Blizzard of ’88

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

The USA has had some wild weather in the past year, including a snow storm in the state of Texas. People thought that was pretty horrible [and it was, especially as the people and infrastructure were unused to cold], but what would they have done in New York in the White Hurricane of 1888? The storm was preceded by warmth and rain — and then the temperature dropped. Snow began on March 11, continued all night and into the next day and the next. The wind howled, piling the snow impossibly high [52 feet/16 meters in Brooklyn]. Such snow! Forty inches [100 cm] in New York City, coming down impossibly fast and wind-blown. When it was all over, 200 people had died in the city alone, 100 more died at sea, and 100 others in the countryside. In the city, office and store workers had set out to work in the morning and never made it home. Since the trains and trolleys were stopped, those workers had to walk home in the evening — often trying to go 20 blocks in freezing temperatures, wearing inadequate clothing. A shop girl, in thin leather boots and layers of cotton petticoats, had a daunting task plowing through the snowy sidewalks. Many poor souls, men and women, were so exhausted that they sat down on door steps to rest, died of hypothermia where they sat , and weren’t discovered until the snow melted. The storm moved off to the North-East, blanketing New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Nowadays, all it takes is 4 inches of snow to paralyze a major city, but the subways still run underground and the communication wires are safe underground, too. Lives lost. Lessons learned.

Let us peer into the life of a shop girl or factory worker in New York City in 1888. Breakfast and dinner in a cold-water flat with no electricity meant foods that could be stored briefly or bought at a food stall. Thus breakfast might be bread and hard-boiled egg with leftover meat from dinner and the evening meal of soup from a vendor on the way home from work.

Shop Girl’s Breakfast:  231 calories 9 g fat 4.6 g fiber 14.5 g protein 27.5 g carbs 7 mg Calcium  PB The Industrial Revolution brought young women by the thousands from the farm to the city, to work in the factories and as shop girls. Breakfast would have been served cold, made from dinner leftovers and other foods that required little preparation or refrigeration.

1 slice whole-grain bread [no white bread on her budget] 1 two-oz hard boiled egg 1 oz of chicken dinner sausage 1 oz onion, sliced 2 prunes — aka: dried plums [0.6 oz]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea

Slice the sausage and the onion. Place in a small pan with some water and a spritz of non-stick spray. Cook until the water has evaporated, sausages have browned a bit, and the onions are limp. TIP: This could be done the night before. And, unlike our Shop Girl, you can reheat the sausage-onion in the morning. Toast the bread lightly and top with the sausage-onion mixture. Plate with the egg and the prunes. Only blackish coffee or tea for our shop girl – no stop at Starbucks on the way to work for a fancy brew.

Soup Royaume: 152 calories 0.3 g fat 6 g fiber 12.6 g protein 24.6 g carbs 84 mg Calcium  PB GF A fine meal for winter, made hearty with autumn vegetables and lentils, it is named after the old lady who saved Geneva from invasion by the Savoyards. Add as much seasoning as you wish. Any soup can be improved by preparing it ahead and letting it sit for 8-24 hours. HINT: This recipe makes 6 [six] servings of 1 cup each.

2½ oz pork loin, raw or cooked, diced
½ cup onion, chopped
3½ oz [½ c]dry lentils**
Put pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan and cook until browned.
**small green lentils from France, if possible
3 oz rutabega/turnip, cubed
2 oz carrot, diced
3 oz parsnip, diced
3 cups chopped cabbage
½ tsp mace + ½ tsp dry mustard 
1 Tbsp caraway seed + salt & pepper
3 cups water
Add the rutabega/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings to the saucepan. Pour in water to cover the vegetables. Cover the pan and simmer for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasonings.
½ cup frozen spinach, choppedAdd the frozen spinach, and heat through.
Divide in 6 equal servings.  Freeze what you don’t need today.
per serving: several leaves of fresh spinachRoughly chop the leaves and poke into the hot soup when serving. 

