Albrecht Durer

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 MJ who is now Following.

Albrecht Durer was one of the foremost artists of the Northern Renaissance school of art. The Germans were late to the game in terms of the Renaissance, but they gave it a spin all their own. Durer painted in great detail, using a light that seems to show everything, yet with shadows to produce contrast. Durer was an artist, not just a craftsman. He had the humanist’s idea that each person is important and that he had something to contribute. As a painter, he was sought after by kings. As a print-maker, his art was distributed to the masses. Some of his work is well-known, such as Praying Hands and the Four Horsemen, but so widely recognized that we have forgotten the artist’s name. One work of his that made an impression on me in art class was a sketch of a middle-aged female nude — probably of his wife Agnes. She struck me as plump and lumpy, and I promised myself I would never have that body, not even in middle age. This is one reason that I am a Faster. Thanks, Durer.

A frequent theme in Durer’s art was the depiction of Adam and Eve, usually with an apple. So we will enjoy apples in our egg for breakfast. One of the most charming of Durer’s works is The Young Hare. We will stretch taxonomy a little and feature rabbit for dinner.

Apple-Bacon Bake: 131 calories 6.2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 9 g protein 8 g carbs [7.3 g Complex] 72.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Apples and bacon go so well together it is a wonder they aren’t paired more often.

1 two-oz egg ¾ oz apple, peeled, cored, sliced thinly 1/8 oz bacon, diced ½ Tbsp ricotta cheese, drained if too liquid 1 tsp Parmesan cheese ¼ tsp prepared mustard sage ½ oz pear   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]

Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. In a saute pan, cook the bacon until done. Drain away the fat and blot in paper towel. In the same pan, saute the apple until softened. Put apple and bacon in the ramekin. Whisk the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, mustard, and sage together and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and the pear. How pleasant.

Rabbit Pie: 275 calories 6.6 g fat 4.6 g fiber 25.6 g protein 27.5 g carbs [15 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   PB  Rabbit is a common meat in recipes the world over. It is high in protein and low in fat. And yes, it does taste like chicken. You could substitute.

2 oz mushrooms, chopped 4 fluid oz chicken stock 2 tsp potato starch 0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli, chopped 3 oz rabbit meat cut in bite-sized pieces ¼ cup onions, chopped big pinch dried thyme + big pinch savory + salt + pepper ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin OR a 4” circle cut from whole-grain bread 1.5 oz carrots

If the rabbit is uncooked: Cut it into bite-sized pieces and quickly cook in a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan, too. Remove the meat. Pour off and reserve any remaining cooking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and cook in non-stick spray, but do not evaporate all of the liquid they give off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the stock to the pan along with the mushroom juices and ¼ cup water plus water from the rabbit. Simmer to cook the onions. Whisk in the potato starch and the seasonings. Continue to whisk over heat until the potato starch is dissolved. Cook at a simmer until the liquid measures ¼ cup and is thickened. Add the rabbit meat, ham, and the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes and taste for seasonings. Pour and scrape into an oven-proof dish. Top with the Sandwich Thin. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cook the carrots separately. Plate the meal by first putting the Sandwich Thin on the plate, then covering it with the rabbit-mushroom mixture. Pour any extra liquid so that it is soaked up by the bread. Plate the carrots to complete the meal.

Fasting for Lent

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.

We are now five weeks into Lent, the Christian church’s period of fasting and reflection. Why is it called ‘lent’? The word is from Old English ‘lencten’ which references the season of Spring. Why is one to fast during Lent? The 40 days are a remembrance of Jesus’ 40-day sojourn in the desert before he began his ministry. During that time he fasted and pondered his life ahead. What should that Lenten fasting entail? After the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, fasting was a serious thing: one meal per day, in the evening, with no meat, fish, eggs, or butter on the table. Today there are still those who do not eat eggs or meat during Lent, especially on Friday. Members of Protestant sects ‘give up’ favorite foods [chocolate; liquor] during Lent or forgo behaviors that they wish to change [smoking; over-eating]. As with any change in behavior, when the trial period is over, does one resume the behavior? 5:2 Fasting should become a lifestyle, not just something to do for a little while and then stop. Lent should make us think about permanent changes. This is a good time to start a Fasting Lifestyle.

