Keep Calm and Curry On

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 PickCategory who is now Following.

What is ‘curry’? There is a plant called ‘curry’ [Helichrysum italicum]. But if you want to prepare a curry dish, you would not use that. There is curry seasoning powder: red, yellow, or green. There is ‘wet curry’ seasoning: red, yellow, or green. Then there are meals called curry: made for vegans; for vegetarians; for lamb lovers; for seafood eaters; for poultry eaters; for fans of beef. There are people preparing ‘authentic’ curry in India, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, England and everywhere else. Is your head spinning yet? Curry is a heady flavor, all right. So what is it? Curry originally meant a meal of meat in a flavored sauce — any meat, any sauce. As Indian cuisine interacted with various cultures, it impacted the tastes of those peoples and spread around the globe. Whether your taste goes to tikka masala; garam masala; rogan josh; or Thai curry, a curry by any other name is still a really good seasoning.

I trust you did not think that I was making light of the current world emergency with my title today. Being healthy is important and part of that is eating well. Good food, simply prepared, in sensible portions, wonderfully seasoned — that is a recipe for the path to wellness. Did you know that eating curry can actually be good for your health? Its true!

Indian Curry Powder:  This Indian curry came to us from our son. Add to eggs or use to flavor seafood/meat/rice — this is my go-to curry powder. 2-1/2 Tbsp coriander seed 2 tsp garlic powder 1 Tbsp cumin seed 2 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp green chili powder ½ tsp ground allspice 1 tsp salt 1-1/2 tsp dry mustard Grind everything together in a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder.

Goan Cafreal Masala:  Add to chicken or tofu or pork. To prepare this “wet curry” from Goa [via Xantilicious], grind together: ½ Tbsp coriander seed 1 tsp cumin seed ½ tsp cloves 1” cinnamon stick 1 tsp peppercorns Now add the ground spices to a food processor along with: 1 cup packed cilantro leaves 3 green chilis – Thai or serrano 1 Tbsp sugar ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 8 cloves garlic Run everything together in a food processor until it forms a puree. This makes 7 Tablespoons of curry paste.

Cafreal Masala Chicken:  298 calories 8.6 g fat 2.5 g fiber 22 g protein 31 g carbs 40 mg Calcium  PB GF Indo-Portuguese fusion. HINT: serves 2

6 oz raw chicken meat, cut in large chunks ½ tsp salt 1 Tbsp lime juicePut the chicken in a serving dish that can be heated over the cook-top. Toss with the salt and juice. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Half of a batch Cafreal MasalaStir in the masala and let it sit 20-30 minutes
1 Tbsp oil Add oil to the pan and cook slowly, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Continue cooking with the lid off until chicken is brown.
½ cup onions cut in thin rings cooking sprayIn a separate pan, saute the onions in cooking spray until they are soft.
Black pepper per serving: ½ cup cooked brown riceScoop the onions over the chicken, add black pepper and serve with rice.

Crossroads: Indian Ocean

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 WeightLossNearMe who is now Following.                                  

Locations where the tides of history throw divers cultures together are fascinating to me.  Goa is on the West coast of India. If ever there were a place where “East meets West,” this could be it.  Petroglyphs and stone tools show that people were living there at least 10,000 years ago.  By 1400 BCE,  immigrants had arrived from Africa, Australia, and Southern India.  Then came the Buddhists, bringing their Nepalese religion and cultural ways. Many Buddhists are vegetarian/vegan, but the Goan Buddhists were not due to their contact with the Saraswat Brahmins from Northern India.  In the heyday of the Greek and Roman Empires, their ships would stop in Goa to take on food and water.  And in 1510, the Portuguese arrived, making Goa a territory of Portugal until 1961.  The languages, the religions, the culinary traditions of many peoples swirl in the daily life of Goans. Perhaps because of the well-stirred melting pot, the Hindu majority lives in harmony with the minority Christians, and Muslims.  In some instances, the same foods are prepared one way by the Catholic population, and another way by the Hindu population — but they all agree on the rich spices and flavors of one of India’s smallest provinces.  Goa is an unusual little slice of the Indian mosaic. ‘Visitors’ have been arriving for centuries and they still visit today.                                                                                                                          Due to the coastline and the influences of the “spices of Indies and the East” which lured the Portuguese, breakfast will include shrimp and mixed spices.  Dinner will be that most cross-cultural dish: pork vindaloo

Goan Scramble: 150 calories 7.6 g fat   0.8 g fiber 10.4 g protein 10 g carbs [7 g Complex] 57 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF The mixture of spices and spicy foods called Cafreal Masala is typical of Goan cuisine. It really delivers a punch to these eggs!

