Why so many saints?

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.

Our elder son and I were in the Louvre together. He asked me to show him what I knew about pre-Renaissance art, since I had studied it and he hadn’t. At one point I leaned in toward a medieval work to see the details and the title. “Oh. Saint Barbara,” I said. “I should have known from the tower.” Curious, my son asked what that meant. He had never learned about the “iconography” of saints in art — that every saint has an “attribute,” a symbol to carry, to stand next to, or to wear so that we can recognize them when we see them: in a statue; on a window; in a painting. [Saint Barbara’s symbol is a tower. Saint Catherine’s is a wheel.] He was as intrigued as I had been, sitting in a dark lecture hall viewing slides during Freshman year in college: it was like a secret code book to a world of identification. Fascinating! Thus I became interested in saints [and knowing their iconography got me through many art history courses]. That’s how a “nice Protestant girl” got to know a lot about saints, and why I often choose saints for blog post topics. Some of the saints are old favorites, others are obscure yet interesting. I like their stories and how they fit into old customs and cultures. By their attributes shall ye know them.

Italy and France, respectively, have more native saints than any other countries [Spain is a close third] so our foods today will come from those nations. Breakfast is named after a French Saint and the dinner from Parma recalls their patron saint, Ilario.

St Denis ScrOmelette:  144 calories 8 g fat 2.2 g fiber 12.5 g protein 6.4 g carbs [5.3 g Complex] 57 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesGF James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking gives us the recipe for this breakfast. Delicious, and rich, and wonderful. Worth getting up for.

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.   1 Tbsp leek or scallion, minced ½ clove garlic, minced ¼ oz mushrooms ¼ oz ham [3% fat], minced 1 tsp chicken liver OR chicken liver pate parsley for garnish 1 oz watermelon OR 4 Bing cherries   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]

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the leek, garlic, ham, and mushrooms and stir to cook. Whisk the eggs with the pate and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Cook as thoroughly as you like. The optional beverages are prepared and the fruit is plated. What a remarkable start to your day.

Chicken Parmesan: 238 calories 2.6 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 11.4 g carbs 242.5 mg Calcium  PG GF – if using GF bread  At last! The restaurant classic made suitable for Fasters, with lots of protein and Calcium. And it is delicious. 

3-½ oz raw chicken breast meat, boneless, skinless 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1 tsp dried oregano and/or thyme ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried 1 Tbsp milk ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade or jarred ¾ oz mozzerella, grated 2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese 1 cup baby greens + ½ oz grated carrots ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp red wine vinegar

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Pour the milk onto a small plate. On another plate combine the Parmesan, herbs, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the other two cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the chicken in the milk on both sides. Dredge the chicken in the crumb/cheese mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the chicken about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the chicken with the marinara sauce, then mound the cheese over it. Broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Prepare the salad ingredients and toss with dressing. For atmosphere, light a candle stuck in a wine bottle.

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

Next week I will discuss actual
menu choices made while on vacation.
1.5 two-oz eggs 
Choose a new favorite from
the Archives.
2″-diameter slice of pepperoni

mozzarella + bell pepper

crushed tomato + apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Choose a new favorite dinner from
the Archives.
Chicken breast, boneless, skinless

sherry wine + carrot + broccoli

Bechamel sauce with cheese

angel hair pasta + Parmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Hilda of Whitby

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.

This week’s blog is dedicated to my friend Hilda B., who, being from Northern England, was probably named for St Hilda. Our Hilda is witty and wise, full of fun and a fellow bell-ringer. Be of good courage, Hilda.

In Whitby, Yorkshire in 657, there lived a remarkable women. She was born Hild or Hilda to a noble family in the days of a Christian Church so new that many of the ideas we have about the institution had not yet been thought of: clergy celibacy and the date of Easter and infant baptism, to name a few. Hilda moved to Whitby to start a new religious house, which invited men, women, and families to come together to live a godly life. In 664, she convened the Synod of Whitby which united Celtic believers with those who followed the rule of Rome, finally determining the date of Easter for everyone: first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Sounds complicated, but by using astronomical ‘signposts’ that anyone could observe, confusion was avoided. Hilda promoted learning and equality — of sexes and of classes. She was an able administrator who’s advice was sought by kings and clerics. Remarkable.

