The Frigate Meduse

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 July 2, 1816, the French naval vessel La Meduse sank off the coast of West Africa. She had set sail, full of optimism and colonial hubris from Southern France, bound on a mission for all the wrong reasons. On board were soldiers and a governor, sent to subdue Senegal and re-claim it for France. The captain was an incompetent political appointee and the governor, eager to begin his duties, urged a change in course and full speed to get there sooner. Mis-reading the charts, they ran the ship aground on a sandbar 60 miles off Mauritania. Did they ditch the cannon to lighten the ship and float her off? No. They put the captain, governor, and soldiers in the two lifeboats, left 17 sailors on board, and 147 passengers/crew were placed on a rickety raft. After two days of towing the raft, the lifeboats cut her loose — leaving those survivors with 6 casks of wine, 1 cask of water, and a bag of biscuits. Thirteen days later, they were rescued. Only 15 people remained. Some had fallen overboard, some were thrown overboard. Some mutinied and were killed, many died of hunger and thirst, some were eaten due to their raft-mates’ hunger. It was a horrible story when told in 1817, and told it was when the ship’s surgeon and the geographer wrote about it. This caught the attention of Theodore Gericault who painted a vast [16×23 foot] canvas, now called Le Radeau de la Meduse. It is a dramatic, astonishing, evocative, disturbing, realistic, and unforgettable work of art hanging in the Louvre.

Our menu for the day begins in Southern France, as did the voyage of the Meduse. The salt cod in the eggs was probably part of the ship’s stores when she set out. The day ends in Senegal, now free of the yoke of colonial rule, with a delicious meal of fish and avocados .

Marseille Omelette: 156 calories 8 g fat 0.7 g fiber 16.5 g protein 4 g carbs 69.6 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Garlic, tomatoes, salt cod, and lavender: all flavors of Marseille on your breakfast plate.

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  1/3 oz salt cod, soaked 1 clove garlic, minced large pinch dried lavender 2 oz sliced fresh tomatoes, salted and sprinkled with herbs   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]

The night before: soak the salt cod in water for 30-40 minutes, until softened. Mince and combine with the garlic and lavender.  Next morning: Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with the flavorings and pour into the hot pan. Instead of scrambling it, allow it to cook until the bottom is cooked and the top is firming up. Gently flip it to the other side to cook briefly. Plate with the tomatoes. Serve with the beverages of choice.

Senegal Tuna-Avocado Salad:  264 calories 14.6 g fat 6.4 g fiber 13 g protein 18 g carbs 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is my version of a meal which I enjoyed at Bissap Baobab, an excellent Senegalese restaurant, since closed, in Oakland, CA. 

2-1/2 oz white/Albacore tuna 2 Tbsp celery, minced pinch or 2 ground ginger ½ tsp lime juice Sriracha sauce ¾ oz apple, diced 2 oz avocado 2 Tbsp radish or alfalfa sprouts 4 oz cherry tomatoes ¼ oz [½ cup] baby spinach leaves 1 tsp + ½ tsp mayonnaise made with olive oil Lightly combine the tuna with the celery, ginger, dash of Sriracha, lime juice, apple, and ½ tsp mayonnaise. Arrange the spinach leaves in the center of the plate and mound the tuna on top. Slice the avocado and layer on top of the tuna. Mix remaining mayonnaise with Sriracha to taste and drizzle over the avocado. If the cherry tomatoes are not bite-sized, cut in half. Place tomatoes around the edge of the plate and sprinkle with sprouts. A fine meal when you want a taste of lands where the sun shines brightly.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
70-calorie whole grain breadcooked brown rice
raclette cheesewatermelon
blueberriesMediterranean Vegetables w/ chickpeas
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

skim milk + onion + whole cloveschicken breast + lemon
bay leaf + white whole wheat flourapricot preserves/jam
butter + haddock + smoked haddockDijon mustard
shrimp + puff pastry + spinachdelicata squash + sweet potato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Glaciers

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.

