Central, and South America which took their name from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian-Spanish merchant-explorer who visited the ‘New World’ much more extensively in the 1490s than did Columbus.]

Tomato-Corn-Black Bean Salad:  1 Serving = ¾ cup = 115 calories 3.8 g fat 5.3 g fiber 4.7 g protein 17 g carbs 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  For a real late Summer treat, you can’t beat fresh corn and tomatoes!  100Daysofrealfood provided the recipe and then I altered it a little. HINT: This makes 3 cups of salad. One generous serving = ¾ cup. As good as it is colorful.

1½ ears of corn  
1 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Blanch the corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool + cut the kernels off the cob and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rinsed beans to the bowl. 
4 oz tomato: cherry toms cut in half OR whole tomato cut in ½” dice
¼ cup red onion, diced
Gently mix beans + corn with tomatoes + onion. Heat vegetables in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to make slightly warm.
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
In a small bowl combine the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the warmed vegetables and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Summer Vegetable Bake 129 calories 6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 8 g protein 11 g carbs 33 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg and hash only, not the optional hot beveragePB GF  Corn, beans, and tomatoes are native American foods and they all ripen in late Summer. They find themselves to be right at home in this breakfast.

1 two-oz egg ¼ cup corn-black bean-tomato salad [see above recipe] pinch of chili pepper 2 oz melon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the egg with the chili pepper. Heat the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray and put the corn salad into it. Pour the egg on top and bake for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the melon for a taste of Meso-America.

Tomato-Corn-Black Bean Salad Dinner: 274 calories 9 g fat 16.5 g protein 34.7 g carbs [34 g Complex] 63.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  For a real late Summer treat, you can’t beat fresh corn and tomatoes! The recipe is from 100Daysofrealfood and then I altered it a little. HINT: This makes 4 cups of salad. One generous serving = ¾ cup. As good as it is colorful.

1½ ears of corn 
1 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Blanch the corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool + cut the kernels off the cob and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rinsed beans to the bowl. 
4 oz tomato: cherry tomatoes cut in half OR whole tomato cut in 1” dice
¼ cup red onion, diced
Gently mix beans + corn with tomatoes + onion. Heat vegetables in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to make slightly warm.
1 oz cooked beef, from steak or roast OR 1 oz roast pork Slice the meat very thinly and warm it briefly if it is cold.
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
In a small bowl combine the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the warmed vegetables and stir to combine. If you are not serving 5 people, cool and store the leftovers in the refrigerator. 
Plate ¾ cup of corn salad per serving and arrange the meat on top

Who Dunit? Who Ate It? Chapter 4

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 NutritionIdeas2020 who is now Following.

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

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie‘s most enduring detectives, although she came to dislike the character eventually. He is a former policeman from Belgium who is obsessed with order and cleanliness. Not for him searching for footprints and collecting cigar ash — too dirty. Add to that, Poirot professes to have a tender stomach. Thus he prefers food that is neat, regularly-shaped, European, and mild but never bland. An omelette made with apples and cream would appeal to him.

Omelette Normande:  174 calories 11 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 9 g carbs [8.2 g Complex] 46 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Cooking in Normandy naturally involves apple and cream, even at breakfast. This is the breakfast version of a Norman dessert omelette.

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.  1½ oz apple, peeled and sliced thinly 1½ tsp heavy/whipping cream ½ tsp butter ¼ tsp sugar + ¼ tsp cinnamon 1 oz peach    Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO smoothie today

Peel and slice the apples and cook them slowly in a saute pan with the butter, sugar, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp water, and a healthy spray of non-stick spray. Add more water if the pan gets dry – you don’t want the apples to stick or scorch. Cook until the apples are almost soft and there is no more liquid in the pan. HINT: You can do this the night before. Whisk the eggs with the cream and a little salt while the apples heat/stay warm in the saute pan. Pour in the eggs and let them cook undisturbed until done. Fold and plate with the peach or other fruit of 11 calories. Picture apple trees in bloom.

