Slow Days: “French Lunch”

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.

This is one of my favorite meals. Restaurants will call it a bread & cheese board or a charcuterie platter and we call it a ‘French Lunch.’ I don’t care what you call it — it is easy to prepare and it is good to eat. “Charcuterie” is the French word for the meats you don’t get from a butcher [boucher] — such as pates and sausages. Cheeses come from a ‘fromagier’ or sometimes from a ‘charcuterier.’ Then there is good bread — very important! We add fresh fruit, chutney, and/or mustard to the board. Pair that with a nice wine, settle down, and enjoy a very nice repast without having to cook/prepare anything.

Here we have two artisanal breads, some salad, a variety of cheeses, two jars of chutney, and four spreads: chorizo paste, chicken liver pate, salmon pate, and mushroom pate. [The pates store very well in the freezer if you don’t eat them all now.]
Here’s another version of the idea, with three cheeses, olives, a duck liver mousse, a country pate, and an artichoke spread — all served with a salad and lovely bread. Washed down with cidre from apples.

Brittany

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.

You know how I like to talk about traveling/vacationing and still following the Fasting Lifestyle? Well, I’m going to do it again. We went to Brittany, France last May: partly because it is a wonderful place to visit and partly because some of my mother’s ancestors are from there. I had visited 50 years ago [literally: in 1969] on a student tour and had wanted to return. So we did. We rented a self-catering cottage in the region whence came my ancestors and we had a wonderful time. We hiked, we bird-watched, we drove to lovely and interesting places, we purchased food in local farmer’s markets, and we visited local restaurants. We also ate galettes and crepes and washed them down with cidre, naturallement. Our cottage was in the tiny hamlet of Kergeral near the sea. It was delightful.

It is not difficult to stay on a Fast Diet while traveling. You need to be mindful and to make the right choices. Deprivation is not necessary, as you can see from sample meals below. Upon return, my weight was still below my Target. Hooray!

The last breakfast at our cottage, we had some food left over — eat it or toss it? This ‘breakfast bread pudding’ contained bread cubes, egg, cooked fish, cooked vegetables, and a topping of cheese. Delicious and under 300 calories!
We drove to Carnac to see the Standing Stones and to eat oysters. Here are the oysters, as served at Huitres de Cochennec, enjoyed at one of their outdoor tables at water’s edge. Fabulous combination of location and food consumed. Oysters are a wonderful dinner choice for the Faster.

Basquaise

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.

Have you ever seen the word ‘Basquaise’ on a menu? It often refers to a sauce served on chicken or fish. The word itself means ‘from the Basque country’ or ‘in the method of the Basque people.’ To the Basque people, it is ‘pipperade’ from their word ‘biperra’ for pepper. So who are the Basques and where is their country? The Basque people are unrelated, both in genetics and in language, to the surrounding people of France and Spain. Their ‘country’ spreads across the border of France and Spain at the Western end of the Pyrennes Mountains. Their culture and unique language developed in isolation over the centuries, escaping intrusion both from the Indo-Europeans [ex: Visigoths] and from the Muslims. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the Basques, and even they did not change the culture of the region. Their food is boldly spiced and influenced by fish from the ocean and meat from the pasturelands of the interior. Passionately independent, the Basques work to maintain their ways in a changing world. In the 1800s, economic hard times spread Basques to North America and beyond, just as their cod and whale-hunting ancestors dispersed across the seas in the past.

The ‘Sauce Basquaise’ shows up in our menu today — flavoring the eggs at breakfast in two different preparations. Other ways to use it are in the classic Poulet Basquaise or Cod Basquaise for dinner. Here’s how to make 5 cups of the sauce.

2 Tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a large saucepan
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped  optional: 2 oz Bayonne/Serrano ham or pancetta, diced 
3 cups red bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  3 cups green bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz] 
4 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
Add the onion, garlic, ham, peppers, and tomatoes.  Cook over medium-low heat until peppers are tender.
½ cup red wine 5 g ‘esplette’ pepper or ground cayenne pepper 2 tsp fresh thyme ½ tsp saltAdd to the pan. Simmer 10 minutes more.

Basquaise Sauce ScrOmelette: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 8 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Basquaise Sauce takes eggs to a new level and it is so easy to use if you already have a batch in the refrigerator or freezer.

1-1/2 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.  2 rounded Tablespoons Basquaise Sauce ¼ cup blueberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Heat a non-stick saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the pan. As the eggs just begin to set, spread the Basquaise Sauce over half of the egg. Fold and continue cooking to your liking. Plate with the fruit and serve the beverage of your choice. Have a spicy day.