Glaciers are fascinating things — though made of soft ice, they can sculpt rocks and change entire landscapes. There are rivers flowing through and beneath them. They are made of layers and although they look white, the ice is actually blue. They form when snow from the previous year doesn’t melt and then more snow adds to that the next winter. The snow compresses under its own weight and turns to ice. If the ice becomes 30 feet thick, it is officially deemed a ‘glacier.’ Around the world, they are melting at a great rate. This changes the weather, ecosystem around it, and even the elevation of the land. But curiously, a new glacier has been forming on the West coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Our family saw it in its infancy in 1992, at Gros Morne National Park, and it has been growing ever since. On June 25, 2018, it snowed in Newfoundland, to the amazement of many. An area of ice cools the air around it, causing more snow to fall, fueling the glacier build-up further. This is why we call it ‘climate change’ — some places get warmer, while others become colder.

Breakfast is white and creamy, like a pile of snow, and it is served cold. Similarly, the dinner is a cold meal, best enjoyed on a hot day.

Citrus Breakfast: 149 calories 1.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15.7 g protein 19 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 118 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. It is a vitamin-blast.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp fat-free plain or fat-free French Vanilla yogurt   1 clementine, peeled and sectioned 2 Tbsp black currants  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]

Combine all the dairy and fruit [or combine the dairy and garnish with fruit after plating]. Knowing that I would have a busy morning, I did this the night before and refrigerated it. Great for a grab-and-go meal, if you prep it the night before.

Gazpacho:  171 calories 6.3 g fat 2.4 g fiber 13.8 g protein 14.6 g carbs 57.6 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF croutons This is from Craig Claibourne’s Gourmet Diet cookbook from 1980. We used to make this, then it fell out of the repetoire. Time to re-embrace this classic Summer soup.  HINT: Serves 3 [three]. Makes a fine follow-up lunch. 

1 pound red ripe tomatoes 1 tsp minced garlic ½ cup diced onion ½ cup green or red pepper in ½” dice ½ cup cucumber, diced 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp olive oil ¼ cup tomato juice generous grinds of black pepper + pinch Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper  garnish per serving:  2 oz shrimp, peeled, cooked, cut in ½“ pieces ¼ oz [about 5] whole-grain croutons

Core and dice the tomatoes. Put them into a blender. Add the next seven ingredients in order. Put the spices on top and turn the blender on to medium speed. When you are finished, all the ingredients should be mixed throughout but there should still be chunks of vegetables. Measure 1 cup of the soup into each bowl and top with the garnishes and a pinch of finishing salt. Just what we need in the Summer.

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

1 two-oz egg + plain yogurtmango + pineapple 
zucchini + feta cheeseoven-roasted plantain slices
flour + watermelongoat cheese
self-rising flourcoconut dumpling
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggplant + egg + basil + reduced-fat cottage cheese Albacore tuna + lime juice + spinach leaves
canned tomatoes + Parmesansprouts/microgreens + celery
part-skim ricotta cheese + zucchini or fresh spinachavocado + mayonnaise + Sriracha
whole-grain pasta + garlic powdercherry tomatoes + apple + ginger
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Science

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 jimmdetoxman who is now Following.

The word “science” is from the latin word “scientia,” meaning “knowledge.” It is called that because it is based on facts which can be tested and verified. This sets it apart from opinion, which is not necessarily based on fact. Ex: It is a fact that Earth has a moon, but there are many opinions as to how that moon formed. Galileo [1564-1642] was a real scientist. He collected data to test his opinions until he knew which were facts and which were not. Ever since he improved on existing telescopes, he had been collecting information about the motion of the planets in our part of space. In his time, it was popularly believed that the sun and all the planets orbited around the Earth, since that had been the idea of Aristotle and Ptolemy. This view was first challenged by Copernicus and then more mathematically by Kepler. [In between was Tycho, who tried to strike a middle ground with a hybrid theory.] Kepler’s work was scorned as fake-news by the Church and popular culture. The idea that Earth, God’s best creation, was only one of a multitude of planets orbiting the little sun seemed to diminish humans’ importance. Furthermore, to challenge the Church’s view was to challenge the Church’s authority and beliefs. In 1616, Galileo had been warned by the Church not to talk or write anymore about the sun-centered ideas which his telescope confirmed. Many Church leaders, including the pope who was a personal friend, had gone to ‘telescope parties’ at Galileo’s house to see how the planets moved. But the Church would not be moved. Galileo published one more book and was put on trial. After years of waffling, he was at last forced to renounce his scientific work and he recanted his ideas on June 22, 1633. A bad day for science, a good day for people who think science should be bent to fit their political agenda.

