Dandelions

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 My Last Diet Plan and DC/Seasons of Parenting who are now Following.

Dandelions [Taraxacum officinale] originated in Europe and have spread to all temperate regions due to Colonization. Yes, they qualify as an ‘invasive species.’ The English name is a corruption of the French ‘dent de lion’ [lion’s tooth] due to the shape of the leaf. Children love dandelions — to make flower crowns and to blow away the downy seeds in a wishing game. To people who covet a smooth green mono-culture of a lawn, dandelions are the bane of their existence: no sooner have you mowed, than the flower stalks surge upward making the lawn look irregular and raggedy. But dandelions are good for you! They are very versatile in cooking: salad, tea, pesto, soup, wine — all can be made from dandelions. Just be sure that you gather them from a lawn or meadow that has not been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, or machine exhaust gasses.

If your taste buds shy away from foods on the bitter end of the scale [ex: arugula], then you might need to mask the dandelion flavor a bit more. For the rest of us, these recipes give you a chance to eat the ‘alien invaders,’ and put those weeds to use. From morning eggs to a silky smooth soup for dinner, dandelions are on the menu.

Dandelion ScrOmelette:  147 calories 8 g fat 2 g fiber 11 g protein 9.5 g carbs 103 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Since dandelions abound in most lawns during the early Summer, why not try them with scrambled eggs?

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  ½ cup  dandelion greens 1 clove garlic 1 Tbsp cooked brown rice 1 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]

Chop the dandelion greens and cover them with boiling salted water. Let sit 5 minutes off the heat, then taste a leaf to see if the bitterness is gone. If not, heat the water again to boiling, then take off heat for another 2 minutes. Taste again. If still bitter, drain the water, add fresh salted water and cook 2 minutes more. While that is going on, chop the garlic. Drain the dandelion greens. Heat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet and spray with cooking spray. Cook the garlic over medium for 30 seconds, then add the dandelion and rice. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, then pour them into the pan. Scramble or cook like an omelette. Plate with the melon and try something new.

Forager’s Soup:  271 calories 17 g fat 6 g fiber 13 g protein 29 g carbs 250 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here is an Irish soup made with summer greens. Did I hear you say ‘weeds’? Know that a weed is a plant that is growing in the wrong place. The cook-pot is the right place, where they are splendid. The recipe is one of Darina Allen’s from Reclaiming Ireland’s Culinary Heritage, One Roast Lamb Or Sponge Cake At A TimeHINT: The recipe makes 3 cups, enough for 3 servings.

2 tsp butter
½ c onion
½ potato = 4 oz
salt + pepper
Melt butter in pot over medium-high. When it foams, add vegetables, and stir to coat. Season. Turn down to very low, put parchment paper atop vegetables, to trap steam. Put on lid and cook gently 10 mins, until vegetables are soft but not brown.
1 c chicken stock
½ c + 1/3 c whole milk
Heat stock and dairy in a saucepan to simmering. Remove parchment and add hot liquid. Simmer 5-10 mins to cook vegetables fully.
4 oz by weight = 2 c. wild greens: dandelion; garlic mustard; sorrel; chives
¼ c ricotta
Add greens + simmer uncovered 2-3 mins until greens are just cooked through (do not cover pot or overcook, or else bright green color will be lost.)  Add ricotta. Purée until smooth. Taste for seasoning.
1 oz chorizo/ bacon per personSlice chorizo and cook on low in a skillet until fat is rendered and meat is crisp, 5-10 mins. Drain on paper towels. 
Edible flowers
2 Finn Crisp per serving
At serving time, warm soup over medium-low heat, uncovered. Scatter chorizo/bacon bits on each bowl, and garnish with flowers.

CottageCore

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.

CottageCore is all the rage. If you have been living in your closet-cum-office for too long, ‘cottage core’ is a yearning for a simpler life, lived in the country, with plenty of time to bake bread, gather eggs, and pick flowers in the garden. It got its name in 2018 and came into full flower during the Pandemic. But is it really a new trend? There have been many forays into the simpler life: in the 1970s, we called it the “Back-to-the-Land” movement; in the 1920s, it showed itself in the StoryBook style of architecture; the “Arts & Crafts Movement” began in England and moved to the USA in the late 1800s as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and mass-production; in the 1700s, Marie Antoinette plus friends escaped from court life to live like peasants in her rustic village; you see the pattern. When I first heard about this in 2019, I thought, “That’s not a fashion or a trend — that’s how I have always lived!” There are flowers in vases, home-canned fruits for breakfast, vegetables from the garden, bread is baked, time is made to go for a walk. But then, we’ve lived in the country since the 1970s — maybe it is easier here? CottageCore is a lifestyle and it is a choice. Living from the land and knowing where your food comes from is a fine thing. Some people find it very difficult to do, some find it to be very sustainable. Find your own Core.