The menus for tomorrow feature seafood, not meat. There are no eggs and no dairy. But that doesn’t stop them from being delicious.

Gravlax & Grannies:  126 calories 3.6 g fat 2.3 g fiber 11 g protein 13 g carbs [13 g Complex] 25.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  At the Inn at Saint Peters we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples appetizer. It occurred to me that this could be a fine breakfast for those who enjoy a savory/seafood taste in the a.m. I substituted mackerel gravlax for the smoked trout, just because that was on hand, but it was a grey-brown instead of the lighter hue of the trout or the pink of a salmon. Suit yourself.

1 oz mackerel gravlax OR 1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good] 2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color   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]

Slice the fish with the grain to create thin slices. Arrange the fish and apples in overlapping slices around the plate. HINT: I did this the night before, covered it with clingwrap and put it in the ‘fridge. So quick the next morning!! Brew your hot beverage, blend or shake your smoothie, dish out those healthy blueberries, and breakfast elegantly.

Shrimp with Lime + Cilantro 228 calories 4.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 30 g protein 15 g carbs [7 g Complex] 90 mg Calcium   PB GF  These are such a popular combination of flavors that there are many recipes on line. This one is from Skinnytaste.com, cut down to a single-serving size and with a few additions.

5 oz raw shrimp, cleaned and halved if large. [I used tiny cold-water shrimp] ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 oz brown rice Maifun noodles 1/3 tsp olive oil + water 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed ½ of one lime 2 Tbsp or more chopped cilantro/coriander leaves 1 large [½ oz] lettuce leaf

Prepare your mise en place.  Put the shrimp in a bowl. If they thawed in the bowl, pour off the liquid and reserve it. Toss the shrimp with the cumin plus salt and pepper. Cook the noodles in 3 cups boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and reserve. Crush the garlic. Cut the lime in half and chop the cilantro/coriander leaves. Heat a non-stick saute or cast-iron pan. Add the oil and the drained shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes, then turn over to the other side. Add some of the reserved water if needed to avoid sticking. Put the garlic and noodles in the pan and cook for one minute. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the pan, add the cilantro and stir well. Take off heat. Center the lettuce leaf on the plate and spoon the shrimp on top. Wonderful flavors!

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
apple + mustardhorseradish
bacon + sage + pearfresh parsley + beets
Ricotta + Parmesan cheesesapple sauce + cinnamon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

rabbit meat + portobello mushroom salad greens + fresh parsley
ham + onion + chicken stockcelery + apple + walnuts
herb savory + carrot + thymehard-boiled egg + cooked lamb
Arnold-brand sandwich thinhorseradish dressing
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mehmet II

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 ParisVitamin who is now Following.

On March 30, 1432, Mehmet, the second of that name, was born in Edirne, Turkey. His father was the Sultan Murad II, and Mehmet received an excellent education: literature, architecture, fine arts, military science, languages [7 of them!], philosophy, and science. At this time in Western Europe, culture was just emerging into the Renaissance. Mehmet went on to found the Ottoman Empire, conquering first Constantinople [now Istanbul] in 1453, which ended the Byzantine Empire. He next conquered the Greek city states, then the Anatolian peninsula, and the Balkan states. He ruled for 30 years and was known for his erudition and for religious tolerance. Mehmet was painted by the Italian Bellini, wearing a distinctive headdress [‘mücevveze”, a tall cylindrical headgear], which became popular with future Ottoman leaders. And, oddly enough, he is my ancestor! How is that possible for someone with French/English/German antecedents? Ah, that is a tale for a future blog about Mehmet’s Son.

In recognition of his Eastern Mediterranean origins, a plate of felafel seems appropriate for breakfast. And the dinner of stuffed cabbage is caught up in the story of a Swedish King captured by the Ottomans.

Felafel Plate:  219 calories 5 g fat 4.8 g fiber 16.3 g protein 30 g carbs [25.7 g Complex] 165 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple, cubed in bite-sized pieces 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water NO smoothie today

Warm the felafel patties or use at room temperature. Chop the mint leaves and combine with the yogurt. Prepare the beverage of choice and plate the food to please the eye.

