The Van Gogh Affair

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 adom1479 who is now Following.

On 27 July, 1890, Vincent van Gogh turned up at the inn where he stayed with a gun shot wound in his torso. Two days later, he died. Right away, even before a cursory investigation by the police in Auvers-sur-Oise, everyone proclaimed it to be a suicide. After all, the Dutch-born painter had seen a life-time of disappointments that sent him into deep bouts of depression… Like the time he threw his heart and soul into being an evangelical preacher to the poor in a Belgian mining town, only to be dismissed by the bishop for having given all his money to the poor and no longer looking distinguished enough to be a pastor. Or the time it took him two years to get over a broken heart. Wasn’t he more than a little crazy? Hadn’t he attacked his friend Gauguin with a knife and then cut off his own ear? Case closed on the death of an odd-ball artist who liked to paint things that were yellow. OR NOT! In 2014, a journalistic investigation sure made it look as if van Gogh’s death was not suicide, but either a prank gone wrong, if not murder. Does a man at the height of his artistic powers, who has placed an order for paints and canvasses kill himself? Does a right-handed man shoot himself in his left side? Read about it and draw your own conclusion. At any rate, 130 years ago a revolutionary artist died too soon. Poor Vincent, “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you,” wrote Don McLean.

In honor of the scenes of van Gogh’s life, we will enjoy a breakfast made with galettes/crepes from Brittany and ratatouille from sunny Provence, both places where he painted. For dinner, a soup that features potatoes and sauerkraut — foods that would have been familiar to the Belgian family depicted in The Potato Eaters, the first van Gogh work I knew as a child.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  A perfect blend of the cuisines of Northern and Southern France.

1 crepe/galette   one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables, drain and reserve excess liquids ½ oz fresh mushrooms  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids. Use the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe and top it all with the egg. Eat with your hands or use a fork.

Jota: 169 calories  4.5 g fat 7.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 25.7 g carbs [all Complex] 83.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The flavors of Africa and and the mediterranean meet in this bean stew. Very satisfying. HINT: This recipe is enough for 4 [four] 1-cup servings.

Here, the Jota is served with spinach leaves.

1-½ cups sauerkraut, drained 1-½ cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed bay leaf 4 oz red potatoes, cooked and diced 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 oz smoked ham hock, cubed ½ cup or more vegetable broth or water   Optional*: 1 clove garlic, crushed + 1 tsp flour + 1 tsp oil Optional**: raw leaves of baby spinach

Spray a heavy sauce pan with non-stick spray and cook the garlic until golden brown. Add the sauerkraut to the pan with the broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. In another pan, heat the beans with the bay leaf until warm. Remove half of the beans and put them in a food processor with the cooked garlic and half of the potatoes. Puree, adding water/broth to adjust the liquids. Add the puree, uncrushed beans, potatoes, and meat to the pan with the sauerkraut. Taste for seasonings. Add some water/broth to bring the volume to 4 cups. *Optional: Simmer a garlic clove in 1 tsp oil until brown. Remove garlic and whisk in 1 tsp flour, then add some stock to make a roux. Stir into the stew as a thickener. **Optional: When the soup is in the bowl, tear the spinach leaves into bits and poke them into the hot liquid to add some extra color, texture, vitamins.

Omelette

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.

Omelettes [or omelets] are found in many cuisines. Surely, as long as people have had eggs and a pan to cook them in, they have been eating omelettes. The ancient Persians had their Kuku, which sounds rather like the ‘bakes’ we have on Mondays. Cookbooks in France mention ‘alumete’ in 1393, long before Mere Poulard. India eats its Pora. Canton, China enjoys eggs fu yung, and Japan serves tamagoyaki. The Spanish omelette [they call it a ‘tortilla’], which is cooked on both sides in a pan, seems to have caught on in 1798; while the Italian frittata, pan-cooked then baked, lacks an origin story. Louis XV of France whipped up a dinner of omelettes for his friends — weren’t they surprised! Whether king or commoner, the omelette is a fine meal. Whether Faster or feaster, omelettes provide flavor, nutrition, protein, and calcium in a low-calorie form.

