St Anthony

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

If you say the name ‘Anthony’ to anyone from New England, it will generate thoughts of an old TV ad for a brand of pasta which showed Anthony’s mother calling him home to dinner. Or you may have heard of a St Anthony who’ll help you find lost objects.  In fact, there are 23 Saints named ‘Anthony’ in the ‘Saints & Angels‘ list on line. Tomorrow will be the feast day of the original Anthony, a hermit who lived in the 5th century in Egypt. He is best known for his severe fasting [eating only every 3 days] and sleeplessness in an effort to quell his inner demons. One of the most repeated themes in art is The Temptation of Saint Anthony.  Gustave Flaubert spent his life in the off and on writing of a novel by the same name.  Saint Anthony’s attributes [the things a saint is holding when depicted in art] are a pig [representing domestic animals of whom he is the patron saint] and a staff in the shape of a Tau cross [known as St Anthony’s cross].                                     In addition to farm animals, Anthony is the patron saint of salami-makers.  Going with that theme, breakfast is a scramble containing salami and dinner is a stir-fry of pork, for St Anthony’s Pig.

Salami Scramble:  299 calories  9.8 g fat   2.3 g fiber   18 g protein   30 g carbs   297 mg Calcium   GF   From the deli department to the breakfast table, salami makes for an easy breakfast.salami scramble

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 thinly-sliced salami                                                                                                                               pinch of Moroccan spice  +  salt                                                                                                                         1.5 oz pear or apple slices                                                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                 5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasteurized apple cider

Slice the salami slices crosswise, then into squares. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings, then pour into a hot sauté pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with the salami before the eggs set.  Flip the eggs over to cook to your preference.  Slice the fruit, pour the beverages. Easy, yummy, satisfying.

Pork & Pepper Stir-fry:  211 calories   6.3 g fat   5.8 g fiber   24.3 g protein   16 g carbs [10 g Complex]  37.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  This stir-fry has a lot of preparation but the result is rich in the wonderful flavors of East Asia. The recipe does not include rice, but if you read on you will see totals with rice. HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 2 [two] people. Food values above are for ONE serving.pork & peppers w: rice garnish

6 oz pork tenderloin, sliced as matchsticks                                                                                                  1.5 tsp dark soy sauce + 4 tsp dark soy sauce                                                                                                       ½ tsp honey + ½ tsp honey                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp minced garlic + another ½ tsp minced garlic  = one clove of garlic                                            1/8 tsp crushed red pepper                                                                                                                               1 tsp peanut butter                                                                                                                                                  ½ c carrots, cut as matchsticks                                                                                                                               1 tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                                     5.5 oz green bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                  ½ lg red bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                      ½ tsp garlic    +     1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               garnish:   2 sliced scallions                         Sriracha

First prepare a mise en place. Seriously — do it. Combine the pork, 1.5 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, ½ tsp minced garlic, and the red pepper flakes in a bowl and stir to combine. In a microwave-safe custard cup combine 4 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, and 1 tsp peanut butter. Microwave it briefly and stir to combine. Put the carrots in a small pan of boiling water and cook for one minute. Drain the carrots and save the water. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over high heat and add the canola oil. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry for one minute. Remove the cooked pork to a clean bowl and stir in the soy-honey-peanut mixture. Put the carrot-cooking water in the dish that had the soy-honey-peanut mixture and swirl it around to get those flavors in the water. Pour the flavored water into the wok and add the red and green peppers. Stir-fry for one minute, adding more water to keep it sizzling. Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic to the wok and stirfry with the peppers for one minute more. Return the pork to the wok and stir-fry until heated, about 1 more minute. Plate with optional rice [if using – see below], top with sliced scallion and some Sriracha, if you wish.