In honor of Saint Hild, we will eat the seafood for which Whitby is famous: Kippered Herring in Yorkshire Pudding for breakfast and a Whitby Fish Pie for dinner.

Kippered Yorkshire Pudding: 226 calories 5 g fat 5.8 g fiber 11 protein 33.5 g carbs [26 g Complex] 102 mg Calcium HINT: This recipe makes enough for two [2] servings. Nothing says Yorkshire like the iconic pudding and kippers. This is a meal to eat at home or to take on the road.

1 oz kippered herring ½ cup 1% milk ½ cup white whole wheat flour [or all-purpose, for lower protein and fiber] one 2-oz egg ½ tsp dry mustard + ¼ tsp salt 3 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Soak the kippered herring in water for 30-45 minutes. Drain and mince. Whisk the milk, flour, egg, mustard and salt until combined, but do not over-mix. Spray a 7” pie plate with cooking-spray and sprinkle in some kippers. Carefully pour in the Yorkshire Pudding batter, then sprinkle with the remaining kippers. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Cut into 4 pieces. Plate two pieces per person along with the pear. What a flavor combination!

Whitby Fish Pie: 294 calories 15.4 g fat 1.7g fiber 17.5 g protein 15 g carbs [1.7 g Complex] 139 mg Calcium HINT: This recipe makes enough for two [2] servings. This fabulous recipe is from Paul Hollywood, of British Baking Show fame. It is simple and delicious. Dear Husband loved it.

This is a pie for TWO servings. We will serve this again!!
233 ml [1 cup] skimmed milk
½ bay leaf
½ small onion
2 whole cloves [the spice]
Put the milk in a pan with the bay leaf
and onion studded with cloves. Bring
slowly to the boil, turn off the heat and
let infuse for at least 30 minutes.
Strain the milk into a small bowl.
20 g butter
20 g = 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 40 g spinach, fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt & pepper
Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour
and cook gently for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the infused milk.
Increase the heat a little, bring to a
simmer and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the spinach, parsley
and some salt and pepper.
133g/3.5 oz haddock
133g/3 oz smoked haddock 58 g/1.5 oz shrimp, cleaned [salt & pepper]
Skin the fish and remove any pin bones.
Cut into bite-sized pieces and put into
a 4”x6” dish with the prawns. Pour
on enough sauce to cover, gently mix
with the fish and check the seasoning.
Purchased puff pastry, 1/6 of a sheet


Heat the oven to 200°C/400 F/Gas 6. 
Roll out the pastry on a lightly
floured surface to form a 4×6” rectangle. Cut into 6 strips and use to form a lattice atop the pie.  Bake for 20-25 mins until pastry is golden brown.

Astrid Lindgren

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.

When our sons were little, we read to them at bedtime and nap-time. Every children’s book was grist for our mill. At some point, we discovered The Tomten and The Fox, by Astrid Lindgren and we were all charmed by it. We read it again and again, along with The Tomten and the Christmas Tomten. Astrid Lindgren was born on November 14 in 1907 on her family’s farm in Vimmerby, Sweden. She grew up to be an author with world-wide recognition for her books, especially the best-selling Pippi Longstocking series. Astrid Lindgren was also a life-long activist for equality; for animal rights; for fair government; for fighting violence against children. She wrote: ‘A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.’ Read to a child today. Give books to children for birthdays and holiday gifts. Share the joy.

The Swedes like their smoked sausage. We’ll have to substitute for their favorite ‘falukorv‘, but you’ll get the idea when you cook it with eggs at breakfast. Dinner involves, what else — herring, one of the staples of the Scandinavian diet since forever.

Smoked Sausage ScrOmelette: 299 calories 10 g fat 2.7 g fiber 19 g protein 37 g carbs 206 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF Having been gifted with Dakin smoked chicken sausage, we decided to make it a breakfast. The sausage adds a nice smokey Autumnal flavor to the eggs. If substituting another sausage, choose one that has 30 calories per ounce.

