Equinox

A lot of fictions surround the Equinox: an egg will balance on end; all the forces of nature are in balance; yada-yada.  Most simply, it is the moment on the astronomical calendar when Summer becomes Autumn.  Just for fun on our Fast day, we’ll hark back to the old idea of ‘opposites in balance’ and enjoy meals from two very different and diverse locations: the New Mexico-Texas border and northern Scandinavia.  Why not?

Carne-Green Chili ScrOmelette    289 calories   13.7 g fat     1.9 g fiber   13.6 g protein  18.6 g carbs   59 mg Calcium      GF          The directions below are for an omelette, or as the name ScrOmelette implies, you could scramble it all.carne-scramble

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                                  ½ ounce carne adavado [pork shoulder with hot spices boiled until it falls apart: make ahead and freeze for future use]                                                                                                                        ½ oz roasted green chilies Hatch brand is the best                                                                                      1 and 1/2 oz apple or unsweetened apple sauce                                                                                     black coffee or black tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                             5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Whisk the eggs with seasonings to taste. Drain the chilis, if too liquidy, and stir with the carne. Put the eggs into a hot pan spritzed with cooking spray. Once the bottom of the eggs are set, sprinkle with carne and chilis, fold and plate. Slice or dish the fruit, brew beverage, blend the smoothie or take it from the ‘fridge and shake it before serving.

Baltic Bake:   280 cal   5.5 g fat   6.6 g fiber   11 g protein   29 g carbs  75.5 mg Calcium GF Believe it or not, this Fast Day recipe is from the book Two Fat Ladies Obsessions, but it won’t make you fat!   The meal has wonderful Eastern European flavors and is so simple to prepare that I assembled it in 16 minutes!!baltic-bake-in-pasta-bowl

1.5 low-fat hot dogs [I like Hebrew National reduced-fat]                                                                        ½ cup canned sauerkraut, drained                                                                                                                                    ¼ c pickled beets, drained                                                                                                                                   ¼ c sliced onions                                                                                                                                                     ½ tsp horseradish                                                                                                                                                   3 Tbsp white beans, drained and rinsed

Put the hot dogs [frozen or thawed] and onions in a saucepan with a little water or some juice from the sauerkraut. Heat until the dogs are cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the dogs and add remaining ingredients to the pan to heat. Cut the hot dogs into 5-6 pieces and put them back in the pan until all ingredients are heated through.

Cinquo de Mayo

This widely-celebrated holiday is greatly misunderstood.  When Napoleon Bonepart was working on being emperor of the world, he installed his sister and her husband on the throne of Mexico.  The pair were inept rulers and the populace rose up to depose them.  Decades later, on May 5, 1862, France invaded Mexico, which had defaulted on debts.  When a tiny force of locals defeated the French army, Voila! Cinquo de Mayo!  This year it occurs on a Fasting Thursday and you have two choices: Fast on a different day, or just binge.  [The latter is not recommended]

Here are several tried and true recipes for Mexican-inspired meals which are consistent with the Fasting Lifestyle.  Pick a breakfast, choose a dinner, skip the lunch/snacks, and maybe you can squeeze in a tiny shot of tequila [about 85 calories], if you are so inclined.  **

Tostada       PB  GF    posted in Mex-Morroc,              January 31, 2016                                                                       Breakfast Burrito  GF     posted in Seasonal Foods              September 27, 2015

Chile non Carne    PB  GF    posted in Go Wild            March 2, 2016                                                     Chicken Quesadillas     GF      posted in Gunn & Grommet          April 13, 2016                            Seafood Tacos   PB  GF    posted in Amour Propre           February 21, 2016                                         Chicken Cesar Salad     GF      posted in Oregano              April 6, 2016

 

**http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/cinco-de-mayo-10-alcoholic-drinks-avoid       This website tells of the calorie-bombs which pose as drinks for celebrating Cinquo de Mayo.  And it offers alternative beverages for any occasion, because eating in a healthy manner is an every-day idea.

Oregano

It seems odd to me that there are two types of oregano in my kitchen: Greek and Mexican. But both have their uses and each evokes the sensibilities of a different cuisine. Today’s menu features both of them in dishes from the home country. Both are worth your attention as you continue your adventures with the Fasting Lifestyle.