Danish Stuffed Cabbage:  282 calories 5.7 g fat 5.7 g fiber 35 g protein 25 g carbs 125 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread   Craig Claiborne’s International Cookbook provided this recipe. Its history involves a Swedish king and the Ottoman Empire. Very royal origin for a common meal found everywhere cabbages are grown.

4 oz turkey meat, raw 2 oz pork meat, raw 2.5 oz veal, raw ½ cup fresh bread crumbs [from whole-grain 70-calorie bread] 2 oz milk 1 oz egg white sage + salt + pepper 4 whole cabbage leaves from a whole head 1/3 c pickled beets dab of mustard

Put the meats, sage, salt, and pepper in the food processor and mince. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the meat until it doesn’t look raw. Cool meat. Combine the bread and milk, stir, let sit until soggy. Add the egg white and meats and stir to combine well. Set aside. Put a head of cabbage in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a simmer. When the outer layer begins to cook, remove the outer leaf. Return the cabbage to the pan of simmering water. Continue to remove the outer leaves as they cook, until you have 4. Return them to the poaching water and cook until very limp. [Put the rest of the cabbage away for something else.] Cut a ‘V’ at the base of each leaf to remove the thickest part of the leaf’s rib. Orient the leaf so the ‘V’ is away from you. Put ¼ cup filling on the leaf. Fold the near side over the filling, tuck in the sides, and continue to roll. Place seam-side down in an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all four rolls. Pour some of the water in which you poached the cabbage into the dish until it comes 1/2-way up the rolls. Put on a lid or foil and bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes or until heated. Plate with the pickled beets and a dab of mustard. Fit for an Ottoman Emperor.

Fables

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.

Fables and myths are tales that can’t be true. From deadly women with snakes for hair to foxes talking to crows — these are great stories and fun to hear. Some people think that Fasting is a ‘fabulous’ idea. [There I am employing the original meaning of the word ‘fabulous’, meaning not to be believed: the stuff of fables]. On March 26, 1484, William Caxton, an English printer who had a Gutenberg press, produced his version of Aesop’s Fables. Today, I will share with you three [in fables lots of things come in threes] good articles about Fasting and the myths that prevent some people from trying it.

Three Common Fasting Myths Debunked is a good place to start.

The 7 Absurd Myths About Fasting makes for interesting reading.

11 Myths About Fasting covers it all: from skipping breakfast to starving.

As a bonus, an easy dinner recipe from the ‘Orient’ [Java, actually] which is the setting for many fables.

Chicken Satay:  262 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs 23 mg Calcium  PB GF  It looks so elegant in the restaurant, yet it is easy to prepare at home. Feel free to vary the vegetables if you wish.

3 oz chicken breast 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp satay sauce [Taste of Thai or Thai Kitchen] 1-½ tsp peanut butter pinch granulated garlic + Sriracha to taste 2 cherry tomatoes + 2 slices of cucumber 2-3 oz cauliflower, sliced across the entire head 

Cut the chicken into 1” pieces. Put in a bowl and mix well with 1 Tbsp of satay sauce. Let sit for 4-12 hours in the refrigerator. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp of satay sauce with the peanut butter, garlic powder, and Sriracha. Slice the cauliflower into a ‘steak’ [across the head] that weighs 2-3 oz and brush it with the peanut sauce. Skewer the marinated meat on wooden or metal picks. Broil or grill both the meat and cauliflower until done. Plate with the tomatoes and any remaining sauce.

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

felafel pattiessmoked trout or mackerel gravlax
melon or pineappleGranny Smith apple
Greek yogurt, plainblueberries
mint leavesraspberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

ground veal + ground porkshrimp + cumin + olive oil
ground turkey + sageMaifun brown rice noodles
cabbage + 70-calorie bread garlic + lime juice + lettuce
pickled beets + mustard + egg whitecoriander leaves [cilantro]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

You OK?

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 strawberryred who is now Following.

OK” [also spelled “Okay”] is a true Americanism which has spread around the world. There are several explanations of how the term came to be. Mostly, it boils down to meaning ‘all right’ or ‘all correct’ which was either intentionally or unintentionally misspelled as ‘orl kerrect.’ When Martin Van Buren ran for as second term as president in 1840, people called him ‘Old Kinderhook,‘ after the town in New York where he was born. “OK” became part of his campaign sloganing. On March 23, 1839, it appeared in print for the first time, in the Boston Morning Post. The term was introduced to the world during World War I, as American doughboys took the saying to Europe. Then it ‘went viral’.

