Saint Agnes

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.

Agnes was a child who, after being murdered in a Roman persecution, became a saint. Her innocence attracted a cult of followers and her feast day, January 21, has been celebrated since the 4th century. One aspect of her veneration involves young women traditionally following a ritual of fasting on January 20 in the hopes of dreaming of their future husband.  John Keats incorporated this in his Romantic poem The Eve of St Agnes. It tells the tale of star-crossed lovers, Madeline and Porphyro.  She fasts and falls asleep.  Porphyro sneaks into the castle and gains admittance to her chamber with the help of Angela, the old Nurse [further shades of Romeo and Juliet]. While Madeline sleeps, her would-be lover sets a fantastic feast of expensive delicacies in her room.  She wakes, sees the object of her dreams [the guy not the goodies], and they escape to his castle to get married.  All rather racy for a poem related to 13-year-old Agnes. The name ‘Agnes’ is Greek, meaning ‘chaste’ but it is similar to the latin word for ‘lamb.’  Therefore the innocence of Agnes and of little lambs is forever linked.                                                                   In honor of Agnes, we will enjoy a breakfast based on Porphyro’s fantastic feast and a dinner of lamb stew.  Also, we are Fasting — not because we want to see visions of a ‘dream-boat’ but because we want to be healthy.

Porphyro’s Picnic:   252 calories  5.7 g fat   6 g fiber   6.5 g protein   53 g carbs [43 g Complex] 128 mg Calcium   PB GF V  This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poem  The Eve of St Agnes.  The meal is rather sweet despite its low calorie count – perhaps it needs some other taste to cut it. A cup of black coffee? Full of fiber, this meal is sure to kick-start your tally of fruits/vegetables for the day.porphyro's picnic

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal                                                                      2 oz apple, diced                                                                                                                                                         2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season                                                                                                                              2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon                            ¼ oz Medjool date, cut in 4 pieces.  [in the photo you see more dates, but there should be fewer]                                                                                                                                                                                     NO smoothie                                                                                                                                                    black coffee or black tea or lemon in hot water

Stir the yogurt and almond meal together and spoon onto the center of the plate. Chop the apple, cube the melon, and arrange them around the almond cream, along with the plums. Place the pieces of date at random. Combine the cider syrup with the cinnamon and drizzle it over the apple and melon. All set to eat and you still have 48 calories left over. Not responsible for what happens if you eat this by moonlight on January 20.

Lamb Stew with Glazed Vegetables:  317 calories**    8 g fat**   5.8 g fiber   24 g protein  31 g carbs    62 mg Calcium  GFif using GF flour   The recipe is from Salute to Healthy Cooking, so you know it is good. We have enjoyed this often. If you double the recipe, then you’ll have some to freeze for another meal. Yes, the calorie count is a bit high, but it is worth it. NB: One serving = ¾ cupLambstew

½ pound lamb shoulder, boneless and cut in cubes                                                                                    ½ cup onions, chopped                                                                                                                                         ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour OR GF flour                                                                                                  1 oz dry red wine                                                                                                                                                    ½ Tbsp tomato paste                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp thyme + 1 bay leaf                                                                                                                                               ¾ cup carrots, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                         ½ cup cubed potatoes                                                                                                                                            6 pearl onions                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup [5 oz] turnips, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                        ½ tsp sugar** 1 tsp butter**                                                                                                                                 cold water                                                                                                                                                           optional:  1/4 cup green peas, cooked and added after plating

Sear the cubed lamb on all sides [about 3 minutes] in a heavy pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil. Cook the meat in batches so the pan doesn’t cool down. Remove the cooked meat to a Dutch oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the onions in the same cooking pan and sauté them with enough water to make them sizzle. When the onions are transparent, add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring the brown bits up from the bottom. Heat the oven to 350 F. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to mix. Add to the Dutch oven. Pour in enough cold water to go to the top of the lamb but not cover it. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf. Heat to a simmer on top of the stove on medium heat. Then cover and put the casserole in the oven. Bake 1 hour, checking once in a while to adjust the temperature to make sure the stew is not boiling. After 1 hour, add the carrots, put the cover back on and bake for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, put the cover back on and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. While the potatoes are baking, put the pearl onions and turnips in a small non-stick pan with the sugar and butter** and enough water to rise half-way up the onions. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered and shaking the pan ocaisionaly. Add salt and pepper. Reserve, off the heat until the lamb is cooked. Plate the stew with the vegetables, adding the optional peas if you wish.  [add ___ calories and ___ g fiber]

** If you were to cook the onions and turnips without the butter and sugar, you would reduce the calories to 297 and the fat to 6.3 g.

