Slow Days: Baked Bluefish

People who are new to the Fasting Lifestyle 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 your 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.

Dear Husband grew up fishing for and eating Bluefish. It is a migratory fish off the East Coast of North America and they run in large, hungry schools. This is not to be confused with “Boston Bluefish” which is Pollock named after its betters. The genuine article is a dense, dark-fleshed fish with a fine taste. I enjoyed it once at Legal Seafoods in Boston, where it was baked with a very nice sauce. Rarely do we see it in markets, but when we do, we snap it up. When I tried to emulate the restaurant sauce, I do believe that I succeeded very well.

The topping mixture consists of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard with salt, pepper, and maybe a little lemon juice. Combine the topping and spread it evenly over 3-4 oz fillets of fish per person. Bake at 400F. for 12-15 minutes. Ordinarily I would cook fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. But Bluefish is denser, so it takes longer to cook.

And here it is plated with 2 sides: wild rice pilaf and cut green beans. Delicious. If you want wine recommendations for blue fish, have a look at https://wordpress.com/post/peterspicksblog.com/610

Breakfast Beverages

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat a breakfast and a dinner from the Archive tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, for a second 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.

Those of you who read my blog regularly [thank you for that!] will notice that in a breakfast menu I always mention ‘optional beverages.’ Today I’m going to flesh out what I mean by that — breakfast beverages without the extra flesh. We have always consumed a cold beverage and a hot beverage at breakfast, and I will explain how those evolved as we embarked on our Fasting Lifestyle. The beverages detailed below are what we drink everyday, since they are too delicious to serve only two days a week.

Cold Beverage: Dear Husband and I grew up drinking cold orange juice at breakfast. Our generation was taught that this was important for our health [advertising by the Florida Orange Growers Association is to blame for that]. But our bodies see orange juice as just sugar water — without the fiber in whole fruit, the sugar in the fruit is digested just as sugar is. 5 oz orange juice from concentrate = 74 calories 0 g fat 0 g fiber 0.6 g protein 17.9 g carbs [0 g Complex] 12 mg Calcium WITH the fiber, digestion is slower and the sugar spike is minimized. So we began to make our own smoothies: whole fruit, whole juices [fruit pressed, seeds removed], yogurt, some orange juice. The two most popular are these:

Berry-Yogurt Smoothie: 88 calories 0.1 g fat 1 g fiber 4 g protein 20 g carbs [5.2 g Complex] 105 mg Calcium  PB GF Dear Husband was inspired to create this, in an effort to get more Calcium in our diet. HINT: Makes 4 [four] servings Food values above are for one serving.

1 cup yogurt [plain, fat-free] 2 oz banana 2 oz mixed berries or all one kind — strawberries/raspberries/blackberries ½ cup fruit juice with fiber [or ½ cup unsweetened applesauce – adds 1 g carbs and 2 more calories] 1 cup orange juice  HINT: I combine the fruits and put those in the freezer as ‘kits.’

Put the yogurt and fruit in the blender/VitaMix or container for using an immersion blender. Whiz it on HIGH until everything is blended and no bits of berry are seen. Add juice/applesauce with the orange juice and blend on low. Put what you don’t use today into the ‘fridge for another day.

Blueberry Smoothie: 118 calories 0.2 g fat 3.1 g fiber 5.7 g protein 30 g carbs 99 mg Calcium  PB GF From the people at Wild Blueberries of North America comes this excellent smoothie. Take the calorie count into account when you meal-plan. HINT: Recipe makes enough for 2 servings. The food values above are for one serving.

3 oz banana ½ cup plain, fat-free yogurt ½ cup blueberries ½ cup orange juice

Put banana, yogurt, and berries into the blender and process until smooth. Add the juice and blend on low. Wonderful berry flavor!

Hot beverages: Dear Husband’s family used to joke that if you didn’t drink coffee, you weren’t old enough to get married. In truth, he didn’t drink coffee at the time of our marriage [age 23], and I often drank tea. Together we moved to drinking our only cup of coffee at breakfast, and together we learned to love cafe-au-lait. Then we heard about cocoa flavonoids, and began to make ‘cocoa milk’ to make our coffee a mocha.