But back to the title of this message — are YOU OK? My little part of the world has very few cases of the COVID-19 — so far. Our governor has declared a state of emergency. Our local school district is closed, as are the churches and libraries. Dear Husband and I are staying close to home and probably you are too. This is a good chance to practice your home cooking, since you won’t be frequenting restaurants. I am not being flippant. Cooking at home is one of the best ways to get some control over what and how much you eat, and thus control your weight. You might even find out that you enjoy it! Here are two of our favorite easy-to-prepare meals. Best wishes for your health.

Avocado-Lobster Bake: 145 calories 7 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 10.3 g carbs [9.4 g Complex] 64 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  When I thought that avocado and ricotta would make a nice bake, Dear Husband had one suggestion: add lobster! Well why not?

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz avocado ¾ Tbsp ricotta 3/4 oz lobster meat OR crab 2 oz pear 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]

Set the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz a ramekin or other oven-proof dish with cooking spray and put the lobster meat on the bottom. Mash the avocado with the ricotta, then whisk in the egg. Pour over the lobster, season as you wish. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice the fruit and prepare the optional beverages. Sumptuous.

Smorrebrot with Salmon:  257 calories 8 g fat 3.1 g fiber 14 g protein 28.6 g carbs [~15 g Complex] 48 mg Calcium   PB  A classic summer sandwich from Sweden: a delicious meal without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 2-4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato, slice and salt about 30 minutes earlier 1 or 1.5 oz smoked salmon [you have some calorie wiggle-room] ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 1-2 oz strawberry

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the salmon, topped by the egg slices. Plate with the berries and enjoy a wonderful meal, whether or not it is a hot Summer night.

De la Tour

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.

Georges de la Tour was an artist of the Baroque period. In that school of art, there was drama! there was emotion! there was an intriguing play of light and dark. But de la Tour put his own stamp on art which is unmistakable. Born on March 19, 1593, he was the son of respected bakers in the Dutchy of Lorraine. After working in the studios of local artists, Georges set out on his own. That he married a member of the minor nobility speaks to his rise in status. It is not known how he came to know of the work of the Italian painter Carivaggio, but the connection is very clear. Unlike the influential Carivaggio and sculptors like Bernini, de la Tour traded the action and in your face emotion for a stillness and a deep meditative mood. He loved the contrast of deep shadows and light — most of his paintings are illuminated by a single candle. How masterfully he shows just as much as he needs to in that small amount of light! How much symbolism he conveys with that light as well. Take a look at Joseph the Carpenter to see what I mean, especially how the flame lights up the child Jesus. A true work of art!

Our breakfast is the eponymous food of de La Tour’s home region, but not as a quiche. The dinner shows a harmony of flavors, tinted in the dark tones which the artist favored.

Bake Lorraine: 180 calories 11 g fat 1.2 g fiber 12.7 g protein 7.6 g carbs [4.4 g Complex] 193 mg Calcium   NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  GF  You’ve heard of Quiche Lorraine? Well, here it is, as a crustless bake, with all the flavor intact. Very do-able for breakfast. Make sure your next meal has lots of fiber, as this meal has next to none.

1 two-oz egg ½ slice uncured bacon 3 Tbsp whole milk ½ oz Swiss cheese [Emmenthaler, Gruyere] pinch cayenne pepper + pinch nutmeg 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Dice the bacon and cook it until crispy. Drain and blot. Grate or finely chop the cheese. Spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray and put the cheese on the bottom. Whisk together the egg, milk, and seasonings. Pour over the cheese, then sprinkle the bacon on top.  HINT: I did all this the night before. Bake in a 350F oven for 17 minutes. Plate with the fruit. A creamy, delicious treat!

Beef & Beet Salad: 243 calories 8.5 g fat 3.2 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs [10 g Complex] 24 mg Calcium  PB GF  This unusual salad was found in James Peterson’s Glorious French Food. Should you have left-over roast beef, this is the dish to try. It is crazy easy. Easy, too, to serve to a group.