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.   3/4 oz Dakin Farm cob-smoked chicken sausage, diced 1.5 tsp each oregano and parsley, chopped 2 oz apple OR apple sauce, unsweetened  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]

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the prepared sausage and stir to heat . Whisk the eggs with the herbs and a grind of pepper and pour into the pan, stirring to incorporate the sausage. Cook to your favorite degree of doneness. Plate the fruit, pour your optional beverages and off you go.

Herring Salad:  278 calories 6 g fat 6.8 g fiber 16 g protein 24 g carbs 103 mg Calcium  PB GF  Eating herring goes back centuries in Scandinavia. This fine Old World recipe is from Luchow’s German Festival Cookbook. NB: if you take a MOIA anti-depressent, be aware that herring has high amounts of tyramine. 

 1- 1/2 oz herring marinated in wine, drained 1/4 cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced 1- 1/2 oz apple, peeled and diced 1/4 cup white beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 hard-boiled egg, sliced 2 Tbsp onion, minced 1/2 oz dill pickle, chopped pinch sugar 2 tsp vinegar, or more 1 cup lettuce, shredded

Put the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until everything is well-incorporated. Taste to see if it needs more sugar or more vinegar. A herring-lover’s delight.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + Bing Cherries
kippered herring
3% fat ham + leek or scallion
white whole wheat flour
garlic + mushrooms
milk + pear or apple
chicken liver or chicken liver pate
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

shrimp/prawns + parsley
chicken breast + marinara sauce
haddock or other white fish
optional: puff pastry
Parmesano cheese + fresh bread crumbs
smoked haddock + milk
mozzarella + cottage cheese
onion + cloves + spinach
butter + flour + bay leaf
baby greens + carrot + vinaigrette
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Martin

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.

The Feast of Saint Martin used to be a really big thing. Fairs were held; it was the end of the grape harvest in France; and it was the start of the standard pre-Christmas Fasting period. What? You knew about Lent: 40 days of fasting prior to Easter. In olden times, there was a similar time of penance, reflection, and preparation prior to Christmas, beginning at Saint Martin’s day. Saint Martin followed his father as an officer in the Roman army, and was posted to Amiens, France. One cold winter day, he met a half-naked beggar man. Martin took off his cloak, cut it in half, and gave it to the man. His friends scoffed that all anyone got out of that was half a ruined cloak. That evening, Martin had a dream: Christ himself walked into his room — wearing half a cloak. Whew. That would change your life. Martin then converted to Christianity and left the army as a conscientious objector. Although he wished to be a hermit, he was pressured into being the bishop of Tours. Until the end of his life he served the church in France and Italy with great vigor. Martin died in 397 and was buried at Tours on November 11.

Martinsdag [a Northern European name for Martin’s Day] is the time to lay in supplies for winter. This included slaughtering animals to salt or smoke. Thus St Martin’s day is associated with meat-eating all over Europe. From Scotland’s sheep, we have haggis at breakfast and and from cattle pastures the world over, we have beef for dinner. Eat meat and give clothing to the poor on November 11.

Haggis ScrOmelette:  156 calories 9.2 g fat 0.9 g fiber 13 g protein 6 g carbs [3.9 g Complex] 74.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesGF  Haggis could be described as a Scottish lamb sausage. Some of the variety meats in the original recipe are not readily available, so this is an updated/simplified version.

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. 1 Tbsp haggis [see SPICY II 12-Sept-2018 for recipe] 1/2 tsp HP Sauce 1 oz pear slices 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]

Spritz a non-stick pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the haggis, cheese, salt & pepper to taste and scramble or cook as an omelette in the pan. Plate with the applesauce and pour the optional beverages. A gateway to Scottish cuisine.

