Slow Days: Sister’s Pasta Sauce

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which show that is true.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

When our parents were alive and still hosting Christmas at their house, my sister would prepare her special pasta for Christmas Eve.  It is the tradition in many cultures to eat a meatless dinner on December 24, and this recipe from Bon Appétit magazine fills the bill.  It is a lot easier if you start several days before to prepare the sauce. I like to make it much earlier in December and freeze it.Sukey Pasta, mise 1

The sauce involves sautéing 1.5 cups onion and 1 clove garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes, then adding basil, red pepper flakes, and 3 cans [28-oz cans] of whole or crushed tomatoes in their juice.  Cook uncovered on low for 2 hours, then add 2 cups chicken stock. Continue to simmer for another 2 hours until the amount of sauce is reduced to 6-8 cups. The resultant rich, flavorful sauce is mostly used in the Christmas Pasta, but it will grace a more humble dish as well.

To complete the pasta dish for four people, cook 12 oz of penne pasta until it is just under-done. [NB: Ordinarily I use 2 oz pasta per serving so this should serve 6 people.  The remainders from this meal can be served as lunch.]  Gently heat 20 fl oz Sister’s Pasta Sauce, adding 1/3 cup of quartered wrinkly black olives or Kalamata olives and 2 cups grated Havarti cheese. Combine with the drained pasta and put in a lightly-oiled casserole dish.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350° F for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese begins to brown slightly. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve with Italian Green Beans or Green Salad and a crusty loafSister's Pasta, plated.

I’m always sure to save out enough sauce to prepare the pasta again before Easter, to give a culinary link to the two holidays.

Slow Days: Apple-Chicken Crepes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell the tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

Remember those crêpes we made last month?  [November 10, 2018]  Here’s a delicious way to use some of them. The recipe is from Brittany Gastronomique by Kate Whiteman.Apple-Chicken Crepe recipe

Having had on hand some chicken meat, some apples, and some crêpes — we couldn’t resist having a go at this recipe.  It was our 2nd time of cooking it.Apple-Chicken Crepes, miseAs you can see, the chicken was already cooked, so this was extra easy to prepare.  The chicken/apple/cream/honey/cidre were combined as per the recipe.  The crêpes, previously prepared and thawed, were gently heated before using.  Fill the crêpes and serve!Apple-Chicken Crepes, platedêServed with a simple salad, the meal is excellent.  Add a honeyed cidre called Chouchenn from the Iles de la Madelaine and it is ambrosial.

Slow Days: Turkey Roulade

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell that tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

American Thanksgiving is coming up so of course we will eat turkey.  But an entire turkey is too much for two people with smaller appetites, so we have a work-around.  We order a 15-pound turkey from our butcher at Roy’s Market and have it cut in two pieces lengthwise. The two halves are then brined.  One half goes in the freezer for later while the remaining breast [skin still intact] and thigh are boned [skin to stock pot].Turkey Roulade, meat

The leg is put into the stock pot along with the bones, the wing tip, and the giblets. [The resulting stock of course forms the basis of gravy and turkey soup]. The breast is butterflied.Turkey Roulade, butterflied

Stuffing is prepared according to my mother’s recipe. Some is baked in a small dish and 2-3 cups are saved out for the turkey.  Arrange the dark meat overlapping on the white meat so it forms a fairly uniform rectangle. Strew with salt. Distribute the stuffing over the meat, keeping it 1-2″ from the long edges. Turkey Roulade, ready to roll Roll up the meat with the stuffing inside and place the wing [For wing lovers like me!] across one end. [weight = 4.5 pounds]  Tie ‘like a Genoa sail,’ says my Dear Husband.  Extra hands may be needed for this. This is done the evening before Thanksgiving and refrigerated.  The next day, the roulade is baked at 425° F for 30 minutes, then at 325° for up to 45 minutes.Turkey Roulade, roastedSlice 1″ thick and serve with all your favorite sides. So easy to serve. The perfect way to feed two people [three if a son comes home] for one feast, and 2 meals of left-overs.Turkey Roulade, slicedTurkey Rouldad, plated

Happy Thanksgiving!  We have much for which to be thankful.  We need to remember that every day and help those around us who are less fortunate.

Slow Days: Crepes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.

Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forumwhich tell that tale.  Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

Crêpes are one of the most versatile foods: for breakfast, dinner, or dessert there is an infinite variety of ways to fill, top, and eat them.  Slow Days or Fast Days, crêpes are easy to prepare and easy to eat.  I hope this photo essay will inspire you.

The ingredients are straightforward.  The more difficult item would be buckwheat flour, but you might be able to find Bob’s Red Mill brand.  Here are the ingredients:Crepes, mise

[The liquid in the Pyrex cup is 1.75 cups of ‘water’, but I use water drained from cooking vegetables and/or potatoes for more nutrients. That’s why it looks as it does.]                       Next you combine the flours and slowly whisk in the water.Crepes, step one

Then whisk in the eggs, followed by the salt.Crepes, step 2

Now whisk it as if you meant it for a few minutes, until the batter runs off the whisk ‘in ropes.’Crepes, step 3

Cover lightly and let the batter sit on the counter for 30 minutes to 2 hours. It could sit in the refrigerator over night, if you wanted to use it the next morning.Crepes, step 4

Whisk again before using.  Next, I heat two 8″ cast iron pans.  They are well seasoned and that is important.  Put a little butter in each pan, then use a paper towel to wipe the butter over the inside of the pan. Save the paper towel for later.Crepes, sep 5

Now you’ll need a pot holder and a 1/4 cup measure.  Hold the skillet handle in one hand and use the 1/4 cup measure as a dipper to scoop up some batter.  Pour most of the batter in the pan while you tilt and tip the pan in such a way that the batter spreads over the bottom. This might take some practice, but you do not have to get them thin or perfectly round.  Cook each crêpe until the edges dry and lift from the bottom.  You may notice little bubbles or holes on the crêpe. These 3 things tell you it is time to turn them.Crepes, step 6

Did you notice that the crepe is not perfectly formed? It is rustic!  Take each crêpe from the pan and lay them on a tea towel to cool. Every 3 crepes, wipe the paper towel with the butter on the bottom of the skillet.  Keep going until you have used all the batter or freeze what is remaining to cook and use later. HINT: I usually cook more crepes than I’ll need for a recipe, then freeze them in a zipper bag.

What to do with those lovely rounds of goodness?

Chicken Ratatouille Crepes
Chicken-Ratatouille Crepes for dinner…
Mushroom-Egg Crepe
Mushroom-Egg Crepes for breakfast…
Ham & Cheese Crepes
Ham & Cheese Crepes for lunch

 

 

 

 

Slow Days: Pork Schnitzel

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell that tale.  Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

KJL, a local butcher shop offers breaded pork schnitzel, and who can resist?  If this treat is not deep fat fried, it can be very healthy, as well as quick to prepare. “Schnitzel” is not a recipe as in ‘Wiener Schnitzel‘ or ‘Jaeger Schnitzel,’ but rather refers to a thin cut of meat, whether veal or pork, made thinner by pounding.Pork Schnitzel, mise

From the freezer, I took some watercress sauce with cream [top] and some apples sautéed  in butter and sugar [bottom]. The sugar was a good flavor foil to the tartness of the watercress.  Fresh mushrooms [center] were added to those to make a sauce.

The schnitzels weighed 5.25 oz each, so I cut them in half after sautéing in some butter and cooking spray. I ate 1/2 of one, while Dear Husband ate two halves. [The other half went for lunch another day.]  Fresh beets and roasted little potatoes rounded out the meal. Delicious and so simple.Pork Schnitzel, plated

Slow Days: Pizza with Leek & Bleu Cheese

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell that tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

When the boys were young, I’d make home-made, personal-sized [8″ diameter] pizzas and we’d all watch Star Trek, The Next Generation every Saturday.  Memories are made that way.  The boys are dispersed to their own homes [one of them still makes pizza], and we continue to eat pizza, every Saturday. This one is based on a recipe from Fore Street, a favorite restaurant in Portland, Maine. Forestreet Pizza recipe

I make my own pizza shells from scratch. Sometimes I use the recipe from Gourmet magazine, which makes 2. Often I use the Neapolitan recipe from Peter Reinhart‘s American Pie, which makes six balls of dough, 5-6 oz each. I freeze balls of dough to use next week. NB: ordinarily I sauté the mushrooms and leeks before I put them on the pizza.  For some reason I didn’t do that this time.  It was crunchier as a result. Next time, I’ll sauté them.Feor Street Pizza, miseFore Street Pizza, plated

I usually eat 3 pieces of pizza, while Dear Husband eats all of his. This was enjoyed with a Dutcher Crossing red wine and a good friend as a guest.