I have chosen two meals that have ‘cottage’ right there in their names! They are simple, good tasting, made with authentic ingredients, and have that back to the land esthetic. Eating wholesome food that did not come from a package should not be limited to CottageCore devotees. After the meal, go read Jane Austin and experience another CottageCore influencer.

Cottage Breakfast with egg:  157 calories  7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 15 g carbs 38 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB  I wanted a breakfast that evoked a cottage in the English country-side, so here it is. The pan muffins are very good.

1 pan muffin 1 oz applesauce, unsweetened one 2-oz egg: fried or hard-boiled or soft-boiled  or scrambled 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]

HINT: I prepared 8 pan muffins from the 10-grain mufffin batter, cooked them, and froze them. I made the remaining batter into muffins to eat on Slow Days. Take one pan muffin from the freezer the night before and let it thaw. Cook the egg to your taste and warm the pan muffin. Dish the applesauce, brew the hot beverage, pour the smoothie. What a sweet and easy meal.

Cottage Pie:  219 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 15 g carbs 35 mg Calcium  PB GF Cottage Pie is the beef version of Shepherd’s Pie. The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the calorie and carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like this with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste. HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast beef, ground or minced 1 yolk from a two-oz egg ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower 1 white from a 2-oz egg ½ cup beef gravy, as fat free as you can make it   per serving: 2 oz peas OR 1 cup lettuce + 1 oz tomatoes + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the beef, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the egg white until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the beef mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs1 two-oz egg 
dandelion greenspan muffin
garlic + cooked brown riceCanadian bacon/ back bacon
melonapple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

butter + onion + potato 4-oz salmon, wild caught
chicken stock + Finn CrispParmesan cheese
whole milk + wild greenscherry tomatoes
part-skim ricotta + chorizo sausagegreen beans or sugar snap peas
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Bunsen Burner

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 mrinspire and Diets & Weight Loss Plans who are now Following.

The Bunsen burner is the work-horse of the laboratory. Except for a beaker or flask, no piece of equipment is as universally recognized. It was invented in 1855 by the German Chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen. He had been investigating the fact that different elements [Copper, Strontium, Potassium] gave off distinctive colors [blue-green, hot pink, lilac] when heated, known now as the Flame Test. To pursue this study, he needed a reliable source of flame that would burn with no color of its own. With the assistance of the mechanic Peter Desaga, he developed the method for delivering a controllable, compact, safe jet of flame. Perhaps his quest for a safe lab flame grew from an early science experiment that exploded, blinding him in one eye. Bunsen went on from there to analyze sunlight, drawing the accurate conclusion that the sun was made of Hydrogen and Helium gasses. With Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, Professor Bunsen invented the spectroscope. They were co-discoverers of the elements Cesium [Cs] and Rubidium [Rb].

Our German Breakfast might have been familiar to the professors and mechanics at the University of Heidelberg. When I was a young teacher, I often would rush to work in the morning with a raw egg in my pocket. During the class prior to lunch, I would boil it in a beaker of water over the Bunsen Burner on the lab bench. However you cook your eggs, you will need one for our dinner.

German Breakfast: 136 calories 3 g fat 4.4 g fiber 9 g protein 15 g carbs [3.5 g Complex] 104.4 mg Calcium Sturdy whole-grain bread, some curd cheese with chives and a slice of ham or turkey will get you going in the morning, just as it does for the Germans.

1 slice whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed‘] 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat [similar to ‘quark cheese’ in Germany] 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives ½ oz slice of 3%-fat ham** from the deli, thinly-sliced 1 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [85 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories] **you could substitute 1 oz turkey breast from the deli, thinly sliced

Toast the bread lightly or not. Spread with the cheese and sprinkle with chives. Top the cheese with the ham and plate with the pear. So nice. This would be a fine lunch for a Slow Day.