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

1 two-oz egg1 slice Canadian or back bacon 
4″ diameter thin slice hampan muffin [make ahead]
Parmesan cheese + appleapple or apple sauce
cottage
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

naan bread @ 106 caloriesfrozen spinach + tuna + peas
ground turkey + zucchinigarlic + onion + olive oil
Rogan Josh Sauce + tomatoanchovy + puff pastry
cauliflower + Indian curry powdermediterranean vegetables
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Soup for You

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 Tom Reilly and loseweighttodaystl and Keto Zeal and djsfitt who are now Following.

Winter. Soup. Cold and snow outside. Hot soup inside you. Perfect pairing. Soup as a meal is wonderful and for dieters it can be the perfect solution. One of the benefits of soup is that one batch makes enough for several meals, so future lunches and dinners are taken care of on a busy day. Here are two soups to make those of us in the Northern Hemisphere think of Summer, and which those of you in the Southern Hemisphere can prepare from fresh ingredients. The third recipe is definitely for Winter.

Chowdah:  294 calories 7 g fat 1.7 g fiber 33.6 g protein 17 g carbs 114 mg Calcium  PB GF Here in Northern New England, chowder is king. Cod or haddock is traditional but hake is more flavorful and lower in calories. HINT: This recipe makes one BIG bowl of chowdah, but if you double the recipe, you can freeze the remainder or enjoy it for lunch. If you can, make it one day and eat it the next day for richer flavor.

½ slice bacon ¼ cup onion, chopped 2 oz potatoes, ½” dice 1½ cups fish stock 4 oz cod or hake fillets, cut into 1½” pieces ¼ cup 2% milk salt + pepper + parsley + turmeric

Cook the bacon until it is almost crispy, remove from the pan, blot dry of fat, and chop coarsely. Into the fat in the pan add the onions. Cook slowly until soft and transluscent. In another pan, boil the potatoes in water until tender. Drain [save the water for baking] and salt the potatoes. Put the fish stock, cod, potatoes, and milk in the pan with the onions. Heat slowly until warm. Add the bacon, parsley, and seasonings to taste. [TIP: Best if held in the ‘fridge for 8-24 hours before you heat slowly [do NOT boil] and taste for seasonings again.]

Soupe au Pistou:  212 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 9 g protein 34 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread and pasta  Here is the summer soup of Southern France: garden vegetables with a basil pistou to flavor it. The recipe is from Anne Willan’s Country Cooking of FranceHINT: This makes enough for 9 [nine] one-cup servings or 6 [six] 1-½ cup sv. If 1-½ cup, then 271 calories/bowl, with bread.

½ cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup thinly-sliced leeks ½ pound [8 oz] tomatoes, ½“ dice ½ cup carrots, ½“ dice 2 cups potatoes, ½” dice 8 oz zucchini, ½“ dice ½ cup onion, diced 2/3 cup green beans, cut in 1” pieces ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen 1-¼ oz short pasta, such as orzo or ditalini ¼ cup pesto, purchased or homemade 1 slice whole-grain sourdough bread

Prepare all the vegetables. Simmer the vegetables in 1 quart of water with salt and pepper for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer 5 minutes more. Add the pasta and simmer 2 minutes more. Take off the heat and stir in the pesto. HINT: If possible, cool, cover, and let sit in a cool spot for 8-24 hours to deepen the flavors.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with a slice of whole grain sourdough bread. Delicious for dinner or lunch. Freeze the remainder.

Green Split Pea Soup:  262 calories 1.6 g fat 19 g fiber 20 g protein 46 g carbs [46 g Complex] 30 mg Calcium   PB GF  For years we have loved this soup from Picardy, France which comes to us via Anne Willen’s  French Regional Cooking.  The easiest recipe in the world!  HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings. What you don’t use today, freeze in serving-sized portions.

16 oz bag dry green split peas + water to soak 1 quart water, for making the soup 2 slices bacon 2 stems of thyme salt + pepper to taste

Put the dry peas in a bowl and add water to cover them by 2”. Let them sit and soften for 1.5 hours. Drain.  TIP: you will not need the soaking water for the soup, but use it to water the houseplants.  Put the peas, bacon, thyme, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 1¼ hours.  NB: Not all the liquid will be used up. That’s fine. Remove the bacon and the thyme stems. Using a food processor, blender, or immersion wand, puree the soup. There should be 6 cups. Soup should be loose enough to run off a spoon, but not too thin. Add water, if necessary, to adjust thickness. Taste for seasonings. Cook the bacon in a saute pan until it is crisp. Crumble it and add to the soup. 

