Slow Days: Pumpkin Ginger Scones

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.

Genevieve Ko, writing in the New York Times, published this article last year. It looked promising, so I tried it. Finding the dough a bit too dry, I added applesauce and that turned out to be just right. And look! The recipe calls for ‘pumpkin spice’!!! So trendy this time of year. Try these and see what you think. The recipe makes 6-8 scones, depending on how you cut them.

50g/6.5 Tbsp whole wheat flour 
95g/¾ c all-purpose flour
1/3 c/25 g rolled oats 
¼ c./50 g sugar 
2 tsp baking powder  + ½ tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice**
In a bowl, whisk these ingredients together.



**¼ tsp cinn, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp mace, 1/8 tsp clove, ¼ tsp allspice
¼ c/57 g cold butter, sliced thinly 1/3 c/45 g crystallized ginger OR ½ tsp ginger powderAdd butter + toss to coat. With fingers or a pastry cutter, knead/cut in butter until coarse crumbs form but peanut-size pieces remain. Chop ginger finely, and mix in.
1/3 c/85 g pumpkin puree 
1 Tbsp applesauce
1 two-oz egg
Whisk pumpkin and applesauce with egg until smooth. Add to dry ingredients. Mix with a fork until no dry bits remain and mixture comes together in a mass.
Place dough on baking pan and press it into ¾”-thick round that is 6” diameter. Refrigerate or freeze until stiff.
Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray a glass pie plate with cooking spray.
Rolled oats for sprinklingCut dough into 6-8 wedges with a sharp knife. Nudge wedges apart. Sprinkle tops with oats.
Bake until golden brown and firm when gently pressed, 20 minsTo test for doneness, insert a toothpick in center to see if there is wet dough. If so, return pan to oven for a few mins.
Cool pan on a rack 5 mins. Serve warm or room temp.

Served with ham and yogurt with applesauce and berries, these scones are a lovely treat.

Slow Days: Spiced Cauliflower Pasta  

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 https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/ 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.

As Summer turns to Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, our taste buds seem to want the warmth of spices in our food. “Pumpkin Spice,” anyone? [Which is not derived from an actual pumpkin. It refers to the spices used in pumpkin pie. But I digress.] This pasta dish is excellent. The curious addition of spices tells us that its origin was in Medieval Times. Nobles returning from the Crusades [this is the one good thing to result from the lamentable Crusades] brought with them ‘exotic’ spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. European cuisine embraced them, often producing daring parings of spices with meat [as in Tourtiere] and vegetables. Of course the tomatoes in this recipe did not show up in Europe until the early 1500s, and they are a good addition. Sicily was a port of call for Crusaders and Lynne Rossetto Kasper is the source of this Sicilian recipe found in her The Italian Country Table.

The mise en place for 2 servings.
Serves 4 — original recipeServes 2 — how I do it
Large head cauliflower florets370 g cauliflower floretsBlanch in boiling water 1 minute. Keep water on the heat.
EVOO
1 cup onion, chopped
salt & pepper
EVOO
½ c onion, chopped
salt & pepper
Film bottom of a non-stick saute pan with oil and heat to medium-high. Stir-fry cauliflower 2 minutes, then add onion and seasoning and stirfry until golden.
Large pinch red pepper flakes
ditto for ground cloves
ditto ground cinnamon
¼ c basil + Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oil-packed anchovies
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
ditto ground cloves
ditto ground cinnamon
2 Tb basil + Italian parsley
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 oil-packed anchovies
1½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
Chop the basil and parsley before packing in the measuring cup. Rinse the anchovies. Add these to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4 oz zitti/penne per person2 oz zitti/penne per personCook pasta in salted water until al dente.
2/3 cup pasta water
14 oz canned whole tomatoes
1/3 cup pasta water
7 fl oz canned whole tomatoes
Drain and chop tomatoes. Add pasta water to saute pan and scrape up the brown bits. Add tomatoes, and boil until cauliflower is tender-crisp, ~3 minutes.
Reduce heat and add cooked pasta. Stir to blend. Season to taste
¼ pound ricotta salata OR Parmesan
1/3 c pine nuts
2 oz ricotta salata OR Parmesan
3 Tbsp pine nuts
Shave cheese into curls and add to serve hot, topped with pine nuts.
Plated with a nice piece of sourdough bread. You are correct: the pasta is neither zitti nor penne. You don’t have to stay inside the lines all the time.