2.75 oz thinly-sliced roasted beef 3.5 oz pickled beets, as thinly-sliced rounds a few spinach leaves, cut as chiffonade dill pickle spear 1.5 tsp dressing*** 

***Dressing [makes 6 Teaspoons] 2-1/4 tsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp chopped shallot 1-1/2 tsp red wine vinegar 4-1/2 tsp olive oil

Slice the beef and the beets as matchsticks about 2-3” long. Put beef, beets, and spinach in the serving bowl/plate and drizzle the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Plate it. Wonderfully simple, yet complex in taste.

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

1 two-oz eggNext time I will discuss fables
lobster meat about fasting.
avocado + ricottaFind a new favorite breakfast
pear in the Archives.
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

110-cal sourdough rye breadchicken breast
smoked salmon + spinachsatay sauce + peanut butter
whipped cream cheesecauliflower
tomato + hard-boiled eggcherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Sun-Centered

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 Saumya P. who is now Following.

Nicholas Copernicus is one of my favorite scientists. He was adopted as an orphan by his uncle, the Bishop of Varmia. Due to him, Nicholas received an excellent pan-European education, attending most of the universities of the continent and earning degrees in mathematics, medicine, and law. He returned to Poland to be his uncle’s administrative assistant. Evenings found young Nicholas on the ramparts of the cathedral close, studying the motion of the stars and planets as he had been taught as part of his training in mathematics. His notes from early March of 1497 gave him pause. Established scientists and church leaders all agreed that the sun orbited the Earth. Ptolemy said so and the Bible implied it. But Copernicus’ data clearly showed that the Earth was just another planet and that they all circled the sun — the sun was in the ‘center of the universe,’ not Earth. He was reluctant to publish this theological bombshell, but did so at long last in 1543, under the cautious title De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium [Concerning the orbits of heavenly bodies]. It was a best seller. Printed on the new Gutenberg press, it went into two printings, flooding Europe with Copernicus’ new ideas. My students used to ask if he got in trouble* for his radicalism. But no, Copernicus died soon after the work was published and his ideas lived on to influence future scientists such as Tycho, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. [*His book was banned by the Church in 1616]

For breakfast, an astronomy lesson: the egg yolk represents the sun with the figs and cheese crumbles circling around it like planets. For dinner, a meal inspired by Polish favorites: sausage, sauerkraut, pickled beets. Copernicus would have been proud to eat these.

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 beverages. PB 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 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]

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!

Baltic Bake:  293 calories 5.5 g fat 7 g fiber 6.6 g fiber 12.8 g protein 33 g carbs 86.4 mg Calcium  PB  GF  Believe it or not, this diet dinner is adapted from the book Two Fat Ladies Obsessions. The meal has wonderful Eastern European flavors and is so simple to prepare that once I assembled it in 16 minutes!! 

1.5 low-fat hot dogs [I like Hebrew National reduced-fat] ½ cup canned sauerkraut ¼ c pickled beets, drained ¼ c sliced onions ½ tsp horseradish 2 Tbsp canned white beans, drained and rinsed

Put the hot dogs [frozen or thawed] and onions in a saucepan with a little water or some juice from the sauerkraut. Heat until the dogs are cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the dogs and add remaining ingredients to the pan to heat. Cut the hot dogs into 5-6 pieces and put them back in the pan until all ingredients are heated through.

Study in Scarlett

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 you remember the first time you read Sherlock Holmes? I was in 8th grade and we must have been doing a survey of literature types. Enter The Speckled Band, an example of detective fiction. I was a fan from then on. In 1887, the debut Sherlock Holmes story was published. In it, the world first heard of a ‘consulting detective;’ first met Dr. Watson; first saw the use of a magnifying glass in a criminal investigation. This first foray, A Study in Scarlett, was a long book in four parts which spanned 2 continents and several decades. It also offended the Mormons. The tale was published in Beeton’s magazine and it was not a hit. But the stage was set for future stories and the world of detective fiction has never been the same. A Study in Scarlett has been a film [1933, starring Reginald Owen; 1968, starring Peter Cushing; 1983, starring Peter O’Toole] and on TV episodes [1968, Peter Cushing; and “Study in Pink,” 2010, Benedict Cumberbatch].

Our foods for tomorrow are studies in red — cherries and tomatoes. Both very good for the health, unlike the poisons and other causes of death in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books and stories. Read some Sherlock Holmes today.