Soup Time!

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.

Soup is the dieter’s friend. Around the world, when people want to eat something nourishing and filling, soup is the answer. Isn’t that what we want on a Fast Day — to be filled up with delicious food that still stays within the bounds of propriety? It is getting chilly here in the Northern Hemisphere, time to stock the freezer with home-made soups. Here are three favorites, from France, Thailand, and China. More, please.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories 11 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex] 66 mg Calcium  PB GF Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it:  “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather. HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings.

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat 1½ cups onions, sliced 6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups) 6 cups water 1 cup chickpeas 16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks 8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced 1¼ teaspoons salt

“Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon [to keep the meat from sticking], for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One portion = 1 cup.

Thai shrimp and Noodle Soup:  272 calories 2 g fat 4 g fiber 26 g protein 37.6 g carbs 82.4 mg Calcium  PB  This soup is superb, whether on a hot summer night or in the winter. HINT: serves 2. Invite a guest or save for a lunch later in the week. This is warm and wonderful and spicy and filling.

6 oz raw shrimp, shelled, tails removedThaw the shrimp in a bowl, then strain the liquid in the bowl into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add water to bring volume to 1 cup.  Put the shrimp in the liquid, and simmer until shrimp is opaque. Remove shrimp and go to next step:
46 gm rice vermicelli noodles [one small ‘bundle’ of noodles]Bring shrimp-water to boil, add vermicelli, cover and take off heat. After 4 minutes, drain, reserving the cooking water. Rinse and reserve the noodles.
2 pinches crushed red pepper 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce 2 Tbsp lime juice 2 tsp sugar 1 Tbsp Thai green curry paste Put the shrimp-water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and curry paste in a pan together. Warm while whisking to combine.
3 oz carrots, grated  1 c. spinach leaves, loosely packed, then coarsely chopped Add the carrots, saving some for a crunchy garnish. Add the spinach. Simmer the liquids until carrots and spinach are tender.
2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 oz grated carrotCut the shrimp in half cross-wise and add to soup. Serve soup with chopped scallion and grated carrot garnish.

Wonton Soup: 257 calories 34 g fat 1 g fiber 23.7 g protein 29 g carbs 25 mg Calcium  PB Cantonese wonton soup can be your’s, easily and without the extra salt or MSG. I prepared the entire batch of filling, then stuffed and poached all 26 wontons. Frozen, they will be the ‘instant’ source of future meals or an addition to a Dim Sum assortment.

Filling: 4 oz ground pork 4 oz chicken meat ½ tsp cornstarch ¾ tsp sugar 1 tsp sesame oil ¼ tsp white pepper ¾ tsp salt 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp sherry 4 oz shrimp, chopped to the size of green peas Combine all ingredients except the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor and mince to a paste. Stir in the shrimp. Refrigerate until ready to fill the wontons. TIP: Can be made the day before.

Filling the Wontons: Wonton skins are small squares of egg-roll wrappers, 5 wonton skins per bowl of soup 26 skins for the entire batch. Put 4-6 wonton skins on a cutting board. Moisten two edges of one of the squares. Place 1 Tbsp of filling on the square, fold over to make a triangle, and pinch the sides together. Set aside until ready to poach them.

Poaching filled wontons: Bring a pan of water to boil. Depending on the diameter of the pan, add wontons 4-5 at a time. They will sink to the bottom of the pan. When they float to the surface [in 4-5 minutes], fish them out and put on a tea towel to drain.

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

low-fat cottage cheese 1.5 two-oz eggs
plain fat-free yogurt37-calorie chicken breakfast sausage
mangoapple + sage
clementineparsley + oregano
granolaoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

firm-fleshed white fishsauerkraut + caraway seed
marinara sauce + green beanscollard greens or similar
Parmesan cheese + mozzarellaapplesauce + garlic powder
fresh bread for crumbs110-calorie sausage + onion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Statue of David

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 Malcolm Rae who is now Following.