Alternatively, if you didn’t have any Basquaise Sauce at your disposal, you could use my version of Jacques Pepin’s recipe for Basquaise ScrOmelette, posted on 30 September, 2015

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggProscuitto ham
ricotta cheese + mushrooms
melon + Parmesan cheese
peach + blackberryred onion pickle
Watercress Sauce
mint or basil leaves + balsamic vinegar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

watercress + sweet potato
sourdough rye bread + egg + dill
canola oil + onion + celery
turkey breast + spinach leaves
garlic + stock + potato
whipped cream cheese + tomato
optional: mozzarella + tomato
cucumber + white wine vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Nice

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 thewackyspoon who is now Following.

Catherine Ségurane was a washerwoman in Nice. Nice was not part of France in the 1500s, it belonged to the Duke of Savoie who had a long-standing disagreement with Francois I, the King of France. Mostly, this was of no consequence to Catherine. But Francois made a pact with the Ottoman Empire, an odd thing for a Christian sovereign to do. If the Ottomans would attack his enemies, Francois would arrange a lucrative trade deal. Done. The original target was the Papal army in Italy, but that would be a bit audacious. So the Ottoman fleet was sent down the coast to besiege Nice. When they scaled the walls of the unprotected city, they were met by ordinary citizens carrying whatever ‘weapons’ they had handy. Our girl Catherine was ready with her clothes-beating stick and she hit the standard-bearer of the attacking Turks, knocking him down and taking his flag. According to the story, she then hiked up her skirts and mooned the invaders. As good Muslims, they were so shocked by a woman with crude behavior that they retreated to their ships and Nice was saved. Sometimes average people rise to the occasion and perform great acts.

If a humble laundry-lady can defeat an army, then couldn’t you overcome your urge to over-eat for a day and eat only 600 calories? Of course you could. Today’s menu showcases the flavors of Nice and shows how delicious a ‘Mediterranean Diet’ can be.

Mediterranean Bake: 138 calories 2 g fat 1.4 g fiber 10.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 55 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  Oh! Those sunny flavors!

one 2-oz egg 3 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables , see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’19 for recipe 1 Tbsp chevre cheese salt + pepper + large pinch of herbes de Province 2 oz melon  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and spoon in the Med. Veg. Pop the ramekin in the warming toaster oven for 30 seconds to warm the vegetables. Whisk the egg with the cheese and seasonings. Pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional warm beverage; shake and pour the optional smoothie; plate the melon. A fine way to enjoy a breakfast.

Salade Nicoise: 283 calories 16 g fat 3 g fiber 22.5 g protein 12.7 g carbs 198 mg Calcium PB GF   ‘Nicoise’ of course means ‘as they do it in Nice’ and boy-oh-boy is it ever nice. HINT: If you plan ahead a bit, this meal goes together in minutes. A few days before, eat a meal of baked or grilled salmon, served with green beans. Prepare 3 oz more salmon than you’ll need for that meal and save it for this meal. Also cook an extra bit of green beans and save them in the ‘fridge. Here’s a TIP: If you won’t need the salmon for a week or more, cooked salmon freezes well. Just leave enough time to thaw it thoroughly. 

3 leaves Romaine lettuce, sliced into 1/2″ pieces 3 oz cooked salmon 3 oz green beans, cooked and cooled 2 black olives, quartered ½ hard-boiled egg 1 radish, sliced 5 cherry tomatoes DRESSING: 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1.5 tsp olive oil

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Add the beans and turn them to coat with dressing. Remove to another plate. Coarsely slice the lettuce and toss with dressing. Place the salmon in the center of the salad. Surround it with the remaining ingredients. A wonderful meal in no time flat.

Saint Brieuc

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.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Briocus or Brieuc, as he is known in Brittany.  Coincidentally, today we are in Brittany, staying just a few miles outside of the city of St Brieuc in the Cote d’Armor region.  My ancestors were born here in the centuries prior to the 1400s, but the Good Saint was born in Ceredigion, Wales in the year 410.  Converted to Christianity and seized with missionary zeal, he left his home and family and set off across the English Channel to found a monastery.  In addition, he helped plague victims, had a power struggle with a relative, and subdued a pack of wolves with the Sign of the Cross. The monastery built a wooden church in the 6th century, then a stone version.  That structure was torn down to build a grand stone church, l’Elise de Saint Étienne, in 1220. [The site was marshy, but they built anyway.] It stands there today, despite the vicissitudes of war. In the 14the century, it was burned. Ditto in the 15th and 16th centuries. Each time it was rebuilt and the additions didn’t stop until the 1800s.  In the Cathedral of St Étienne in the city of St-Brieuc is his where some of the Good Saint’s bones lie.  Parts of St Guillaume are there, too.  How surprised Briocus would have been at his legacy!                                                                                                                                     Brittany is known for its seafood — mussels, oysters, lobster, scallops.  And also for its apples, artichokes, and onions.   The flavors of Brittany are present in the breakfast with the artichokes, spices, and apple.  Dinner features  two of Brittany’s most famous mollusks: mussels and oysters, cultivated in the bays and inlets of the north shore.