If using ¼ cup medium-grain white rice as a garnish, then add these food values:                         50 calories   0 g fat   0.3 g fiber   1.0 g protein   11 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium                             If serving with ½ cup medium-grain rice, then add these food values:                                            100 calories   0 g fat   0.6 g fiber   2 g protein   22 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium

Ingredients for next week:

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

apple  +  melon Next week there will be an exploration of
plum  + date  + almond meal ‘foods in wrappers’
cider syrup  +  cinnamon
French-vanilla yogurt, low fat Choose a favorite from the Archives
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 Monday:                           Dinner, single portion Thursday:

lamb shoulder  + onion Several options will be offered or
dry red wine + tomato paste choose a favorite from the Archives
turnip  + carrot + potato
pearl onions + thyme + bay leaf
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Morning to Night: Felafel

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

Felafel is a ubiquitous street food in the Eastern Mediterranean and it should be healthy. But too often it is deep-fried, adding needless calories and fat. On a Fast Day good felafel can take you from morning to night with some delicious and satisfying meals. The origin of felafel goes back to the lands now called Palestine and Israel, but once called Sameria, Judea, Idumaea.  Let’s not get bogged down on who invented it — let’s celebrate how good it is and how easy it is to eat in a variety of forms. Felafel in eggs and a felafel-topped salad are fine forms of feasting. I’ll give you the basic recipe, then you can decide how to use it.

Felafel:       1 batch = 648 cal 25.4 g fat 21 g fiber 32.5 g protein 72 g carbs 214 mg Calcium  each patty= 30 cal 1.2 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.6 g protein 4 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium    GF PB  V  From the good old Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen, these are easy to prepare and set you up for several servings of future meals.                                                                                                                                  2 cups canned chick peas     [I like Goya brand  TIP:  if you use dried chickpeas, you will get a grainer product. Factor in the time to reconstitute and cook them]                                                            1.5 cloves garlic, crushed [add as much as you enjoy!]                                                                                 ¼ cup celery, minced                                                                                                                                           ¼ c. scallions, sliced                                                                                                                                                    1 raw egg                                                                                                                                                                                            1.5 tsp tahini                                                                                                                                                                 ½ t. cumin    +   ½ t. tumeric   +   ¼ t. cayenne  + ¼ t. black pepper     +  1.5 t. salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine everything in food processor until ingredients form a uniform paste. Scoop into a bowl and chill 1 hour. Form into balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I used a 1  Tbsp scoop and then flattened the patties slightly. TIP: You don’t have to bake them now. You could freeze the patties on a cookie sheet, then put them frozen into bags to cook later.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The patties should be heated through and have an outside ‘crust’ which is firm to the touch. In most recipes, you will cook them further. At this point you want them to be firm enough to store well. There will be about 25 of them. Use now or cool and freeze for later use.

Felafel Bake:  271 calories   6.6 g fat   3.1 g fiber   15.2 g protein  40 g carbs   198 mg Calcium   PB GF   Here we use 1 of the felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver! Amazing in eggs!Felafel Bake w: blueberries

1 two-oz egg one felafel patty, thawed [see Stocking Up I-4-’18]                                                                            1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes                                                                                                            ¼ c blueberries                                                                                                                                                                     blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Felafel with Mixed Salad: 295 calories   13.6 g fat   7.3 g fiber   15.5 g protein  29 g carbs [28 Complex]   174 mg Calcium   PB   GF   V    What a healthy plate of food! When you have felafel in the freezer, a quick meal like this is almost instant. If you prep the vegetables in advance, this would be a good ‘make-ahead’ meal for the end of a busy day.felafel w: mixed salad

6 felafel patties                                                                                                                                                           2 cups lettuce, I like to slice large leaves cross-wise into 1/2” strips                                                         2 oz tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or cut in 1/2” cubes                                                                                      1 oz carrots, grated                                                                                                                                                       1 oz beets cut in large dice [canned beets would be a real plus]                                                                1 oz Feta cheese in large crumbles                                                                                                                    ¾ tsp flavored olive oil   +  ¾ tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                    salt + pepper to taste

Thaw the felafel patties. If unbaked, heat in a 400° F. oven for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the vegetables for the salad. Whisk the vinegar and oil, then toss the salad vegetables in the dressing. Top with the felafel and feta crumbles.

Second Fiddles

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

What does it mean ‘to play or to be a second fiddle‘?  It means to be the assistant to the leader or boss, which is a good role but it means that you may not get your full share of the glory or fame from what is accomplished. Originally, it referred to seating in an orchestra: the head honcho is the Conductor, of course.  The next most important person is the First Violin [the one who plays the ‘1st Fiddle’], and below that is the Second Violin.  That’s the 2nd Fiddle: close to the fame with important work to do, but often over-looked. Tomorrow will be the birthday of an over-looked man: Roy Disney.  He was co-founder and partner in the Disney organization, playing second fiddle to his younger brother, Walt the cartoonist and media visionary. Despite the fact that Roy was a financial wizard  who brought Disney World into fulfillment and put Orlando, Florida on the map, the only human who comes to mind when you say “Disney’ is Walt.                                                                                                  Side dishes play second fiddle to the main meal. That’s too bad as they can tend to be an after-thought: boil up some peas for something green on the plate. Let’s up our game and serve some side dishes that really add some zest to the meal.