How to prepare cocoa milk: ½ cup 1% or 2% or whole** milk ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder The night before, put the milk and cocoa powder in a jar with a tight lid. Shake it well, then put in the refrigerator over-night. This overnight time permits the milk to ‘wet’ the cocoa powder enough to hold the powder in suspension, rather than floating on top. **values for coffee, sugar if using whole milk: 87 calories 4.2 g fat 0.5 g fiber 4.2 g protein 9.4 g carbs 140 mg Calcium

Blackish Coffee: 55 calories 3.4 g fat 0 g fiber 0.9 g protein 5.6 g carbs 32 mg Calcium There’s ‘black coffee’ [no sweetener, no lightener, no calories] and then there is Black-ish Coffee. 1 cup black coffee 1 tsp sugar [doesn’t matter what type] 3 Tablespoons half & half [10% milk fat]

Frothy Mocha Cafe au Lait: 65 calories 1.4 g fat 0.5 g fiber 4.6 g protein 9 g carbs [1 g Complex] 159 mg Calcium High in Calcium, this has 5x the protein for only 10 calories more than Black-ish coffee, if using 1% milk. [35 more calories if using whole milk]

½ cup hot black coffee ½ cup cocoa milk ½ level teaspoon sugar

Shake the cocoa milk well, and warm it in the microwave or in a hot water bath on the stove. Put the coffee in a large [one cup+] cup or mug. Shake the milk again and pour into the coffee, adding the sugar. Use a frother to whip up the milk and coffee. Elegance with a great chocolate taste.

Ingredients for next week: 

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
zucchini + onion + garlic
Swiss chard + strawberries
jalapeño or hot pepper flakes + sage
Parmesan cheese
vinegar + roasted red pepper
paprika + garlic powder
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

1 pound zucchini + dill weed
salad greens + tomatoes
cooked chicken + Parmesan cheese
red bell pepper + pork roast
garlic + olive oil + onion
cranberries + zucchini
cooked brown rice + paprika
balsamic vinegar + olive oil
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Strawberry Breakfast Crepes

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 Forumwhich attest to that. Once in a while your 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.

Sunday Breakfast is enshrined in our house as a special meal: a day for something out of the ordinary. Pancakes and waffles were popular in Dear Husband’s family, while yeast-raised cinnamon buns were my family’s favorite. Recently, a large supply of luscious strawberries gave rise to inspiration: crepes in a strawberry-maple syrup. The crepes were already prepared and in the freezer, which made it SO much easier. [You know how I always urge you to make things in bulk and freeze them for later? This is why! And crepes don’t take up a lot of room, even in a small freezer.]

In the foreground, you see 1/3 cup maple syrup with a teaspoon of butter.

Six crepes [not the savory ones made with buckwheat flour, but the sweet ones that were made for the Strawberry Moon blog on 16-June-2019] were taken from the freezer and thawed in their plastic storage bag overnight. They were warmed on a griddle. The maple syrup was warmed with a little butter and the strawberries were put in briefly, so they didn’t cook down to mush. The syrup took on a wonderful color and flavor from the berries! Chicken sausages were cooked and plated. The crepes were put on the plate open, generously laced with syrup and berries, folded in half and doused with fruit and syrup again.

Served with cafe au lait and a berry-yogurt smoothie, it was a fabulous meal for strawberry season.

Slow Days: Lavender 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 Forumwhich attest to that. Once in a while your 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.

Breakfasts at our house are a treat. True, cereal [hot or cold] is on the menu twice a week, but the other days see a succession of delightful baked goods or savory egg dishes. I like to bake and Dear Husband likes to get up early to prepare breakfast — our’s is a marriage made in heaven. Often, the night before, I will prepare something to be baked and then leave it on the counter to be finished and presented the next morning. This works for most yeasted recipes and definitely for ‘quick breads’ which are raised with ‘double acting’ baking powder. One such recipe is Lavender Scones.

You’ll have to find your own recipe for scones — I’m sworn to secrecy about mine. The key is adding fresh lavender buds: 1-2 tsp of buds which have been picked off the stems.

That’s buttermilk, by the way, not plain milk. It makes the leavening act differently.