There are omelettes for breakfast and dinner and dessert. Just about every Thursday, as you have seen, we enjoy an omelette for our Fast breakfast. Of late, since the hens are laying well, we have sampled the joys of dinner eggs: Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian. Here are some examples:

Guacamole Eggs:  145 calories 11.4 g fat 1g fiber 11 g protein 5 g carbs [45. g Complex] 45 mg Calcium   PB GF  Avocado and eggs are a very good combination. Both are high in fat, but the plant fat helps to mitigate effects of the animal fat. Here, we use Haas avocados.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person 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 Tbsp Guacomole, homemade** or purchased  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

**Guacamole: makes 1 cup  1 jalepeno pepper, sliced. Remove the seeds if you wish it less hot. 1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh 1-1/2 avocados 1/3 cup minced onion ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves salt lime juice, and hot pepper flakes to taste Peel, seed, and mash the avocados. Stir in the other ingredients and mash again or run through the food processor.

Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour them into a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Cook, without stirring or scrambling, until the top is almost set. Spread the guacamole on half of the eggs, then fold the omelette over. Serve with optional beverages. Mocha coffee would be the more traditional choice for a Mexican food theme.

Omelette Basque:  274 calories 14.8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 16.7 g protein 20 g carbs [14 g Complex] 69.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread A savory omelette is a wonderful dinner, any day of the week. Susan Herrmann Loomas’ French Farmhouse Cooking is the source of this delicious meal.  HINT: serves two [2].

4 two-oz eggs 8 oz Italian bell peppers, green +/or red, cut in 1”x2” pieces 1 tsp olive oil ground espelette or Aleppo pepper or smokey paprika   per serving: one side salad with tomato   per serving: 0.8 oz whole-wheat sourdough bread

Cut the peppers as described above. Heat the oil in a 10-12” saute pan along with some healthy sprays of non-stick spray. When the oil is hot, add the peppers and cook, tossing them to turn to the other sides, until they have blackened parts. Lightly salt and pepper the peppers. Remove and separate into two portions. Whisk the eggs. Divide the eggs into two equal portions and add a pinch of espelette or Aleppo pepper to each batch. Put the pan back on the heat and add one portion of the peppers. Arrange them so that they are evenly distributed on the pan. When the pan is sizzling, add one portion of the eggs to the pan. Tilt the pan around so the eggs flow over the bottom and around the peppers. As the sides cook, lift the edge and let uncooked egg go to the bottom of the pan. Lightly salt and pepper the eggs. As the top just sets, remove the pan from the heat. Lift up one-third of the omelette and fold it over the rest. Fold the other side over the center, too, and ease the omelette onto a plate. Cook the other omelette right away. Plate with the salad and the bread. Everything you want in a dinner: delicious, quick, healthy.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz eggBob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal 
mushroomslow-fat milk
galettes/crepesblueberries
Mediterranean Vegetables
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Smoke ham hock70-calorie multi-grain bread
sauerkraut + garlictuna + onion + celery + tomato
canned red beanscelery seed + Swiss cheese
red potatoes [raw spinach]reduced-fat mayonnaise or Béchamel
Sparkling waterside salad + Sparkling water