Herring Salad:  278 calories 6 g fat 7 g fiber 16 g protein 24 g carbs 103 mg Calcium   PB GF  Luchöw’s Restaurant in New York will live in memory as long as a certain generation yet 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 German 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. 

1½ oz herring marinated in wine, drained ¼ cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced 1½ oz apple, peeled and diced ¼ cup white beans, drained and rinsed ½ 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

Put the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and whisk 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.

Manchester, England

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. 

Manchester, England has a long history. It was once a Roman fort [‘chester’ in an English place name means ‘fort’] called Mancunium, located at the largest loop of the River Irwell. After the Romans, the area was run by Angles, who called the area Murcia. By the 1600s, it was a thriving town of half-timbered buildings called ‘magpies’ because of their black wood and the white plaster. Flemish weavers had been in the city since the 14th century and the town was already a hub for textiles. Then came the Industrial Revolution. Manchester grew by leaps and bounds: coal was brought to the city by the barge-load; older buildings and houses were knocked down to be replaced by factories for textile manufacture and town-houses for the mill owners. With mechanization and coal power, canal traffic and rail lines, all raw materials came to Manchester and left as finished cotton goods. Much of the cotton came from the American South, which is why England was a ‘neutral party’ during the American Civil War. In parts of the world today, household linens are still referred to as “Manchester.” The golden age was in the mid-1800s when  “Manchester was without challenge the first and greatest industrial city in the world.” [P. Hall, 1998]. Evidence of the bursting of the bubble is the fact that Friedrich Engles wrote his 1844 book about the condition of the working classes in Manchester. Engles invited Karl Marx to visit and view the socioeconomic scene. Poverty, social inequality, and slum life were wretched, breeding the labor movement, the suffragette movement, and food riots. Engles called it “Hell on Earth.” Today, Manchester has seen a lot of urban renewal and many initiatives for stimulating the economy. It is often called “the UK’s Second City.”

Coddled Eggs and a dinner of pork and apples are as English as the cotton mills of Manchester.

Coddled Egg: 143 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 9.5 g protein 12.4 g carb 71 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the plated foods only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF- if using GF bread  A really retro breakfast. So nice.

Bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Use enough water to cover the egg coddler by 1”. Spritz some cooking spray into an egg coddler. Break the egg into the coddler, and add cheese with salt/herbs to taste. Screw on the lid of the coddler and lower it into the water. Put the lid on the pot. Simmer 4.5 minutes then turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the water for about 3 minutes more. Toast the bread and plate with fruit. Pour your beverages of choice. You will feel coddled and cossetted when you treat yourself to this breakfast.

Pork with Apples: 273 calories 8 g fat 4 g fiber 23 g protein 19 g carbs 84 mg Calcium  PB GF  Long a favorite combination in lands where local meats and local fruits are blended in delicious ways. The flavor of pork with apples is a winner.

3 oz pork tenderloin, raw or cooked 2 oz round slices of apple, unpeeled ½ oz cubed apples, unpeeled 4 oz chicken stock 4 Tbsp Bechamel sauce, no cheese thyme/sage salt + pepper to taste 1 oz broccoli florets 1 oz cauliflower florets 1 oz carrots

Poach the apple slices in the stock until they are just tender. TIP: if cooking for 2, this may require poaching in 2 batches. Remove slices and reserve. Slice the pork into rounds about 1/4” thick.  If pork is raw, braise it briefly in the hot stock, and remove from stock. Put 1 Tbsp stock in the oven-proof pan in which you will bake the dinner. Combine cubed apples, Bechamel, seasonings, and remaining stock in the sauce pan, stirring until apples are soft and sauce is medium-thick. Adjust seasonings. Arrange alternating slices of pork and apple in the baking dish. Nap with the sauce and bake at 350 until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Steam the vegetables and enjoy a hearty meal.

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

1 slice whole-grain bread1 two-oz egg 
2%-fat small curd cottage cheese or Quarkunsweetened applesauce
3%-fat hampan muffin
pear + chives
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

herring marinated in wine + onionroast beef = 1 cup ground + potato
beets, canned or fresh + lettuceone 2-oz egg + low-fat beef gravy
apple + cider vinegar + dill picklecauliflower
white beans + hard-boiled eggpeas or side salad
Sparkling waterSparkling water

SuperFoods!