Slow Days: Chow

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 https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/ 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.

The word ‘chow’ has many meanings. The Chow is a medium-sized dog with a curled-up tail. It is a slang word for food. As a verb, followed by the word ‘down’, it means ‘to eat.’ Then there is chow as a relish… In Pennsylvania Dutch areas, chow is a combination of pickled, chopped garden vegetables — cauliflower, onion, carrot — served as a sweet condiment. In the American South, cabbage takes center stage, with unripe tomatoes and red sweet and hot peppers as co-stars. It is served on hot dogs and with black-eyed peas. In Prince Edward Island, we met our favorite: Maritime Chow, aka ‘Acadian ketchup’. We were dining with friends at a small oyster house on the dock at Malpecque Bay. After a dozen oysters, we ordered fishcakes. We asked the young man who brought the food [former oyster-shucking champion] the name of the delicious relish. “Its Chow,” he replied, a bit confused. What is it made of, we asked. “Well…you know…its Chow,” he attempted, “My grandmother makes it.” So I asked my local PEI friends for a chow recipe. Lillian P. shivered and said, “Ugh. Chow. I never make it.” Cathy K. had no recipe. Nona McL. kindly wrote out her recipe for Chow, which in the Maritimes is always made with unripe tomatoes. This is Nona’s recipe.

20 cups sliced green tomatoes 5 cups sliced onions
½ cup pickling salt
DAY 1 Combine and leave overnight
6 cups sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 cups white vinegar
pickling spice in a bag
DAY 2 Drain tomatoes + onions and put into a large pot. Add these ingredients to the pot. Simmer 1 hour. Take a little liquid from the pot
¼ cup cornstarch
1½ tsp turmeric
1½ tsp dry mustard
Mix these ingredients with the reserved liquid from the pot. Then add to the pot and cook together for ½ hour.
Put into sterilized 1-pint or ½-pint canning jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 9 pints.

Since I had some half-ripe tomatoes, I was eager to get started. By Day 2, I realized that I had neither turmeric nor dry mustard in the pantry. Time to substitute: yellow Indian curry for turmeric and Dijon mustard for the dry mustard. I was pleased with the result and served it at a luncheon, attended by all the afore-mentioned ladies. Lillian tasted it and asked what it was. “Its Chow!” I crowed, “Made with Nona’s recipe.” When Nona tried it, she exclaimed, “That’s not my Chow — you have changed my recipe!” I acknowledged that I had made substitutions… Both of those worthy matrons agreed that “it isn’t Chow, but it is good.” Now I make a batch every year. This is my recipe.

4 cups sliced tomatoes = 1 L.  chose under-ripe ones with some red areas but mostly green
1 cup sliced onions
1.5 Tbsp pickling salt
DAY 1 Combine in a medium-sized bowl and leave on the counter overnight. 
Some red on the tomatoes, but mostly green.
300 ml sugar = 1¼ cup
100 ml cider vinegar = 3.75 fl oz
50 ml water = 1.75 fl oz 
100 ml white vinegar = 3.75 fl oz
1 Tbsp pickling spice  [no mustard seed] in a bag
DAY 2 Drain tomatoes + onions and put into a large pot. Add these ingredients to the pot and simmer one hour.
15 ml cornstarch = 1 Tbsp
½ tsp Dijon mustard, en lieu of mustard seed
3/8 tsp CGE curry
Take a little liquid from the pot and add these 3 ingredients. Stir together until smooth. Add back into the pot, stir, then simmer for ½ hour.
Makes 5 half-cup jars
Process in boiling water 10 minutes

We always serve Chow with Fish Cakes. For this meal, they are made the Maritime way: using Salt Cod instead of fresh fish. I also have a recipe for fish cakes made from fresh fish, from the Legal Seafood Cookbook.