David was one of the major characters of the Old Testament. He was the youngest son of Jesse; a shepherd lad. While he was still a youth, the invading Philistines looked as if they were going to defeat the Israelites. Their champion, the giant Goliath, challenged Israel’s champion to single combat. David volunteered to fight the giant. He was offered armor, but it was too big. Armed with only his slingshot, David faced his enemy and killed him with a single stone, then cut off his head. During the Renaissance, sculptors vied with each other to depict David. In 1440, Donatello showed his statue of David. It was the first bronze statue of the Renaissance. It depicts a boy who’s voice is still changing standing with his foot on Goliath’s head. David looks thoughtful and, in a reference to Classical Greek art, he is nude. Thirty-five years later, Verrocchio produced a bronze on the same subject. This David is even younger and to avoid the criticism of prudes, he wears a tunic and a breastplate [that looks a bit like lingerie]. He has killed the enemy and stands with a hand on his hip and a cocky look as if to say, “I told you I could do it.” Here David represents the City of Florence, ready to defeat larger enemies. When most people think of a statue of David, they think of Michelangelo’s monumental work. In it, a larger-than-life nude man [not a young shepherd boy] casts a cool gaze at his distant opponent. The work, finished in 1504, is pure High Renaissance, designed to show that humans can achieve anything they put their minds to, through reason. In my opinion, the best of all of them is David by Gian Bernini. By 1623, the Renaissance gave way to the Baroque period of art, where motion and emotion replaced that measured calm of Michelangelo’s time. Here an older teenaged David gets ready to let-‘er-rip and you know Goliath is done for. Each statue tells the same story in its own way. Each is the triumph of their own time. Which one do you prefer?

Since David was a shepherd in Israel, our breakfast contains lamb and many flavors of the region. The dinner involves a stone, since that is how David killed Goliath.

Levantine Lamb Bake:  219 calories 14 g fat 1 g fiber 26 g protein 8 g carbs 108.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  Let’s take all the popular flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean and bake them with eggs. Great idea!! [If this sounds familiar, it is based on Lamb Gozleme, which was featured previously. If you had left-over filling (about 2 Tbsp) from that, you could use it.]

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz tomatoes, small dice 1/8 oz feta cheese, small dice 1 Kalamata olive, small dice 1/8 oz cooked lamb meat, small dice 1/8 oz spinach, chopped oregano + salt + pepper 2 oz peach or nectarine   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Prepare all the vegetables, meat, and cheese, and combine them well in a small bowl with the seasonings. Spray an oven-safe dish with non-stick spray and turn the bowl contents into the dish. Whisk the egg and pour over the other ingredients. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the hot beverage. If I knew how, I’d say ‘delicious!’ in Greek, Turkish, Syrian, Palastinian, Hebrew, and Egyptian.

Stone Soup: 125 calories 1.4 g fat 4 g fiber 7.5 g protein 21 g carbs [21 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread or eliminating it.  A recipe based on the old French folktale about ‘making soup out of stones.’ And it tastes good, too. HINT: Makes 8 one-cup servings.

See the stone in the center, just under the bread?

½ pound stones, in large pieces – well scrubbed    2 quarts water 4 oz beef, diced 4 oz carrots, sliced 4 oz cabbage, sliced 4 oz parsnips, cubed 4 oz green beans, cut to 1” 4 oz red potato, diced 4 oz spinach, chopped 4 oz white beans lots of herbs + salt + pepper   Optional: slice of artisinal rye bread  adds 100 calories

Put the stones in the water and bring to a simmer. Add the other ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with the bread if you wish.

How to Stay

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.

Starting any new behavior is easy — staying on it is more difficult. Having gone through this myself, I have some tips for you. 1] If you haven’t done so, watch Michael Mosley’s TV presentation Eat, Fast, Live Longer. That’s what motivated us to get on board. 2] We talked about planning and purchasing ahead, so continue to do that. Make it easy for yourself to follow the diet. 3] Make the meal special. On my Home Page is a photo of a demitasse cup. It is the only one I have and I think it is very pretty. I use it on Fast Days only, filling it from a small pitcher of mocha cafe au lait. Make your Fast Meals an occasion — use the good dishes; put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. 4] Slow down your meals. The little demitasse cup means that I have to stop my breakfast once in a while to refill the cup. Wait until you have swallowed your food before you cut your next mouth-full. 5] Set goals by the clock. From breakfast to noon, put no calories in your mouth. Then set the timer for two hours, and don’t eat during that time. When it rings, set it for another two hours. Its a mind-game, but it works. 6] Distract yourself. Plan projects for Fast Days which will keep you focused on the task for 2-3 hours, so you will think less about food. 7] Think about tomorrow, when you will weigh less and you can eat more freely. Rather than think “I can’t eat that today,” you can think, “I can eat that tomorrow.”