Creamy Greek Omelette    309 calories      10.3 g. fat        18.9 g. protein         30.9 g. carb          GF if you use gluten-free bread.  The  feta lends a tang to the eggs, while the cottage cheese gives a wonderful melting texture. A real treat.Creamy Greek Omelette w: S-Bs

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                           3/8 oz feta cheese                                                                                                                                                      1 ½ Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                              Greek oregano, salt, pepper                                                                                                                               ½ slice 70-calorie bread [I like Nature’s Own multigrain]                                                                                     1 and 1/2 oz of apple                                                                                                                                                     5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                           blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Mince the feta and combine with cottage cheese and oregano. Spritz a non-stick skillet with oil or non-stick spray and heat the pan over medium-low heat. Beat the eggs well with 1 spoonful of the cheese mixture using a rotary mixer. Pour the eggs into the pan and let cook undisturbed until the edges set. Lift the edges gently to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. Before the top surface sets, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put dollops of the cheese mixture on half the omelette and make an attempt to spread it out. Fold the omelette in half and continue to heat in the pan. Filling will heat and may ooze out a bit. Brew and pour your beverages. Plate the apple and the omelette. Oh yum.

Cesar Salad:       263 calories         11.1 g. fat         36.4 g. protein          4 g. carb          GF                   Straight out of the Fast Diet book, with quantities changed a teensy bit.Cesar Salad

1 and  1/4 oz Canadian bacon                                                                                                                                        3 oz chicken breast, left over from a roast or poach if raw                                                                            2 c chopped romaine or 2 c. mesclun                                                                                                                 1 T grated Parmesan                                                                                                                                                   1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                               ½ tsp lemon juice                                                                                                                                              Mexican oregano [Cesar Salad after all is of Mexican origin, not from Roman rulers]

Heat the bacon on a hot, ungreased griddle until it begins to brown. Remove and slice into strips. Cut chicken meat into strips or chunks, as you wish. Roughly chop or tear the romaine, if using. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a salad bowl. Add the lettuce and toss to coat with the dressing. Plate the greens and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and oregano. Arrange the meat on top of the greens. Isn’t that a big meal?!

Hash

The title word is used a lot in our language: hashtag; make a real hash out of that; corned-beef hash.  The word itself is from the French verb << hâcher >> meaning to chop. When we ‘hash it over,’ we cut it into small parts to analyze.  I bring this up because the breakfast proposed here is a sort of hash, made of ham. Looks like corned-beef in the photo, but it is ham. On a similar note, another French word is used in the kitchen: “mince.”  We use the word mostly to mean that something is cut finely, or to mince words. But the adjective << mince >> in French also means “thin,” something to which many aspire. You can use both those words as you prepare dinner. Bon appetit!

Ham Hash    303 calories  3.3 g fat   3.9 g fiber  20.3 g protein   48.8 g carb                                                                   I know what you are thinking: where is the fruit on that plate?!? This ‘hash’ has the fruit as an ingredient.  Ham Hash1 and 1/2 oz ham, chopped                                                                                                         1/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese                                                                                                   1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce                                                                                                1 slice 70-calorie bread, shredded into crumbs   do not use dry bread crumbs                  crumbled sage leaves + salt+ pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Spoon into a lightly-oiled or spritzed non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron pan. Bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. All done.

 

Greek Chicken Salad   295 calories   12.8 g fat     4.8 g fiber    23.7 g protein    26.5 g carb     240.3 mg Calcium                            PB   GF                                                      This recipe was clipped from a magazine and stored in the recipe file. When I saw it, I recognized that if most of the olive oil were removed, it would make a smashing Fast meal. We like this one a lot.Greek Chicken Salad

1 and 1/2 oz chicken, roasted and shredded                                                                                                    1 and 1/2 c. shredded romaine or 3 oz salad greens                                                                                      1/4 c garbanzo or small white beans                                                                                                                       2 and 1/2 oz tomato chunks or 1 c cucumbers, cubed                                                                                   3 black olives, pitted & sliced                                                                                                                                  1 oz feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                                 3/4 tsp lemon juice          1/4 tsp olive oil             1/2 tsp each of mint, oregano, parsley

Prep the meat, greens, tomatoes, and olives as described. Measure the lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs into a salad bowl. Whisk together. Add the greens and toss to combine. Add the chicken, beans, tomato/cukes and toss gently. Top with the olives and feta.