Our breakfast involves flavors of Florence, Italy, Galileo’s beloved home town. The dinner is from China. Why? you ask. In the early 1600s, Jesuit missionaries had gone to the Chinese court, seeking to preach Christianity and to demonstrate [superior] European culture. One of the technologies that they proudly displayed, between 1626 and 1634, was a Galilean telescope.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories 6.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 6 g carbs 61.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF This bake is so flavorful that you will not notice the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crepes for dinner. Same kind of deliciousness.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp ham Florentine mixture** 2 oz applesauce Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

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

**Ham Florentine Fillingmakes 1.5 cups  Freeze the remainder to fill crepes or in small quantities for eggs. ½ cup no-cheese Bechamel Sauce [see SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17 ] 1 cup ham in ¼ ” dice 1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, fresh or frozen ½ cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped onion pinch of each: celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through.

Shrimp Fu Yung:  239 calories 14 g fat 2 g fiber 23.4 g protein 9 g carbs 132 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here is the Cantonese classic, as delicious as ever. Americans seem to think it should have brown chicken gravy on top – not very authentic. I have recreated the look using a very savory sauce.

1-¼ oz shrimp, cooked or raw ¼ stalk celery [substitute: leaf rib of Swiss Chard] 2 Tbsp chopped mushroom ¼ cup mung bean sprouts [substitute: chopped cabbage] 1-½ scallions [spring onions] ¼ tsp ginger powder 2 two-oz eggs 1 oz spinach leaves + garlic powder + ¼ tsp sesame seed ½ tsp sesame oil   Sauce: 1 tsp hoisin sauce + 1 tsp soy sauce + 1 tsp oyster sauce

Cut the shrimp into small slices and put in a bowl with the mushrooms. Slice the celery ¼” thick and put into another bowl. Slice the scallions and add to the same bowl, along with the sprouts. Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside. Whisk the eggs with the ginger. In a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick spray and a tablespoon of water, cook the spinach, stirring, until it is just limp. Remove from heat, stir with a sprinkle of garlic powder. Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return the pan to the stove over high heat. Spray again and add the sesame oil. Put the vegetables into the pan and stir for 60 seconds. Add the shrimp/mushrooms and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Pour the eggs in a circular motion into the pan, trying not to disturb the other items. Tilt the pan as you lift the edge of the eggs to let the uncooked egg down to the pan. After a few minutes, flip the egg disk to the other side to cook. [I put a plate over the pan and inverted it, then slid the egg disk back into the pan.] Soon the bottom will be cooked. Slide the eggs onto a cutting board and slice into quarters. Arrange them on the plate next to the spinach. Drizzle the sauce on top and enjoy every bite.

Roquefort

On June 4, 1411, Charles VI of France, granted to the town of Roquefort a charter naming it the sole producer the now-famous bleu cheese. Ever since, the Lacaune sheep have been grazing the meadows and the cheese from their milk has been ripening in the limestone caves below. Roquefort cheese is named after the town Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, in South-Western France. To maintain the AOC designation, the cheese is carefully made, always staying within the strict guidelines.

“To be called Roquefort, a cheese must be made with the raw, unfiltered, whole milk of sheep who are pastured on the land around the caves. Their milk must be delivered at least 20 days after lambing and made with animal rennet within 48 hours of milking. Penicillium roqueforti is then added, and the whole process of maturation, cutting and packaging must occur in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon on a strip of land only a mile and a quarter long,” says the Cheese Connoisseur.

The delectable bleu cheese can be eaten in so many ways! On bread, in salads, in desserts, in main dishes — let me live long enough to taste them all. I have several meals for Fast Days for bleu cheese…it was difficult to choose only two for today. These are delicious. If needs must, you can substitute a lesser bleu cheese. But don’t say that in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.

ForeStreet ScrOmelette:  137 calories 8.4 g fat 0.6 g fiber 10.4 g protein 6.6 g carbs [5.9 g Complex] 66.7 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Based on a pizza from one of our favorite Portland, Maine restaurants, these flavors are terrific together.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1-½ eggs per person 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.  1/2 oz bleu cheese ½ oz mushrooms ¼ oz leeks 1 oz pear  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]

Spritz a non-stick pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Slice the leeks and saute with the mushrooms until both are cooked. Whisk in the eggs and pour over the leeks and mushrooms. As the eggs begin to set, crumble the bleu cheese on top. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the pear, serve with the beverages of choice. 