Beef BBQ Sliders:  269 calories 5.6 g fat 4.9 g fiber 22.6 g protein 30.7 g carbs 162.6 mg Calcium When a gift box of Corky’s Memphis BarBQue arrived, sliders seemed like a wonderful idea. Such fun to eat and easy to prepare, especially when the filling has been made for you. HINT: This serves TWO. Share with a friend or save half for lunch tomorrow.

3 Martins potato whole wheat slider buns  [MARTINS buns — get it?] 3.5 oz Corky’s Beef BBQ, meat and sauce per serving: 1.5 oz cherry tomatoes + ½ oz carrots

Warm the slider buns while the beef and sauce are heating. Assemble the sliders and cut each in half.  Each serving is three halves of slider. Plate with the vegetables.

Night on Bald Mountain

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.

The music of Modest Mussorgsky was part of the sound-track of my childhood. On Sundays, a recording [actual vinal LP disk!!] of “Pictures at an Exhibition” always played while my sister and I set the dining room table. Then every October, the Walt Disney Show on TV would show a clip from the 1941 film Fantasia depicting “Night on Bald Mountain.” Gosh that was scary to watch!! Mussorgsky wrote his tone poem to describe in music the mid-summer celebration of witches and demons [sometimes called Walpurgis Night] but now it is more associated with Hallowe’en instead. Unfortunately, Mussorgsky did not live to see the fame of his music. It was premiered five years after his death when Rimsky-Korsakov became a champion of the Mussorgsky’s work.

Horseradish is a popular flavor in Mussorsky’s home country of Russia and that is what flavors the breakfast. The dinner has the colors of Fall and of Hallowe’en. Tomorrow, being October 31st, listen to the “Night on Bald Mountain” to enhance the mood.

Horseradish-Cheesy Bake: 143 calories 7.5 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8.7 g protein g carbs 78.6 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the Bake and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF David Rosengarten’s unusual cookbook It’s All American Food takes the reader on a tour of American ethnic and regional foods, and tells you how to make those treats in your own kitchen. This recipe is from the Manhattan restaurant Barney Greengrass, where they are known for their breakfasts.

One 2-oz egg ½ Tbsp crushed tomato 1 Tbsp cheddar/horseradish spread*** 1 Tbsp chives, minced 2 oz apricots   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]

*** Cheddar/Horseradish Spread 2 Tbsp WisPride Cheddar spread OR Kraft Old English Cheddar spread  4 [or more] tsp prepared horseradish [the kind in a jar] Cream together thoroughly. Save the rest for another day or another use.

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Vigorously whisk the egg, cheeses, and chives until well combined and pour into the ramekin. Put in the oven [it doesn’t need to be hot yet] and bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your optional beverages and prep the fruit. This will kick-start your day.

Tomato-Corn-Black Bean Salad:  274 calories 9 g fat 16.5 g protein 34.7 g carbs [34 g Complex] 63.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  For a real late Summer treat, you can’t beat fresh corn and tomatoes! 100Daysofrealfood  provided the recipe and then I altered it a little. HINT: This serves TWO.

1-1/2 ears of corn 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed 4 oz tomato: cherry tomatoes cut in half OR whole tomato cut in 1” dice ¼ cup red onion, diced ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar salt and pepper 1 oz cooked beef, from steak or roast OR 1 oz roast pork

Blanch the corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool and cut the kernals off the cob and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rinsed beans to the bowl. Gently mix the beans and corn with the tomatoes and onion. Slice the beef very thinly and warm it briefly if it is cold. Heat the vegetables in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to make slightly warm. In a small bowl combine the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the warmed vegetables and stir to combine. Plate and arrange the meat on top. As good as it is colorful.

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

Next Monday, I will discuss Fasting
while on vacation.
1.5 two-oz eggs 
Choose a breakfast from Archivessalmon

strawberries


Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Dining out on vacation
filets of sole

breadcrumbs + egg

cooked fish + herbs

cheese + green beans
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St Jude

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 Godly Chic Diaries who is now Following.