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  èThe 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.

St Anthony

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.

If you say the name ‘Anthony’ to anyone from New England, it will generate thoughts of an old TV ad for a brand of pasta which showed Anthony’s mother calling him home to dinner. Or you may have heard of a St Anthony who’ll help you find lost objects.  In fact, there are 23 Saints named ‘Anthony’ in the ‘Saints & Angels‘ list on line. Tomorrow will be the feast day of the original Anthony, a hermit who lived in the 5th century in Egypt. He is best known for his severe fasting [eating only every 3 days] and sleeplessness in an effort to quell his inner demons. One of the most repeated themes in art is The Temptation of Saint Anthony.  Gustave Flaubert spent his life in the off and on writing of a novel by the same name.  Saint Anthony’s attributes [the things a saint is holding when depicted in art] are a pig [representing domestic animals of whom he is the patron saint] and a staff in the shape of a Tau cross [known as St Anthony’s cross].                                     In addition to farm animals, Anthony is the patron saint of salami-makers.  Going with that theme, breakfast is a scramble containing salami and dinner is a stir-fry of pork, for St Anthony’s Pig.

Salami Scramble:  299 calories  9.8 g fat   2.3 g fiber   18 g protein   30 g carbs   297 mg Calcium   GF   From the deli department to the breakfast table, salami makes for an easy breakfast.salami 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.                                                                             ¼ oz thinly-sliced salami                                                                                                                               pinch of Moroccan spice  +  salt                                                                                                                         1.5 oz pear or apple slices                                                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                 5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasteurized apple cider

Slice the salami slices crosswise, then into squares. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings, then pour into a hot sauté pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with the salami before the eggs set.  Flip the eggs over to cook to your preference.  Slice the fruit, pour the beverages. Easy, yummy, satisfying.

Pork & Pepper Stir-fry:  211 calories   6.3 g fat   5.8 g fiber   24.3 g protein   16 g carbs [10 g Complex]  37.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  This stir-fry has a lot of preparation but the result is rich in the wonderful flavors of East Asia. The recipe does not include rice, but if you read on you will see totals with rice. HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 2 [two] people. Food values above are for ONE serving.pork & peppers w: rice garnish

6 oz pork tenderloin, sliced as matchsticks                                                                                                  1.5 tsp dark soy sauce + 4 tsp dark soy sauce                                                                                                       ½ tsp honey + ½ tsp honey                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp minced garlic + another ½ tsp minced garlic  = one clove of garlic                                            1/8 tsp crushed red pepper                                                                                                                               1 tsp peanut butter                                                                                                                                                  ½ c carrots, cut as matchsticks                                                                                                                               1 tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                                     5.5 oz green bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                  ½ lg red bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                      ½ tsp garlic    +     1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               garnish:   2 sliced scallions                         Sriracha

First prepare a mise en place. Seriously — do it. Combine the pork, 1.5 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, ½ tsp minced garlic, and the red pepper flakes in a bowl and stir to combine. In a microwave-safe custard cup combine 4 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, and 1 tsp peanut butter. Microwave it briefly and stir to combine. Put the carrots in a small pan of boiling water and cook for one minute. Drain the carrots and save the water. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over high heat and add the canola oil. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry for one minute. Remove the cooked pork to a clean bowl and stir in the soy-honey-peanut mixture. Put the carrot-cooking water in the dish that had the soy-honey-peanut mixture and swirl it around to get those flavors in the water. Pour the flavored water into the wok and add the red and green peppers. Stir-fry for one minute, adding more water to keep it sizzling. Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic to the wok and stirfry with the peppers for one minute more. Return the pork to the wok and stir-fry until heated, about 1 more minute. Plate with optional rice [if using – see below], top with sliced scallion and some Sriracha, if you wish.