The lovely, savory-sweet, rosy-hued Chow is in the center. Pickled beets are our favorite side dish for Fish Cakes.

As the summer garden winds down and you wonder what to do with all those half-ripe tomatoes, Chow is the answer. Chow down.

Slow Days: Cajun Catfish Sliders

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 https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/ 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.

Catfish are a fresh-water fish found in many countries around the world, with 30 species in the USA. The states in the center-east of the country are where catfish are most likely to be. Because they are common and can grow quite large, catfish are popular sport and eating fish. Here in New Hampshire, the native species is Ameiurus nebulosus, known to scientists as the Brown Bullhead, and to locals a the ‘horned pout’ [pronounced ‘hornpout‘]. Lakes of easy access sport boats at night, trawling back and forth with lanterns illuminating the water. Everyone knows that means people are hornpoutin’. After seeing catfish at the supermarket a few years ago, and knowing that there was Cajun Seasoning in the pantry, I was seized by inspiration: Cajun Catfish Sandwiches!!

To serve two, we have slider buns, Cajun Seasoning, and 6-8 oz catfish, cut into 4 pieces. The catfish pieces are dredged in the seasoning on all sides, then pan-cooked with a bit of butter/ cooking spray/ or olive oil until done, 3-4 minutes per side. Here’s how to prepare your own seasoning:

Cajun Seasoning:  4 Tablespoons  A dry powder to add to soups, stews, eggs, or fish. 1 tsp salt 2 tsp garlic powder 2½ tsp paprika 1 tsp ground pepper 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp cayenne 1¼ tsp dried savory 1¼ tsp dried thyme ½ tsp red pepper flakes

I suggest that the slider buns be toasted. For a real summer treat, serve with some form of corn, such as fresh polenta or corn-tomato salsa. Oh! Yummy! Catfish can be sustainably and environmentally raised on fish-farms, making them a good choice when you are looking for fish to buy. An excellent Summer meal.

Diet vs Lifestyle

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.

Diet” can mean: a) one’s usual or habitual food [noun]; b) a type of food recommended for a specific purpose; c) a way of eating sparingly to reduce one’s weight. When people say, “I’ve gained my ‘Covid 19’ and now I have to go on a diet” they mean that they are going to eat less to achieve a goal of weight loss. And then what? Can’t tell you how often I’ve heard, “We were on the South Beach/low carb/cabbage soup diet and we lost 30 pounds! And then we regained it.” That’s the trouble with ‘diets.’ You might deprive yourself of certain food groups for a while, but you can’t/won’t live like that for the rest of your life. And the weight comes back.

Lifestyle” can mean: a) the usual way of life of a group of people [noun]; b) associated with or promoting a more desired way of living [adjective]. For a new way of eating or behaving to be ongoing, it must be something you are comfortable to be doing all your life. Can you eat this way and still enjoy a social life? If so, this is described as a ‘sustainable’ behavior. If you are thinking about altering your current “usual or habitual food” to make it so that it will be “promoting a more desired way of living,” then think carefully about the long-term. Slow, incremental weight loss is shown to be preferable to quick weight loss. Learning to eat better for life is the key.

Now you know why I refer to the way we eat as the Fasting Lifestyle. It is a way of eating that requires only two days of behavior change, in the form of eating fewer calories. Look at today’s meals — couldn’t you eat like this twice a week for the rest of your life if it meant that the weight would come off and stay off?

Cheese ScrOmelette:  154 calories 9.6 g fat  1 g fiber 12 g protein 5 g Carb [4.5 g Complex] 108 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  What a classic. Why not eat this often?

1½ 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 cheese such as Cheddar or Gruyere 1.5 oz applesauce or 2.5 oz strawberries  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]

Whisk the eggs with seasonings to taste. Grate the cheese. Put the eggs into a hot pan spritzed with cooking spray. Once the bottom of the eggs is set, sprinkle with cheese, fold and plate. Slice fruit, brew optional beverage, blend the optional smoothie or take it from the ‘fridge and shake it before serving.

