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.

CottageCore is all the rage. If you have been living in your closet-cum-office for too long, ‘cottage core’ is a yearning for a simpler life, lived in the country, with plenty of time to bake bread, gather eggs, and pick flowers in the garden. It got its name in 2018 and came into full flower during the Pandemic. But is it really a new trend? There have been many forays into the simpler life: in the 1970s, we called it the “Back-to-the-Land” movement; in the 1920s, it showed itself in the StoryBook style of architecture; the “Arts & Crafts Movement” began in England and moved to the USA in the late 1800s as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and mass-production; in the 1700s, Marie Antoinette plus friends escaped from court life to live like peasants in her rustic village; you see the pattern. When I first heard about this in 2019, I thought, “That’s not a fashion or a trend — that’s how I have always lived!” There are flowers in vases, home-canned fruits for breakfast, vegetables from the garden, bread is baked, time is made to go for a walk. But then, we’ve lived in the country since the 1970s — maybe it is easier here? CottageCore is a lifestyle and it is a choice. Living from the land and knowing where your food comes from is a fine thing. Some people find it very difficult to do, some find it to be very sustainable. Find your own Core.

I have chosen two meals that have ‘cottage’ right there in their names! They are simple, good tasting, made with authentic ingredients, and have that back to the land esthetic. Eating wholesome food that did not come from a package should not be limited to CottageCore devotees. After the meal, go read Jane Austin and experience another CottageCore influencer.

Cottage Breakfast with egg:  157 calories  7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 15 g carbs 38 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB  I wanted a breakfast that evoked a cottage in the English country-side, so here it is. The pan muffins are very good.

1 pan muffin 1 oz applesauce, unsweetened one 2-oz egg: fried or hard-boiled or soft-boiled  or scrambled 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]

HINT: I prepared 8 pan muffins from the 10-grain mufffin batter, cooked them, and froze them. I made the remaining batter into muffins to eat on Slow Days. Take one pan muffin from the freezer the night before and let it thaw. Cook the egg to your taste and warm the pan muffin. Dish the applesauce, brew the hot beverage, pour the smoothie. What a sweet and easy meal.

Cottage Pie:  219 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 15 g carbs 35 mg Calcium  PB GF Cottage Pie is the beef version of Shepherd’s Pie. The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the calorie and carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like this with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste. HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast beef, ground or minced 1 yolk from a two-oz egg ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower 1 white from a 2-oz egg ½ cup beef gravy, as fat free as you can make it   per serving: 2 oz peas OR 1 cup lettuce + 1 oz tomatoes + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the beef, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the egg white until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the beef mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs1 two-oz egg 
dandelion greenspan muffin
garlic + cooked brown riceCanadian bacon/ back bacon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

butter + onion + potato 4-oz salmon, wild caught
chicken stock + Finn CrispParmesan cheese
whole milk + wild greenscherry tomatoes
part-skim ricotta + chorizo sausagegreen beans or sugar snap peas
Sparkling waterSparkling water

In the Hanukkah Tradition

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On another day this week, eat the meals from another post.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

This year Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is observed December 24 to January 1.  I hope no one will think it ‘cultural appropriation’ if I suggest some meals in the Hanukkah Tradition which also conform with the Fasting Lifestyle.   Hanukkah celebrates the struggles of the People of Israel to over-throw the domination of outsiders.  Many recipes contain a lot of oil to remember how one-day’s worth of sacred oil miraculously burned for 8 days. Sorry, we won’t be eating Potato Latkes today.  Other foods recall how the brave and wily Judith lulled the enemy general Holofernes into drunkenness with her salty cheese and strong wine.  Then she cut off his head, defeating his whole army. Thanks to friend Carol for her editing help.

Bleu Cheese ScrOmelette:   281 calories  10.7 g fat   0.6 g fiber   18.5 g protein  19.6 g carbs 281.4 mg Calcium    GF PB     Since eggs are pareve, you can eat them with cheese.bleu-cheese-omelette-w-s-bs

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                           3/8 oz bleu cheese [yes, you can get Kosher bleu cheese]                                                                            1 Tbsp fat-free cottage cheese                                                                                                                              3 oz strawberries OR applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                           3 oz fruit or green smoothie  or apple cider                                                                                              blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Mash the cheeses together with a fork or the back of a spoon. Whisk the eggs and put into a hot pan spritzed with cooking spray. Once the bottom of the eggs are set, dab on the cheese, fold and plate. Portion the applesauce, brew beverage, blend the smoothie or take it from the ‘fridge and shake it before serving. Mmm-yummy!