If using ¼ cup medium-grain white rice as a garnish, then add these food values:                         50 calories   0 g fat   0.3 g fiber   1.0 g protein   11 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium                             If serving with ½ cup medium-grain rice, then add these food values:                                            100 calories   0 g fat   0.6 g fiber   2 g protein   22 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion Monday:                     Breakfast, single portion Thursday:

apple  +  melon Next week there will be an exploration of
plum  + date  + almond meal ‘foods in wrappers’
cider syrup  +  cinnamon
French-vanilla yogurt, low fat Choose a favorite from the Archives
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 Monday:                           Dinner, single portion Thursday:

lamb shoulder  + onion Several options will be offered or
dry red wine + tomato paste choose a favorite from the Archives
turnip  + carrot + potato
pearl onions + thyme + bay leaf
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Morning to Night: Felafel

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 Trinity L. who is now Following.

Felafel is a ubiquitous street food in the Eastern Mediterranean and it should be healthy. But too often it is deep-fried, adding needless calories and fat. On a Fast Day good felafel can take you from morning to night with some delicious and satisfying meals. The origin of felafel goes back to the lands now called Palestine and Israel, but once called Sameria, Judea, Idumaea.  Let’s not get bogged down on who invented it — let’s celebrate how good it is and how easy it is to eat in a variety of forms. Felafel in eggs and a felafel-topped salad are fine forms of feasting. I’ll give you the basic recipe, then you can decide how to use it.

Felafel:       1 batch = 648 cal 25.4 g fat 21 g fiber 32.5 g protein 72 g carbs 214 mg Calcium  each patty= 30 cal 1.2 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.6 g protein 4 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium    GF PB  V  From the good old Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen, these are easy to prepare and set you up for several servings of future meals.                                                                                                                                  2 cups canned chick peas     [I like Goya brand  TIP:  if you use dried chickpeas, you will get a grainer product. Factor in the time to reconstitute and cook them]                                                            1.5 cloves garlic, crushed [add as much as you enjoy!]                                                                                 ¼ cup celery, minced                                                                                                                                           ¼ c. scallions, sliced                                                                                                                                                    1 raw egg                                                                                                                                                                                            1.5 tsp tahini                                                                                                                                                                 ½ t. cumin    +   ½ t. tumeric   +   ¼ t. cayenne  + ¼ t. black pepper     +  1.5 t. salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine everything in food processor until ingredients form a uniform paste. Scoop into a bowl and chill 1 hour. Form into balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I used a 1  Tbsp scoop and then flattened the patties slightly. TIP: You don’t have to bake them now. You could freeze the patties on a cookie sheet, then put them frozen into bags to cook later.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The patties should be heated through and have an outside ‘crust’ which is firm to the touch. In most recipes, you will cook them further. At this point you want them to be firm enough to store well. There will be about 25 of them. Use now or cool and freeze for later use.

Felafel Bake:  271 calories   6.6 g fat   3.1 g fiber   15.2 g protein  40 g carbs   198 mg Calcium   PB GF   Here we use 1 of the felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver! Amazing in eggs!Felafel Bake w: blueberries

1 two-oz egg one felafel patty, thawed [see Stocking Up I-4-’18]                                                                            1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes                                                                                                            ¼ c blueberries                                                                                                                                                                     blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Felafel with Mixed Salad: 295 calories   13.6 g fat   7.3 g fiber   15.5 g protein  29 g carbs [28 Complex]   174 mg Calcium   PB   GF   V    What a healthy plate of food! When you have felafel in the freezer, a quick meal like this is almost instant. If you prep the vegetables in advance, this would be a good ‘make-ahead’ meal for the end of a busy day.felafel w: mixed salad

6 felafel patties                                                                                                                                                           2 cups lettuce, I like to slice large leaves cross-wise into 1/2” strips                                                         2 oz tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or cut in 1/2” cubes                                                                                      1 oz carrots, grated                                                                                                                                                       1 oz beets cut in large dice [canned beets would be a real plus]                                                                1 oz Feta cheese in large crumbles                                                                                                                    ¾ tsp flavored olive oil   +  ¾ tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                    salt + pepper to taste

Thaw the felafel patties. If unbaked, heat in a 400° F. oven for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the vegetables for the salad. Whisk the vinegar and oil, then toss the salad vegetables in the dressing. Top with the felafel and feta crumbles.

