Slow Days: Apulia Pizza

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 attest to that. 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.

Every Saturday night, we eat pizza for dinner. These are home-made, personal-size [8″ diameter] pizzas.  The toppings can be simple or extravagant; elegantly crafted or clear-out-the-‘fridge. But on the night before Easter Sunday, somehow the idea of kicking back with a fun and fabulous pizza seems a little out of line.  Some research turned up a pizza made with a cheese from Apulia [aka Puglia]. Far from the glittering lights of the big cities and the tourist haunts, Apulia has had its share of hard times.  This pizza is austere and yet delicious.Puglia Pizza w: wine, salad

The ingredients are few: one 8″ pizza crust per person, olive oil to brush on the crust, Italian herb blend to scatter on the oil, 1/2 cup of grated scamorza [smoked mozzarella] for each pie, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for each pie. Here is a new twist for sharing bread and wine with loved ones or friends.  Optional: 11 halved cherry/grape tomatoes per pie.  Served with a salad and a glass of wine, it is suitable to the day.  In another context, it would make a great appetizer.

Slow Days: French Herb Roast 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 attest to that. 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.

Chicken for dinner every Sunday is the American Standard. The politician’s promise of a “Chicken in every pot!” goes back to King Henri IV of France.  He was from the Gascony region and he understood that the peasantry often lacked food. In 1598, he stated his wish that in his realm no working man would be so poor that he couldn’t have a chicken in the pot every Sunday.  Today’s meal is roasted instead of being stewed, and it is called French Herb Roast Chicken. We eat this about once a month. Lots of meat left over to use for Fast meals!

French Roast Chicken, mise

The chicken cavity is sprinkled with dried tarragon, then stuffed with carrot, celery, and onion.  The skin of the bird is showered with more tarragon and paprika.  Set the oven at 425°F.  Before roasting, the bird is draped with 4 half-slices of bacon. Roast the bird for 30 minutes, then baste with beef stock.  Return to oven at 350°F, basting occasionally for another 30 minutes or until the bird is done.  Boil and mash some potatoes and cook the vegetable of your choice.French Roast Chicken, platedGravy is made from the pan drippings with some mushrooms added for even more flavor.  I always get the wings!  The wine is a Pinot Noir.  The meal was delicious.

 

Slow Days: Crab Pasta

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 attest to that. 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.

We are very fond of crab meat. Not the fancy, high-priced Dungeness or Blue crab, but our New England Coast local Rock and Jonah Crabs.  This commodity appears cooked, picked-over, and packaged in fish markets and grocery stores. A half-pound package is perfect for crab cakes or Crab Pasta. Our recipe comes from the Legal Sea Foods Cookbook, based on menus from the Boston restaurant of the same name. The ingredients seem a bit extravagant, but you are serving 2 people and you don’t eat like this every day.  In our house, pasta appears on the menu once each week.   2 oz/person.Crab Pasta recipe

You will notice that the ingredient amounts for TWO PEOPLE are written in on the left.  See also that the amount of pasta allotted per person is TWO Ounces, although the recipe specifies 4 oz/person.  Note also that we described this meal as ‘Exceptional!’

Create a mise en place with your ingredients.  Follow the above instructions. Our pasta of choice for this dish is ‘gemelli.’  Prepare the salad or vegetable of your choice. Plate and enjoy.Crab Pasta, plated

Slow Days: Pissaladiere

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 attest to that.  Once in a while you 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.

Pissaladière is a classic Provinçal food that looks like a pizza [hence its alias: Pizza Niçoise].  More accurately, it could be described as a flatbread topped with fish-accented caramelized onions.  Perhaps in the cafes of the Midi it has become a cliché, but it was new to us when we tried it at home. And we loved it. I used Joanne Harris’ recipe from her My French Kitchen cookbook.

The ingredients are simple: pizza dough [8″ rounds, one per person], tinned anchovies, black olives, Herbes de Province, and caramelized onions. One late summer day, I had a surfeit of onions, so I caramelized and then froze them. [NB: it takes about an hour to cook 3.5 pounds of onions to the point where they are ‘soft and slightly caramelized but not brown’ as Joanne Harris says.] Out they came for this meal, making the preparation very easy.

pissaladiere, mise

The pizza dough is shaped and brushed with olive oil. Distribute the onions on top then arrange the anchovies in a lattice pattern. Sprinkle with the Herbes de Province.  Garnish the pattern further by placing olives in the squares created by the anchovy lattice. pissaladiere, plated with brandol      To complete the picture, a simple salad was topped with a lattice of Parmesan curls.  Perfect served with a Bandol wine. The portion shown here is for Dear Husband.  I usually make a meal of 3 slices of pizza + side salad and a glass of wine.  Summer in southern France or Winter in New England, this is a fine meal.

Second Fiddles

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.

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

Lamb Kabobs w: corn relish

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

Felafel w: Cuke Raita

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

Fish Kabobs w: fresh Polenta

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

Haggis Spring Rolls

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

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
1 felafel patty [Stocking Up 4-I-2018]salami, thinly-sliced
tomato puree or crushed tomatoespear
blueberries
Whatever you need for your smoothieWhatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverageWhatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

6 felafel pattiespork tenderloin + honey  + garlic
lettuce  + tomatoesfresh green beans  + red bell pepper
carrot  +  beets  +  feta cheesefresh ginger  + soy sauce + canola oil
white wine vinegar + flavored olive oilcrushed red pepper +   scallion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

                                                                                                                                        

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 &amp; 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