Breton Bake: 149 calories   6.5 g fat   3.4 g fiber  9.4 g protein  13.7 g carbs  103 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given are for the egg dish and the fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF  Delicious. Filling. Different.breton-baked-egg

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                      2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                 2 Tbsp chopped artichoke hearts, fresh or canned or frozen                                                                           ½ tsp curry powder                                                                                                                           1 Tbsp fat-free ricotta                                                                                                                                 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                    blackish coffee [53 calories] or black tea, lemon in hot water                                                     5-6 oz  fruit or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or natural cider

Chop the artichoke hearts. Stir together the artichokes, tomatoes, curry, and ricotta. Whisk in the egg and pour into an oven-safe dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350° F. for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, brew your hot beverage; shake that smoothie; and portion the applesauce. Enjoy your breakfast on the Cote d’Armor.

Mollusk Gratin: 283 calories   14.6 g fat   2.3 g fiber    31.6 g protein    17.5 g carbs   216 mg Calcium   PB   GFif using GF flour   When we steam mussels for a feast, there are often some left over. Removed from their shells, the meat can easily be frozen in the cooled cooking broth. A wonderful item for a quick future meal. And a few shucked oysters are no trouble.Mussel Gratin w: beans

3 oz cooked mussels, removed from shells                                                                                              2 shucked oysters                                                                                                                                          4 Tbsp mussel broth [from cooking the mussels]                                                                              2 tsp flour [I use King Arthur unbleached or White Whole Wheat]                                                                                        ½ oz Gruyère cheese, grated                                                                                                              ½ tsp curry powder                                                                                                                            3 oz green beans

Warm the mussel broth and whisk in the flour. Heat over low until thickened. Add curry powder and cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is well combined. Add the mussels and oysters. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and scrape the mussels and sauce into the ramekin. Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes while you cook the beans.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs  +  blueberries
Haitian Chicken Filling [Food in Wrappers, 2  posted on 7-April-2019] white whole wheat flour
cantaloupe melon yellow cornmeal  +  strawberries
Fat-free French Vanilla yogurt
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

lobster tail one 2-oz egg   + avocado
fresh lime grilled beef  + smoked salmon
plantain + olive oil cucumber  + soy sauce
cantaloupe melon cooked brown rice  +  rice vinegar
Sparkling water Sparkling water

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.

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

 

 

 

 

Visions

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 jwpower who is now Following.

Hildegard von Bingen was a visionary.  One might think that a woman born in 1098 would live a life of obscurity, illiteracy, and powerlessness.  Not so Hildegard. As a child, she experienced religious visions and knew that life as a nun was her destiny.  Hildegard went on to lead her convent; found two new, larger ones; record her visions in the book Know The Way; write poetry; set the poetry to 70+ musical works; make prophesies; practice herbalism; and write a book on healing.  She was a remarkable woman and a real power of her time.  “Second to nun,” said one of my references. Truly.                                                  How do you envision your body? Slimmer?  Healthier?  The Fast Diet worked for us and it can work for you.  Try it. In honor of Saint Hildegard’s feast day tomorrow, we will eat the most typical convent food, salt cod, in our breakfast in a delightfully creamy bake.  For dinner, the herbs and vegetables that Hildegard wrote about are baked into a quiche.

Brandade Bake:   286 calories  8.6 g fat  3 g fiber  16.6 g protein  33.3 g carbs [30 g Complex]  206 mg Calcium PB GF  The marvel of Southern France, brandade is worth trying. Here it is at breakfast, all creamy and garlicy.Brandade Bake w: peach:b-b

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                            ½ Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp brandade   [see St Bernard, posted 19 August 2018]                                                                 shake of granulated garlic                                                                                                                                1 oz peach slices + ½ oz blueberries                                                                                                                                            black-ish coffee or black tea, lemon in hot water                                                                                         5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural cider