Second Fiddles

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.

What does it mean ‘to play or to be a second fiddle‘?  It means to be the assistant to the leader or boss, which is a good role but it means that you may not get your full share of the glory or fame from what is accomplished. Originally, it referred to seating in an orchestra: the head honcho is the Conductor, of course.  The next most important person is the First Violin [the one who plays the ‘1st Fiddle’], and below that is the Second Violin.  That’s the 2nd Fiddle: close to the fame with important work to do, but often over-looked. Tomorrow will be the birthday of an over-looked man: Roy Disney.  He was co-founder and partner in the Disney organization, playing second fiddle to his younger brother, Walt the cartoonist and media visionary. Despite the fact that Roy was a financial wizard  who brought Disney World into fulfillment and put Orlando, Florida on the map, the only human who comes to mind when you say “Disney’ is Walt.                                                                                                  Side dishes play second fiddle to the main meal. That’s too bad as they can tend to be an after-thought: boil up some peas for something green on the plate. Let’s up our game and serve some side dishes that really add some zest to the meal.

CORN-TOMATO SALSA          makes 1.5 cups 87 calories per 3/4 cup serving Lamb Kabobs w: corn relish                                                   1 cup corn kernels                                                                                                                                                       1 cup diced tomato                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper                                                                                                                           2 Tbsp diced red onion                                                                                                                                         2 Tbsp cider vinegar                                                                                                                                                1/4 tsp dry mustard                                                                                                                                                 1/8 tsp tumeric                                                                                                                                                          ¼ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                                                    2 dashes ground cumin

CUCUMBER RAITA               use as a side dish or in wrapsFelafel w: Cuke Raita                                                                                             1 cup non-fat yogurt                                                                                                                                                 1 Tbsp lime juice                                                                                                                                                      1 clove garlic, pressed                                                                                                                                              1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced                                                                                                                   ½ tsp ground cumin                                                      ¼ tsp salt                                                                          ¼ tsp ground pepper                                                                                       1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped                                Combine all ingredients and use immediately or chill up to 30 minutes.

FRESH POLENTA          1 serving = 1/3 cup = 80 calories     Fish Kabobs w: fresh Polenta                                                                                                      1.25 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen                                                                                                                      1 tsp unsalted butter                                                                                                                                         freshly-ground pepper + salt                                                                                                                                      Puree the corn in a blender until smoother in texture [it won’t be like whipped cream, but you shouldn’t see whole kernels]. Put butter in a warm pan, then add the corn, pepper and salt. Cook about 30 seconds or until it becomes thicker. From Jacques Pepin, this is excellent served with a simply prepared fish.

SIDE SALAD        Serves 1 = 36 calories, easily doubles or triples                                                                                           Haggis Spring Rolls1 cup lettuce, slice into <1/2” strips if leaves are large                                                                                 ½ oz grated carrots                                                                                                                                                   1 oz tomato                                                                                                                                                               ½ tsp olive oil, plain or flavor-infused [ex: lime]                                                                                            ½ tsp flavorful vinegar                                                   salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                                                 optional: 1/2 oz boiled, cubed beets [adds 6 calories]  

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
1 felafel patty [Stocking Up 4-I-2018] salami, thinly-sliced
tomato puree or crushed tomatoes pear
blueberries
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:

6 felafel patties pork tenderloin + honey  + garlic
lettuce  + tomatoes fresh green beans  + red bell pepper
carrot  +  beets  +  feta cheese fresh ginger  + soy sauce + canola oil
white wine vinegar + flavored olive oil crushed red pepper +   scallion
Sparkling water Sparkling water

                                                                                                                                        

Fannie Farmer

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.