Guiseppe Piazzi

On January 1, 1801, Guiseppe Piazzi looked through his telescope in the mountains above Palermo, Sicily. He hoped that the first day of a new century would be an auspicious one — that he might find a new planet in the solar system and re-establish Italy as a powerhouse of astronomy. All astronomers knew that there was an extra-large distance between Mars and Jupiter, and Piazzi was sure that there was a planet lurking in that gap. Lo! He found a bright object orbiting the sun and he named it ‘Ceres,’ after Sicily’s patron goddess of the harvest. He had found a new planet!! Other astronomers, hoping to observe it, looked in the same area and found another object there, and then another, and another — astronomers were seeing new planets left and right and they realized that something was wrong. This lead to a consensus over the definition of ‘planet.’ To the ancient Greeks, ‘planet’ meant ‘wanderer:’ those bodies that moved back-ward then forward in their trip across the night sky. But by the early 1800s, ‘planet’ meant a body that orbits the sun and doesn’t have other planets very near to it. Thus Piazzi’s discovery was not a planet, and it was named an ‘asteroid.’ Ceres is the largest of all the bodies in the Asteroid Belt which lies between Mars and Jupiter. He didn’t find a new planet, but he made a name for himself and added to our knowledge of the structure of the Solar System. When the category “dwarf planet” was created, Ceres was given that status.

In honor of Guiseppe Piazzi’s birthday on July 16, we will enjoy a Sicilian Omelette in the morning. Capri is almost due North of Palermo across the Tyrrhennian Sea. Our dinner comes from there. Dine out under the stars.

Sicilian ScrOmelette: 157 calories 11 g fat 0.5 g fiber 13 g protein 2 g carbs 129 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF  A protein-packed salad meets eggs for breakfast. This is based on our Sicilian Shepherd’s Salad which we enjoy for dinner.

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.  ¼ oz salami sausage ¼ oz mozzerella 2 Tbsp chopped wild greens [ex: dandelion, wild sorrel] or arugula Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Chop the sausage, the cheese, and the greens, and combine them gently. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, then pour into the heated pan. As the eggs set, sprinkle the sausage mixture over the eggs. Scramble or fold as an omelette and enjoy with the beverages

Caprese Chicken: 289 calories 15 g fat 2.5 g fiber 35.6 g protein 6.3 g carbs 140 mg Calcium  PB GF ‘Caprese’ means ‘from Capri,’ the fabled island off the West coast of Italy. In cooking, it often means the use of fresh mozzerella, basil, and tomatoes, as in this recipe. HINT: This recipe serves two [2]. The amounts can be cut in half for one person.

The pasta on the side is how to serve it on a Slow Day, or for a non-Fasting guest.
8-oz chicken breast Kosher salt + pepper Bone and skin the chicken and pat it dry. Remove the tenderloin and save for another use. Hold the meat flat on the cutting board with your hand flat. Cut it lengthwise parallel to the cutting board, so you have two, equal, thin pieces. Pound the meat to make as thin a filet as you can. Season on both sides .
2 oz mozzerella, sliced 2 oz sliced tomatoes 6-8 basil leaves Place cheese, tomato + basil on each filet. Fold the filet over to enclose the filling. You might need to hold it closed with a toothpick/skewer or tie with kitchen twine. TIP: Filet can be prepped to this point, covered + kept cool up to 24 hrs
Non-stick cooking spray 1-½ tsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, sliced  Heat oil + non-stick spray in a 10-12” nonstick pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove garlic and reserve it, leaving oil in the pan.
Sauté meat bundles until golden on the bottom, about 46 mins. If the meat darkens too fast, lower heat. Flip + cook for 45 minutes. Cover + cook 2 to 3 mins more, until chicken is cooked and filling is hot.
2 tsp Pesto basil leaves 3 oz asparagus per person Cook asparagus. Transfer chicken to the plates. Add pesto to pan juices and whisk. Pour pan juices over the chicken. Garnish with cooked garlic and basil leaves. Serve asparagus on the side.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

70-calorie whole grain bread1.5 two-oz eggs 
cottage cheese + chivesguacamole
smoked salmon + cucumber
white wine vinegar + dill + sugar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

tuna, fresh or cannedeggs + olive oil
cucumber + avocadobell pepper
4-bean saladwhole-wheat sourdough bread
scallion + celeryside salad
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Frigate Meduse