Perhaps the greatest contemporary foodie-detective is Bruno Courreges, created by Martin Walker in the Bruno, Chief of Police series. As you read, you can’t wait for the next succulent recipe to be presented — step by step, so you could almost cook from the page of the novel. In addition to the food, the plots and characters make the books worth reading. Bruno lives in southern Perigord, a region known for its local ingredients and he makes the most of them. This is a person you want to share a meal with, as long as he is cooking. Author Walker’s wife, Julia Watson, is in charge of the recipes and she does a great job.

Green Gazpacho with Shrimp:  279 calories 19 g fat 2 g fiber 13 g protein 11 g carbs 56 mg Calcium   PB GF   “Bruno,” according to the cookbook, “likes everything about Spanish Gazpacho except the color and texture.” So here is his own version. HINT: The recipe makes 3 cups of soup, to serve three [3] people.

1-½ green peppers [9 oz] cut in ½” dice  3 fl oz dry white or rose winePut 1/3 of the chopped green peppers into a blender with the white wine. Pulse a bit, then add 1/3 more and pulse again. Add remaining peppers and pulse.
½ large cucumber [5 oz] cut in ½” diceAdd the chopped cucumber and pulse a few times.
75 ml / 4 Tbsp good olive oil 50 ml/ 4 tsp vinegar tarrragon sprig 2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
salt + pepper to taste
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the soup is still a little chunky.
Pour into another container and chill for 30 minutes or more.
Per serving: 2 oz small shrimp
Piment d’esplette
Sprinkle shrimp with piment d’esplette and cook. Pour soup into serving bowl and top with cooked shrimp.

Cheeky

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 Tim who is now Following.

“Cheeky.” That’s a funny word. It describes someone, often a child, who is almost impudent enough to be rude — but the rudeness is so surprisingly bold that it is seen as humorous. “Cheeks” refer to the sides of the face, between nose and ears, sometimes pinched by doting aunties. “Cheeks” also refer to the fleshy gluteus maximus muscles of the ‘derriere.’ Does the word ‘cheeky’ have its origin in the flippant display of that part of the anatomy? Dictionaries are mute on the subject.

Sometimes chefs are cheeky by presenting a food that looks like something it is not. Today’s breakfast is just such a culinary jest. It fooled Dear Husband! The cheeks [facial, not posterior] of animals are often considered to be the most tender part of the beast. Our dinner utilizes the cheeks [facial] of fish.

Trompe l’Oeil: 135 calories 6 g fat 1.7 g fiber 10.5 g protein 9.6 g carbs 128 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Here is a meal to ‘fool the eye’ [trompe l’oeil] and tickle the palate with its combination of the cold soup and the hot egg. The soup, which is good as a lunch in larger portions, comes from cuisine actuelle.fr

½ cup Cucumber Soup*** 0.9 oz canteloupe melon ball — the scoop was the same size as the egg yolk one 2-oz egg 1 tsp grated Parmesan 1 Tbsp whole milk

***Cucumber Soup  makes 3 cups, easy to cut in half

two 8” cucumbers [total mass = 21 oz]Slice off both tips of the cucumber and remove half of the green peel. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Dice the cucumber.
A bunch of mintRemove leaves from stems and chop the leaves coarsely.
Piment d’esplette [or paprika or Aleppo pepper] to taste salt & pepper to tastePut the cucumber, mint, and seasonings in a food processor. Run the machine until the cucumber is very finely chopped.
200 grams/ 7 oz Fromage Blanc OR plain Greek yogurtAdd cheese, run the processor to combine. Adjust seasonings.
1 Tbsp-sized canteloupe ballsPlate, garnished with one melon ball per serving

Spritz an oven-safe ramekin with non-stick spray and break the egg into it. Sprinkle the parmesan around the yolk. Spoon the milk around the yolk. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape the soup into a similar ramekin. Nestle the melon ball in the soup. Plate them side by side and smile.

Cod Cheeks in Cream Sauce:  227 calories 11.7 g fat 2 g fiber 24.6 g protein 5.8 g carbs [4.7 g Complex] 65.7 mg Calcium   PB GF   The cheeks of cod and halibut are considered a delicacy among fisherfolk. This recipe is simple and SO delicious.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2].