On the shelf in the kitchen is a cookbook that used to have a gold-colored cover. The book’s binding is reinforced with packing tape and the pages are stained with the splatters of cooking. This is the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 11th edition published in 1965.  On January 6, 1896, the first edition was issued under the title The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.  Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer, a woman with a disability who did not attend cooking school until the age of 30, had written a book which explained the chemistry of cooking and which established uniform measurement of ingredients that everyone could use. She became a media mogul and culinary icon, the Julia Child or Martha Stewart of her day. The book was an instant success and became the classic of  the American kitchen.  My mother used it faithfully [I have her copy] and gave me my own when I became engaged. So many good recipes! My adaptations of several of them have already appeared in this blog, some recipes used as-is.                                                                                                               The breakfast for this anniversary is an old favorite of our’s, Shirred Egg [p 103 in my copy] and for dinner the thrifty housewife’s go-to: Swiss Steak [p 163]

Shirred Egg:   271 calories  8.5 g fat  3.3 g fiber   15.8 g protein  38.8 g. carb  275 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF bread       I learned to prepare this dish when working on my Girl Scout ‘Cooking’ badge. We still eat it because it tastes so good. Easy to serve to guests, too.Shirred Egg

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp half&half   [Blend Cream, 10% milk fat]                                                                                         salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                                             1/2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                    half a slice of 70-calorie bread, toasted                                                                                                            2 oz apple slices or 2 oz strawberries                                                                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Heat the toaster oven to 325° F. Spritz a 1-cup ramekin with cooking oil or spray. Break the egg into the cup, and pour the half&half on top. Sprinkle with cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then let sit 2-3 mins while you toast the bread. Plate with the toast and fruit. Serve with your choice of beverages.

Swiss Steak:  267 calories  6.3 g fat  6.5 g fiber   28 g protein  27.5 g carbs   104.8 mg Calcium This is a recipe from Fannie Farmer’s cookbook which I fondly remember from my childhood. HINT: This recipe makes enough for two [2], so save half of it for a future lunch or dinner.

½ pound chuck steak, cut 1 to 1.5” thick                                                                                                          1.5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour + salt + pepper                                                                                         8 oz stewed tomatoes                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup minced green bell peppers                                                                                                                    ¼ cup minced onion                                                                                                                                             herbs to taste, such as rosemary or parsley                                                                                               per serving: ½ cup cut green beans + ½ cup carrots sliced as coins

Leave the meat in one piece or cut into two parts. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper and dredge the meat in it. If you wish, pound the meat with a tenderizing tool or the edge of a sturdy plate. Combine the tomatoes with the vegetables and herbs. Heat a heavy skillet with a lid and spray it well with oil or cooking spray. Brown the meat on both sides and pour the tomatoes over it. Cover and cook very slowly for 2 hours until the meat is very tender, adding water if the tomatoes are in danger of sticking. This can be cooked on the cooktop at low or in the oven at 325 F. Steam or boil the beans and carrots to serve along-side the beef with its sauce.

Tolkien

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.

J.R.R. Tolkien did not set out to be a world-famous fantasy writer. Born in South Africa on January 2, 1892, he became a professor of linguistics at Oxford. There he dabbled in writing with a group called The Inklings. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis traded ideas and critiqued each other’s work. [This is why both their fantasy series feature talking trees, elves, and Christian allegory.] At heart, Tolkien was a lover of the linguistic roots of modern English and of old myths.  He wanted to create an English mythology and produced The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Silmarillion, and many songs, poems, and short stories. Tolkien’s work is beloved the world over for the universal human insights set in a fantasy landscape.  The Quest and Coming of Age themes are compelling and the characters are memorable. The works may not be the history of England and its language, but they are worth reading at any age.                                                                                                                          Since Tolkien was such a devoted chronologist of all things English, today’s meals would please him as well as making sure that no Hobbits become fatter.  The mushroom breakfast is based on the casserole given to Frodo by Farmer Maggot’s wife. And the dinner is a classic meal from the 1700s.