Cherry Flamusse: 194 calories 5 g fat 1.3 g fiber 11 g protein 27.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 157 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Baked with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [As a dessert [without clementine or beverages], one serving has 177 calories.]

2 two-oz eggs 6 fl oz milk 4 tsp all-purpose OR tapioca flour 1.5 Tbsp sugar 10 sweet cherries, pitted ½ clementine 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]

Spritz 2 ramekins or an oven-proof dish with 1.5 cup capacity with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Egg-Tomato Gratin:  293 calories 10.4 g fat 5 g fiber 18 g protein 21 g carbs 226 mg Calcium  PB GF  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 rounds 3 oz onions, sliced 2 tsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp dried thyme + 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper 1/3 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 10 fluid oz of tomatoes, drained [save the juice] 1 oz Swiss cheese or Gruyere, grated 2 oz broccoli

Arrange the eggs on the bottom of a 3-cup baking dish. 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. Pour over the eggs and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F., then broil 2-3 minutes to brown the top. For a stove-top preparation: Prepare the onions, garlic, tomatoes, seasoning and garbanzos. Arrange the eggs on top, as halves or slices, and top with grated cheese. Cover and warm until cheese is melted.

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

1 two-oz egg, hardboiled3 oz egg = 1.5 eggs 
chèvre cheesebutter + milk
baby spinach greenswhite whole wheat flour
dried Turkish figraspberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

1.5 low-fat hot dogs, <110 cal each3 oz breaded pork cutlet
sauerkrautsmall red potatoes
pickled beets + onionbeets
canned white beansmushrooms
Sparkling waterSparkling water

T. Geisel

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.

If the name ‘Geisel’ doesn’t ring a bell, then you probably know him better by his nom de plume, ‘Dr. Seuss.’ Ted Geisel attended Dartmouth College as an undergrad and did cartoons for the school paper. Banned from the paper [for drinking on campus], he invented a new name for himself to continue cartooning — he called himself Dr Seuss, using his mother’s Swiss maiden name. [BTW: in German, ‘seuss’ rhymes with ‘choice.’] After failing to earn a doctorate in English Literature, he drew cartoons for an advertising agency. On a cruise to Europe, the sound of the ship’s engines caused him to say “and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street,” which became the title of his first children’s book in 1936. Not a big seller. In 1940, he wrote Horton Hatches the Egg, which did very well. Then his publisher sent him a list of words ‘that children could read’ with the idea of using them in a book. Geisel wrote a book with 220 of those words: The Cat in the Hat, published in 1957. [As a child, I couldn’t stand the book: a ‘home invasion’ did not seem funny to me. My favorite is Bartholomew and the Oobleck from 1949.] Despite the fame it brought him, he considered children’s books as ‘literary slumming.’ But he knew how to get children laughing and reading and he did so in 44 books over many decades. Geisel once said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” Enjoy some nonsense today.

In honor of Dr Seuss’ birthday on March 2, we will of course eat Green Eggs and Ham at breakfast. It was one of our sons’ favorite books [written on a bet that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words] and it makes for a fine meal. For dinner, an opportunity to channel your inner child: turn French Codfish Brandade into as silly and fanciful a creation as your imagination allows. Then eat and enjoy it.

Green Eggs & Ham: 144 calories 8.8 g fat 1.1 g fiber 12.8 g pro 8.6 g carb [7.5 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  GF These are a treat anytime there is still ham from a roast and the chives are fresh in the garden. This dish is named, of course, for the delightful book Green Eggs and Ham which the narrator insists that he will not eat — not in a box, nor on a train, nor under any circumstances.

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 oz. ground or chopped ham 3 Tbsp fresh chives 2 oz pear 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]

Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste. Put the white part of the onion into a hot pan sprayed with cooking oil. Stir around for a few seconds. Add the eggs. When bottom of eggs begin to set, sprinkle the ham & green scallions over the eggs, scramble to taste, and plate. Pour the beverages of your choice, prep the fruit, and “Eat them! Eat them, here they are!”