Slow Day: Lime-marinated Chicken

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell the tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

Lime-marinated chicken came to us from our younger son and his friend Angela, both of whom are very handy in the kitchen. Lime marinade for chicken:pork    The marinade is simplicity itself, but the meat must sit in it for 4+ hours  — so plan ahead.  What seems to be a puny amount of marinade grows into a lot more as time goes on.  Use it for basting.  The chicken can be grilled or baked. note: I skinned half of the chicken to account for varying tastes.  Fine either way.Lime-marinated chicken, mise

Served with sliced tomatoes and potato salad, this is one of those prefect Summer meals.

Lime Marinated Chicken, plated

PS: We always use this for chicken, but our son says it is fabulous with pork, too.

Slow Days: pan bagne

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell the tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

Pan Bagne means ‘bathed bread.‘  It is a layered sandwich which is ‘bathed’ in an olive oil dressing. Pan Bagne recipe    We like it for 2 reasons: a] it is delicious;  b] it should be made a day or two ahead of when you need it.  Easy to prepare, once you have assembled the ingredients, Pan Bagne makes a delightful meal for summer entertaining or for a picnic. Pan Bagna, mise    We especially like it as end-of-the-road food: for when we have traveled long hours to our vacation cottage.  After unpacking, the Pan Bagne is brought out [after 2 days of cooling], sliced, and served with a chilled drink and a sigh of relief. Here it is offered up with A Rossignol Estate Saint Jean White.Pan Bagne, plated

 

Groundhog 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.

Ground Hog Day is a ‘cross-quarter day’ which falls equidistant between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.  In pre-Christian times [and even beyond] it was the occasion for minor celebrations.  Our myth of the groundhog being a weather prognosticator goes back to old Germany.  Then there is the Bill Murray and Andie McDowell film, in which the anti-hero is doomed to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right.  In that vein, I will repeat myself and give you 12 tips for getting on and staying with the Fast Diet.

1. Watch the video of Dr Mosley’s program  Eat-Fast-Live which we saw originally on PBS.   http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x18a1b6_michael-mosley-eat-fast-live-longer_lifestyle     This is what inspired us to start this Lifestyle and it might help you too.

2. Plan ahead. We write on the calendar what Fast meals we want to eat in a week. Nothing ruins a diet like coming home and having no idea what to eat for dinner. That’s when the default foods come out [carry-out or pizza]. You can avoid that by planning.

3. Prep ahead. You see in many recipe the HINTS about preparing food ahead. This is a real time-saver in the morning. Want your spouse to help you to stay on the diet when you get home late? Write out the recipe, leave it on the counter, include info about where to find ingredients, and maybe the meal will be in progress when you come through the door.

4. Shop ahead. Now that you know what you want to eat, have the ingredients on hand. When Fast Day comes, you want to be ready.

5. Portion as you shop.  A recipe calls for 4 oz chicken breast: so when you get home, cut the chicken into the correct size. Wrap and label the part you need, save the trimmings for another use such as Chicken Curry or Chicken Noodle Soup. The same goes for vegetables: slice and chop those 2 oz of bell pepper that you will need.  It takes moments to do this as you unload the groceries, so do it to save time later.

6. Listen to Diane Rehm interview Dr. Mosley.  http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows /2013-03-13/dr-michael-mosley-fast-diet  Diane asks the tough questions and ends the conversation by saying that everyone on her staff can’t wait to try the diet!

7. Make the meal setting special. Instead of eating on the run or while standing over the sink, make a Fast meal an occasion. Use the good plates and flatware. Put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. See the demitasse cup in the photo?Entire Breakfast It is the only one I have and it makes the breakfast table so pretty that it is saved for Fast days only.

8. Slo-o-o-ow down the meal. The other reason for the little cup at breakfast? By putting the coffee in a pitcher, I frequently have to stop to refill the cup. This bit of fussiness slows down the process. When you put food in your mouth, put down the fork. You don’t have to chew 30 times, but don’t simply cram the food in your mouth — savor it, taste it, and make it last.

9. Set goals by the clock.  After breakfast, vow not to put any calories in your mouth until noon. Then at noon, tell yourself that you can hold out for another 2 hours. Maybe setting a timer will help you: while the timer is ticking, don’t eat. This does not mean that you will eat when the timer rings! No. Set a new goal.