CORN-TOMATO SALSA          makes 1.5 cups 87 calories per 3/4 cup serving Lamb Kabobs w: corn relish                                                   1 cup corn kernels                                                                                                                                                       1 cup diced tomato                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper                                                                                                                           2 Tbsp diced red onion                                                                                                                                         2 Tbsp cider vinegar                                                                                                                                                1/4 tsp dry mustard                                                                                                                                                 1/8 tsp tumeric                                                                                                                                                          ¼ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                                                    2 dashes ground cumin

CUCUMBER RAITA               use as a side dish or in wrapsFelafel w: Cuke Raita                                                                                             1 cup non-fat yogurt                                                                                                                                                 1 Tbsp lime juice                                                                                                                                                      1 clove garlic, pressed                                                                                                                                              1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced                                                                                                                   ½ tsp ground cumin                                                      ¼ tsp salt                                                                          ¼ tsp ground pepper                                                                                       1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped                                Combine all ingredients and use immediately or chill up to 30 minutes.

FRESH POLENTA          1 serving = 1/3 cup = 80 calories     Fish Kabobs w: fresh Polenta                                                                                                      1.25 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen                                                                                                                      1 tsp unsalted butter                                                                                                                                         freshly-ground pepper + salt                                                                                                                                      Puree the corn in a blender until smoother in texture [it won’t be like whipped cream, but you shouldn’t see whole kernels]. Put butter in a warm pan, then add the corn, pepper and salt. Cook about 30 seconds or until it becomes thicker. From Jacques Pepin, this is excellent served with a simply prepared fish.

SIDE SALAD        Serves 1 = 36 calories, easily doubles or triples                                                                                           Haggis Spring Rolls1 cup lettuce, slice into <1/2” strips if leaves are large                                                                                 ½ oz grated carrots                                                                                                                                                   1 oz tomato                                                                                                                                                               ½ tsp olive oil, plain or flavor-infused [ex: lime]                                                                                            ½ tsp flavorful vinegar                                                   salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                                                 optional: 1/2 oz boiled, cubed beets [adds 6 calories]  

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
1 felafel patty [Stocking Up 4-I-2018] salami, thinly-sliced
tomato puree or crushed tomatoes pear
blueberries
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:

6 felafel patties pork tenderloin + honey  + garlic
lettuce  + tomatoes fresh green beans  + red bell pepper
carrot  +  beets  +  feta cheese fresh ginger  + soy sauce + canola oil
white wine vinegar + flavored olive oil crushed red pepper +   scallion
Sparkling water Sparkling water

                                                                                                                                        

Fannie Farmer

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

On the shelf in the kitchen is a cookbook that used to have a gold-colored cover. The book’s binding is reinforced with packing tape and the pages are stained with the splatters of cooking. This is the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 11th edition published in 1965.  On January 6, 1896, the first edition was issued under the title The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.  Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer, a woman with a disability who did not attend cooking school until the age of 30, had written a book which explained the chemistry of cooking and which established uniform measurement of ingredients that everyone could use. She became a media mogul and culinary icon, the Julia Child or Martha Stewart of her day. The book was an instant success and became the classic of  the American kitchen.  My mother used it faithfully [I have her copy] and gave me my own when I became engaged. So many good recipes! My adaptations of several of them have already appeared in this blog, some recipes used as-is.                                                                                                               The breakfast for this anniversary is an old favorite of our’s, Shirred Egg [p 103 in my copy] and for dinner the thrifty housewife’s go-to: Swiss Steak [p 163]

Shirred Egg:   271 calories  8.5 g fat  3.3 g fiber   15.8 g protein  38.8 g. carb  275 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF bread       I learned to prepare this dish when working on my Girl Scout ‘Cooking’ badge. We still eat it because it tastes so good. Easy to serve to guests, too.Shirred Egg

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp half&half   [Blend Cream, 10% milk fat]                                                                                         salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                                             1/2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                    half a slice of 70-calorie bread, toasted                                                                                                            2 oz apple slices or 2 oz strawberries                                                                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Heat the toaster oven to 325° F. Spritz a 1-cup ramekin with cooking oil or spray. Break the egg into the cup, and pour the half&half on top. Sprinkle with cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then let sit 2-3 mins while you toast the bread. Plate with the toast and fruit. Serve with your choice of beverages.