Oyster & Bleu Cheese Piepie filling only, 1 of 6 servings = 116 calories 8 g fat 0.7 g fiber 5.6 g protein 5 g carbs [3 g Complex] 88 mg Calcium  With pie crust, 1 of 6 servings: add 193 calories [the entire pie crust for an 8” pie plate = 1160 or fewer calories]   PB GF  NB: if you want a GF meal, do not use any pie crust – especially not a purchased GF crust which is very high in calories.  This makes a fabulous, indulgent meal but it is low in protein and fiber. For a very special treat, it is wonderful. 

The left-hand column gives the recipe is for an 8”, full-sized pie plate, which serves 6. The center column gives amounts to prepare a 6” pie plate to serve 4.   HINT: leftover pieces freeze well.

8” pie pan with optional pie crust6” pie pan + optional pie crust Optional: Roll out dough + fit into pie pan. Crimp edge. Blind bake 15 mins. Remove foil and weights + bake until golden, ~ 10 mins or so.
1 Tbsp butter  ½ c finely chopped leeks ½ c finely chopped fennel bulb ½ c finely diced Granny Smith apple ½ tsp ground black pepper pinch salt 2 tsp butter ¼ c leeks ¼ c fennel ¼ c apple ¼ tsp pepper pinch salt Melt butter in a skillet, add leeks, fennel and apple. Sauté on low until tender and translucent. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Heat oven to 400F.
12 oysters – we like briny East Coast oysters


6-8 oysters





Place oysters flat in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Heat pan on medium high until water reaches 131F/55C, measuring with a food-safe thermometer. Shut off heat and let sit on burner for 5 minutes. Remove oysters from water and cool in a bowl. Open shells + a remove oysters, doing so over a bowl to catch the juices. 
4 oz blue cheese 3 Tbsp reserved oyster juice
1 egg white
2 oz blue cheese 1.5 Tbsp oyster juice ½ egg white In a separate bowl, mash cheese, adding reserved oyster juice. Beat egg white until softly peaked and fold into cheese.
Spread leek mixture in pie shell. Spread cheese mixture on top. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes.
fennel fronds

4-5 asparagus stalks/person
fennel fronds

asparagus
Remove pie from oven and arrange oysters on top. Bake 2 minutes more. Strew with fennel fronds. Let pie set about 10 minutes, then cut in portions and serve with steamed asparagus.

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

1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white1.5 two-oz eggs 
rhubarb + sugarpork scrapple
flour + baking powderscallions or chives
milk + Canadian or back baconstrawberries
Optional smoothieNo smoothie or only 3 oz
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Next week, I will offershaved, rare roast beef
2 relishes for meat or fishprovolone cheese
made from rhubarb.broccoli + onion
Enjoy a dinner from Archivespotato bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

CGE

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

Tomorrow will be our younger son’s birthday. It is hard to think that my last ‘baby’ is now in his late 30s. As an offshoot of studying jujitsu [third degree Black Belt], he became interested in Asian cooking: Thai, Japanese, Chinese. Often he suggests recipes to us and they turn out to be good! A fine cook, he enjoys honing his knives [as a hobby, he makes his own] and knife skills in the kitchen. He is a loving son, a loyal friend, and a man of many parts: the sort of off-spring of whom his parents are proud.

The breakfast is based on the flavors of a Thai Fried Rice dinner our son prepared for us. It knocked our socks off with its taste. Great as a breakfast, too. The dinner is one he recommended, as ‘child to parent,’ and I finally tried. Glad I did. These meals are minimalist and fascinating, just like him.

Thai Bake: 133 calories 5.2 g fat 3.3 g fiber 8 g protein 14.6 g carbs 106.3 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Low in calories yet high in flavor, this delicious bake will start your morning with a bang.

1 two-oz egg ½ clove garlic 3 Tbsp scallions, sliced 1/4 cup cooked spinach ½ tsp fish sauce dash Sriracha, use more to taste 2 oz applesauce -OR- ½ cup blueberries  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]

Mince or press the garlic. Squeeze then chop the spinach. Combine the vegetables with the fish sauce and hot sauce, then whisk in the egg. Pour into a lightly-oiled baking dish and bake at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes. Serve with the sliced apples and beverages of your choice. A bit more Sriracha is a great idea.

Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg Bowl):  214 calories  5 g fat  6.5 g fiber 20 g protein 17 g carbs 38 mg Calcium  PB GF  Younger Son commended this recipe to us. That is fitting since oyakodon means ‘parent and child’, as it contains both chicken and egg. It is by Nakimo Chen from Just One Cookbookand we found it to be easy and delicious. HINT: This recipe is designed to serve two.  If serving with ¼ c cooked sushi rice, add 75 cal 0.1 g fat 0.6 g fiber 1.3 g protein 16.5 g carbs 38 mg Calcium

2/3 cup dashi 1-½ Tbsp mirin  1-½ Tbsp sake [or dry sherry] 1-½ Tbsp soy sauce 1-½ tsp sugarCombine in a bowl or a measuring cup for liquids.  Add sugar and mix all together until sugar is dissolved. Divide the seasoning liquid into 2 equal portions and set aside. 
½ onion optional: mitsuba [Japanese parsley]Thinly slice the onion and divide into 2 equal portions. Chop mitsuba and divide into 2 equal portions
2 large eggsBeat one egg in a small bowl. Beat the other egg in a diffferent bowl
6 oz raw boneless skinless chicken or turkey thighs  Slice the meat diagonally + cut into 1.5″/4 cm pieces. Divide chicken into two equal portions
Use 2 small frying pans at the same time OR one pan used sequentially. I used two 8” cast iron pans.In each of two small frying pans, add the onion and parsley in a single layer. Add the chicken on top of the onion. Pour in the seasoning mixture. The sauce will come up to the top of the onion and chicken.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to medium-low. Skim off any foam. Cover + cook until chicken
is no longer pink. About 5 mins
Slowly and evenly drizzle the beaten egg over the chicken and onion. Cook covered on med-low heat until the egg is done to your liking. In Japan, Oyakdon is served with almost set but runny egg.
Garnish: small bunch Mitsuba or green onion/chives  1/4 c steamed rice per servingAdd the garnish right before removing from heat. Pour the chicken and egg on top of steamed rice along with the sauce.

St Roch

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.

Saint Roch is considered to be one of “Les Saints Qui Guérissent” [Saints who Heal]. He was often invoked to heal Black Plague victims, since he himself was one. Or was he?? Roch was born in Montpellier [now in France] in 1295. As a young man, he sold his worldly goods, donated to the poor, and went to Italy as a pilgrim. While tending the sick in Piacenza, he fell ill and was banished from town. Roch, called Rocco in Italy, recovered, helped by a dog who brought him bread. He went back home but he was clapped into prison, accused of being a spy. [Possible family intrigue involved] He died alone, after five years in prison, unrecognized by his relatives. When being prepared for burial, Roch was identified by a birth-mark. Roch died in 1327. When shown in art, he raises his hem to reveal the tell-tale engorged lymph node called a bubo, the mark of the Black Death. But the plague did not reach Italy until 1347, 20 years after his death. The term ‘plague’ was used loosely in the 1300s: small pox, bubonic, leprosy. Roch did not have bubonic plague, but he had something. And he recovered. Good news, full of hope.

Brandade, made from salt cod, was a staple food in Europe in the 1300s, so breakfast will include that. The dinner also is made with foods common from Southern France to Italy [OK. not the quinoa]. Eat like a saint. Be healthy.

Brandade Bake: 145 calories 8.3 g fat 1.2 g fiber 11.2 g protein 4.3 g carbs [2.8 g Complex] 44.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  The marvel of Southern France, brandade, is worth trying. Here it is at breakfast, all creamy and garlicy.

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp brandade [see St Bernard, posted 19 August 2018]    shake of granulated garlic 1 oz peach slices + ½ oz blueberries   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]

Cream together the cottage cheese, brandade, and garlic. Whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 F. until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. With the fruit and beverages, you have a fine start to the day.

Mediterranean Vegetables with Seafood: 278 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 28 g protein 24.8 g carbs [24 g Complex] 290 mg Calcium   PB GF  This dinner qualifies as a hurry-up meal. If you have Mediteranean Vegetables in the freezer, you can serve this in the time it takes to cook the quinoa.