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs, pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid, and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                                                      1.5 tsp cafreal masala [see recipe on above website]                                                           ½ oz shrimp, cooked and chopped                                                                           1.5 oz mango                                                                                                        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]

Whisk the eggs and pour into a hot pan that has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the shrimp on top. Drizzle the masala paste onto the eggs and swirl it into the eggs as they cook, sort of like putting the chocolate into marble cake batter. Plate with the mango and serve with your choice of optional beverages.

Vindaloo Pork & Mushrooms: 250 calories 7.2 g fat 5 g fiber 21 g protein 15 g Carbs [10 g Complex] 52.5 mg Calcium  PB GF From southern India comes the complex flavor of vindaloo. You can substitute turkey for the pork or eliminate the meat and use extra mushrooms for a meatless meal. 

¾ Tbsp vindaloo seasonings 1 clove garlic ¼ tsp ground ginger 1 tsp canola oil 1/3 cup [~1.25 oz] onion 1.5 Tbsp cider vinegar ¼ tsp sugar 2.5 oz pork OR turkey, cut in matchsticks 100 g [3.5 oz] mushrooms 1.5 oz broccoli ¼ cup brown rice couscous

Mince the garlic and add the vindaloo spices and the ginger. Stir in vinegar and toss the meat with this marinade. Let sit for 30-60 minutes. Saute the onions in the oil until beginning to brown, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking. Add the meat and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the broccoli and cook further for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sugar and cook for one minute more. Serve with the couscous or brown rice.

Vasco da Gama

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.

On May 20, 1498, the first Europeans reached the Indian subcontinent by sea.  Vasco da Gama was the leader of the expedition under orders from King Manuel of Portugal. Up until then, no one had any idea of reaching India by sailing around Africa — but it worked.  By following the currents in the South Atlantic Ocean, da Gama rounded the southern tip of Africa [which the explorer Dias optimistically named the Cape of Good Hope] and then followed the currents up the east coast.  He took on a native pilot and arrived at Calicut [aka Calcutta, now Kolkata].  Da Gama’s return to Portugal with spices and silks earned him wealth and fame.  How did this sit with the Indians?  Not too well, aparently — he was sent back to put down a rebellion against Portugal and then returned as governor in 1524, when he died. Was da Gama’s arrival in India a good thing? Probably not — colonialism is rarely beneficial to the colonized people. But it established a link between ‘East’ and ‘West’ and perhaps some good has come from the mixing of cultures.                                                                                                                                                   The meals today begin with vegetables and Indian curry cooked into eggs. Appropriate since curry is a melange of spices the like of which the Europeans craved.  Dinner is purely Eurocentric: fish and chips with a Portuguese twist: just the sort of thing you get when cultures meet in the kitchen.

Curried Vegetable Bake: 123 calories   5 g fat  1.3 g fiber  7 g protein  11.6 g carbs [9.5 g Complex]   41.5 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.   PB GF   If you like the warm, spicy taste of curry, then feel free to add more to this dish.

Curry Bake

one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                     1/2  oz broccoli, cooked and diced                                                                                                              1/2 oz carrot, cooked and diced [HINT: use leftovers from a dinner]                                     1 Tbsp Indian curry powder -OR-  4 Tbsp curry sauce [see Sidekicks I, from Sept. 17, ’17] additional curry powder, salt, garlic powder, all to taste                                                                   2 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                  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]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the vegetables, seasonings, and the curry powder/sauce until well blended. Whisk the egg into the mixture and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the applesauce and prepare the optional beverages.

Portuguese Fish & Chips:   260 calories    6.3 g fat     4.7 g fiber   24 g protein    28 g carbs [27 g Complex]    60 mg Calcium    PB GF – if using GF flour  From our favorite dinner place in Souris, PEI, 21 Breakwater , comes this house specialty from the chef’s native cuisine. The batter is so light that it lets the lime-infused fish shine through. The recipe takes little time to accomplish. I have described it in detail so you can be successful.