 

Summer Meals

In Summer we should eat off the land — lots of fresh vegetables! We also want meals which are easy to prepare and don’t heat the kitchen. Look no further!

Ratatouille Breakfast   292 calories                                         PBRatatouille Egg-toast

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 piece 70-calorie bread                                                                                                                                         one 2-0z egg                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup Mediterranean vegetables [from July 15]                                                                                                 5-6 oz smoothie, green or fruit                                                                                                                     blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Fry the egg in a lightly-spritzed non-stick pan. Toast the bread. Warm the vegetables and spoon onto the toast.  Top with egg.  Pour your smoothie and warm beverage. Voila — quick, easy, healthful, pretty.

Greek Chicken Salad         285 cal                                        PB     GF

IMG_0084This recipe was clipped from a magazine and stored in the recipe file. When I saw it, I recognized that if most of the olive oil were removed, it would make a smashing Fast meal. We like this one a lot.

1 1/2 oz chicken, roasted and shredded                                                                                                        1 1/2 c. shredded romaine or 3 oz salad greens                                                                                       1/4 c garbanzo or small white beans, drained and rinsed                                                                        2 1/2 oz tomato chunks or 1 c cucumbers, cubed                                                                                    3 black olives, pitted & sliced                                                                                                                             1 oz feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp lemon juice                                                                                                                                           1/2 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                 1/2 tsp mint, oregano, parsley

Prep the meat, greens, tomatoes, and olives. Measure the lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs into a salad bowl. Whisk together. Add the greens and toss to combine. Add the chicken, beans, tomato/cukes and toss gently. Top with the olives and feta. So good!

Not the Elgin Marbles

The Elgin Marbles started their career as the decoration on the Parthenon in Athens. Now they are a major draw at the British Museum in London. Today’s menu starts in England and ends in Greece.

Toad in the Hole   293 cal            g. fat      12 g. protein       g. carbs                                                    This whimsically-named dish is of old English origin — shades of Kenneth Graham and Beatrix Potter. It comes from Fannie Farmer, unchanged. It begins with a Yorkshire Pudding batter, which is from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary cookbook,  prepared in advance.                                                                                                                                                                                   York. Pudd batter                                                                                                            one 2-oz egg
1 cup flour                                                                                                                                                                ½ tsp salt                                                                                                                                                                 ½ cup water                                                                                                                                                             ½ cup fat-free milk                                                                   Mix all the ingredients together and let the batter stand at room temperature for 30+ minutes or in the ‘fridge overnight. You will need 1/3 cup per person for this recipe. HINT: the remainder can be frozen in 1 cup or 1/3 cup batches for later use.  Just before you use the batter, use a rotary beater to make it frothy.                                                                                                                               to prepare the breakfast                                                                                                      1 breakfast sausage — I like the Al Fresco brand chicken with sage @ 50 cal/link             1/3 cup Yorkshire Pudding batter, well beaten                                           ½ of one pear                                                                           5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                           nearly-black coffee or tea; or lemon in hot water

Heat the oven/toaster oven to 425. Cook the sausage, preferably in a small, oven-proof pan.  If you have a small cast iron fry-pan, that would be perfect. Use a tiny bit of oil in the pan since the sausage will render no fat. Remove the sausage and slice it in half lengthwise. Replace in the pan. Pour the Y. Pudd. batter over top and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. Shake the smoothie [if saved from last meal], brew your beverage, slice the pear, and feast like Robin Hood.

Greek Chicken Salad          285 calories             Gluten Free
This recipe was clipped from a magazine and stashed in the drawer. When I saw it again, I recognized that if most of the olive oil were removed, it would make a wonderful Fast meal. We like this one a lot.

1½ oz cooked chicken, shredded or cubedFeta Chicken Salad                                1½ cup shredded romaine or 3 oz baby greens                                             ¼ cup garbanzo or small white beans, rinsed                                             2½ oz tomato chunks or 1 cup cucumber, cubed  — I used a combo in this photo           3 black olives, pitted and sliced
1 oz feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp mint, oregano, parsley

Prep the meat, greens, tomatoes, and olives.  Measure the lemon juice, herbs, and oil into a salad bowl. Whisk together. Add the greens and toss to combine. Add the chicken, beans, tomato/cukes and toss gently. Top with olives and feta. Sail away to an Agean sunset.