1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables, without chickpeas see: Sidekicks II  3 oz seafood: shrimp, fish chunks, bivalves, whatever you have 1 oz mozzarella, shredded 1 oz mushrooms, coarsely-chopped 1/3 cup cooked quinoa 

Start cooking the quinoa. Put the frozen Med Vegetables in a sauce pan with a lid. Warm them gently until they are mostly thawed. Add the mushrooms and seafood. Continue to heat, covered, until everything is warm and cooked. Plate with the quinoa and top with cheese. 

3 Chilly Saints

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 toondebacker who is now Following.

“Mamertus, Pancras, and Gervais were three early Christian  saints. Because their feast days, on May 11, 12, and 13, respectively, are traditionally cold, they have come to be known as the  Three Chilly Saints.” Thus says the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and they know all about weird weather. Mamertus died in 475 in Arles, France. Pancras died around 304 at the age of 14. Gervais died in the 2nd century. German farmers often add St Boniface [May 14] to the list of Eismanner.

Naturally, chilly weather makes one want to eat ‘chili.’ But what is ‘chili’? To begin with, chili is a plant [Capsicum annum] which originated in Mexico around 7500 BCE. Chili also refers to the fruit of that plant, nicknamed ‘chili peppers’ by Columbus, because the spicy flavor reminded him of black pepper. There are many types of chili, of varying heat. In New Mexico, when you say ‘chili,’ only the New Mexico ‘Chile’ [note the spelling change] is being discussed. These can be green or red, fresh or roasted or dried, and they define the local cuisine. ‘Chili’ also means the meal, prepared with or without beans, which is one of the tentpoles of cooking in the American South-West.

We will have chili and chiles for breakfast and chili with chiles for dinner. Chilly enough for you?

Chili-Chile Eggs:  139 calories 10 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 11.8 g carbs [10 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Two of the American South West’s best flavors: 2 spellings in one breakfast bake.

one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Chili Non Carne [see SIDEKICKS II Oct 4, 2017 for the recipe], drained if too soupy 1 Tbsp canned green chiles {Hatch brand is the best] pinch of salt 1/8 oz cheddar cheese, grated 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 chile and chilis with the egg. Add salt to your taste. Pour into a lightly-spritzed ramekin and top with the grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The egg mixture will puff up and be firm to the touch when done. If it is very jiggly in the middle, keep baking it. Prep the fruit and pour the optional beverage of choice. You are off to a chili start, even if your weather is hot.

Chili Verde with Beans: 265 calories 2.8 g fat 5.4 g fiber 14 g protein 31 g carbs [29 g Complex] 169 mg Calcium   PB GF  In the great debate about what makes ‘authentic’ chili, beans are often the issue. Here, they are served as a ‘side dish.’  HINT: This makes enough for 3 [three] servings.

Without the beans, this chili would be great in flautas or fajitas or corn tortillas.
½ tsp oil  ½ cup red onion, choppedCook onion until softened.
3 cloves garlic, mincedAdd to onion and cook one minute more
2 Tbsp tomato sauce 2 tsp green chili powder one 4-oz can New Mexico green chilis 1 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp [Mexican] oregano ½ cup salsa verde [purchased is fine] ¼ cup waterStir in tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Then add chilis, seasonings, salsa and water. Turn heat down to a simmer.
Enough cooked turkey or chicken to make 1-1/2 cups shredded meat – about 200 grams pinch or two saltShred the chicken or grind it and add to the pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the salt and continue to heat.
Per serving: 1/3 cup small white beans, canned 1/4 cup chopped green onionPlate with scallions on top and the beans on the side.

Flowering Moon

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.

The First Nations People of North America had names for all of the full moons. Beautiful, descriptive names. The Ojibwe tribe called the moon in May the “Flowering Moon.” The ancient Romans had a goddess of flowers named Flora. Her festival was in late April/early May. In the early USA, putting baskets of flowers on neighbors’ front doors was a custom on the first of May. In Japan, the famous Hanami [admiring blossoms] Festival is spread out from March to April, depending on blooming times. In Northern Japan, they are admiring cherry blossoms as late as May 1. How wonderful that such disparate cultures and locations in the same hemisphere all shared an appreciation of Springtime and its flowers! You can celebrate the early days of May by spending time in your garden or nearest public park. Enjoy the fresh air and the growing plants. Renew yourself outside, then renew your determination to change yourself inside by eating a healthier diet.