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 bellyflatxtreme and edwardlorilla who are now Following.

Doesn’t it seem as if every week or two there are articles touting a “new super food“? Each one is ‘the BEST’ and only food to eat for good health, and then the next time, another one comes along with the same claim. Well, we know that some foods are better than others: whole grains, fish with Omega-3 fatty acids, colorful vegetables, berries with antioxidants, dark leafy greens. We also know — or you should know — that certain foods should be avoided: highly processed foods, simple carbs, fried foods, trans-fats, feed-lot-fed meat. Since the foods to avoid are so easy to find and eat, that means that the better food must be unavailable and difficult to prepare, right? Nope. Unless you live in a ‘food desert,’ and unfortunately many people do, these choices are most likely available in your supermarket. Eating them can lead to better health outcomes, on a Fast Day and on a Slow Day.

Our breakfast utilizes two of the most trendy foods of our time: quinoa and kale. Dear Husband doesn’t care for them separately, but he ate them with gusto in this bake. Also in the bake is that diet stand-by, cottage cheese. The herbs and spices each carry health-promoting properties. And then we add the blueberries. Whew! That’s a lot of good stuff in one meal. The dinner contains two of the well-known standards of healthy eating: wild salmon and broccoli. Can’t get better than that!

SuperFood Bake132 calories 5.6 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [7 g Complex] 53 mg Calcium  PB GF   Hearty, easy, good-tasting, with many of your favorite superfoods baked into a fine breakfast. Whole grains and dark leafy greens! at breakfast!

one 2-oz egg 2 Tbsp cooked quinoa ½ oz cooked kale 1 Tbsp cottage cheese, reduced fat 2 pinches of cayenne, sage, garlic powder, turmeric ¼ c wild blueberries, fresh or frozen 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]

Plan to cook some quinoa for a dinner a day or two ahead to have some left-over for this breakfast. Tip: The night before cook the kale, squeeze it out, and chop in well. In a small bowl, combine the quinoa, kale, cheese, and seasonings. Add salt to taste. Heat the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray. Whisk the egg, then stir in the mixed ingredients. Pour into the prepared dish and bake 12-15 minutes. Plate with the blueberries and serve with your choice of optional beverages. Power-packed!

Salmon & Broccoli:  241 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 27 g protein 8 g carbs 83 mg Calcium PB GF This is a meal that is so simple to prepare and so delicious that it seems impossible that it can be so good for you. Indulge yourself often.

4 oz wild Pacific salmon filet 4 oz broccoli florets 2 Tbsp mango salsa [Newman’s own]

Spray either a cast iron skillet or a stove-top grill pan with non-stick spray and heat it over medium-high. [You could also broil or bake the fish. If you bake it, go for 9-10 minutes at 400F] Salt and pepper the fish on both sides. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, then take off the heat. Cook/steam the broccoli until it is tender, then plate topped with purchased mango salsa.

Rhubarb Festival!

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 Pandemic of 2020 meant that a lot of events were cancelled, including our town’s annual Rhubarb Festival on the first Saturday in June. We all stayed home last year and most of us got through it safely. This year the Festival is on! Musical groups, rhubarb pie contests, rhubarb flower arrangements, bake sale, farm animal petting zoo, food vendors, craft vendors, a ‘hollering contest,’ rhubarb wine and beer to sample — it is lots of fun for our tiny town of <1500 residents. Rhubarb is the ‘first fruit of the season,’ giving us good things to eat before the strawberries ever think of ripening. The plant, not a fruit but a vegetable, is native to central Asia and the roots were considered to be valuable for medicinal use 5000 years ago. It first arrived in North America when Benjamin Franklin sent a box of roots, for medicine, to his friend John Bartram. Finally, in the 1800s, people in the US got around to eating the stalks. Pie and jam are the first things that comes to mind, but for Slow Days, I make muffins and coffee-cakes from rhubarb as well. From May to September, fresh rhubarb is on the menu in our house. If you can grow it, you should.

Because rhubarb is so low in calories, it can be an ingredient on a Fast Day, as long as there isn’t too much sugar with it. Here it appears in a splendid breakfast and in a relish which is served on fish, chicken, or meat. Very delicious. NB: If you are new to rhubarb, eat only the stalks. The leaves should never be eaten as they contain oxalic acid/oxalate.