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

Vegetable Quiche:  268 calories   14 g fat   2.9 g fiber   24 g protein   12.5 g carbs [8.5 g Complex] 293 mg Calcium PB GF   I made this recipe with the idea of a crustless quiche [some might call it a fritatta or a tortilla] that didn’t break the bank on calories. Designed to serve two, I was unable to finish my portion because it was so large.Vegetable Quiche w: salad

4 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                                                           2/3 cup zucchini, grated [2 oz]                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup red onion, chopped                                                                                                                                     1 cup broccoli, diced                                                                                                                                                     1/3 cup diced red bell pepper [1.75 oz]                                                                                                                  4 Tbsp cottage cheese, lower fat                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp plain yogurt                                                                                                                                                                       2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                           lots of chopped fresh herbs                                                                                                                                                     3 oz tomato, diced [½ cup]                                                                                                                                     1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                                         salt + pepper                                                                                                                                                              1 cup shredded lettuce + flavorful Balsamic Vinegar

Prepare the vegetables [except the tomatoes] and steam them over simmering water for 3-4 minutes. Drain over an empty bowl to capture any remaining liquid. Put the vegetables into an oven-proof dish [I used a 9×7” oval] which has been spritzed with non-stick spray, and spread around evenly. Salt and pepper at will. Stir the cottage cheese, yogurt, Parmesan, and herbs until well-combined. Whisk the eggs well, then whisk in the cheese mixture. Pour over the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes and distribute them on top, then sprinkle with the grated mozzerella. Bake at 400 F. for 30 minutes – should be puffed and a little golden on top and set in the middle. Let the quiche sit while you shred the lettuce and toss it with the vinegar.

 

St Bernard

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 Michael H-A who is now Following.

In the 6th century, St. Benedict decided that the Roman Church needed reform, and so he established the austere Benedictine Order of monks. In the 11th century, a further reform was deemed necessary, and the Cistercian Order was begun in France. Enter St Bernard of Clairvaux.  A handsome, well-educated, well-spoken, wealthy young man [born August 20], he could have had success in any field.  But he wanted a vocation in the church more than anything.  After the death of his mother, Aleth, he decided to follow her example of piety and charity.  He, along with most of his brothers and friends, a group of around 30 men, went to join the Cistercian Abby at Cîteaux .  Bernard threw himself into austerity and soon was sent to start a new monastery at Clairvaux in Burgundy. So influential was his preaching, that he had to found more monasteries to accommodate his recruits.  When he went on a preaching tour, mothers locked their sons in their rooms and wives kept their husbands home for fear that they would follow this charismatic priest into the cloister.  The best preserved of his ‘daughter’ houses is the lovely Fontenay Abbey, founded 900 years ago.   Despite a sickly life, made worse by starvation rations and quack ‘cures’, Bernard became one of the most influential men of his time:  advisor to kings and popes; arbitrator of many disputes; and unfortunately the champion of the ill-fated Second Crusade. His fervent rejection of materialism should make each of us re-evaluate our relationship with ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ in our lives.

In honor of the Good Bernard, we will enjoy some meals of the French countryside. Wild mushrooms go into the eggs which go into the crêpe for breakfast, despite the fact that crêpes are from Brittany the home of Bernard’s philosophical rival Pierre Abelard. And for dinner, the staple of the diet of monasteries: salt cod, here made into the homey meal of brandade.

Egg-Mushroom Crêpe:  294 calories   6 g fat   4 g fiber   15 g protein  43 g carbs [36 g Complex] 200 mg Calcium PB  This is yummy. The eggs are creamy, the mushrooms are earthy, and the crêpe is nutty.Mushroom-Egg Crepe

1 crêpe, see Sidekicks II4 Oct-’18 for recipe  [HINT: When I make a batch, I often cook all of them, then layer them with waxed paper and freeze what I don’t need now for later.]                                                                                                                                                                   one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                 1 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                                1/2 Tbsp chives, chopped                                                                                                                                             1/2 tsp thyme                                                                                                                                                        generous dash of granulated garlic                                                                                                                          1 oz raspberry                                                                                                                                                blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                    5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a non-stick saute pan with oil or spray and gently cook the mushrooms. Put the chives, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in with the egg and beat it up. Put the mushrooms in a baking dish which has been spritzed with oil, then pour the egg mixture into the dish and bake at 350 F for 12 minutes -OR- Scramble the egg lightly with the mushrooms, keeping the eggs moist.  Warm the crêpe until it is pliable but not crisp. Turn the egg out on the crêpe and fold the crêpe over the egg. Plate the fruit. Sip your beverages and have a good day.