You might know St Jude as the patron saint of hopeless causes or impossible cures. What you might not know is that he was Jesus’ first cousin and that his real name was probably Judas. To avoid confusion with that other Judas, biblical scholars began calling him Jude or Thaddeus. Jude was one of the original 12 apostles along with his brother James. Little is known about him except that he traveled to many areas of the Levant, preaching, teaching, and healing, often in difficult or ‘impossible’ circumstances. He is better known today for the children’s hospital named for him.

To highlight Jude’s region of origin and travel, we have breakfast containing ingredients that he would recognize and a Greek-style fish for dinner. Dieting shouldn’t be impossible. If you start the Fast Diet tomorrow, you could lose 5 pounds by the start of Hannuka [at the rate of 1 pound per week]. At the same rate, one could lose 8-10 pounds by Christmas. Give it a try — maybe St Jude can bolster your resolve.

Fig & Chevre Plate: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 2.2 g fiber 7.8 g protein 13.4 g carbs [12 g Complex] 163 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the cheese, egg, fig, and spinach, not for the optional beveragesPB GF Simple, elegant, and more filling than it looks.

½ hard-boiled egg 1 dried fig, 0.65 oz/ 16 g 1 oz chevre cheese ¼ oz baby spinach leaves Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/fastingme.com/12243 Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie https://wordpress.com/post/fastingme.com/11792 [88 calories]

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!

Greek-style Hake:  263 calories 11 g fat 7.7 g fiber 25.5 g protein 24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 173 mg Calcium   PB GF  The cookbook Ikaria by Diane Kochilas is related to the National Geographic study of locations world-wide where there is the greatest longevity. Thinking that nutrition has something to do with it is one direction that could take you.

4 oz hake ½ tsp olive oil 1/3 cup onions, halved then sliced ½ clove garlic, sliced pinch sugar 1.5 cup canned whole tomatoes 1 Tbsp [½ oz] dry red wine 1.5 Tbsp good Feta cheese, crumbled 2.5 oz asparagus OR one Side Salad [see Second Fiddles  9-Jan-’19]

Saute the onion slices and garlic in the ½ tsp oil, adding some water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove garlic and discard. Add tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Cook the vegetables down to reduce the liquid. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, cover loosely, turn down the heat and cook until the fish flakes [about 10 minutes]. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus or Side Salad. Top the fish with the crumbled Feta before serving.

Sarah Josepha Hale

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.

Do a popular fashion magazine, “Mary had a little lamb,” and American Thanksgiving have anything in common? Of course they do! And the reason is Sarah Josepha Buell Hale. She was born on a New Hampshire farm on October 24, 1788. Perhaps because she had no formal education herself, she was a life-long advocate of education for women. When her lawyer husband died, leaving her with 5 children and no income, Sarah went into dress-making with her sister-in-law. Within the next five years, Hale published a book of poems and her novel Northwood. 1828 saw her based in Boston as the editor of ‘The Ladies’ Magazine” which then became Godey’s Lady’s Book. As such, Hale became an arbiter of American taste — a social influencer of her day. She wrote much of the content of the magazine and also solicited leading literary luminaries. For 17 years, Hale lobbied five American presidents to expand “Thanksgiving” from a regional, New England observance to a national day of celebration. President Lincoln declared it so in 1863. An amazing trajectory for a poor farm girl’s life. An amazing woman.

In Northwood, Sarah Hale lovingly described the family around the holiday board and the foods that were served there. We will begin our day with a Thanksgiving theme: turkey and stuffing in our egg. Our dinner will feature lamb. But this is a lamb for eating, not ‘making the children laugh and shout.’ [A black humor parody of Hale’s 1830 “Mary’s Lamb” swept through my elementary classroom: Mary had a little lamb./ Her father shot it dead. /Now Mary takes her lamb to school/ between two hunks of bread.]

Turkey/Stuffing Bake:  135 calories 6.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11 g protein 8.7 g carbs [6 g Complex] 44 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesGF- if using GF bread  Another in the dinner-for-breakfast series.