Portugese Fish & Chips

3 oz tilapia or hake or other firm-fleshed white fish                                                                                                                          1 fl. oz lime juice or lemon juice                                                                                                                    1 egg white + 1 egg yolk, separated                                                                                                  2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                3 oz sweet potato, peeled                                                                                                                 ½ tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp granulated garlic     +   ¼ tsp paprika    +      black pepper                                                                                                                           2 oz asparagus or broccoli

Marinate the fish in the lime juice with a pinch of salt and pepper for up to 30 minutes. Set the oven to 425 F. Peel the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4” slices. Cut each slice into 1/4” sticks. Put the oil in the non-stick pan that you will use to cook the fish. Add the potato sticks to the pan and toss about to coat with oil. Combine the granulated garlic, paprika, and pepper, and sprinkle on the potato sticks. Toss to distribute the seasonings. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil with the dull side up. Spray liberally with non-stick spray. HINT: You could do this 1-2 hours in advance. Distribute the potatoes on the pan so they do not touch. Put in oven for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the asparagus on to cook. Take the fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge lightly with flour. Whip the egg white into soft peaks. Fold in the egg yolk and remaining flour from dredging the fish. Heat the non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Remove the fries from the oven and turn them over. Return to oven for 10 minutes more. Dip the fish in the egg batter so that it is coated on all sides. Cook the fish on one side over medium heat for 6 minutes, then on the other side for 6 minutes or until fork tender. When fries are done, turn off oven, open the door, and leave the fries in there for up to 5 more minutes. Plate all that good food and live it up.


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.                                                                                                          Welcome to Jovanna M who is now Following.

“Posh.” Does that make you think of a Spice Girl? or the rich and famous? or taking a boat to India?  My mother told me that the origin of the word was attributed to the best class of staterooms on passenger liners that sailed from England to India and back. To have your cabin in the shade, thus being cooler, for the whole trip, you wanted to be on the Port side going Out and on the Starboard side on the trip Home . A pretty story, but alas, untrue. The term has less to do with E.M. Forester and more to do with Conan Doyle. Remember the Persian slipper where Holmes kept his tobacco on the mantle? That type of slipper was possibly called a “papoosh” and it was considered to be ‘posh’ in Persia.

In honor of my mother’s spurious story, we will imagine that we are sailing to India for the first time.  We depart favoring sturdy English meals, like ham and mushrooms for breakfast.  But on the way home, the trunks are full of Indian silks and pajamas [!] and we are trying to figure out how to teach Cook to use curry and ketchup and other delicious condiments of India, as in our dinner of curried vegetables and turkey.

Ham & Mushroom Bake:  277 calories  7.2 g fat   5.9 g fiber   15.7 g protein  38 g carbs  221 mg Calcium   PB  GF  A hearty, flavor-packed breakfast begins with ham and mushrooms. Though these are flavors of autumn, they can be enjoyed any time, especially on a Fast Day.       Ham & Mushroom ScrOmelette w: plum                                                                                                                                                          One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                              1/3 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                 ½ oz roast ham or 3% fat deli ham, chopped                                                                                                        1 Tbsp Gruyere cheese, grated                                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp ground sage                                                                                                                                                  ¼ tsp savory                                                                                                                                                             ½ cup raspberries                                                                                                                                                    5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                              blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Set toaster oven at 350° F. Spritz some cooking spray into a ramekin. Grate the cheese. Chop the ham and mushrooms, and put them into the ramekin. Whisk together the cheese, egg, and seasonings, and pour that in too. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how well set you like your eggs. It will puff up and start to brown a bit. Prepare your optional beverages and portion the fruit. Off to a good start.

Indian Vegetables with Naan: 299 calories   13 g fat   6.3 g fiber   17.6 g protein  31 g carbs [28 g Complex] 78 mg Calcium PB   This delicious meal needs 2 things in advance: Rogan Josh Sauce and Naan breads. Dear Husband loved it.