FarmWife Mushroom Pudding:  300 calories   6 g fat   3.1 g fiber  14.5 g protein  34 g carbs [20.8 g Complex]  345 mg Calcium  PB  Having heard this described in books, I searched and searched until I found this recipe in Theodora FitzGibbon’s A Taste of England.

½ oz [around one strip] American/streaky bacon                                                                                                  ½ cup assorted mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                               3 Tbsp chicken stock                                                                                                                                               ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                                                       ½ Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin -OR-   1/3 cup Yorkshire Pudding batter […Not By Bread…Feb 7 ’18]                                                                                                                                                         1/2 oz pear

Cook the bacon partially, blot off the fat, and cut in strips. Pour off the bacon fat but return 1 tsp to the pan. Saute the mushrooms in the fat and remove them. Pour some of the chicken stock into the pan and sprinkle in the flour while whisking to prevent lumps as it thickens. Add the remaining stock and some pepper. Put the bacon and mushrooms into the sauce and cook over low heat. Pour into an oiled oven-proof dish and top with the Sandwich Thin or the Yorkshire Pudding batter. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes [if using Sandwich Thin] -OR- for 2o minutes [if using the Yorkshire Pudding.] NB: you can serve it out of the dish or turn it out on the plate.  Enjoy with the pear and have a hearty day.

Pheasant Casserole: 250 calories   9.5 g fat   5.4 g fiber   22.5 g protein  21.6 g carbs [19 Complex]   86 mg Calcium  PB   This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18thcentury. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.Pheansant Casserole

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick                                                                                                                   1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise                                                                                                            ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top]                                                                                     2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy                                                                                                                      2 oz pheasant meat, cooked and taken off the bone                                                                                   ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thins in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

one 2-oz egg                                                       apple or strawberries Next week I will provide some favorite side dishes for Fast Days
whole-grain bread, 70 calories
blend cream/half&half
parmesan cheese Find a new favorite in the Archives
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:

Beef chuck steak +  green pepper
stewed tomatoes   + onion
white whole wheat flour
green beans   +  carrots Find a new favorite in the Archives
Sparkling water Sparkling water

New Year’s Eve

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.

Will you be entertaining for New Year’s Eve? Or will you be the guest at someone else’s party? Will you be over-indulging on December 31?  Or are you wondering how to celebrate 2019 without spoiling your progress as a Faster?   Lots of questions — here is some help with the answers.                                                                                                                                                     1] If it is your party, make sure that all the foods you serve are healthy.  That way you can have a serving and not feel guilty. How about a big pot of Red Beans and Rice [posted November 6, 2016] or

Jambalaya: 275 calories  5 g fat  4 g fiber  14.8 g protein  39 g carbs  81 mg Calcium  PB GF  What else would you eat for New Year’s? Or any other time you want delicious Cajun comfort food: jambalaya, of course. For a party, triple or quadruple the recipe. Just make sure that you limit yourself to one serving = one cup.

Jambalaya w: broc

2/3 cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 tsp cajun seasoning                                                                                                                                               ½ cup green pepper, chopped                                                                                                                           1/3 cup celery, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 oz andouille sausage [or sweet Italian], sliced                                                                                                 3 oz chicken breast, cubed                                                                                                                                    2 oz [½ cup] ham, cubed                                                                                                                                        12 oz crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                         1/3 tsp crushed red pepper +  1/3 tsp black pepper  + 2/3 tsp salt                                                                      ½ tsp Tabasco sauce   +  1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce                                                                                 ¾ tsp file powder                                                                                                                                                       ¾ cup brown rice                                                                                                                                                    1.5 cups chicken broth                                                                                                                                                   Per serving:  2 oz broccoli

Cook the onion in a little water and a dash of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in the green pepper and celery and then add the meats. Pour in the tomatoes, seasonings and sauces, the rice, and broth. Cover and simmer for 25-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking. The mixture will not be soupy, as the rice will have absorbed the liquids. Cook uncovered if too much liquid remains. Prepare the broccoli and plate.