1 two-oz egg ½ oz turkey breast ¼ slice of 70-calorie whole-grain bread [¼ oz] 1-2 Tbsp onions 1-2 Tbsp celery lots of rosemary + thyme + sage + salt + pepper ½ tsp olive oil 1 oz pear 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]

In a saute pan, cook the onions, seasonings, celery, and turkey [if it is raw] in a little water and a ½ tsp olive oil until vegetables are softened. Cut the bread in 1/4” dice and add it to the pan of cooked vegetables. Stir to mix all ingredients completely. If turkey is pre-cooked, dice it and add to the vegetables/bread. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and pour in the turkey mixture. Whisk the egg thoroughly and pour into the ramekin. Bake at 350 until puffed and starting to brown. About 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the pear and prepare the optional beverages. Be thankful for the start of another good day.

Lamb With Mediterranean Vegetables: 295 calories 14 g fat 9.3 g fiber 22 g protein 40.5 g carbs 205.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  Here’s a fine meal, full of complex carbohydrates and good flavor. 

1 oz cooked lamb, ground 1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables [see Sidekicks I, 17 Sept, ’17 ] ¼ cup cooked brown rice ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated OR mozzarella cut in strips

Cook the ground lamb, keeping it in biggish chunks rather than tiny flecks. Pour into a sieve to drain any fat and rinse in hot water. Season the meat well with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Heat the Mediterranean Vegetables TIP: so much easier if they were waiting for you in the freezer. Preparing food ahead is such a good idea. Mix the lamb with the vegetables. Plate the rice, then pour the Lamb/Veg on top. Serve with the grated cheese.

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

1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled 1.5 two-oz eggs 
dried fig
crushed tomatoes
chèvre cheese
Kraft brand Cheddar Spread
fresh baby spinach leaves
horseradish + apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

hake + onion + garlic
beef steak, cooked + olive oil
sugar + olive oil
corn on the cob + tomato
white tomatoes + red wine
canned black beans + basil
feta cheese + Side Salad
red onion + red wine vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Ursula

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.

As a child I loved to look at a book called Famous Paintings, An Introduction to Art for Young People by Alice Elizabeth Chase. One of the paintings shown and described was “The Dream of Saint Ursula” by Vittore Carpaccio. Into the Saint’s peaceful bedroom, walks an Angel who heralds Ursula’s eventual martyrdom. But all is calm and we know that Ursula will go serenely to her violent death on October 21, in the year 383. The story of St Ursula is an odd one. She was a princess of a kingdom in Britain and she was betrothed at age 12. Ursula, buying herself time before the marriage, proposed a pilgrimage to Rome. She chose 11 gal-pals to go with her — and here the confusion begins. Poor translation from early latin texts turned “Ursula and 11 Virgins” into “Ursula and 11,000 Virgins”!! According to the legend, they all got to Rome, were blessed by the Pope, and turned around to go back home. While sailing down the Rhine [how many boats does it take to transport 11,001 or more people??], they were attacked at Cologne by Huns and all died when Ursula refused to marry their leader. When a midden of bones was discovered in Cologne in 1155, they were declared to be the remains of Ursula and her friends. [Even though some of the bones seem to belong to large dogs…] Take this tale as you will: in 1969, the Roman Catholic Church took Ursula off the list of official saints. Medieval and Renaissance artists loved to depict her, and when I arrange my slippers under the bed, as Carpaccio shows in his painting, I think of Saint Ursula.

Since Ursula went to Rome, we will enjoy a Roman Breakfast. And since she was boating down the Rhine to return home, our dinner will be served in Cucumber Boats.

Roman Breakfast: 270 calories 3.3 g fat 3.2 g fiber 9 g protein 28 g carbs [20.8 g Complex Carbs] 35 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB Though a bit unusual, this is a very good plate of breakfast food, based on ingredients available to Romans in the 1st century BCE. It is satisfying and flavorful.

1 Pan Muffin** 1 oz pear 1 oz cooked chicken, diced 1 oz radish 1 oz cucumber [optional: 1 deglet noor date = ¼ oz]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Dice all the fruits and vegetables. Add the chicken and a good finishing salt, and gently stir to combine. HINT: I did this the night before and refrigerated the mixture. Prepare the pan muffin or take from freezer with time to thaw/heat. In the time it takes to brew the coffee, you can plate the muffin and the fruit-veg mixture. Romans did not drink smoothies or coffee, but we will. Hope you’ll enjoy your throw-back breakfast.