Codfish Brandade:  250 calories   5.8 g fat  5.7 g fiber  77 g protein  22.3 g carbs  270 mg Calcium   PB GF   Since salt cod is so popular all over southern France, it follows that Brandade is a favorite meal. The garlic, olive oil, and fennel mark this version as Provinçal. [HINT: This batch serves 4. Either invite friends or use what you need and freeze the remainder.] The recipe is from Jacques Pepin.Brandade w: tomatoes & Carrots

8 oz salt cod                                                                                                                                                              ¼ cup potatoes in <1/2” cubes                                                                                                                                 6 oz cauliflower, in 1″ florets                                                                                                                                           ½ cup milk                                                                                                                                                                                 4 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                                              1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                                       ¼ tsp fennel seed + ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste                                                                                                                     per serving: 4 oz sliced tomatoes  +  2 oz raw carrot sticks or coins  +  parsley to sprinkle

The day before: Soak the cod in water for 8 hours. Drain and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes. Drain. Pick over the fish to break it into 1” pieces, removing bones, skin.     The next day: Put fish in a pan with potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Pour it all into a food processor and process it for about 10 seconds. Add the pepper, then add the oil with the machine running. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasonings. Slice the tomatoes and spread with brandade, then sprinkle with parsley. Serve remaining amount in a bowl with the carrots stuck into it. Very traditional flavor.

Footnote: one of my favorite memes involves Filippino Lippi‘s painting “The Apparition of the Virgin to St. Bernard.”  Unfortunately, to me, he looks like a petty bureaucrat telling a single mother, “I don’t make the rules, madame.  You left line 34 blank, so you must go to the back of the line or return tomorrow.”

Izaak Walton

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.

I have laid aside business, and gone a-fishing.”  Sounds like a familiar sign tacked on the door of a poorly-run country store.  Those words were penned by Isaac Walton who was born on August 9, 1593. He was a successful London clothier who’s claim to fame was his love of fishing. He was active in his church who’s vicar, John Donne, was Walton’s fishing buddy.  In 1653, he published The Compleat Angler, in which the fictional character Piscator [Walton’s alter ego] instructs a companion about fish, fishing, and the need to preserve the environment to keep the fish healthy.  A man ahead of his time. Today the name of his book is widely known by anglers all over the world and places sacred to trout fishers are named after him.  In the USA, the Izaak Walton League brings together avid fishermen who also speak to environmental protection. May the same be said of all of us.                                                                                                                                    Today’s menus feature trout, the fish which most people associate with Walton. Smoked trout with crisp apples for breakfast and trout sautéed with nuts for dinner.  If you can catch them yourself, Izaak would be smiling. If they were caught in a pristine country stream, so much the better.

Trout with Apples:   267 calories  3.9 g fat  2.4 g fiber  15.6 g protein  43 g carbs   199 mg Calcium PB GF At the Inn at Saint Peters, we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples appetizer. It occurred to me that this could be a fine breakfast for those who enjoy a savory/seafood taste in the a.m. I substituted mackerel gravlax for the smoked trout, just because that was on hand, but it was a grey-brown instead of the lighter hue of the trout or the pink of a salmon.gravlax-apples

1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good]  OR  1 oz mackerel gravlax                                                  2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons                                                      ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color                                                                                                       blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Slice the fish with the grain to create thin slices. Arrange the fish and apples in overlapping slices around the plate. HINT: I did this the night before, covered it with clingwrap and put it in the ‘fridge. So quick the next morning!! Brew your hot beverage, blend or shake your smoothie, dish out those healthy blueberries, and breakfast elegantly.

Trout with Hazelnuts:  267 calories  18 g fat  3.3 g fiber  21 g protein  6.3 g carbs  75 mg Calcium   PB GF   From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willem’s French Regional Cooking.  Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious.Trout w: hazelnuts + haricots

3 oz trout, skinned, boned and trimmed                                                                                                                                                           1 tsp butter                                                                                                                                                                        ½ oz hazelnuts, coarsly chopped                                                                                                                               2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly [slow cooking will keep the fish tender] cook the trout on one side for about 3-4 minutes. Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1two-oz egg
avocado 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
70-calorie whole-grain bread scallions
cottage cheese + Cheddar cheese
kiwi fruit + strawberry
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

cooked and cooled brown rice Boston lettuce  + cherry tomatoes
1 two-oz egg apple  +  Medjool date
avocado  +  cucumber chick peas   +  chicken breast
grilled beef goat cheese + 1/2 hard-boiled egg
smoked salmon pine nuts  + shallot
soy sauce  +  rice vinegar cinnamon dressing [23 May, 2018]
Sparkling water Sparkling water