Indian Vegetables w: Naan

1 naan flatbread, 106 or fewer calories/piece: purchased or home-made                                                                                                     3 Tbsp Rogan Josh Sauce: purchased or home-made   

                                                                                                                                     ½ cup zucchini, in 1/2” dice                                                                                                                                  ½ cup cauliflower, in 1/2” pieces                                                                                                                         ½ cup tomato, in 1/2” dice                                                                                                                                        2 oz ground turkey [I had 15% fat but would have prefered less]                                                                    ¼ tsp Indian curry powder

Cook the vegetables and turkey in a little water until softened and turkey is fully cooked. Drain, saving the cooking water for baking or soup stock. Add the sauce to the vegetables and meat and heat gently. Warm the naan in the oven or on a hot, dry skillet. Plate to suit your preference. W.o.w.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
Camembert cheeseeggplant   + onion
nutmeg   + Dijon mustardtomato sauce   +  herbes de Province
apples or strawberriespear
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:

salad greens   + clementinewatercress  +   canola oil
asparagus  +  shrimp  +  mangochicken stock  + onion  + celery
hardboiled egg  + mayonnaisegarlic + potato  +  sweet potato
Srircha   + granulated garlic  + lemon juicechèvre   optional: mozzarella + tomato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

East of Suez

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.

In what has to be one of the most gripping and forlorn line in his work “Mandalay,” Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Ship me somewheres East of Suez where the best is like the worst.  Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst.”  We are not here to discuss religion or your drinking habits.  Rather, today’s topic is the food of India.  If the best is like the worst, then these meals rank right up there with the best.  And the worst must be pretty good too. Here’s hoping that today’s menus help you to reach your goals, and you don’t have to ship out to foreign lands to enjoy it.

Tomato Curry ScrOmelette w: s-bs

Tomato-Curry ScrOmelette:   300 calories  8.2 g fat  4.0 g fiber  16 g protein   40 g carbs   392 mg Calcium  PB GF   This recipe was loosely inspired by Fifty Breakfasts, a book by Col. A. R. K. Herbert, detailing “dishes men like” and containing many foods redolent of his years serving the Queen in India.

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.                                                                                     1/2 Tbsp curry powder                                                                                                                                           2 oz fresh tomatoes, diced and drained                                                                                                       1.5 oz strawberries                                                                                                                                                   dollop of plain, fat-free yogurt                                                                                                                              optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                      optional: blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Drain the tomatoes so that they are not too juicy. Combine with the curry powder and whisk with the eggs. Spritz a fry pan with olive oil or non-stick spray and pour in the egg mixture. Cook to your liking. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. Plop a dollop of plain, unsweetened yogurt on the eggs.  A rousing good start to your day.

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken and Vegetables:   265 calories   4.8 g fat   9 g fiber   20 g protein   32.6 g carbs   99.5 mg Calcium   PB GF     TIP: You can buy jars of tandoori sauce in most supermarkets. Be sure it does not contain corn syrup or sweeteners. Aim for 70-80 calories/ quarter cup

2 oz chicken breast, cooked or raw                                                                                                                   ½ cup eggplant, cubed                                                                                                                                         2 oz broccoli                                                                                                                                                             2 oz bell peppers, cut in chunks                                                                                                                         2 oz zucchini, sliced or cubed                                                                                                                             2 oz carrots, sliced 1/4” thick or use ‘baby carrots’ cut in quarters                                                          ¼ cup brown rice, cooked    TIP: when I cook a batch of brown rice, I freeze some in 1/4 cup portions to use for recipes like this                                                                                                     ¼ c tandoori sauce:  purchased or use the recipe in the link                                                                                                                                                 2 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt

Cook the vegetables together in a little water until they are tender. Add the chicken and the sauce. Warm it all. If the chicken is raw, be sure to cook it through. Either stir the yogurt into the sauce or serve it atop the meal. Plate the brown rice [warm it if cold] and serve the chicken and vegetables on top. Perfect for eating on a hot night or a cold one.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
 Crushed tomatoes mixed fresh herbs [to taste]
 Anchovy    +   Pear1/4 cup zucchini, raw or cooked
 Low-fat cottage cheeseJarlsberg cheese
 Tiny bit of cooked chicken peach
optional smoothieoptional hot beverage
optional hot beverageoptional smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 4 oz halibut3 cups grated zucchini + lettuce for salad
 Olive oil + chicken stock Onion + garlic
 Onion + scallions + garlic  3 eggs + lots of herbs
 2 cups diced tomatoes Whole wheat ‘bisquick’
 1.5 cups chickpeas, canned 2 oz chicken breast + Parmesan cheese
 2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water