Antipasto with chicken: 252 calories 11 g fat 4 g fiber 22.6 g protein 29 g carbs 208 mg Calcium  PB GF  This one is a keeper. Simple, off the shelf, pretty on the plate, good to eat. HINT: The recipe and photo show enough for 2 people. Invite a guest who is Fasting, too.

This generous platter serves two.

2 oz roasted red pepper, without oil [I roast my own, slice and freeze them] 2 oz mozzerella, cut into ‘sticks’ [buy it in blocks] 3 oz chicken breast, cooked  5 oz tomato slices 3 oz whole green beans, steamed, drained, cooled 1½ oz marinated mushrooms 1/3 c. garbanzo beans, drained if canned 4 black olives, pitted and sliced 3 slices pepperoni, chopped 1 tsp flavored olive oil flavorful finishing salt chopped fresh herbs 

Prepare the ingredients and keep separate. Combine the garbanzoes with the chopped pepperoni. On a platter, arrange the ingredients in rows as shown in the photo. Suit your own artistic nature as to what goes where. Drizzle on the flavored oil. Be liberal with the fresh herbs.

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

1 slice 70-calorie multi-grain bread1.5 two-oz eggs  + Bing cherries
strawberries +/or blueberries, fresh or frozen3%-fat ham + leek/scallion
fat-free ricotta cheesegarlic + mushrooms
chicken liver pate OR chicken liver
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz pollock or other white-fleshed fish 4 oz filet mignon + butter + olive oil
American/streaky bacon + cauliflowerportobello mushroom cap + shallot
carrots + brussel sproutswhite wine + heavy cream
cherry tomatoes + Parmesan cheesegrainy mustard + fresh tarragon + asparagus
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Summertime Pasta

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.

Jacques Pepin is a darned good chef. Perhaps it is the fact that he was formerly the Executive Chef of the Howard Johnson’s chain that caused him to promote simple-to-prepare food that is achievable for the ‘average’ cook. One such recipe, from his book Fast Food My Way, is called Summertime Pasta. [When he talks about Fast Food, he means the kind that is quick to prepare, not the type we eat on a FAST Day***. ] If ever there was a time when one wants to keep prep time to a minimum, Summer is it. It amazes me how easy this meal is on the cook and how fine it is to eat it. We dine on it ourselves and serve it to company. It is that good.

The mise en place for two servings of Summertime Pasta
Sv 4Sv 2 
3 c. tomatoes in ½“ dice
1 ½ c. zucchini in ½“ dice
1 c. white mushrooms, ½” dice
1 tsp salt + black pepper
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil  
6 oz diced tomatoes
¾ c diced zucchini
½ c diced mushrooms
½ tsp salt + black pepper
3 Tbsp EVOO
Mix everything in a microwavable glass bowl.
6 oz pasta shells, whole wheat
2 qts water
salt
3 oz shells, whole wheat
1 qt water
salt
20 minutes before serving, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook about 7 minutes until al dente. Drain.
Microwave the vegetables for 2 minutes or longer until they are lukewarm.
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese ½ c ParmesanCombine the drained pasta with the warm vegetables, then stir in the cheese.
1½ c. Fresh basil leaves, shredded ¾ c. Fresh basil leavesPlate, and top with basil.
Every meal looks delicious with edible flowers as a garnish.

If you wish, you can add chunks of chicken or grilled shrimp to the dish to add more protein. Delicious.

Snow peas are also a nice addition.

***Truth be told, I do have a version of this recipe that is fine for a Fast Day. One of these days, I will share it with you.

Comparing Plans: 30 per Week

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. 