Each of the above-mentioned meals are less than 300 calories/serving.                                                          2] Alcohol has lots of calories, but some are lower than others. Go to the party with a small bottle of sparkling wine, such as Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco, and a large bottle of sparkling water.  Start off with a glass of the water, then a glass of the wine.  Then some more water. Finish the last bit of wine at midnight, then drink some more water. You will feel much better the next morning and you will avoid dehydration. Also the water will help to fill you up.                                                                                                                       3] Put off having breakfast as long as you can and then eat a meal high in protein but low in carbs, like eggs.                                                                                                                                     4] If you are not hosting, find something on the buffet that is low in calories, carbs, and fat.  Shrimp would be a great choice, as are fruit and raw vegetables.  Fill up on them and there won’t be room for lousier options.                                                                                               5] Make some sensible resolutions for 2019.  Not “I wanna lose weight” because that is too general.  Not “I wanna loose 50 pounds by February” because that is too unrealistic.  Try: “I will eat 600-800 calories of high-quality food on two days each week for 2 months.”  This goal is specific and achievable.  It limits you to 2 months and then you can see if you want to continue. No pressure. You could do that.                                                     Happy New Year.

Johannes Kepler

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.

Although there is a space telescope named after him, most people would be hard pressed to recognize the name of Johannes Kepler.  Yet he revolutionized how we view the solar system and brought us out of the Middle Ages of astronomy once and for all.  He was the assistant to the famous Tycho Brahe [cf 13 December 2017] in Bohemia and inherited the detailed written observations of his mentor.  By applying his superior mathematical skills, Kepler developed his 3 Laws of Planetary Motion. Today’s breakfast illustrates those theories.  1]  Planets move in elliptical [egg-shaped] paths around the sun. [In his time, the 1500-year old ideas of Ptolemy said that orbits were perfect circles.]   2]  When planets reach the point of their orbit where they are farthest from the sun, they travel slower, but go faster closer to the sun.  The two figs mark places where a planet would go faster or slower in its orbit.  3]   The time it takes a planet to orbit the sun [many scientists in the 1500s held that the Earth was in the center of the Solar System] is proportional to its distance from the sun. In the photo, the ‘orbital path’ of the spinach leaves would be shorter if it were closer to the egg yolk [egg yolk = sun.]                     These ideas were huge in their day and yet they made few ripples in the scientific community, with no scandal of excommunication.  The time was almost right for recognizing that the old ideas were based on opinion and that scientists could prove, by observation and calculation, that their theories were correct.                                                                                                                             Since Kepler’s side hustle was as an astrologer [the magic side of star-gazing], dinner gives a nod to the recent Winter Solstice, a time of dread and disruption in the ancient Solar Calendar.  Kepler’s birthday is tomorrow. He was a Capricorn.

Fig & Chèvre Plate:    294 calories  8.7 g fat  5.7 g fiber  17 g protein  43 g carbs [33 g Complex]   325 mg Calcium   PB GF  Simple, elegant, and much more filling than it looks.Fig + Chevre Plate, black

½ hard-boiled egg                                                                                                                                                                    1 dried fig, mass of 0.65 oz or 16 g                                                                                                                       1 oz chèvre cheese                                                                                                                                                      ¼ oz baby spinach                                                                                                                                             blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                            5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider

Rehydrate the dried fig by covering with water and microwaving or heating for 1 minute. Let the fig sit in the water for another few minutes, then cut in half. Arrange the spinach leaves in an oval. Dab the leaves with crumbles of the goat cheese. Plate the egg half and the fig halves. HINT: I composed the plate the night before, covered it with a plastic bag, and kept it cool until breakfast. Instant breakfast!

Winter Solstice Pizza: 281 calories   10 g fat  2.8 g fiber  16 g protein  15.6 g carbs [7.8 g Complex]  223.4 mg Calcium PB   On the solstice, we like to prepare a pizza with elements of the season past [mushrooms represent Fall] and of the season to come [cured meats stand in for Winter]. Fabulous flavors!Winter Solstice Pizza

1 whole wheat tortilla [ex: Herdez 8” Fajita-style Tortilla], must be 170 calories or less                                                                                                                         1.5 Tbsp crushed tomatoes + pinch granulated garlic                                                                                        1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                                 1 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                                         1/3 oz prosciutto                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp onion, chopped                                                                                                                                      generous sprinkling of Italian Herbs + crushed red peppers to taste                                                                                                                                     