Swiss Steak:  267 calories  6.3 g fat  6.5 g fiber   28 g protein  27.5 g carbs   104.8 mg Calcium This is a recipe from Fannie Farmer’s cookbook which I fondly remember from my childhood. HINT: This recipe makes enough for two [2], so save half of it for a future lunch or dinner.

½ pound chuck steak, cut 1 to 1.5” thick                                                                                                          1.5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour + salt + pepper                                                                                         8 oz stewed tomatoes                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup minced green bell peppers                                                                                                                    ¼ cup minced onion                                                                                                                                             herbs to taste, such as rosemary or parsley                                                                                               per serving: ½ cup cut green beans + ½ cup carrots sliced as coins

Leave the meat in one piece or cut into two parts. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper and dredge the meat in it. If you wish, pound the meat with a tenderizing tool or the edge of a sturdy plate. Combine the tomatoes with the vegetables and herbs. Heat a heavy skillet with a lid and spray it well with oil or cooking spray. Brown the meat on both sides and pour the tomatoes over it. Cover and cook very slowly for 2 hours until the meat is very tender, adding water if the tomatoes are in danger of sticking. This can be cooked on the cooktop at low or in the oven at 325 F. Steam or boil the beans and carrots to serve along-side the beef with its sauce.

Saint Lucy’s Day

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

December 13 is one of our favorite days. I read the Swedish legend of Saint Lucy when I was in 6th grade and was charmed by the idea of a daughter taking breakfast in bed to her parents while wearing a wreath of candles in her hair. So I made a white robe [my mother never asked where that sheet went], and a pine-cone wreath, and wrote some new words to the tune of “Santa Lucia” — and the rest was history.  Saint Lucy visited our house annually when our sons were little [a new song was written then], and she will make an appearance this year too.  We devote the evening to decorating the Christmas Tree while enjoying an easy-to-eat dinner. It is possible to have a family celebration and still remain on the Fast Diet — try these menus.  Or, change your Fast Day to the day before the festival day or the day after.                                                                                                                     Since the original Lucy/Lucia was born in Sicily, we’ll prepare eggs with the flavors of that island.  For dinner we move to the Baltic region with a meal that followers of her northern version would recognize.

Sicilian ScrOmelette:  298 calories  11 g fat  2.4 g fiber  19 g protein  31 g carbs 290 mg Calcium PB GF  A protein-packed salad meets eggs for breakfast.Sicilian ScrOmelette

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] or arugula                                                                          blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

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 of choice.

Herring Salad:   278 calories    6 g fat   6.8 g fiber  16 g protein   24 g carbs   103 mg Calcium PB GF     Luchöw’s Restaurant will live in memory as long as a certain generation still breathes. And there was a lot to remember about it: the decor, the old-world service, the menu. Not a hokey tourist trap – it was the genuine article. This is one of their fine Old World recipes. NB: if you take a MOIA anti-depressent, be aware that herring has high amounts of tyramine. 0-41 -1/2 oz herring marinated in wine, drained                                                                                                                   1/4 cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced                                                                                                            1 -1/2 oz apple, peeled and diced                                                                                                                       1/4 cup white beans, drained and rinsed                                                                                                       1/2 hard-boiled egg, sliced                                                                                                                                     2 Tbsp onion, minced                                                                                                                                          1/2 oz dill pickle, chopped                                                                                                                                    pinch sugar   +  2 tsp vinegar, or more                                                                                                                1 cup lettuce, shredded

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

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

Search the Archives for a new Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal
     favorite breakfast. cottage cheese   +   nutmeg
maple syrup    +  cinnamon
blueberries or raspberries
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:

Search the Archives for a new Haggis filling [Spicy II, 12-Sept-2018]
           favorite dinner. rice spring-roll wrappers
lettuce  +  carrot +  cherry tomatoes
flavorful oil  + good vinegar
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Gertrude Jekyll