Diets should be designed to help you become healthier, usually by losing weight. And that is a good thing, but often when people diet by cutting out food groups, they become less healthy because there is not enough variety in their food. When that happens, nutrients are lost, along with fiber. But inside your intestines, where your food is digested and absorbed into the body, something else happens: the loss of microbiota. Studies have shown that the less the diversity of your microbiota, the less healthy you are in the long run. The ’30 per Week’ challenge has you aiming to eat at least 30 different plants each week — vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, leaves — to boost microbiota populations. Think that is difficult? If you eat a slice of whole wheat bread for breakfast, that is from only one plant. If you switch to 10-grain bread, then you are one-third toward the goal! Folks who are following a Mediterranean Diet or a Plant-Based Diet or a MIND Diet will see that this way of eating will be easy to fold into their meal plans.

This plan dovetails nicely with the Fast Diet, since lots of meals can be constructed that meet the <300 calorie goal, but also have a variety of plant matter. It is true that I could eat a breakfast of a cheese omelette which contains no plants at all, but that might be one meal of 14 in a week. Dear Husband and I have found it to be an interesting and highly achievable challenge to eat 30 per Week. Try it!

Is this food allowed on this diet…30 per WeekOn Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkIn moderationYes
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkeyYesYes, preferred
Eggs Yes Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsWine, maybeOn Slow Days
Grains, starches: whole grain versionsyesin moderation
Nuts + seedsYes in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeasYes Yes 
Seafood protein, especially with Omega-3 fatsYesYes 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsYesYes 
Berries of all kindsYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYesYes 
Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt In moderationSome 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaYes in moderation
Animal fat: butterIn moderationin moderation
Root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYesYes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYesYes 
Higher fiberYes Yes
Daily Carb intakeVariety of grainsKeep it low
Whole grains Yes Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cake, bread, processed foodsNot recommendedNot on Fast Day
Number of days per week to follow the regimin 7 of 72 of 7
Do calories matter?No Only 600 on Fast Days

The breakfast today contains 5 different plants, while the dinner provides 6 more. See how easy that was?

Flamenco ScrOmelette: 152 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [10 g Complex] 51 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The same flavors of a tapas meal now found in your breakfast scramble. Very good.

1½ 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 1½ Tbsp tomato puree ¾ oz bell peppers, chopped 1½ Tbsp onions, chopped 2 pinches cayenne pepper + large pinch chopped parsley + salt to taste 1 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]

If starting the night before: Put the peppers and onions in a micro-wave safe container and nuke them for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato puree and the seasonings. Leave on counter overnight.

If starting at breakfast-time: Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and heat it. Put the vegetables into the hot saute pan to cook, then add the eggs and seasonings. Scramble together [or cook like an omelette] until the way you like it. Plate with the melon, pour your beverages of choice. Great flavors.

Santa Barbara Salad: 280 calories 13 g fat 6 g fiber 16 g protein 21 g carbs 106 mg Calcium  PB GF  From a Washington Post food column, this salad sings of California.  HINT: This amount serves 2 [two]. Invite a friend or save for lunch later in the week.

½ head Boston or buttercrunch lettuce 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes ½ medium apple, cored and diced ½ cup diced chicken breast ¼ cup chickpeas 1 oz soft goat cheese 1½ tsp pine nuts 1 Medjool date ½ two-oz egg, hardboiled  per serving: 1½ tsp cinnamon dressing

First prepare the dressing and refrigerate. Next, toast the pinenuts until they just begin to brown. Take off heat and set aside. Shred the lettuce and put in a bowl along with all the other ingredients. Toss with 1½ tsp dressing per serving. Play a Beach Boys song and wear your sunglasses.

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

1 two-oz egg + whole tomatoes1.5 two-oz eggs 
feta cheese + paprika + garlicroasted green chilis
orange/red bell pepper + onionapple
cumin + cayenne
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

6 felafel patties https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/fastingme.com/11013chicken breast meat, raw or cooked
fresh tomato + one 140-calorie pita breadbechamel sauce w/ cheese
orange/yellow bell pepper5 buckwheat galettes
red onion + lemon juiceasparagus
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Salmon for the 4th of July

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.

Time was, salmon ran up the rivers of New England by the thousands every year on the way to their breeding streams. They were so common that servants had clauses written into their contracts to prevent their employers from feeding them salmon every day. By early July, there is a wonderful confluence of ingredients: fresh salmon, the new green peas, and the tiny first potatoes. These became the makings of a classic meal for a traditional 4th of July in the 1800s, before anyone had ever heard of hot dogs and hamburgers and barbecue grills. If you don’t believe me, you may consult James Beard’s American Cookery [pg.119] and the Boston Globe.

