The Darkest Evening

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 Living Paleo and jeffryjune8 and Julian Sirian who are now Following.

“Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farm house near, Between the woods and frozen lake, The darkest evening of the year.”

So begins Robert Frost‘s Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. Many young school children have memorized it. Many older ones have studied its unusual rhyme scheme: AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD Some go on to ponder the meaning, for surely it must mean something. To me, it is no more and no less than an appreciation of winter in Northern New England: the woods; the quiet; the solitude; the snow; the chance to stop and look and think and enjoy the view. “The darkest evening of the year” is, of course, the Winter Solstice. At my latitude, the night will be 15 hours long on December 21.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, we will prepare a breakfast that gives a nod to Autumn and to Winter. The fact that after the Solstice the days grow longer seems cause for a celebratory feast! In Eastern Canada, residents will buy a small barrel of oysters in December, to tide them through the season. In the Eastern US, many Winter meals — from chowders, to stuffings, to cocktail parties [not this year!], to casseroles — feature oysters because they can be kept fresh in the cold weather. So let’s eat oysters!

Winter Solstice Bake: 141 calories 7.6 g fat 1.3 g fiber 9 g protein 12 g carbs 51 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  For the change of the seasons, a meal to mark the occaision. The olives represent Autumn and the cured meat evokes Winter. A great combination any time.

One 2-oz egg ¼ oz proscuitto 2 Kalamata olives pinch of winter savory or rosemary  1 clementine  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]

Chop the meat and the olives.  Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs. Stir in the meat and olives, and pour into the ramekin. Resist the urge to add much salt — the meat and the olives are salty to begin with. Bake at 350F. for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the beverage of choice.

Oyster Feast:  267 calories 15 g fat 2 g fiber 12.6 g protein 21 g carbs [4 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium   PB GF  In my opinion, a plate of raw oysters and a salad makes a wonderful dinner for a dieter. Please note that all 12 oysters are for one person: a real feast!

The oysters were delivered to us from Island Creek, Massachusetts, and represent three different varieties.

12 medium raw oysters 2 oz spinach leaves ½ oz walnut meats 2 oz pickled beets, cubed ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Break the spinach leaves into the bowl and toss gently to cover with the dressing. Put the walnuts and beets in the bowl over the salad. Shuck the oysters and enjoy your special meal.


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.

Every December the sun stands still.  HUH?? Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days have been getting shorter and the sun is lower and lower in the sky at noon.  Then the sun stops going lower and becomes higher in the sky every day. The time at which this occurs is called a “Solstice‘ from the latin words for ‘sun stands.’  In ancient times, people feared the winter darkness and rejoiced with feasting and fires on the day of the Solstice.  How did they know when it would occur? That’s what solar calendars like Stonehenge are for.  Light a fire if you wish, and then celebrate by eating quiches that look like little suns and a dinner from sunny Senegal.  And now the days get longer.

Breakfast Quiche:  281 calories   7.7 g fat   3.3 g fiber   15 g protein  37.6 g carbs   350 mg Calcium PB GF This versital recipe can be prepared for breakfast, as shown here; can be used at dinner; or can be tripled [to make 12 mini-quiches] to serve as part of a brunch. TIP: Each quiche clocks in at 68 calories, so one serving is two quiches.quiche w: melon-Bbs

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp ricotta, drained if too liquid                                                                                                                        2/3 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                      2/3 oz Jarlsburg cheese, grated                                                                                                                                        1 oz broccoli                                                                                                                                                                                                1/3 oz onion                                                                                                                                                                              herbs, salt, pepper to taste                                                                                                                                           1.5 oz melon, cubed  +   2 Tbsp blueberries                                                                                                                     black coffee or black tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                             5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Get out your mini-muffin pan and spray 2 holes with non-stick spray. If the vegetables are raw, chop them and put into a microwave-safe dish with some water. Cook on high for 45 seconds or until tender. Drain water and put vegetables into the muffin pans. Top with grated cheeses. Whisk the egg with the ricotta and seasonings. Pour into the muffin pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Prepare the beverages and fruits. So pretty.

Senegal Tuna-Avocado Salad:   264 calories   14.6 g fat   6.4 g fiber   13.2 g protein  18 g carbs 29.8 mg Calcium  PB GF   This is my version of Avocat Creole which I enjoyed at Bissap Baobab, an excellent Senegalese restaurant in Oakland, CA. Senegalese Tuna:Avocado Salad2.5 oz white/Albacore tuna                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp celery, minced                                                                                                                                       pinch or 2 ground ginger                                                                                                                                       ½ tsp lime juice                                                                                                                                                 Sriracha sauce                                                                                                                                                         ¾ oz apple, diced  TIP: most recipes use mango, but the apple is wonderful!                              1/2 tsp mayonnaise made with olive oil                                                                                                                   2 oz avocado                                                                                                                                                               2 Tbsp radish or alfalfa sprouts   [optional]                                                                                                                        4 oz cherry tomatoes                                                                                                                                                          ¼ oz [½ cup] baby spinach leaves                                                                                                                   aioli:  1 tsp mayonnaise made with olive oil + Sriracha

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 the aioli 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

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs         1 oz apple or pear
  pear or apple  crab meat
Yorkshire Pudding [white + whole wheat flours] soy sauce   +  hot sauce +scallion   +  ginger 
50-calorie chicken breakfast sausage  Mushrooms
 mung bean sprouts
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:

 pork tenderloin, raw or cooked  4 oz beef or calf liver
 apples  green beans
 chicken stock  onion
 Béchamel sauce [Sidekicks I, 17 Sept 2017]  butter
Sparkling water Sparkling water