Today’s menus are typical for us on a Thursday: a savory scramble and a hearty soup. The nice thing about soup is that you get to store future meals in the freezer.

Capicola ScrOmelette:  147 calories 8 g fat 1.0 g fiber 13.8 g protein 7.5 g carbs [6.6 g Complex] 72 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  GF Capicola is a dried ham which is full of flavor yet low in fat and calories. It goes very well with eggs.  

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.   1/3 oz uncured capicola ham, sliced thinly and chopped large pinch oregano 1.7 oz apple   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]

Chop the capicola and slice the apple. Beat the eggs with the oregano. Heat a non-stick pan and spritz it with non-stick cooking spray. Put the capicola in the pan to heat very briefly, then pour in the eggs. Scramble or cook as you would an omelette. Serve with the beverages of your choice.

Czech Garlic Soup Česneková polévka: 194 calories 4.7 g fat 4 g fiber 9 g protein 27 g carbs [18.4 g Complex] 84 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF rye bread What could be better on a cool night than a cozy bowl of soup? This is a classic from czechcookbook, but feel free to make it your own. The calorie count is so low that you could add other vegetables or low-fat meat.  HINT: This recipe makes 8 cups of soup. One serving = 1 cup

1 Tbsp unsalted butter OR bacon fat   
7 cloves garlic
Chop garlic and saute in butter/fat in a stock pot.
7 cups water OR Chicken Broth OR Beef Broth
1½ tsp salt
3 cups cubed potatoes 
3 cups cubed parsnips
Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut in cubes. Add to broth and salt in the stock pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are just under-done. Remove ½ cup soup stock and cool.
1 egg
1 tsp marjoram
Whisk the egg, then whisk it into the reserved ½ cup of soup stock. Return to the stockpot, stirring, and add marjoram. Taste for seasoning. Let sit 8-24 hours.
Per person: ¼ oz rye or whole wheat bread, cubed
Per person: ¼ oz Swiss cheese
Per person: side salad
Toast the cubes of bread. Grate the cheese over them while hot. Use to garnish the reheated soup when serving.

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

1 two-oz egg + corn kernels + basil3 two-oz egg whites 
tomatoes + black beans + olive oil2 egg yolks + sugar
crushed red pepper + melon blueberries + raspberries
red onion + red wine vinegarother berries + Armagnac
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

corn kernels + beef steakchicken breast + polenta + green beans
tomato + canned black beansonion + red bell pepper + garlic
red onion + red wine vinegar green bell pepper + tomatoes + thyme
basil + olive oilred wine + piment d’esplette + olive oil
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Chicken Corn Soup Supper

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. 

Every August, small country churches in my family’s area of South-Central Pennsylvania used to put up the signs: Chicken Corn Soup Supper. Organized and run by the ladies of the church [with some help from the men-folk], these can be at once a social event, a cherished link to the agrarian culture, and a major fund-raiser. In August, the sweet corn is ripe and half of the laying flock is 2-years old which means that the stars are aligned for Chicken Corn Soup. The best broth is from older chickens [fowls], so they would be dispatched early in the morning and stewed for hours. The chickens’ meat, off the bones and shredded, would be added to the broth, along with the herbs and onions they were cooked with. Kernels from sweet corn [as opposed to the taller, coarser field corn], and chunks of potatoes would be be added. One hot August evening many years ago, Dear Husband and I attended one of these dinners at an old stone chapel near Newville, Pa. Tressle tables and benches were set up the lawn, covered with butcher paper. You squeezed in among the other diners and partook of the delights of the table: a big bowl of hot soup, dinner rolls fresh from the oven, butter, iced tea, and cake or pie for dessert. The air was conditioned by the breeze in the Black Locust trees and the entertainment was the hum of cicadas. All around, a sense of contentment as the rhythm of the seasons was observed.