300 grams cod +/or halibut cheeks 2 tsp olive oil ¼ c [2 oz] white wine 1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped roughly 1 oz whipping cream 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard chives or scallion greens   per serving: 7 spears of asparagus

Prepare a mise-en-place because this goes together quickly. Start by putting the asparagus on to cook – it will take longer than the fish and sauce. Then warm the oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan. Put the fish pieces in a single layer and cook for one minute on one side. Turn them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove fish to a plate. Turn the heat down to medium and add the wine and garlic to the pan. As soon as the wine has mostly evaporated, add the cream, scallions, and mustard, stirring all the while. The cream will start to thicken so put the fish back into the sauce briefly, to warm. Plate the fish and asparagus, being sure to save some of the sauce for the vegetables. Very special.

Frederick Douglass

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

On September 3, 1838, Frederick Bailey escaped to freedom. He had been born to an enslaved woman in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. His mother was separated from him in childhood and he was raised by his enslaved grandmother and free grandfather. As an enslaved child, he was sold, traded, and loaned to various families: one taught him to read, one beat him frequently. Eventually he met a free Black woman, Anna Murray, who helped him to escape. He boarded a train in the guise of a free sailor, traveled through two pro-slavery states, took a ferry boat up river to Philadelphia, and after 24-hours of travel, ended up in New York City. Free. Frederick and Anna married soon after, choosing ‘Douglass’ as their surname. If he hadn’t had enough excitement for one life, Douglass became a pastor, a publisher, a public speaker, a women’s rights advocate, an abolitionist, a social reformer, and statesman. Frederick Douglass was the most photographed person in the 1800s and a tireless worker for the rights of ALL people. He believed that “Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.” Amen to that.

In trying to decide what recipes to feature today, I vetoed the idea of ‘slave food’ like hoe cakes and salt cod, in favor of the foods of the sort eaten by free, middle-class, educated people of Douglass’ time: watercress would have been served in nice restaurants [certainly in England where he toured and lectured], while ham with oysters is a popular dish of the Chesapeake Bay area from which he escaped.

Watercress ScrOmelette: 150 calories 8 g fat 0.6 g fiber 10.7 g protein 5.4 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  Having Watercress Sauce in the freezer in handy cubes sure makes this meal a snap. And is it good!

1 ½ 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.  ½ Tbsp Watercress Sauce, well drained    ½ Tbsp ricotta, drained  HINT: I set them both out to drain through a fine sieve the night before to make sure there was no extra liquid. 1/8 tsp dry mustard 1.5 oz peach   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Combine the drained watercress, drained cheese, and mustard. Whisk the eggs and cook in a hot saute pan spritzed with olive oil or non-stick spray. As the eggs begin to set, spread the cress/mustard/cheese on top. Cook the way you like them and plate with the peaches. Pour the beverages and enjoy the summer taste of watercress all year long. 

Ham & Oyster Pie: 256 calories 4.6 g fat 3 g fiber 20.7 g protein 25.5 g carbs 125 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF bread   This dish was popular in the Colonial American South at Christmastime. I first enjoyed it in the Fox Tavern  at the Hancock Inn. As long as oysters are available, one can have it anytime. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two].

This dish will serve two diners.

3 oz [2/3 cup] roast ham in ½” dice 1 cup oysters with their liquid, about 19 ½ cup onions, chopped ¼ cup milk 2 Tbsp white wine 2 tsp potato starch ½ cup peas, frozen 4 small stars cut from a 70-calorie slice of whole-grain bread, 0.55 oz bread

Drain oysters and reserve their liquid. Combine onion and oyster liquid in a small pan. Simmer, covered, until onions are transluscent. Stir wine, milk, and potato starch into the liquid until it is smooth. Add oysters and ham. Stir and heat over low until sauce has thickened. Add peas, stir, and turn into a two-cup casserole. Bake uncovered at 400 F. for 15 minutes while you lightly toast the stars. Before serving, nestle the stars into the bubbling sauce.