Salmon Roasted with Tomatoes and Parmesan: 288 calories   14.5 g fat    2.9 g fiber   27.5 g protein   7.9 g carbs   268 mg Calcium      PB GF          One of the earliest meals we made when starting the Fast Diet, this recipe hails from the Fast Diet book in a slightly altered form. Salmon is popular at Hanukkah and this is a fine way to prepare it.Roasted salmon w: yellow tomatoes & peas

4 oz salmon                                                                                                                                                             10 cherry tomatoes [5 oz]                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup peas OR ½ cup green beans OR 2 oz sugar snap peas                                                                                   seasonings to taste                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Spritz a small oven-proof pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Put the salmon in the pan and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. Arrange the tomatoes on/around the salmon.  Put the grated cheese on top and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile steam the green vegetables. So easy. 

Fasting while Fasting

Lent is one of the times of the Christian calendar when people think about fasting: reduced calories, meatless meals, more fish, no eggs.  Even though it is late in the Lenten season, it is not too late. Just like dieting, if you stray, you can always get back onto the path.  Here are some suggestions for meals that will meet the requirements any day you choose.

Felafel posted under ‘Fun Food’ September 13, 2015

Tuna-Bean-Garlic Patties posted under ‘Rich Flavors’ February 28, 2016Tuna:bean:garlic patties

Spinach/Fish Timbals posted under ‘Keep the Faith’ February 7, 2016Spinach-Fish Timbales w: gr beans

Chili non Carne posted under ‘Go Wild’ March 2, 2016

Minestrone Soup posted under ‘Mmmmmm….’ February 3, 2016

Mediterranean Vegetables with Couscous posted under ‘…Summer…’ February 3, 2016Mediterranian Meal

Salmon Roasted with Tomatoes posted under ‘What do we do now?’ January 3, 2016Roasted slamon w: tom + sug-snap peas

Red Beans and Rice posted under ‘Some of That’ October 7, 2015


What do we do now?

Oops. You had a lovely weekend and ate all kinds of good things. And then there’s this coming week with New Year’s Eve and all.  So just chuck it and start fresh in January, right?   NOPE. Tomorrow is Monday, so make it a Fast Day. Then behave yourself and Fast again on Thursday breakfast.  Your will power can remain strong and what ever you gained will come off again. Follow me.

Cottage Cheese & Pears 290 calories        PB GF                                                    This is from the Fast Diet book. You can see some other good recipes there, too. I added the pecans to this for deeper flavor and more protein.Strawberry Cottage Cheese with Pear

1 ripe pear of which Comice is the best and winter is the season for them    ½ cup fat free cottage cheese                                                                                             ¼ c. blueberries                                                                                                                       1 ¼ tsp pecans, finely chopped                                                                                          5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                    blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

Section the pear into 12 slices and remove the core. For the good fiber, do not peel the pears. Fan the segments on a plate in a circle. Place the cottage cheese in the center, sprinkle with the berries and nuts. Pour the smoothie and hot beverage of choice. Good stuff!

Salmon Roasted with Tomatoes: 304 calories          GF  PB                                                One of the earliest recipes we made when starting the Fast Diet. Still a favorite. Quick and delicious.Roasted slamon w: tom + sug-snap peas

5 oz salmon, fresh or frozen [thaw if frozen]                                                                 10 cherry tomatoes [5 oz], cut in half if very large                                                                                                       ½ cup green beans or 2 oz sugar snap peas                                                     seasonings to taste

Spritz a small oven-proof pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Put the salmon in the pan and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. Arrange the tomatoes on/around the salmon. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile steam the green vegetables. So easy. So yummy.

Seasonal Foods — Good, Good, Good

No particular theme for this post, simply good recipes which are good to eat. They are also good for you. In Albuquerque now they are roasting green chiles, so the breakfast is rather seasonal. Fresh cherry tomatoes for the dinner are probably still in your garden or at your favorite farm stand. Apples and natural apple cider should be widely available now.