Our meals, this early May, will highlight one of the flowers that we commonly eat — asparagus! And it comes up in the Spring. Full of flavor, fiber, and nutrition, asparagus is a great addition to the Faster’s diet.

Asparagus Roll-ups:  107 calories 7 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8 g protein 2.6 g carbs [2.7 g Complex] 51.5 mg Calcium PB GF Pretty on the plate and a delight to eat.

1 two-oz egg 2 oz asparagus spears, tough lower stalks snapped off 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 1-2 tsp tarragon, chopped A few fresh berries: golden berries, blueberries, raspberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [87 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Break the tough lower part of the asparagus stalks, wash, and steam or cook in minimal water until tender. Drain, salt lightly, and set aside. HINT: You could do this the night before. Whisk the egg with the cream cheese and tarragon, along with a pinch of sea salt. Heat an 8”-9” skillet and spritz it with non-stick spray. Pour in the egg and tilt the pan so that the egg forms a thin, even layer over the bottom of the pan. Without stirring or moving the egg, cook until the egg is set and as your like them – this will not take long. Remove the egg to your plate, like a big pancake. Put the cooked asparagus in the pan and shake it a bit over heat to re-warm. Lay the spears on the eggs so that the blossom ends hang over the edge. Roll the egg so that the asparagus is inside and plate attractively. With your optional beverages, you are set for a Spring-time breakfast treat.

Beef & Asparagus Stir-fry:  289 calories 8.4 g fat 5.2 g fiber 20.7 g protein 35.7 g carbs [12.6 g Complex] 69 mg Calcium  PB GF— if omitting the noodles   The flavors of beef, asparagus, and oyster sauce are a real WOW.

2 oz sirloin, raw, sliced thinly across grain 2 tsp oyster sauce 2 tsp soy sauce 2-3 tsp cornstarch ¼ c chicken stock 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced 1 clove garlic, sliced hot pepper flakes to taste 5 oz asparagus, roll-cut in 2” pieces 3 oz red pepper, sliced into strips 1 oz onion, sliced   Optional: ½ oz Japanese buckwheat noodles, broken into 2” pieces

Prepare the meat as described. Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, stock, and cornstarch. Add the sliced meat and set aside. Boil the noodles for four minutes, drain [saving the cooking water], rinse, and put aside. Cut the vegetables as described and put in a bowl. In another dish, put the garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes [those are the ‘aromatics’]. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet until it is hot. Spray with oil or non-stick spray. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 3 minutes [if needed, add some noodle water to keep it cooking. Push the vegetables aside and add the aromatics. Count to 30. Add the beef with marinade. Stir-fry for 1 minute more or until the beef is mostly cooked and the sauce begins to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, add some of the noodle water. then add the cooked noodles. Stir to combine and warm, then plate. 

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

1 two-oz egg + Cheddar cheeseoatmeal 
chili non carne strawberries
canned green chilis [Hatch brand]blueberries
melon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken breast + bell peppers smoked salmon + cucumber
canned green chilis + red onion + garlictomato + red onion + romaine lettuce
canned white beans + scallionsourdough rye + olive oil + honey
cumin + chili powder + oregano + salsa verdehard-boiled egg + lemon juice + dill
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Gascony

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 Clary Rouge who is now Following.

Gascony” is one of the regions of old France, often called by other names, and now broken up into several small departments. It is bounded on the West by the Atlantic Ocean and on the South by the Pyrenees Mountains. To the North, it is bordered by the Garonne River and on the East by the region of Languedoc. The Romans called it Aquatania, after the native tribe. The locals at the Eastern end called it Occitain, which is based on the ancient local word for ‘Yes’ which was ‘Oc’ instead of the current ‘Oui.’ The Duchy of Aquaitaine passed into English control in 1152 when Eleanor of Aquitaine married the English King Henry II — a simple act that set the stage for the Hundred Years War. Gascony is known for three famous ‘products’: its iconic and delicious food; the fictional/actual Musketeer d’Artagnan; and French King Henri IV.

If the world were a healthier place right now, Dear Husband and I would be in Gascony. It is our idea of a vacation spot: bucolic, ‘undiscovered’, full of good food, and planted in vineyards. We have never been there, but maybe next year…. In the meantime, we will prepare Gascon foods at home.