Here is my attempt at the tastiest soup of August, and a breakfast that a busy farm wife could assemble in minutes, from her kitchen garden, while she stewed the fowl and let the bread rise.

Allium Bake: 136 calories 6.6 g fat 1.2 g fiber 10 g protein 9 g carbs 108 mg Calcium   PB GF  The genus Allium contains all the onions and their relatives. This bake contains three of them along with two cheeses for even more flavor and goodness.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz sliced leek, green +/or white parts ½ oz minced onion 1 Tbsp minced chives 1 Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 2 oz peach 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 an oven-proof ramekin [for 2 people, Dear Husband likes to use a 6×4” oval casserole] with non-stick spray and set the oven for 350 degrees F. Slice/chop the leeks and onions. Spray a skillet/saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the alliums until they are limp. Put them, along with the chives and any seasonings you like, in the prepared oven-safe dish. Whisk the egg with the two cheeses and pour over the alliums. Bake for 12 minutes or until done as you like it. Plate with the peach, pour your beverage of choice, and savor a flavorful day.

Chicken Corn Soup:  159 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 20 g carbs 21.6 mg Calcium NB: the above food values do not include the optional bread   PB GF – if using GF bread or eliminating it.

1-½ cups corn cut from the cob [about 3 ears] 1-½ cups potato, cut in ½ inch cubes 3 cups rich chicken broth ½ cup water from cooking the corn and potato ½ cup raw chicken meat, cut in small pieces many sprigs thyme + 1-2 sage leaves one ½-inch slice onion salt & pepper to taste   per serving:  ½ hard-boiled egg   Optional: 1 slice [1 oz] sourdough bread [add 100 calories]

Pour the chicken broth into a sauce pan, adding the onion and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until it cooks down to 2-½ cups. Let stand off heat. Put the corn in a skillet with water half-way up the sides of the ears. Cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the corn and add the potato cubes to the water. Cook the potato for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the potato from the water and save the cooking water. Chop the chicken and put it in the hot chicken stock to cook off the heat. Cut the kernals off the corn cobs and measure the volume. Remove the thyme sprigs and the onion from the stock, and chop the onion. Put the corn and potato into the stock, along with the chopped onion and any thyme leaves you can remove from the boiled sprigs. Add ½ cup of the corn/potato water to the soup. Gently heat the soup until the chicken is cooked. Taste for seasonings. One portion = 1 cup. Top each portion of soup with chopped hard-boiled egg and a bit of parsley. If you wish, serve with a slice of sourdough bread. Freeze the remainder. This is truly the taste of Summer. Cue the cicadas.

Jane Addams

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.

Jane Addams lived up to the label of “New Woman” — one of the college-educated cohort of the late 1800s who saw it as their duty to roll up their sleeves and improve the life of those less fortunate. Born into the family of a small-town mill owner, she had a privileged upbringing. On a visit to London, she saw a ‘settlement house‘ in action: helping poor factory workers and immigrants get food security, better health, and education. Addams decided then and there that Chicago needed the same thing. She and like-minded women established Hull House in the industrial West Side of the city and Addams remained its director until her death in 1935. The list of services provided there is long: from cooking classes and day care to live theater produced by the immigrant communities themselves. Addams, never condescending, favored the idea of a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ and she would take vats of soup to the factory gates at lunch time to sell for 5 cents a bowl.

At the same time that Jane Addams was working in Chicago, hungry workers were eating an early version of ‘Chicago Hot Dogs’ for lunch. Today’s breakfast uses the ‘drag it through the garden’ vegetable sides to flavor the eggs. The soup for dinner features canned tomato sauce to remind us that Hull House taught the skill of home canning to make meals more nutritious.

‘Chicago’ ScrOmelette: 135 calories 7.3 g fat 1.8 g fiber 10 g protein 7.3 g carbs 53.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  One of my methods for creating a new breakfast is to take flavor elements from a favorite dinner and then put them in eggs. Here, we have a ‘Chicago Hot Dog’ without the sausage and without the bun. Dear Husband deemed it ‘very good!’