Yogurt Creme Brulee: 208 caloreis 2 g fat 2.5 g fiber 19 g protein 28 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF Let’s have dessert for breakfast! A Bobby Flay dessert was the inspiration for this breakfast recipe.  This is delicious! HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings.

You will need a small blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. If you use the broiler, you will melt the yogurt.
8 oz plain Greek** yogurt, fat-free -OR- ‘yogurt cheese’ [see below]
½ tsp vanilla
Stir yogurt and vanilla together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate 30+ mins to allow the flavors to meld.
1 cup chopped rhubarb
2 Tbsp water + 1 tsp sugar
Put fruit in a small saucepan and add water. Simmer until just softened, ~5 mins. Add sugar and stir. Let cool slightly.
two 8-oz ramekins
¼ c rolled oats, toasted
Divide fruit between ramekins. Toast oats in a dry skillet and sprinkle on the fruit. Fill the ramekins with yogurt. Cover and freeze 5 mins.
2 tsp turbinado sugar per ramekinSprinkle sugar over each ramekin. Caramelize by slowly sweeping the blowtorch flame back and forth. Let sugar harden, ~2 mins.
**Or put 2 cups plain, fat-free yogurt in a sieve lined with paper toweling. Let sit for 30 minutes as the whey drips out. The concentrated yogurt is call ‘yogurt cheese’ and is the same as ‘Greek Yogurt.’

In addition: 1 oz 3%-fat ham slice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

While the ramekins are in the freezer, cut the ham slice into ribbons and quickly cook in a dry skillet. Plate the ramekin with a wreath of ham around it. A fine mix of opposite flavors, temperatures, and textures.

Halibut with Fruit Relish: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium  PB GF Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit relish makes for a splendid topping.

4 oz halibut filet 5 oz asparagus -OR- side salad   2 Tbsp rhubarb-onion relish**

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

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 ¾ Tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, not packed
pinch each of ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick.
You could make a bigger batch and preserve by canning in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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

1 two-oz egg + blueberries1 two-oz egg 
kale + cayenne + sage70-calorie whole grain bread
quinoa + garlic powder + turmericParmesan cheese
reduced-fat cottage cheeseblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz wild-caught Pacific salmonpork tenderloin + apples
4 oz broccolichicken stock + broccoli
bechamel sauce
carrot + thyme + sage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mary Goes Over The Mountain. Again

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 Health Resolved who is now Following.

The Pennsylvania Dutch or Plain People have many ways of predicting the weather, which they have made into oft-repeated maxims. One of the best known is that “If Mary goes over the mountain dry, she’ll come home wet.” This refers to the Biblical story of the young Virgin Mary, newly pregnant by Divine intervention, going to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is about to give birth. The date given for the visit is May 31, when Mary goes over, to August 18 when she returned to her family in Nazareth. According to the weather lore, if the weather is dry at the end of May, one can expect rain in mid- August. Since there was no National Weather Service until 100 years ago, farmers were always looking for ways to make long-range forecasts. Frequently patterns would be observed: “A green Christmas means a brown July.” Wishing to have some control over the weather doesn’t make it so. The weather will do what it wants. Make your own observations and see if you can detect any patterns as our climate changes.

The Plain People brought a rich culture of foods to the New World. Today’s breakfast is made with the famous scrapple of South-Eastern Pennsylvania, and the dinner is a popular meal from the same region. Both are delicious. Mark your calendar with the weather on May 31, then note the atmospheric conditions on August 18 to see if the maxim is valid.

Scrapple Bake: 290 calories 7.4 g fat 6 g fiber 14 g protein 39 g carbs 220 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  GF  Scrapple is one of the specialty foods of the “Pennsylvania Dutch” people of South-Eastern Pennyslvania. Excellent for breakfast, served as a side dish like sausage or combined with eggs in this bake.

1 two-oz eggs ½ oz scrapple, sliced and baked until cooked ½ oz scallion, chopped ½ cup raspberries + 1 Tbsp fat-free vanilla yogurt  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]

The night before, bake the scrapple in the oven until firm. Dice it and combine with the scallion.  In the morning, set the toaster oven at 350 F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Scatter the scrapple and scallion in the ramekin. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the scrapple. Bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, portion the berries and dollop the yogurt on top. Brew the hot beverage and pour the smoothie. A fine, homey breakfast.