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

1 two-oz eggtofu + sugar
cepe or porcini mushroomsstrawberries
tomato + prosciuttobanana
Parmesan + peachplain fat-free yogurt
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

3%-fat ham, sliced thinlytwo 2-oz eggs + paprika + pickled beets
skimmed milk + 4 eggsparmesan cheese + Swiss chard
white whole wheat flourgarlic powder + paprika
allspice + thyme + green beansolive oil optional: sourdough bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Chicken Corn Soup Supper

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. 

Every August, small country churches in my family’s area of South-Central Pennsylvania used to put up the signs: Chicken Corn Soup Supper. Organized and run by the ladies of the church [with some help from the men-folk], these can be at once a social event, a cherished link to the agrarian culture, and a major fund-raiser. In August, the sweet corn is ripe and half of the laying flock is 2-years old which means that the stars are aligned for Chicken Corn Soup. The best broth is from older chickens [fowls], so they would be dispatched early in the morning and stewed for hours. The chickens’ meat, off the bones and shredded, would be added to the broth, along with the herbs and onions they were cooked with. Kernels from sweet corn [as opposed to the taller, coarser field corn], and chunks of potatoes would be be added. One hot August evening many years ago, Dear Husband and I attended one of these dinners at an old stone chapel near Newville, Pa. Tressle tables and benches were set up the lawn, covered with butcher paper. You squeezed in among the other diners and partook of the delights of the table: a big bowl of hot soup, dinner rolls fresh from the oven, butter, iced tea, and cake or pie for dessert. The air was conditioned by the breeze in the Black Locust trees and the entertainment was the hum of cicadas. All around, a sense of contentment as the rhythm of the seasons was observed.

Here is my attempt at the tastiest soup of August, and a breakfast that a busy farm wife could assemble in minutes, from her kitchen garden, while she stewed the fowl and let the bread rise.

Allium Bake: 136 calories 6.6 g fat 1.2 g fiber 10 g protein 9 g carbs 108 mg Calcium   PB GF  The genus Allium contains all the onions and their relatives. This bake contains three of them along with two cheeses for even more flavor and goodness.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz sliced leek, green +/or white parts ½ oz minced onion 1 Tbsp minced chives 1 Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 2 oz peach Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water    Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz an oven-proof ramekin [for 2 people, Dear Husband likes to use a 6×4” oval casserole] with non-stick spray and set the oven for 350 degrees F. Slice/chop the leeks and onions. Spray a skillet/saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the alliums until they are limp. Put them, along with the chives and any seasonings you like, in the prepared oven-safe dish. Whisk the egg with the two cheeses and pour over the alliums. Bake for 12 minutes or until done as you like it. Plate with the peach, pour your beverage of choice, and savor a flavorful day.

Chicken Corn Soup:  159 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 20 g carbs 21.6 mg Calcium NB: the above food values do not include the optional bread   PB GF – if using GF bread or eliminating it.

1-½ cups corn cut from the cob [about 3 ears] 1-½ cups potato, cut in ½ inch cubes 3 cups rich chicken broth ½ cup water from cooking the corn and potato ½ cup raw chicken meat, cut in small pieces many sprigs thyme + 1-2 sage leaves one ½-inch slice onion salt & pepper to taste   per serving:  ½ hard-boiled egg   Optional: 1 slice [1 oz] sourdough bread [add 100 calories]

Pour the chicken broth into a sauce pan, adding the onion and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until it cooks down to 2-½ cups. Let stand off heat. Put the corn in a skillet with water half-way up the sides of the ears. Cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the corn and add the potato cubes to the water. Cook the potato for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the potato from the water and save the cooking water. Chop the chicken and put it in the hot chicken stock to cook off the heat. Cut the kernals off the corn cobs and measure the volume. Remove the thyme sprigs and the onion from the stock, and chop the onion. Put the corn and potato into the stock, along with the chopped onion and any thyme leaves you can remove from the boiled sprigs. Add ½ cup of the corn/potato water to the soup. Gently heat the soup until the chicken is cooked. Taste for seasonings. One portion = 1 cup. Top each portion of soup with chopped hard-boiled egg and a bit of parsley. If you wish, serve with a slice of sourdough bread. Freeze the remainder. This is truly the taste of Summer. Cue the cicadas.