Since there are only 2 of us, all I need to bake are 4-5 scones for a breakfast. This requires 1 cup of the dry ingredients, even though the whole batch has been prepared. The remaining dry ingredients are stored in a jar for another day.

I’ll use 1 cup of the scone mix to serve 2 people with 2 scones each. The storage jar is labeled ‘buttermilk’ to remind me to use that. If you don’t have lavender, you could add dried black currants or zante currants or other dried fruit to the mixture.

Here the table is set with the full meal: fruit yogurt [we add our own fruit to low-fat yogurt], Canadian bacon [back bacon to many of you], cafe au lait, rhubarb juice, and of course the Lavender Scones. A delightful Summer meal.

Slow Days: Siracusa 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 your 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.

This recipe is from Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s book The Italian Country Table. She describes visiting the market in Siracusa, Sicily: the people she chats with and the ingredients that inspired this recipe. From them she makes a wondrous pasta dish. The following ingredients make enough for TWO [2] servings.

You will really need a mise en place for this preparation, so set it up now.

Garlic [3 cloves], 1/4 cup red onion, zest of orange/lemon, oregano, 1/2 cup basil + 8 oil-cured olives, 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, 3 oz mozzarella, 3 oz ditalini pasta. The garlic is sautéed until pale gold and removed. Over medium-high heat, the onion is sautéed the same way before the zest is added for 30 seconds. The oregano is added and cooked for 30 seconds. Take off heat while you cook the pasta for 5-6 minutes until it is still firm to the tooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta water to the sauce pan and cook, along with the garlic, for 30 seconds. Add the pasta, basil, and olives, tossing everything to coat it with the flavors. Put the tomatoes in the pan and taste for seasoning. Plate with the cheese. I added basil leaves and clementine sections for even more color and bright flavor.

Gosh it is good.

Breakfasts on the Wall

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 Organic Tree who is now Following.

We all like to go on vacation: to visit new places and have new experiences. It has been said that “Travel is broadening.”  But that can be a problem — you go on a great trip and come back with several extra pounds.  Often the reason given is that “when you stay in a hotel, you have to eat off the menu and therefore you can’t possibly continue to Fast.”  I’m here to argue against that.  Two years ago, I went on a hiking trip with our cousin and her son. The Hadrian’s Wall Path is 84 miles long. We started on the East end [Wallsend, Northumberland] and walked to the West end [Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria].  And all along the way we stayed in a variety of places: from hotels to inns to holiday parks. The Wall and the Wall Path were truly  amazing: a wonderful walk through beautiful countryside and pretty villages.  We hiked 8 days, ranging from 5 to 19 miles per day.  Can you Fast while on vacation? Yes.  Can you Fast and still go hiking? Yes. It was great. End of the Trail The trip covered two Fast Days and here are some of my breakfast choices for the week:

2-3gg omelette on the road

A two-egg omelette ordered off the menu with a side of mushrooms and a cup of coffee was just what I needed at the  Benkinsopp Castle Inn in Brampton.

 

In East Wallhouses, at the Robin Fasting on the TrailHood Inn, scrambled eggs on toast became the perfect start to a day on the Path. This is similar to a meal we would have at home a Fast Day. [The extra pieces of toast were not eaten.]

 

 

English Breakfast on the Trail

Of course at some point in England one will be served the Full English Breakfast, as we were at the Gilsland Spa Hotel in Brampton. This can be a temptation for a real pig-out, but I opted for lots of protein and some fruit yogurt.

Slow Days: Florentine Sandwich

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.

Our FirstBorn and his wife love to travel.  On a trip to Firenze, Italy, in addition to the art and history, they discovered a panini shop and this sandwich.  They prepared it for us when we visited them and gifted us with the ingredients at Christmas.  How splendid to have generous, creative offspring!  The bread is a ‘no knead’ Focaccia, recipe perfected by FirstBorn, which is really easy to bake — although it needs an 8-12 hour rising time, which takes some planning ahead.  Surely you could buy some bread locally.  My batch produced 4 round loaves, 8″ in diameter, each weighing 6-7 oz.