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

Tomorrow will be the birthday of Gertrude Jekyll, the English gardener who was born in 1843. The Jekylls [pronounced ‘GEE-kal’] were a talented and well-connected family. She chose gardening as her life’s work [how many Victorian ladies had a ‘life’s work’?] and became hugely influential in the design of garden landscapes. Her training at art school taught her to view the land with an Impressionist’s eye, to understand perspective, and to have a strong knowledge of color theory — of great importance in garden design.  400 gardens on 2 continents, 1000 articles, and 4 books have helped us to remember Jekyll to this day. Her well-crafted gardens have been restored at Munstead Wood [be sure to click this link to see the garden].   “The best purpose of a garden,” wrote Jekyll, “is to give delight and to give refreshment of mind, to soothe, to refine, and to life up the heart in a spirit of praise and thankfulness.” Jekyll’s concept of the ‘perennial border‘ is a joy to behold and set the standard for all time, whether or not you recognize her hand at work.                                                                                                                         For Gertrude Jekyll’s love of all things grown in gardens, our meals are heavy on the herbs and plants.  Herbs flavor the eggs at breakfast and the dinner contains 5 vegetables [!] plus the pepper sauce. Be sure to plant herbs, even on a window sill, and to include herbs in your foods for flavor.  I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass, said G. J.

Ricotta-Herb ScrOmelette: 294 calories  7.8 g fat  2.6 g fiber  17.6 g protein  35 g carbs  234.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  Easily prepared with ingredients on hand.Ricotta-Herb Scromlette w: applesauce

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 Tbsp low-fat ricotta cheese, drained in a sieve overnight                                                                        1 ½ Tbsp fresh herbs – any ones you have – chopped                                                                                  salt & pepper                                                                                                                                                            1.5 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                               blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                      5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Whisk the cheese and herbs into the eggs and scramble or cook as a folded omelette. Enjoy with the hot beverage, smoothie, and applesauce.

Fish Kabobs:  236 calories  8 g fat  4.3 g fiber  27 g protein  22 g carbs [all Complex]  77 mg Calcium  PB GF  Any firm fish will work for this simple meal. The Fresh Polenta is from Jacques Pepin and it is a keeper.Fish Kabobs w: fresh Polenta

3.6 g firm fish [swordfish, tuna, halibut], cut in 1-2” cubes                                                                             1 oz eggplant cut in 1” chunks, skin left on                                                                                                       1 oz cherry tomatoes                                                                                                                                               3/4 oz red or yellow bell pepper, cut in 1” squares                                                                                        2 tsp Pimenta do Queilo or other red pepper sauce                                                                                     ½ cup fresh polenta***                                                                                                                                                ½ cup side salad

Combine the pepper sauce with 2 tsp water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Toss the eggplant and bell pepper in the pepper sauce and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove the bell peppers and microwave the eggplant 45 seconds longer. Cool the vegetables and save the marinade. Prepare the polenta.*** Assemble the kabobs on skewers and brush with remaining marinade. Sprinkle with a little dalt and pepper. Broil 4 minutes, then turn the kabobs, brush with marinade, and broil for 4 minutes more. Prepare the side salad and plate to applause.                                                                                                                                                 

***Fresh Polenta: 1 serving = 1/3 cup = 80 calories                                                                                                    1.25 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen                       1 tsp unsalted butter                                       freshly-ground pepper + salt                                                                                                                          Puree the corn in a blender until smooth                                                                                                       [it won’t be like whipped cream, but you shouldn’t see whole kernels].                                             Put butter in a warm pan, then add the corn, pepper and salt.                                                            Cook about 30 seconds or until it becomes thicker.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg    + crab meat 1 two-oz egg
soy sauce  +  ginger  + scallions Mediterranean Vegetables [see Sidekicks II, posted 4 october, 2017]
semolina flour   + sprouts chèvre [goat] cheese
garlic powder   +   clementine herbes de Province   +  melon
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:

Chicken breast   +  chicken stock 2# beef chuck/shoulder
2 momos [25-Feb-’18]  + satay sauce beef stock  + onions
2 wontons [18-Feb-’18] + peanut butter  sweet paprika + tomato paste
1 oz Chinese BBQ Pork  + tomato green beans + egg noodles [optional]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