The salmon may be grilled, poached, or baked. The peas are newly liberated from their shells. The potatoes are roasted with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. A traditional [and attractive, and delicious] way to celebrate our Independence Day.

Slow Days: Artistic Bread

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.

You’ve heard of ‘artisan bread,’ but have you ever seen bread that is artistic? I hadn’t, until our older son suggested it while we discussed what to serve at a small dinner party. We start with his recipe for ‘No-Knead Foccacio’ which is simplicity itself.

2 breads to serve 6-101 bread to serve 3-5
500 grams bread/strong flour
375 g water
10 g salt
6 g dry yeast
25 grams bread flour
187 g water
5 g salt
3 g dry yeast
Put all ingredients in a bowl with some mixing and rising room. Combine, using a fork, a spoon, or your hands, until it looks like a shaggy ball.
Cover the bowl and let rest 8-12 hours – overnight works well.
After rising over-night, the dough is ready to use.

Lightly brush olive oil onto two 8×15” pans or one large sheet pan. Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into an 8×12” rough oval on the pan. Let stand 1-2 hours

Each half of the dough is patted out on an oiled pan as a rough 8×12-inch canvas.

Two colors of bell peppers, red onion, black olives, cherry tomatoes, chives, and marjoram sprigs are the ‘paints’ you use to create your picture.

NB: I had drawn a design in advance to guide me in planning the vegetable placement. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with finishing salt. Cut the vegetables into the shapes you want for your design, then place them on the dough in a way that pleases your eye.

Ready to go in the oven, after a 15-minute rise.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, until crust begins to golden and the bottom of the bread is cooked. Serve warm or at room temperature to rave reviews. Should there be any left-over, it freezes very well.

On the table, ready for the guests.

Slow Days: Naan DIY

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 https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/ 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.

Today, I thought it would be fun to make a batch of naan, a bread of India. More than 2500 years ago, ‘chapati’ was the peoples’ bread: unleavened flatbread baked on a griddle. After yeast was introduced to India from Persia or Egypt, experimentation lead to making naan. Originally it was the food of royalty, savored for its light texture. One author says how difficult it is to make, and therefore limited to palace kitchens. When I found out how simple naan is to prepare, I just had to try them. Even thought the dough is made with yeast, it is much less involved than making a loaf of bread. The recipe is by Aarti Sequeira.

1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 c 110 F water
In a large glass or 16-oz measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
2 c white whole wheat flour**
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl. Whisk to blend. 
3 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Once the yeast is frothy, pour the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine.
****If you would like to make this gluten-free, you can substitute in 2 1/4 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour mix for the regular flour, plus 1 1/4 tsp xanthum gum.
Ingredients for the first three steps of the recipe await mixing.
Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel as if there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky, pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for 2-4 hours.
Have two bowls near-by: one with flour in it, + one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky — the way it should be! Divide dough into 8 or 10 or 12 equal portions and lightly roll each portion in the bowl of flour to prevent sticking to each other.
++if using gluten-free flour, pat the naans into shape with your hands and fingers.With a rolling pin++, roll out each dough ball on a lightly floured work surface into a tear-drop shape about 4-6“ in diameter and 1/4” thick. Lift up by one end and wiggle it — the dough’s own weight will make it stretch a bit. Repeat with remaining dough.
Have: Cast iron skillet
lid to fit the skillet
Warm the skillet over high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans. Patty-cake it from one hand to the other to dampen it slightly.
Gently lay each naan in the skillet + set timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble. Flip the naan. It should be blistered + a little blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Repeat with remaining dough.

Here they are skillet-baked and ready to eat. You have seen the naan in some of my previous recipes, such as Indian Vegetables with Turkey and Naan. Create your own favorite way to eat this bread and imagine that you are an Indian Noble.