Chicken & Dumplings: 293 calories 7 g fat 4.6 g fiber 38 g protein 30 g carbs 67 mg Calcium  PB This was a real hit in my parents’ Central Pennsylvania home and it is still a favorite with us. Be aware that it is best made over 2 days, but it basically cooks by itself with a few busy bouts by you. Worth the time and effort. AND this recipe serves 4 [four] people, so have a party serving this great make-ahead meal. If you serve one or two, make the whole thing anyhow, then package and freeze the remainder.

3 pound whole chicken, preferably a fowl although you will get more meat from a fryer ½ cup onion, chopped 1/3 cup carrots cut as coins ½ cup celery, chopped bay leaf 3 peppercorns 1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 4 dumplings   per person:  ¼ cup green peas 

Cut up a 3 pound chicken into leg quarters, breast quarters, back, wings. In a large pcast iron pan or Dutch oven, brown the chicken in a little oil on all sides. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, pepper, and water to cover. Simmer on the cooktop for 45 minutes. Add 2 tsp salt, cover, and simmer for another 45 minutes. Strain off the stock and let the fat rise to the surface to cool. Discard the fat. Reserve the vegetables. Cool the chicken and remove the skin. Pull off the meat in chunks: you will use 17 oz meat by volume. You could stop here.

Measure ¼ cup of stock and whisk in the 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour to form a paste. Measure 1.5 cups stock and pour into a stovetop-safe serving dish along with the Worcestershire sauce. HINT: save any remaining stock and chicken for excellent soup. You could stop here. Add the flour water paste and stir to incorporate. Put the vegetables and chicken meat into the dish and adjust seasonings to taste.  You could stop here. When ready to serve, prepare the dough for the dumplings. Heat the chicken mixture and place 4 dollops of dumpling dough on the chicken and vegetables but not so that it is in liquid only. Let it all bubble gently for 15-20 minutes, then cover the dish and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes. Steam the peas and pour over the top of the dish before bringing to the table. Serve this simple classic proudly.

Industrial Revolution

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.

These days, when people discuss climate change or atmospheric pollution, the Industrial Revolution is often mentioned. Before that time, factories were a cottage industry. Literally. A woman might make hats or butter to sell from home. A man might be a weaver, right in the front room of his cottage. In the 1760s, textile making was speeded up by the invention of spinning and weaving machines in Northern England. Larger manufacturing spaces were built and people were lured from subsistence farming by higher wages. Once, machines were powered by water; now steam engines, perfected by James Watt of Scotland, powered factories by burning coal. Some people decried smoke-stacks belching black coal smoke into the once-pristine country air, but locals said, “It smelled like money.” Now instead of being made one-by-one, items were mass-produced. Improvements in steel-making lead to railroads and their speeding trains. Factories became larger as manufacturing became mechanized. Cities grew in population as the countryside emptied. Fortunes were made, and work life ran by the clock instead of the sun. Modern life as we know it began with the Industrial Revolution, and our use of fossil fuels has grown over the years because of it. Early on, the new factories were seen as a blessing to areas with marginal farmland. Young men and women could work for a few years in a factory, then return to the farm with modest wealth. Were there benefits from mechanization? Yes. Did it create problems that are still with us? Decidedly. Now we must deal with the unintended consequences of industrial expansion and the use of fossil fuels. We must balance production of goods with quality of life for humans and other life on our planet. We can do it.

Our meals go back to pre-Industrial days, when most people lived on and from the land, even if they lived in a small town. Oatmeal and shepherd’s pie would have been very familiar foods to an agricultural family in Northern England.

Oatmeal Pudding:  258 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 36 g carb [34 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the pudding only, and do not include the optional beverage.  GF PB  A riff on a recipe found in Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book, this can easily be prepared the night before. HINT: MAKES ENOUGH FOR TWO [2] SERVINGS.  Make them both, since two are as easy as one, and freeze the other.