Brandade a la Seuss: 250 calories 5.8 g fat 5.7 g fiber 77 g protein 22.3 g carbs 270 mg Calcium  PB GF  Since salt cod is so popular all over southern France, it follows that Brandade is also a favorite. The garlic, olive oil, and fennel mark this version as Provincal. [HINT: This batch serves 4. Either invite friends or use what you need and freeze the remainder.] The recipe is from Jacques Pepin.

8 oz salt cod ¼ cup potatoes in 1/2” cubes 1 cup cauliflower puree ½ cup milk 4 cloves garlic 1 tsp olive oil ¼ tsp fennel seed + ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste per serving: tomatoes + celery + carrot + broccoli + green pepper

Soak the cod in water for 8 hours. Drain and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes. Drain. Pick over the fish and break it into 1” pieces, removing bones, skin. Put fish in a pan with potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Pour it all into a food processor and process it for about 10 seconds. Add the pepper and add the oil with the machine running. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasonings. Divide the brandade into 4 portions of 1/2-cup each. HINT: Freeze the portions you are not serving today. To serve today, be whimsical and “Seussical.” Position the brandade in the center of a plate. Use the vegetables to create a strange creature with the brandade as the body. Spiders? hedgehogs? insects? Let your inner child off its leash and have fun. Very traditional flavor in an unusual presentation for Dr Seuss.

H. W. Longfellow

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.

Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day’s occupation, Which is known as the Children’s Hour. The Children’s Hour, 1859

So wrote a contented Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, describing the joys of being the father of a growing family. He was happy, at last, following the death of his first wife after she miscarried; and his efforts to establish himself as a working poet following not-so-fulfilling years as a college professor. Success came with his poems written in the Romantic Style: Evangeline and Song of Hiawatha, which eulogize the American landscape and people. The mid-1800s were fertile ground for Longfellow’s poems, stories, and essays. But sadness called again, when his wife died of burns from a horrible household accident. Longfellow, in his grief, traveled West of Boston to Sudbury, Massachusetts to escape familiar scenes and people. There he wrote formed the idea for his next famous collection, Tales of the Wayside Inn — a frame-story set in a country tavern where travelers swap yarns. Although widely-read and memorized 150 years ago, only a few of his poems are recognized today: Paul Revere’s Ride and the Wreck of the Hesperus are best-known. I still love his lyrical way with words, which can be stirring and comforting at the same time.

…Then read from the treasured volume the poem of thy choice And lend to the rhyme of the poet the beauty of thy voice. And the night shall be filled with music And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, and as silently steal away. The Day is Done , 1844

Although born in Portland, Maine, Longfellow is most associated with the Boston area. Thus our breakfast references local foods. The dinner is one that might indeed have been served at the Wayside Inn. Read some Longfellow today.

B-O-S-T ScrOmelette: 161 calories 7.6 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11 g protein 9 g carbs [8 g Complex] 220 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The beans are for Boston’s nickname: beantown. The green onions are for the Green Monster at Fenway Park. The shrimp are for the strong maritime tradition of the port. The tomatoes are for New Englanders’ fervent wish to raise just a few ripe tomatoes before the end of summer.

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 canned white beans, preferable small ‘navy’ beans 2 Tbsp green part of scallions, sliced 1/4 oz shrimp, preferably tiny Northern shrimp OR larger shrimp chopped 1 oz tomato, diced and drained in a sieve overnight 1-1/2 oz nectarine slices Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Put the beans, onion, shrimp, and tomato in a warm non-stick pan spritzed with non-stick spray or olive oil. Cook briefly until warmed. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the other ingredients in the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Pour the beverages of your choice, plate the fruit, and plate the eggs. 

Red Flannel Hash: 249 calories 9.2 g fat 1.9 g fiber 12.6 g protein 17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s  Country Flavors Cookbook .

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice), fresh or canned 1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice) ¼ cup diced onions 2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced one 2-oz egg lots of salt and pepper to taste

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before] Peel and dice the potatoes. Put into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Ah! Country dining.

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

1 two-oz egg2 two-oz eggs 
chivesmilk + flour
ham from a roast or the delisugar + clementine
pineappl10 sweet cherries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

salt cod + garlic + fennel seedhard-boiled eggs + onion
potato + cauliflowergarbanzo beans + garlic
olive oil + milk + fennel seedtomatoes in their juice + broccoli
tomato + cucumber + carrotsSwiss or Gruyere cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water