St Cecilia

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

There are many famous saints, and Cecilia is one of them. Why? According to the Golden Legend, she was a patrican Roman who was determined to remain chaste as a commitment to Christianity. On the night of her parent-induced wedding, she told her groom, Valerian, that if he touched her he would be killed by her guardian angel. He converted to Christianity and they lived as brother and sister. She died a martyr, as did Valerian. But the story has holes. Cecilia or Cecily lived in the 1st century or the 2nd century; in Rome or in Sicily. She is not mentioned in the early lists of martyrs and does not come on the radar until the late 5th century when Pope Gelasius wrote her name into his Book of Sacraments. In 1599, her body was found in the catacombs [no inscriptions or other identification], and as proof of her saintliness, it was not decayed. Did Cecilia exist? Probably not, according to Franciscanmedia. Even Catholic Online suggest that her Romeo and Juliet story of Platonic Love was written to counter then-popular sensual love stories writtten in Greek. At any rate, Cecilia was associated with music and inspired a flowering of tunes written specifically for church services. Cecilia is remembered more today for the music festivals and works of art she inspired, rather than for her faith.  She has been depicted in music by Handel, in art by Raphael, in poetry by Dryden, and in a choral piece with words by W.H. Auden with music by Benjamin Britten.                                                                                                            Because both ‘sweet cecily‘ and ‘valerian‘ are the names of herbs, our meals today will feature chives, thyme, oregano, and rosemary in a symphony of flavors.

Chive-Parmesan Scramble:    300 calories  10 g fat   2 g fiber   19.5 g protein  27.6 g carbs [10 g Complex]  390 mg Calcium   PB GF   This is the Scramble version of my Dear Husband’s ‘Bake’ of the same ingredients. Still wonderful!Parmesan-Chive Scramble w: kiwi

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                                                                                                                                                   3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                        3 Tbsp minced fresh chives                                                                                                                                   1 oz kiwi fruit                                                                                                                                                              5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie, or natural apple cider                                                          blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Whisk together the chives, cheese, and eggs. Turn into a hot pan spritzed with oil or non-stick spray. Scramble to perfection and plate with the fruit. Pour your choice of beverages and dig into a bright breakfast, even on a grey day.

Chicken Parmesan:  238 calories  2.6 g fat  4.7 g fiber  31 g protein  11.4 g carbs   242.5 mg Calcium   PG GF – if using GF bread  At last! The restaurant classic made suitable for Fasters. And it is delicious.Chicken Parmesan w: salad

3-½ oz raw chicken breast meat, boneless, skinless                                                                                                 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                                           1 tsp dried oregano +  1 tsp dried thyme                                                                                                                                 ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried                                                                                           1 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                                                  ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade [see SAUCY, 6 December, 2017] or jarred  + rosemary                                                                                                                                         ¾ oz mozzarella, grated                                                                                                                                            2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                                   1 cup baby greens + ½ oz grated carrots + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp red wine vinegar

Heat the toaster oven to 350°F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Pour the milk onto a small plate. On another plate combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the mozzarella and cottage cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the chicken in the milk on both sides. Dredge the chicken in the crumb/cheese/herb mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the chicken about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the chicken with the marinara sauce, then mound the cheese over it. Broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Prepare the salad ingredients and toss with dressing. 

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
chorizo sausage low-fat ricotta
chèvre      +   pear herbs, dried or fresh
Dijon mustard + Herbes de Province applesauce
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:

tilapia + egg + white whole wheat flour firm-fleshed fish [swordfish/tuna]
sweet potato  + canola oil eggplant  +  red/yellow bell pepper
granulated garlic   + asparagus cherry tomatoes  +  salad fixings
paprika  +  lime juice corn kernels  + butter
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Mushrooms

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

Mushrooms are wonderful. From the standpoint of a naturalist, the life-history and growth-habits are fascinating.  As a forager, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

Wild Mushroom assortment
Chanterelles, Meadow Mushrooms, and Fairy Ring Champignons await cooking

As a locavore, how can one resist the foods that grow within a few miles of home?  As a cook, I love their flavor and the way they go well with so many other ingredients.  As a Faster, I can appreciate how a few mushrooms in a dish will elevate the flavor without raising the calorie count.  When it comes to foraging, you must learn from a reliable source — in person. You cross-reference before you pick: where it grows [under spruce trees? on the grass?]; the recognizable traits [color of gills, ring or no ring, texture of stem]; what it is growing on [wood? soil? other?] to be sure of your identification. No one has ever sickened from eating mushrooms at our house. September and October are the best — Fall Chanterelles, Horse Mushrooms, Meadow Mushrooms, Fairy Ring Champignons, the occasional Field Bluwit.  Some are huge!