Garbure Bake: 134 calories 6.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 9.5 g protein 7.7 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  ‘Garbure’ is a favorite casserole of Southwestern France. Now you can enjoy its flavors at breakfast.

1 two-ounce egg ½ oz cabbage, thinly-sliced ½ oz leeks, thinly-sliced ¼ oz small white beans [All I had were garbanzoes, so I sliced them in half] 1/3 oz pork, shredded or thinly-sliced ½ tsp duck fat or bacon fat 1-3/4 oz strawberries/blueberries   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]

Prepare the cabbage and leek, and put in one bowl. In another, put the beans and pork. Heat a saute pan and add the fat with a few Tablespoons of water. Saute the cabbage/leek until they are limp, adding more water if needed. Then stir in the pork and beans and cook until warm.Season with salt and pepper. Put the cooked mixture into a baking dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the dish. Bake at 350 F for 15+ minutes. Portion the fruit and plate the bake. Welcome to a taste of Gascony.

Chickpea Ragout with fish:  ragout = 121 calories  2.8 g fat 5.3 g fiber 5.8 g protein 20 g carbs 26 mg Calcium  PLUS calories from the fish you choose GF PB  Prepare the simple ragout, add the fish of your choice.  This is from Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. Although he doesn’t mean our kind of ‘Fast Food,’ Pepin has long been a proponent of healthy cooking. He presents this as a side dish, but for our purposes it is best prepared as a main course with seafood for more protein.

½ cup Chickpea Ragout [see Saucy, Dec 6, 2018] 1 oz fresh spinach leaves your choice of fish:   4 oz swordfish  139 calories   4 oz cod  92 calories   4 oz salmon  160 calories   4 oz halibut  124 calories   4 oz smelts 110 calories 2 oz shad  140 calories

Put the Chickpea Ragout in a small pan with a few tablespoons of water. Place the fish on top. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked. At the last minute, add some fresh spinach leaves and continue to cook until they wilt. All done. All delicious.

Ramadan

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

Many religions incorporate fasting into their customs. The Islamic faith elevates it to a different status during their observance of Ramadan. During the month-long event, fasting is strictly observed from sun-rise to sun-set. NO eating. NO drinking. The fast is in recognition of the month during which the holy book, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century. When one is fasting, one has time to contemplate the word of God and to re-evaluate one’s life in that context. After sundown, dinner is served. Is it possible to do a 5:2 type of Fasting during Ramadan? Sure, why not? As long as you eat your Fast breakfast before sun-up and you wait until after the sun goes down to enjoy your Fast dinner. If you are Muslim, I wish you “Ramadan Mubarak.”  If you are not Muslim [neither am I], read some of the Qur’an or Ask a Muslim a question, whether at the online site or with a colleague from work.

If you decide to Fast while fasting, here are some menus to try. The Leventine eggs are made with flavors found in the countries where Islam first took hold. The dinner is a popular meal in that area, too.

Levantine ScrOmelette: 142 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 5 g carbs [4.6 g Complex] 50.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  “Levantine” refers to the Eastern Mediterranean, where “the sun rises.”  These fine ingredients yield a flavorful result. The sun rising in the East will smile on you.

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 Tbsp mediterranian vegetables, chopped [see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’17] 1.5 tsp hummus 1 black olive, minced 1 oz strawberries    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]

Whisk the eggs, then stir in the hummus and vegetables. Pour into a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the optional beverages and plate with the berries.

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

½ tsp oil ¼ c onion, chopped 3 Tbsp chopped celery 1 clove garlic, chopped 1/3 cup red or green sweet pepper, chopped 1.5 cups fresh spinach ½ cup mashed whole tomatoes 1/3 cup eggplant cubes cumin + paprika + oregano 1 egg 1.5 Tbsp Feta Cheese

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

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
cabbage + white beanscorned beef
duck fat + leeks + porkcabbage + apple
garlic powder + cayenne cottage cheese + thyme
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz fish 2 crepes/galettes [Sidekicks I, Sept. ’17]
chickpea ragout chicken breast + mozzarella
Mediterranean Vegetables [Sidekicks II, ’17]
chèvre + herbes de Province
Sparkling waterSparkling water