The ingredients to serving two are simple: 1 loaf focaccia bread, 2 Tbsp creamy white cheese [Stracchino or crème fraiche or whipped cream cheese or Philadelphia brand 1/3 fat Cream Cheese [‘Neufchatel’], 2 Tbsp truffle cream [combination of mushrooms, oil, truffles], 1 oz uncured capicola ham, and 1.5 cups arugula or ‘spring mix’ greens. Florentine Sandwiches, mise                                       To assemble, cut the loaf around the equator into two equal rounds.  Spread the soft cheese on the bottom round, then spread on the truffle cream.  Arrange the ham evenly on top, then heap on the greens.  Sprinkle with a good finishing salt and top with the other piece of the loaf.Florentine Sandwiches, plated   This serves two very nicely, or three if you had more sides than the cherry tomatoes.

 

Slow Days: Apulia Pizza

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 Forumwhich attest to that. Once in a while your 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.

Every Saturday night, we eat pizza for dinner. These are home-made, personal-size [8″ diameter] pizzas.  The toppings can be simple or extravagant; elegantly crafted or clear-out-the-‘fridge. But on the night before Easter Sunday, somehow the idea of kicking back with a fun and fabulous pizza seems a little out of line.  Some research turned up a pizza made with a cheese from Apulia [aka Puglia]. Far from the glittering lights of the big cities and the tourist haunts, Apulia has had its share of hard times.  This pizza is austere and yet delicious.Puglia Pizza w: wine, salad

The ingredients are few: one 8″ pizza crust per person, olive oil to brush on the crust, Italian herb blend to scatter on the oil, 1/2 cup of grated scamorza [smoked mozzarella] for each pie, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for each pie. Here is a new twist for sharing bread and wine with loved ones or friends.  Optional: 11 halved cherry/grape tomatoes per pie.  Served with a salad and a glass of wine, it is suitable to the day.  In another context, it would make a great appetizer.

Slow Days: French Herb Roast Chicken

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 your 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.

Chicken for dinner every Sunday is the American Standard. The politician’s promise of a “Chicken in every pot!” goes back to King Henri IV of France.  He was from the Gascony region and he understood that the peasantry often lacked food. In 1598, he stated his wish that in his realm no working man would be so poor that he couldn’t have a chicken in the pot every Sunday.  Today’s meal is roasted instead of being stewed, and it is called French Herb Roast Chicken. We eat this about once a month. Lots of meat left over to use for Fast meals!

French Roast Chicken, mise

The chicken cavity is sprinkled with dried tarragon, then stuffed with carrot, celery, and onion.  The skin of the bird is showered with more tarragon and paprika.  Set the oven at 425°F.  Before roasting, the bird is draped with 4 half-slices of bacon. Roast the bird for 30 minutes, then baste with beef stock.  Return to oven at 350°F, basting occasionally for another 30 minutes or until the bird is done.  Boil and mash some potatoes and cook the vegetable of your choice.French Roast Chicken, platedGravy is made from the pan drippings with some mushrooms added for even more flavor.  I always get the wings!  The wine is a Pinot Noir.  The meal was delicious.

 

Slow Days: Crab 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 your 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.

We are very fond of crab meat. Not the fancy, high-priced Dungeness or Blue crab, but our New England Coast local Rock and Jonah Crabs.  This commodity appears cooked, picked-over, and packaged in fish markets and grocery stores. A half-pound package is perfect for crab cakes or Crab Pasta. Our recipe comes from the Legal Sea Foods Cookbook, based on menus from the Boston restaurant of the same name. The ingredients seem a bit extravagant, but you are serving 2 people and you don’t eat like this every day.  In our house, pasta appears on the menu once each week.   2 oz/person.Crab Pasta recipe

You will notice that the ingredient amounts for TWO PEOPLE are written in on the left.  See also that the amount of pasta allotted per person is TWO Ounces, although the recipe specifies 4 oz/person.  Note also that we described this meal as ‘Exceptional!’

Create a mise en place with your ingredients.  Follow the above instructions. Our pasta of choice for this dish is ‘gemelli.’  Prepare the salad or vegetable of your choice. Plate and enjoy.Crab Pasta, plated