LArge Mushrooms
These are Horse Mushrooms, Agaricus arvensis.

Some are tiny!  And for the rest of the year, our meals are delicious with the mushrooms we froze in season. Hope you will enjoy mushrooms in our baked eggs for breakfast and in our Vindaloo dinner.  In the latter, if you wish to make the dish vegetarian, just eliminate the pork and keep the mushrooms.

O-M-G Bake:  282 calories   7.7 g fat   2.8 g fiber   14 g protein   38 g carbs  271 mg Calcium   PB GF  Think: Oh My Goodness!  Or: Olive-Mushroom-Gouda.  What Flavor!O-M-C Bake w: applesauce

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                                       1 black olive, oil cured                                                                                                                                                                                                   ½ oz raw mushroom, chopped, poached in enough simmering water to cover for 20 sec.                                                                                                                                      ¼ oz Gouda cheese, grated                                                                                                                                   2 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                                nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                           6 oz green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

First set the toaster oven to 350°F. My Dear Husband is the one who prepares the breakfasts. He says to start the coffee next and then to prepare the smoothie. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray.  Pit and chop the olive. Put the olive and mushroom in the ramekin. Whisk the egg with the cheese and pour into the ramekin. Bake in the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Dish up the applesauce and pour the beverages. Delicious.

Pork & Mushroom Vindaloo: 250 calories  7 g fat   4.9 g fiber  21 g protein   15 g Carbs [10 g Complex]   52.5 mg Calcium   PB GF   This unique curry dish comes from southern India. If you can’t find packaged Vindaloo Seasoning, you can prepare your own. HINT: this recipe serves 2 [two].Mushroom-Pork Vindaloo

1.5 Tbsp Vindaloo seasoning, feel free to use more                                                                                                                       2 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                                          ½ tsp fresh ground ginger                                                                                                                                    2 tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                        ¾ cup onions [2.5 oz]                                                                                                                                              3 Tbsp cider vinegar                                                                                                                                               ½ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                                                5 oz pork tenderloin or turkey breast [1.25 cups cubed]                                                                                7 oz mushrooms [200 g]                                                                                                                                            3 oz broccoli florets, steamed                                                                                                                               ½ cup cooked brown rice

Press the garlic and stir into the vindaloo powder. Combine with the vinegar. Marinate the meat in that mixture for 30-60 minutes. Saute the onions in the oil until beginning to brown. Add the ginger, then add the sugar right away. Pour in the meat with the marinade and stir-fry until the meat is almost cooked. Add the mushrooms and cook over low heat until the sauce is thick. Plate with the rice and top with the broccoli.

Indian Summer

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

Here we are on the other side of Fall: it is darker, the color is gone from the leaves, and as Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming.”  And yet… along comes a warm day or two to get our hopes up.  “Indian Summer,” as it is called around here, is a spell of warmer weather following the killing frost.  One can imagine the early Europeans, trying to hack an existence out of the New England landscape, going into despair as the cold weather arrived.  “This is not like England,” they’d moan. “We should have more time to get ready for winter!”  “Not to worry,” their First Nations allies [at that point in time they still had not thoroughly alienated the locals] would rejoin, “There will be more warm weather.”  And since they were correct, the Europeans dubbed it Indian Summer.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that it begins this year on November 12, so let’s enjoy it.                                   In honor of those warmer days, we will enjoy some foods of summer once again.  Breakfast will include melon, which is available Summer and Fall, paired deliciously with prosciutto which is the product of Autumn. For dinner, a chance to grill again by putting tuna and summer vegetables on the flames. And although we are talking about Fall in northern New England, these recipes will whisk you off to a sunny Mediterranean diet.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate:  266 calories  7.3 g fat   2.2 g fiber  23.6 g protein   36 g carbs [24 g Complex]  294 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-close bags in the refrigerator.Prosciutto-Melon Plate

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                                                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

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.

Tuna with Grilled Vegetables:  244 calories   7 g fat  3.9 g fiber  29 g protein  14.6 g carbs  [10.6 g Complex]  32.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The recipe comes from the Fast Diet Book and it is wonderful. An exemplar of the Mediterranean Diet.tuna &amp; grilled veg

6 oz tuna steak                                                                                                                                                          4 oz red bell peppers                                                                                                                                               5 oz zucchini  or summer squash                                                                                                                                  2 oz cherry tomatoes                                                                                                                                               1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                        splash of lemon juice

Cut the peppers into long strips. Same with the zucchini. Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil. Cook the tuna and vegetables on a grill pan or grill, 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the lemon juice. Delicious and quick.