½ cup rolled oats, cooked in 1 cup water 2 tsp maple syrup ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon 4 Tbsp. blueberries [fresh or frozen]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea  

Cook the oatmeal in the water. Take off the heat, stir in the maple syrup and nutmeg. While it is still a little warm, stir in the cottage cheese. Let sit to cool.  HINT: I did this part the night before while cleaning up after dinner.  If cooking for one, pour half of the pudding into a freezer container and top with 2 Tbsp blueberries. Freeze it. HINT: make the entire batch, eat half of it today and freeze the rest for a really simple-to-prepare breakfast for another day. With the remainder, stir in 2 Tbsp blueberries and pour the pudding into a ramekin. Nuke it for a minute to heat through – longer than that and it will bubble over. Serve with the hot beverage of your choice for a hearty, healthy meal.

Shepherd’s Pie:  276 calories 12 g fat 2 g fiber 21.6 g protein 21.6 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  PB GF  The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like to top this pie with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste.  HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast lamb, ground or minced 1 two-oz egg, separated ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower ½ cup lamb gravy, as fat free as you can make it 1 cup lettuce ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice OR cider vinegar 1 oz tomatoes

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the roast lamb, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the eggwhite until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the lamb mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1 two-oz egg1 cup plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt 
scrapple + scallionrolled oats + vanilla extract
raspberriesrhubarb + turbinado sugar
fat-free French-vanilla yogurtslice of 3%-fat ham
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

3# chicken + onion + celery4 oz halibut per person + side salad
carrot + Worcestershire saucerhubarb + onion
white whole wheat flour + peascider vinegar + brown sugar
dumplingsground cloves + allspice + cinnamon
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Victoria

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 Nouveau Trip and gblake who are now Following.

When King George IV of England died in 1830, he left no living heirs. Second brother Frederick would have been king, but he had died. Third brother, William ruled until 1837, and his death without issue started the process all over again. Fourth brother Edward was up next, but he had been dead for 17 years. Thus it was that a teenager named Victoria, daughter of Edward, was awakened one morning and told that she was now Queen of England. Yikes. A bevy of advisors hovered around her as she learned the ropes and took control of her kingdom. After her marriage in 1840, her Prince-Consort Albert became the person she relied upon most and his death was devastating to her. During Victoria’s long reign, life in England changed in several ways: white became the color of choice for wedding dresses [because Victoria wore white]; railroads criss-crossed the land; free schools were set up for all children; laws were passed forbidding certain work for children; India became part of the Empire; all things Scottish became fashionable [when Victoria and Albert wore tartans and vacationed in Balmoral]; Victoria popularized the use of ether during two childbirths; electric street lights in London replaced gas; and she gave her name to an entire era, with its associations with over-decorating, imperialism, prudery, and a bit of stodginess. Until the present Queen, no one had ruled for a longer on the English throne.

During the Victorian Era, many changes occurred in the English diet. Breakfast as we know it was developed, leading to the ‘proper English’ menu, still ubiquitous today. Food stuffs and flavors came in from the far-flung Empire, especially curries from India, as in Kedgeree.

Improper English w/ egg:  127 calories 3 g fat 3 g fiber 10 g protein 16.6 g carbs 42.5 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the plated foods only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  The ‘proper English breakfast’ is a meal of generous proportions: several meats, eggs, mushrooms, toast, tomatoes, baked beans, plus whatever else the host cares to add. This is not a meal for a Fast Day. But wait! By taking the healthiest elements and scaling down the amounts, we can achieve all the flavor along with more balanced nutrition.

The Canadian bacon slice is folded, but it is a full-sized slice.

½ cup baked beans ½ hard-boiled egg 2½ oz tomato, sliced thickly + pinch grated Parmesan cheese 1 slice ‘Canadian’ bacon  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]

Warm the beans. Place the tomato and bacon in a broiler-safe dish. Sprinkle the tomato with salt and Parmesan cheese. Broil until warm and cooked. Peel, slice, and plate the egg half along with the other elements. Proper delicious, that is.

Kedgeree:  250 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 25.7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 101 mg Calcium  PB GF  This Anglo-Indian fusion dish is flavorful and quickly prepared.  HINT: The recipe serves two [2] people.