A Seeper in Titusville

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.

Edwin Drake had been sent by some ‘sharpsters‘ in New York City to Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859. ‘They,’ a banker and a lawyer, had bought land along a body of water the locals called ‘Oil Creek.’ Seems there was a petroleum seep up-stream at the source of the creek. Everyone knew that petroleum was good for aching joints and that if you rubbed it on your chest, it would cure a cold. But those sharp operators from the City had other plans: oil for lighting, oil for machine lubrication — native oil to replace the dwindling supplies of expensive whale oil. And they were right in their assumptions. Drake, with no experience in petroleum extraction, cobbled together a team to build a drilling rig, similar to ones used locally to pump out salt brine. [We know today that salt deposits and petroleum reservoirs are linked geologically.] After drilling 80-some feet, quantities of oil seeped to the surface on August 27. OK, it wasn’t a ‘gusher’ of an oil well, but it did usher in the dominance of petroleum in the American economy, for better or for worse. In my opinion as an Earth Scientist, it might be good to leave a lot of the oil in the ground — in case we require it decades or centuries from now. Using it all up now is not the best of ideas IMHO. [Read the long, very interesting article from American Heritage: https://www.americanheritage.com/sitting-gusher]

Since oil and America are so inextricably linked, We will enjoy some all-American foods today: a star-studded line-up of cornmeal and hot dogs. This patriotism is further seen at the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, which is closed on all holidays except Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.

Cornmeal Stars with Fruit Yogurt: 133 calories 3.3 g fat 4.2 g fiber 7.6 g protein 21 g carbs [8 g Complex] 46 mg Calcium NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF Cornbread and stars are SO American, that they fit in with any patriotic meal.

Cornmeal Stars: 1 egg white 1 egg yolk, stirred 1 Tbsp white whole-wheat flour 3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal Whip the egg white to soft peaks. Fold in the yolk, the flour, and the meal. Place your largest [3-4”] star-shaped cookie cutter in the center of a non-stick pan. Spray the pan and the inside of the star with non-stick spray. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the star, nudging it into the corners. Loosen the mold from the batter and remove it. Cook the star on one side until starting to brown, then turn carefully to cook the other side. Repeat until batter is all used up. HINT: This can be done a day or so in advance, storing the stars in a plastic bag.

Per serving: 1.5 stars 2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla yogurt 2 Tbsp blueberries 2 oz strawberries, sliced or diced [If frozen, they will need to be thawed and drained]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Plate the stars, slightly overlapping. Dollop the yogurt on top, then strew with fruit.

Hot Dog & 4-Bean Salad: 302 calories 12 g fat 3.6 g fiber 20 g protein 18.6 g carbs 103.7 mg Calcium  GF PB  Hot Dogs and summer salads go together, even for Fasters. This meal is very straight-forward, assuming the 4-bean salad has already been prepared.

1 Hebrew National reduced-fat hot dog 1 deviled egg [hard-boiled egg the yolk of which has been creamed with yellow mustard, salt, and black pepper] ½ cup 4-bean salad  2 oz tomato broiled with ½ Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Grill or pan-cook the hot dog. Prepare the deviled egg. Cut out the stem end of the tomato and carve it in half along the equator. Top the tomato with cheese and broil it. Plate it all with the 4-bean salad. Simple food at summer’s end.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomatoricotta cheese
leek + garlic powderdry mustard + peach
basil + pearwatercress sauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

raw chicken + potato + onionroast ham + potato starch
rich chicken stock + corn1 cup oysters + their liquid
hard-boiled egg + thyme white wine + milk + peas
optional: sourdough bread70-calories whole-grain bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Guiseppe Piazzi