Smooth as…

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

“Smooth as butter” is a pilot’s term for a good airplane landing. Did you ever hear that the Earth is as “Smooth as a billiard ball“?   How about ‘Smooth as a smoothie”?  Ever since the 1960s, smoothies have seen increased popularity. But not all smoothies are created equal: some are good for you and some might as well be a glass of sugar water. Today we’ll dive into the blender for an investigation of smoothies.

Smoothie benefits: Juice alone has lots of sugar. It is like drinking a soda-pop!  Next time you see an article about the ‘benefits of the juice diet,’ run the other way.  But when you add fiber, whether from fruit or vegetable, it changes the sugar’s effect on your body. In other words, a smoothie made from whole fruit is good for you. Plus, the added fruit and/or vegetables give you a much-needed serving of the same. When drinking a green smoothie, by pureeing the greens, you are making them into their most digestible form. This means that all the micro-flora in your gut will thank you and that your lower intestines will be healthier and will work better.

Breakfast Smoothies:                                                                                                                                 Fruit Smoothie:  88 calories  0 g fat  0.8 g fiber   Fruit Smoothie, chez nous 1.5 g protein   21.2 g carbs   15.2 mg Calcium   PB   GF  HINT: enough for 4                                                                                       [four] 5-6 oz servings                                                                                 2 oz banana                                                                       2 oz fruit [all one variety or mixed; we like raspberries, strawberries, black currants, blueberries]                                                                      20 oz [2.5 cups] orange juice                                  HINT: I make the fruits up in ‘kits’ and keep them in the freezer. They could go into the blender frozen or leave the ‘kit’ on the counter overnight to thaw. Another time-saver!                                                                                     Put the fruit in the blender with 4 0z of the orange juice. Run it on “High” to break up the fruit and make it all smooth. Switch setting to “Low” and add the remaining juice. Run blender to combine the liquids. Save the rest for other mornings.

Berry-Yogurt Smoothie:  88 calories  0 g fat  0.9 g fiber  2.8 g protein  18 g carbs  91.5 mg Berry-Yogurt SmoothieCalcium PB GF     Dear Husband was inspired to create this, in an effort to get more Calcium and less orange juice into our diet. HINT: Makes 4 [four] servings                                                                          1 cup yogurt [½ plain, low-fat + ½ French Vanilla, low-fat]                                                                                        2 oz banana                                                                               2 oz mixed berries                                                                             4 oz fruit juice with solids in it                                                        8 oz orange juice HINT: I combine the fruits and put those in the freezer as ‘kits.’                                             Put the yogurt, fruit, and fruit juice in the blender/VitaMix/container for using immersion blender. Whiz it on HIGH until everything is blended and no bits of berry are seen. Add orange juice and blend on low. Put what you don’t use today into the ‘fridge for another day.

Lunch/Meal Smoothies                                                                                                                         Green Milk:   136 calories   0.6 g fat   1.5 g fiberreen Milk  10 g protein  24 g carbs   337 mg Calcium    PB GF  I drink this for lunch daily to ‘keep the trains running.’ On Fast Days, I eliminate the dates.                                                  8 oz low-fat milk                                                     ½ oz dates                                                                   1 oz spinach, fresh or frozen                                   Put everything in the blender/VitaMix or container suitable for using with an immersion blender. Whirl on low speed at first, to break up the ingredients, then at the speed that will pulverize everything to a lovely shade of green.

Banana Tofu Smoothie:  182 calories  2 g fat  1.5 g fiber  9 g protein   32 g carbs  250 mg Calcium PB GF    This is what I always took for lunch when I was teaching. Kept me going all afternoon.    HINT: This serves two.                                                                                                                                                                 1.25 cups fat-free milk                                                                                                                                            ½ cup firm tofu                                                                                                                                                         6” banana                                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                                           4 ice cubes                                                                                                                                                          grated nutmeg                                                                                                                                                         Put everything in the blender and whizz it on “Low” until it is all blended. Then run it at a higher speed until it is smooth. Top with grated nutmeg.