3 oz smoked haddock [aka: finnen haddie]
½ cup milk 
1 bay leaf
 ¼ cup chopped onion 
Put the smoked haddock, milk, bay leaf, and onion in a small pan with a lid. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the milk and save it. Remove the fish, skin it, and pull apart into large shreds.
2/3 cup cooked rice [White rice is OK but brown rice has more nutrition] 
1/5 tsp curry powder 
½ tsp turmeric
Add the rice and spices along with the shredded fish to the milk and put on low heat, covered.
5 oz asparagus cut into 1-½” piecesCook separately until just tender. Add to the rice/fish.
2 hardboiled eggsPeel + cut each into 8 pieces. Strew atop the plated meal.

Blue Jeans

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.

Levi Strauss had ‘gold fever,’ but not in the same way as others who headed to California in the 1800s. He set out from New York City by boat headed for the California Gold Rush equipped with bales of fabric. Why fabric? Levi had experience in the dry-goods trade and figured he could sell the fabric for tents. After crossing the Isthmuth of Panama and sailing up to San Francisco, Strauss saw a better use for his fabric. Miners didn’t need tents as much as they needed sturdy trousers. So Levi set up a dry-goods store and took to making trousers from the dark blue, rugged ‘cloth de Nimes,’ thus named because that weave came from France. Miners paid good money and Levi was doing well for himself. But the miners stuffed nuggets in the pockets and ripped the seams, so Strauss teamed up with Jacob Davis who put rivets at strategic parts of the trousers for reinforcement. That worked and ‘blue jeans’ made out of ‘denim’ were born with a patent on May 19, 1873. Strauss was not trying to make a fashion statement — he saw a problem and found a solution for it that earned him a tidy living. Today Levi’s 501 style is closest to the original model: button fly, rivets and all. Around 450 million pairs of Levi Strauss jeans are sold in the USA annually. There were indeed fortunes to be made in California!

For breakfast, the meal to order if you came into town with pockets stuffed with nuggets. For dinner, a nod to Old California, which was a Spanish possession and part of Mexico.

Hangtown Fry: 155 calories 9 g fat 0.6 g fiber 12.6 g protein 6 g carbs [4 g Complex] 62.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesGF  Turns out, this meal has nothing to do with being hanged and everything to do with striking it rich.

3 two-oz eggs of which you will use 1½ 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  2 shucked oysters, chopped ½ slice ‘American’ bacon, uncured if possible 1 1/2 oz grapes -OR- 1½ oz strawberries -OR- 3 cherries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Dice the bacon and cook it in a hot pan until almost crisp. Add the oysters and cook a second or two longer. Whisk the eggs with salt, and pepper. Pour over the bacon/oysters in the pan and scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the fruit and serve with the beverages of choice.

Enchiladas Suizas:  293 calories 10 g fat 11 g fiber 31.6 g protein 43.4 g carbs 262 mg Calcium   PB GF Rick Bayless relates this recipe in his book Mexico One Plate At A Time. Delicious and easy to prepare. Avoid assembling too far in advance, lest it turn to mush.

2 six-inch corn tortillas [50 calories each] 2 oz [½ cup] shredded cooked chicken breast ½ cup enchilada sauce: see SPICY II 12 Sept 2018   ¼ cup grated Cheddar or Monterey jack dollop of plain, fat-free yogurt 1 oz broccoli florets + 1 oz cauliflower florets + ½ oz carrot

Heat oven to 350 F. On an ungreased heavy skillet, place the tortillas and cook them until they begin to brown on one side. Flip in the pan and continue until each tortilla is pliable and slightly fragrant. Remove to a cutting board or baking sheet. Stir the yogurt into the chicken. Distribute the chicken between the tortillas, then roll them up, and place each in an oven-proof dish, seam-side down. Spoon the sauce over and around and between the enchiladas. NB: you don’t have to use all of the sauce. Extra could be added to eggs or soup. Sprinkle with cheese and put into oven. Cook the vegetables, drain and dress with salt and a splash of red wine vinegar. So good!

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

1 hard-boiled two-oz egg‘old fashioned’ rolled oats
baked beanscinnamon + nutmeg
tomato + Parmesan cheesecottage cheese + maple syrup
Canadian or back baconblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Finnen Haddie + hard-boiled eggroast lamb + one 2-oz egg + olive oil
asparagus + curry powdertomato + mashed potatoes + lamb gravy
asparagus + turmeric + milkmashed cauliflower + lettuce
brown rice + onion + bay leaflemon juice or cider vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water