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 July 2, 1816, the French naval vessel La Meduse sank off the coast of West Africa. She had set sail, full of optimism and colonial hubris from Southern France, bound on a mission for all the wrong reasons. On board were soldiers and a governor, sent to subdue Senegal and re-claim it for France. The captain was an incompetent political appointee and the governor, eager to begin his duties, urged a change in course and full speed to get there sooner. Mis-reading the charts, they ran the ship aground on a sandbar 60 miles off Mauritania. Did they ditch the cannon to lighten the ship and float her off? No. They put the captain, governor, and soldiers in the two lifeboats, left 17 sailors on board, and 147 passengers/crew were placed on a rickety raft. After two days of towing the raft, the lifeboats cut her loose — leaving those survivors with 6 casks of wine, 1 cask of water, and a bag of biscuits. Thirteen days later, they were rescued. Only 15 people remained. Some had fallen overboard, some were thrown overboard. Some mutinied and were killed, many died of hunger and thirst, some were eaten due to their raft-mates’ hunger. It was a horrible story when told in 1817, and told it was when the ship’s surgeon and the geographer wrote about it. This caught the attention of Theodore Gericault who painted a vast [16×23 foot] canvas, now called Le Radeau de la Meduse. It is a dramatic, astonishing, evocative, disturbing, realistic, and unforgettable work of art hanging in the Louvre.

Our menu for the day begins in Southern France, as did the voyage of the Meduse. The salt cod in the eggs was probably part of the ship’s stores when she set out. The day ends in Senegal, now free of the yoke of colonial rule, with a delicious meal of fish and avocados .

Marseille Omelette: 156 calories 8 g fat 0.7 g fiber 16.5 g protein 4 g carbs 69.6 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Garlic, tomatoes, salt cod, and lavender: all flavors of Marseille on your breakfast plate.

1 ½ 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  1/3 oz salt cod, soaked 1 clove garlic, minced large pinch dried lavender 2 oz sliced fresh tomatoes, salted and sprinkled with herbs   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

The night before: soak the salt cod in water for 30-40 minutes, until softened. Mince and combine with the garlic and lavender.  Next morning: Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with the flavorings and pour into the hot pan. Instead of scrambling it, allow it to cook until the bottom is cooked and the top is firming up. Gently flip it to the other side to cook briefly. Plate with the tomatoes. Serve with the beverages of choice.

Senegal Tuna-Avocado Salad:  264 calories 14.6 g fat 6.4 g fiber 13 g protein 18 g carbs 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is my version of a meal which I enjoyed at Bissap Baobab, an excellent Senegalese restaurant, since closed, in Oakland, CA. 

2-1/2 oz white/Albacore tuna 2 Tbsp celery, minced pinch or 2 ground ginger ½ tsp lime juice Sriracha sauce ¾ oz apple, diced 2 oz avocado 2 Tbsp radish or alfalfa sprouts 4 oz cherry tomatoes ¼ oz [½ cup] baby spinach leaves 1 tsp + ½ tsp mayonnaise made with olive oil Lightly combine the tuna with the celery, ginger, dash of Sriracha, lime juice, apple, and ½ tsp mayonnaise. Arrange the spinach leaves in the center of the plate and mound the tuna on top. Slice the avocado and layer on top of the tuna. Mix remaining mayonnaise with Sriracha to taste and drizzle over the avocado. If the cherry tomatoes are not bite-sized, cut in half. Place tomatoes around the edge of the plate and sprinkle with sprouts. A fine meal when you want a taste of lands where the sun shines brightly.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
70-calorie whole grain breadcooked brown rice
raclette cheesewatermelon
blueberriesMediterranean Vegetables w/ chickpeas
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

skim milk + onion + whole cloveschicken breast + lemon
bay leaf + white whole wheat flourapricot preserves/jam
butter + haddock + smoked haddockDijon mustard
shrimp + puff pastry + spinachdelicata squash + sweet potato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Peter and Paul

Gen  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 J-O-G-E who is now Following.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul began their lives very differently and in the same region, but ended their lives similarly and in the same city [maybe]. To dissect that, we’ll start with their origins. Peter [then called Simon] was the son of a fisherman in the Galilee area of the Roman Province of Judea. Paul [then called Saul] was born a Jewish Roman citizen in Tarsus [now in Turkey]. Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus, while Paul, at first, ardently persecuted Christians. After Jesus’ death and resurrection and the conversion of Paul, they both traveled widely to promote the new religion’s beliefs. It is said that Peter went to Rome to become the bishop of the growing Christian congregation there. Paul, arrested in Israel for his faith, claimed the privilege due him as a Roman — to be put on trial in Rome. In Rome, we are told, they both were martyred for refusing to abjure their Christianity. The church of Saint John Lateran, in Rome, displays ornate reliquaries which are said to contain their heads.