**PAN MUFFIN each = 71 calories 2.5 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10.8 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix   1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk [combine cereal + milk and let sit while preparing other ingredients. 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined.  Use 2 Tbsp batter for each griddlecake [and use 4 Tbsp batter in muffin tins for Slow Day breakfasts].

Cucumber Boats with Salmon: 258 calories 12.4 g fat 3.2 g fiber 20.4 g protein 19 g carbs 162 mg Calcium   PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.

2-¾ oz cooked salmon one 3.5 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one person 1/2 Tbsp watercress sauce [see Sidekicks II, posted 4 Oct, 2017] 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/8 oz leek ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]

Slice the leek and blanch in a little water in the microwave. In a bowl break up the salmon and combine with the watercress sauce, mustard and leek. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the seeds with a melon-baller. Mound the salmon into the cucumber boat and plate with the 4-bean salad.

S.A.D

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.

How curious that the initials of what nutritionists call the ‘Standard American Diet‘ spell the word ‘SAD.’ That diet is blamed for many of the Western World’s health woes. It makes one sad to think about it. How did this start?? In the late 1800s, there was a health-food movement that saw the invention of processed breakfast cereal. By the early 1900s, growing urban populations needed food and they couldn’t afford to have it spoil. Enter the Kraft brothers. J.L. Kraft moved from Canada to Chicago in 1904, and sold cheese door to door in a cart. He lost lots of money since the unsold cheese became either moldy and too dry to sell. In 1906, brother Charles joined the company. They started trying to make a ‘processed cheese‘ in a tin which would have a longer shelf life. In 1916, they perfected it — just in time to sell thousands of tins to the US Army during WWI. Doughboys returned with a taste for the stuff and the company took off. By 1923, company sales equalled $22 million! Five years later, they added salad dressing and ‘oleomargarine.’ This was the start of the Kraft Food Company. Now allied with the Heinz Company, they make 200 items sold world-wide.

Charles Kraft was born on October 17. We will note that while eating foods that are purchased but are low in sugar, saturated fat, simple carbs — unlike the overly-processed foods that constitute the S.A.D. Today’s menu features meals with lots of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and flavor.

10-Grain Cereal: 143 calories 0.8 g fat 4.3 g fiber 8 g protein 28 g carbs [22 g Complex]  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage. PB  This is one of our favorite breakfasts – even on a Slow Day! 

3 Tbsp uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal ¼ cup low-fat milk + 1/3 cup water  Toppings: 2 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen + 2 Tbsp milk  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]

If preparing the night before: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Next morning: Heat the cereal in the microwave for about a minute, then top with berries and milk. If preparing in the morning: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into the bowl and top with berries and milk.  

Tortellini with Black Kale:  209 calories 9 g fat 3.5 g fiber 10 g protein 24 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium PB Packaged, dried tortellini is a handy item to have in the pantry. It makes for a fine Tuscan meal [Mediterranean food!] when pared with Black Kale. The recipe is from ‘thekitchn‘  NB: I used the recipe below for the kale as two servings, when paired with the pasta. But the calories are so low that you could use it as one serving alongside the pasta. 

27 g dried cheese/spinach tortellini [Barilla brand is good] 3 oz diced tomato 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese PLUS ingredients shown below for the kale.

For the Kale:

3 oz black kaleUse your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic pinch red pepper flakes
Heat the oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepperAdd the kale, stirring as it starts to wilt. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
2 tsp Lemon juice Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and serve.

For the Meal: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 9-11 minutes, then drain. Combine with the diced tomatoes and Parmesan. Plate the pasta surrounded by the kale.