10. Distract yourself. After breakfast, I pour a large [1.5 cups] glass of water which I sip on until 2 pm. Then I have earned a hot cup of tea — something bold-tasting or soothing as mood dictates. A touch of honey in the drink provides a real lift. Mid- to late afternoon is difficult for me. Go for a walk [not to the kitchen or break-room!] or get involved in a long project to take your mind off eating.

11. Hide the temptation.  I stash the bowl of pistachios in the cupboard on Fast Days. Yes, I still know they are there, but out of sight, is out of mind.

12. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. This has a double meaning. 1] If you yearn for something on a Fast Day, tell yourself that you can have it tomorrow. It is not a promise that you have to keep. Tomorrow it might not be calling to you.  2] Tomorrow is the day that you will weigh less. Tomorrow is also weeks from now when you will be slimmer and thinking about new clothes. Tomorrow will come.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

Mediterranean Vegetables [See SIDEKICKS II posted on Oct 4, 2017] next week you will see recipes for bread-stuffs suitable for a Fast meal
1.5  two-oz eggs
tuna  Browse the archives for a breakfast menu
frozen spinach
clementine
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

 3 oz cooked or raw fish, two varieties
 shallot  +   Spinach  leaves, fresh  Browse the archives for a dinner menu
 Swiss chard leaves
 egg    +  cream
 canned white beans
 granulated garlic   +  nutmeg
Sparkling water Sparkling water

A Fresh Start

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 BeBlogger who is now Following.

This blog is about Fasting, aka: 5:2 Diet; IF.  “I’m not giving up eating!” you sneer. “Fasting is for ascetics who don’t enjoy life.”  If you really think that, then I want you to understand that this Lifestyle does involve eating [some really good food] and that there are many benefits beyond weight loss.  While on this Lifestyle [WOL], my husband and I have enjoyed lots of delicious food while losing a combined total of 50 pounds.  This Lifestyle is sustainable: you can do it week after week, year after year and not feel deprived.                                                                                                                                         What do you eat on the Slow [non-Fast] Days? What you want — WITHIN REASON.  Pigging out is not approved, but we go to restaurants and eat all sorts of foods. The key is learning the number of calories that you can ingest [TDEE] to get to the weight you want to achieve. This diet is not about counting calories, but you need to get a realistic sense of how much you are eating daily.  Weight loss comes with less food taken in over time and a resulting decrease in appetite.

WHY FAST?                                                                                                                                             “We all know how you are supposed to lose weight: eat low-fat foods, exercise more… and never, ever skip meals. This has been standard dietary advice for decades and though it may work for some people, levels of obesity continue to soar. So is there an alternative? We think there is. Intermittent fasting. Based on the work of leading scientists from around the world, this is an exciting new alternative to standard dieting.

“Intermittent Fasting does not mean stopping eating entirely. It means reducing the amount you eat, but only for quite short periods of time.

“In The Fast Diet book I outline my experiences of trying different forms of intermittent fasting, before settling on what I called a 5:2 regime. With 5:2 intermittent fasting you eat normally five days a week and diet two days a week, cutting your calorie intake for those two days to a ¼ of their normal level. This means that on, say, a Monday and a Thursday you will eat 500 calories if you are a woman, 600 if you are a man.

“If you stick to this plan then you should lose around 1lb (0.46kg) a week if you are a woman, slightly more for a man. Success also depends on not over-eating on your normal days.

“You should not only lose weight but also enjoy a wide range of health benefits. Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their insulin sensitivity.

“As one of the medical experts I interviewed put it: ‘There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting.’

“Welcome to The Fast Diet and to the community on this site. We will keep you up to date with the latest in this exciting new field. You can read how others are managing this way of life and pick up lots of helpful tips. We hope it works for you.”                                              — Michael Mosley, originator of the Fast Diet

This blog is about recipes to eat on Fast Days.  Some of them appear in our regular diet on Slow Days because they are so yummy. Throughout 2018, I will be posting recipes which I hope will make following the Fasting Lifestyle as easy as A-B-C. There will also be tips for how to stock your freezer and your pantry to make it convenient to prepare the healthy, home-made food that we eat every week.

If you want to improve your health and lose weight, I recommend that you follow the Fasting Lifestyle. The New Year is a time for a fresh start.  Try Fasting.