Breakfast Burrito   291 calories      11.9 g. fat     18.7 g. protein      38 g. carbs                  GF   Inspired by breakfasts enjoyed at the Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque, N.M., this has all the tastes of the Southwest in a filling yet low-calorie meal.breakfast burrito

one 6” corn tortilla, I like Ole brand which is widely available                                                  one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                    1 Tbsp roasted green chiles, available canned under the ‘Hatch’ brand                                                          1 Tbsp carne adovada – this is boiled pork shoulder with hot spices. Make a batch and freeze it in small amounts or see if you can find it at a Mexican market.                                                                                                                                    Large pinch oregano, Mexican oregano if you can find it.                                                             [Hot sauce to taste]                                                                                                                                            1 tsp cheddar cheese, finely grated                                                                                                             2 ¼ oz of apple                                                                                                                                                   5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider.                                              Black-ish coffee with cocoa powder stirred in for a ‘cafe mocha’, or black-ish tea, or lemon in hot water

Whisk the egg with the chiles and carne. Heat a dry, well-seasoned cast iron pan and heat the tortilla until it is warm, soft, and just beginning to brown. Remove to a plate. Scramble the egg to your preference in a spritz of oil on your pan. Put the egg on top of the tortilla. Sprinkle the cheese on the egg and put it all in the toaster oven for about a minute. Douse with hot sauce if you wish, serve with the apple, smoothie, and hot beverage of your choice.

Salmon Roasted with Tomatoes: 304 calories                                                           PB  GFroasted salmon w: tomatoes & broc:caulif

One of the earliest recipes we made when starting the Fast Diet. Still a favorite. Quick and delicious.                                                                                                                                                           5 oz salmon                                                                                                                                                       10 cherry tomatoes [5 oz]                                                                                                                              ½ cup green beans OR 2 oz sugar snap peas  OR 3 oz broccoli/cauliflower                                                               seasonings to taste

Spritz a small oven-proof pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Put the salmon in the pan and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. Arrange the tomatoes on/around the salmon. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile steam the green vegetables. So easy. So yummy.

Simple, Delicious, Easy

Hooray for S & E who started the Fast Diet last week! Join them in sampling this Monday’s menu and see how much weight you can shed by Tuesday.  It is a real ego boost and an incentive.

Today’s breakfast ingredients:                                                                                                                           ½ slice 70-cal whole grain bread, cubed;                                                                                                       one 2-oz egg;                                                                                                                                                         ½ a slice of thinly-sliced minced low-fat ham                                                                                                 2 Tbsp skimmed milk                                                                                                                   herbs/seasonings of your choice                                                                                                                        ½ tsp of Dijon-style mustard.                                                                                                                          1/3 c. of mixed melon and strawberries

Breakfast Casserole: This is my take on strata-type breakfasts. We find it to be so satisfying that we want to eat it on a ‘Slow Day’.  Spray a ramekin with non-stick spray. In a bowl mix the bread,  egg,  ham;  milk, herbs/seasonings, and  mustard. Stir ingredients together and pour into the ramekin. HINT: you Breakfast casserole w: s-bs+meloncould prep this the night before, cover the ramekin in plastic, and pop it in the ‘fridge for morning.  Bake at 350º for 18 minutes. While it is baking, cut and plate the fruit, brew your beverage, and make your smoothie [or take it from ‘fridge if made last week].        271 calories;   6.7 g. fat;    13.9 g. protein;       22.2 g. carbs

Today’s dinner ingredients:                                                                                                                                 5 oz salmon.                                                                                                                                                       salt, pepper, herbs to taste                                                                                                                                 10 small cherry tomatoes [5 oz larger tomatoes, cut in large chunks]                                                        2½ oz broccoli and cauliflower florets

Roasted Salmon with Tomatoes: In an oven-proof dish place the salmon. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs to taste. Scatter  tomatoes over the salmon.  HINT: This part could be prepped hours before and kept in the ‘fridge. Roast in a 400º oven for 10 minutes. In the meantime, steam the veg. to serve with the fish. It doesn’t get easier than this, does it?  This recipe is adapted from one found in the original Fast Diet book. The 10 recipes in that text are good, but I needed to quantify the amounts a bit.    304 calories per serving