On January 1, 1801, Guiseppe Piazzi looked through his telescope in the mountains above Palermo, Sicily. He hoped that the first day of a new century would be an auspicious one — that he might find a new planet in the solar system and re-establish Italy as a powerhouse of astronomy. All astronomers knew that there was an extra-large distance between Mars and Jupiter, and Piazzi was sure that there was a planet lurking in that gap. Lo! He found a bright object orbiting the sun and he named it ‘Ceres,’ after Sicily’s patron goddess of the harvest. He had found a new planet!! Other astronomers, hoping to observe it, looked in the same area and found another object there, and then another, and another — astronomers were seeing new planets left and right and they realized that something was wrong. This lead to a consensus over the definition of ‘planet.’ To the ancient Greeks, ‘planet’ meant ‘wanderer:’ those bodies that moved back-ward then forward in their trip across the night sky. But by the early 1800s, ‘planet’ meant a body that orbits the sun and doesn’t have other planets very near to it. Thus Piazzi’s discovery was not a planet, and it was named an ‘asteroid.’ Ceres is the largest of all the bodies in the Asteroid Belt which lies between Mars and Jupiter. He didn’t find a new planet, but he made a name for himself and added to our knowledge of the structure of the Solar System. When the category “dwarf planet” was created, Ceres was given that status.

In honor of Guiseppe Piazzi’s birthday on July 16, we will enjoy a Sicilian Omelette in the morning. Capri is almost due North of Palermo across the Tyrrhennian Sea. Our dinner comes from there. Dine out under the stars.

Sicilian ScrOmelette: 157 calories 11 g fat 0.5 g fiber 13 g protein 2 g carbs 129 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF  A protein-packed salad meets eggs for breakfast. This is based on our Sicilian Shepherd’s Salad which we enjoy for dinner.

1-½ 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 and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  ¼ oz salami sausage ¼ oz mozzerella 2 Tbsp chopped wild greens [ex: dandelion, wild sorrel] or arugula 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]

Chop the sausage, the cheese, and the greens, and combine them gently. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, then pour into the heated pan. As the eggs set, sprinkle the sausage mixture over the eggs. Scramble or fold as an omelette and enjoy with the beverages

Caprese Chicken: 289 calories 15 g fat 2.5 g fiber 35.6 g protein 6.3 g carbs 140 mg Calcium  PB GF ‘Caprese’ means ‘from Capri,’ the fabled island off the West coast of Italy. In cooking, it often means the use of fresh mozzerella, basil, and tomatoes, as in this recipe. HINT: This recipe serves two [2]. The amounts can be cut in half for one person.

The pasta on the side is how to serve it on a Slow Day, or for a non-Fasting guest.
8-oz chicken breast Kosher salt + pepper Bone and skin the chicken and pat it dry. Remove the tenderloin and save for another use. Hold the meat flat on the cutting board with your hand flat. Cut it lengthwise parallel to the cutting board, so you have two, equal, thin pieces. Pound the meat to make as thin a filet as you can. Season on both sides .
2 oz mozzerella, sliced 2 oz sliced tomatoes 6-8 basil leaves Place cheese, tomato + basil on each filet. Fold the filet over to enclose the filling. You might need to hold it closed with a toothpick/skewer or tie with kitchen twine. TIP: Filet can be prepped to this point, covered + kept cool up to 24 hrs
Non-stick cooking spray 1-½ tsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, sliced  Heat oil + non-stick spray in a 10-12” nonstick pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove garlic and reserve it, leaving oil in the pan.
Sauté meat bundles until golden on the bottom, about 46 mins. If the meat darkens too fast, lower heat. Flip + cook for 45 minutes. Cover + cook 2 to 3 mins more, until chicken is cooked and filling is hot.
2 tsp Pesto basil leaves 3 oz asparagus per person Cook asparagus. Transfer chicken to the plates. Add pesto to pan juices and whisk. Pour pan juices over the chicken. Garnish with cooked garlic and basil leaves. Serve asparagus on the side.

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

70-calorie whole grain bread1.5 two-oz eggs 
cottage cheese + chivesguacamole
smoked salmon + cucumber
white wine vinegar + dill + sugar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

tuna, fresh or cannedeggs + olive oil
cucumber + avocadobell pepper
4-bean saladwhole-wheat sourdough bread
scallion + celeryside salad
Sparkling waterSparkling water