Heat the oven to 400 F. Spread the tortilla with the crushed tomato sauce and garlic. Chop the prosciutto roughly and combine it with the mushrooms, onion, and cheese. Distribute over the pizza shell. Sprinkle with herbs, crushed red pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Light some candles and enjoy pizza on the longest night of the year.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

Next week I will discuss options for American bacon   +  mushrooms
      New Year’s Eve entertaining Cheddar cheese   + chicken stock
choose a favorite from the Archives Yorkshire Pudding Batter [..Not by Bread…18-Feb-2018  OR Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
       for breakfast white whole wheat flour
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:

Next week I will discuss options for cooked pheasant meat
           New Year’s Eve entertaining carrots  +  cabbage  + onion
 choose a favorite from the Archives pheasant or chicken gravy
         for dinner Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Adam & Eve

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 GlutLust who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be the Feast Day of St Adam and St Eve. Bet you didn’t know they were saints, did you? Me neither.  Medieval and Renaissance artists loved to depict the once- happy pair — after all, they were naked!! So we see them being created in sculpture by Lorenzo Maitani; succumbing to temptation in painting by Lucas Cranach  and in engraving by Albrecht Dürer; and being expelled from Eden in fresco by Masaccio;  One of my favorites*  is from bronze doors of Bishop Bernwald in Hildesheim, Germany begun in 1015. It shows God pointing accusingly to Adam, who fairly writhes in embarrassment over his nakedness. Adam points to Eve to blame her for their mistake. And Eve points to the Devil [a small dragon at her feet] to blame him, as if to say ‘the dog did it’!  A wonderful examination of human nature.      *[thanks, Pflug]                                                                                                  Going from the sublime to the ridiculous: in old diner parlance, if the waitress yelled at the cook, “Adam and Eve on a Raft” it meant an order of poached eggs on toast.  We will extend the ‘raft’ simile a bit to include the toast that is served under any food. At breakfast, the toast will hold the trendy avocado as well as the Adam/Eve egg, while at dinner it will be bread with Vietnamese toppings.

Avocado Toast:  273 calories  10.4 g fat  5 g fiber  14.4 g protein  32.5 g carbs   210 mg Calcium PB  GF – if using GF bread  Avocado Toast has been all the rage in celebrity diets, so we decided to try it. Very nice with the egg on top and a hearty whole-grain bread underneath.Avocado Toast

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  o.8 oz avocado                                                                                                                                                                 1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread                                                                                                     blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                                 ¼ cup unpasturized apple cider or 3 oz fruit smothie or green smoothie

Lightly toast the bread while you fry or poach the egg. Spread the avocado over the bread and top with the egg. Pour the beverages and you are all set for a healthy day.

Banh Mi: 300 calories   7 g fat   4.8 g fiber  20 g protein  36.7 g carbs   47 mg Calcium  PB   The recipe for this popular Thai/Viet street sandwich came in the mail from Eating Well’s Shape magazine. Just a few tweeks and it worked splendidly for a Fast Day. Dear Husband is fan.Bahn Mi

3 oz pork tenderloin, previously cooked or raw                                                                                                     1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce + ½ tsp soy sauce                                                                                            1.5 oz cucumber, cut in 2-3” strips                                                                                                                     1.5 oz red sweet pepper, cut in 2-3” strips                                                                                                         2 oz carrot, shredded                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp pickle brine [juice from a jar of pickles] + ½ tsp sesame oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger + ¼ tsp ground garlic + pinch sesame seeds                                                                                                         1-1/2 oz baguette slices, cut 1/4” thick

Slice the pork thinly and brush with Asian chili + soy sauce mixture. If meat is uncooked, briefly sauté until just pink. Combine the pickle brine with the sesame-ginger -garlic-sesame to make a dressing, and set aside in a small bowl. Slice and grate the vegetables and toss in the sesame-ginger dressing. Slice the bread and arrange it on the serving plate. Top with pork, then with vegetables. Serve remaining vegetables on the side. Done!  We ate everything with our fingers.