In view of their Levantine origins and in honor of the Feast of Its Peter and Paul, our breakfast contains flavors which they would recognize. The dinner is one you might enjoy today, whether in Rome or in your own home.

Zucchini-Feta Fritters & Fruit:  178 calories 5.3 g fat 2.7 g fiber 8.4 g protein 31.6 g carbs 208 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  Savory with the feta, sweet with the melon – a flavor adventure for breakfast.

4 zucchini-feta fritters ** TIP: start them hours in advance 3 oz watermelon 2 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Start the fritters the night before to allow the zucchini to drain thoroughly. Using 1.5 Tablespoons per fritter, place the batter on a hot griddle which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Flatten the fritters, and cook on both sides until well browned. Plate with the melon and yogurt. Serve with beverage of choice, noting their calorie count. [Refrigerate the remaining batter until you have time to cook and freeze the remainder.]

**Zucchini-Feta Fritters makes 23-24   each: 34 calories 1.3 g fat 0.3 g fiber 1.5 g protein 3 g carbs 34 mg Calcium  1-1/8 pound [18 oz] zucchini salt 1 two-oz egg 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled or diced ¼ cup fresh dill weed OR 2 Tbsp dried 2 Tbsp fresh parsley ¼ c white whole wheat flour ¼ cup self-rising flour Grate the zucchini and put it in a collander over a bowl. Sprinkle liberally with salt and use your fingers to toss the zucchini to distribute the salt throughout. Let sit several hours or overnight. Place the zucchini in a clean bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Heat a griddle/large skillet and spray with non-stick spray.  TIP: I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop, but a heaping tablespoon would do as well.  Make piles of the batter on the cooking surface, then flatten them outand cook until well-browned on both sides

Eggplant Parmesan: 263 calories 5.6 g fat 4.8 g fiber 19 g protein 44 g carbs [20 g Complex] 203 mg Calcium  PB GF I love eggplant parmesan but I can’t stand cooking all those slices in oil [!!] and then layering everything together. This preparation is just what I need. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Dear Husband enjoyed this.

4 slices peeled eggplant to a total weight of 6.5 oz ¼ c part-skim ricotta cheese ½ cup reduced fat cottage cheese ½ oz egg 1-½ cup canned whole tomatoes basil + garlic powder 3 oz zucchini ribbons [use a vegetable peeler to slice lenghtwise] OR 2 oz spinach leaves 1 oz whole-grain linguine [or other of your choice]

Sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally with salt and lay them in a collander on a plate and let sit 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and cottage cheeses with the egg. Combine the tomatoes with the basil and garlic powder. Rinse the eggplant slices and bake at 375F on an oil-sprayed pan for 15 minutes or until tender. Spray two 8” oven-safe saute pans OR one larger pan with non-stick spray. Measure ¼ c of tomato into each pan and flatten it out. Lay two slices of eggplant, slightly over-lapping, on the tomatoes in the pans. Smear 1 Tbsp of tomato on each eggplant slice. Arrange 2-3 Tbsp of ricotta/cottage cheese mixture on each slice. Put any extra tomato sauce on top and then a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F for 15+ minutes or until eggplant is soft. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes, then take off heat. Add the zucchini to the pasta and let it sit, covered, for another 2-3 minutes. If using spinach, add it to the pasta pan with one minute to go. I like to serve it all in the skillet in which it was baked, but you can plate it to your individual wishes. Melty and tender – just the way I like it.