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

one Pan Muffin1 two-oz egg  + pear
cucumber + pear
turkey breast meat, raw or cooked
cooked chicken + radish
olive oil + celery + onion
optional deglet noor date
70-calorie whole-grain bread + herbs
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

cooked salmon + Dijon mustard
ground lamb
medium-sized cucumber
Gruyere cheese
4-Bean Salad + leek
brown rice
Watercress sauce
Mediterranean Vegetables
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Emergency Meals

Sometimes the lights go out. And how do you cope then? We have frequently experienced outages, the worst being in December of 2008. That was the year of a dreadful ice storm that hit New Hampshire like a jack hammer. Phone poles and limbs came down, trees were uprooted, and we had no electricity for 9 days. We have lost power so often [usually in the Winter] that we have a routine. We quickly remove necessary perishables [milk, butter, meat, sausage, eggs, chicken, cheese] from the freezer and refrigerator, and place the items in a camping cooler on the back porch. There, they stay cool enough to use. Then we keep the freezers and refrigerator closed and covered with blankets for the duration. By having a gas cooktop and a pantry full of useful items, we can feed ourselves and even observe Fast Days under most conditions. Recently, Hurricane Dorian plowed across Prince Edward Island where we were staying, cutting off the juice for 48 hours. We coped just fine. The following are Fast dinners we have prepared and enjoyed during black-outs. The gratin cooked nicely on the cooktop, although the recipe would have you broil it at the end. [The gratin would also be a useful breakfast meal, served without any beverages.] And the dumplings were cooked in a bamboo steamer by candle-light, as you might tell by the darkness of the photo.

Egg-Tomato Gratin: 235 calories 10 g fat 4 g fiber 16 g protein 16 g carbs [15 g Complex] 200 mg Calcium  PB GF V Jacques Pepin, in his book Fast Food My Way, tells about this family recipe. HINT: The recipe serves two. Invite a friend or save for lunch tomorrow.

3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced into wedges 3 oz onions, sliced 2 tsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp dried thyme + 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper 1/3 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 10 fluid oz of tomatoes, drained [save the juice] 1 oz Swiss cheese or Gruyere, grated 

Cook the onions and garlic in some of the tomato juice, about 3 minutes. Add seasonings, tomatoes and the remaining juice. If tomatoes are in large chunks, crush with a fork and add the garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 4 minutes. Nestle the eggs in the pan, then sprinkle with cheese. Cover and simmer another 2 minutes to warm everything and to melt the cheese. Excellent antidote to outrageous fortune.

Pork Dumplings Steamed with Bok Choy: 215 calories 8.5 g fat 2.3 g fiber 12.5 g protein 28 g carbs 190 mg Calcium  PB Our older son suggested this ‘starter recipe’ to encourage us to prepare Asian meals. NB: the dumplings were purchased at an Asian market and were very low in calories. You will need to have or to improvise a steamer to cook this.

5 pork dumplings 3-4 oz bok choy 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce dipping sauce: 2 oz black vinegar** + 2 oz soy sauce ** in lieu of black vinegar, combine equal amounts of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water. 

Set up the steamer [mine is a bamboo version which is used with a wok]. Trim the bok choy to remove the largest parts of the center vein, and arrange the leaves on the platforms of the steamer. Put the frozen dumplings on the leaves. Close up the steamer and position it in a dry wok. Add water to the wok so that it rises over the bottom edge of the steamer but not so much that the water level comes up to the bottom tray of the steamer. Bring the water to a simmer. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Mix the hoisin sauce with some water to thin it. Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Remove the bok choy to the plate and drizzle the hoisin sauce over it. Place the dumplings on the plate and serve with the dipping sauce. Despite the low calorie count, this meal is very satisfying. Other vegetables could be added, as long as their steaming time is the same as the other ingredients.

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

Next week I will discuss how to
start the Fast Diet and how to
stay on it.
Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal or equivalent 
Look for a new favorite breakfast
in the Archives
low-fat milk

blueberries, fresh or frozen


Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Next week I will discuss how to
start the Fast Diet and how to
stay on it.
purchased dry tortellini
Look for a new favorite dinner
in the Archives
black or Tuscan kale +
red pepper flakes

garlic + tomato

olive oil + Parmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water