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 oz tomato, diced 1 Tbsp chopped onion healthy squirt of yellow mustard 1 ‘sport pepper’ or 1 pepperoncini, chopped pinch of poppy seed + pinch celery seed 1 oz apple 

Cook the onion and mustard in a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add the tomato, pepper, and seeds and heat through. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the apple for a taste sensation.

Hull House Soup: 183 calories 4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 7.5 g protein 23 g carbs 34.6 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF pasta  An Italian woman in Chicago once served Jane Addams a meal of pasta with a simple ragu sauce, which opened her eyes to how food connected immigrants with their home country. This simple soup packs a lot of flavor.

2 cups spaghetti sauce, canned** 2 cups chicken stock 2 [1 Tbsp] cloves garlic sliced, chopped  3 oz [2/3 cup] green pepper in ½” dice  1 cup chick peas 1 cup chopped cabbage chopped fresh rosemary 2-3 pinches red pepper flakesPut in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

**I used Classico brand “Florentine Spinach and Parmesan” sauce
½ cup water 1 oz [¼ cup] short pasta like ditalini salt and pepper to tasteAdd to the soup in the pot and cook 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and add water if too thick.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
brandadewhole grain bread + tomato
cottage cheesefish or chicken meat + cheese
peach + blueberrymilk + strawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

Mediterranean Vegetablesthe topic will be foods from
a Farmers’ Market
mixed seafood Salad fixings for two portions
mushrooms + Mozzarellavinaigrette dressing
quinoaravioli, purchased
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Geneva

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.

Catherine Cheynel Royaume was no doubt an unassuming woman. She had lived with her second husband Pierre in Lyon, France until 1572. At that time, the Protestant Huguenots were being persecuted by the Catholic majority, so the Royaumes and other families left France for Geneva. Pierre found work there as an engraver of coins and because of that, they had an apartment in the city wall above the Port de la Monnaie [Coin Gate] where taxes were collected on goods brought into the city. On December 11/12, 1602, when Catherine was 62, couldn’t sleep so she went to stir the soup that was always cooking over the coals of the fire. Hearing a noise outside the window, she looked out to see soldiers of an invading army from Savoie! As they began to scale the walls to take Geneva by surprise, Madame Royaume picked up her pot of hot soup and threw the contents on the soldiers. Then she sounded the alarm and hit an invader on the head with the pot. Other residents joined the fray, throwing furniture from windows to knock soldiers off their ladders. Eventually, the Savoyard army gave up and Geneva was saved. Catherine is remembered as “Mere Royaume” and tiny chocolate soup pots filled with marzipan vegetables are consumed every year in her honor.

The Royaume family was from Lyon, France, a rich agricultural area. Our breakfast features a French recipe using ripe cherries. Our dinner is one version of the soup that Mere Royaume used to save the day.

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. Served 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, one serving has 177 calories, since there would be no clementine.]

2 two-oz eggs 6 oz milk 4 tsp flour 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 [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.’

Soup Royaume: 152 calories 0.3 g fat 6.3 g fiber 12.6 g protein 24.6 g carbs 84 mg Calcium   PB GF  A fine meal for winter, made hearty with autumn vegetables and lentils. Add as much seasoning as you wish. Any soup can be improved by preparing it ahead and letting it sit for 8-24 hours. HINT: The recipe makes four [4] servings.

2.5 oz pork loin, raw or cooked ½ cup onion, chopped 3.5 oz dry lentils, small green ones from France if possible 3 oz rutabega/turnip, cubed 2 oz carrot, diced 3 oz parsnip, diced 3 cups chopped cabbage mace + dry mustard + caraway seed [optional] salt + pepper ½ cup frozen spinach, chopped 3 cups water per serving: several leaves of fresh spinach

Put the pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan and cook until browned. Add the rutabega/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings. Cover with water, using more if needed. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasonings, add the frozen spinach, and heat through. Divide into 4 equal servings and freeze the servings you don’t need today. Roughly chop the fresh spinach and put it on top of the soup when serving. 

Saint Walburga

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

Saintliness seems to run in families.  This was certainly the case for Saint Walburga. She was born in Devon [now part of England] in 710 CE, to a well-to-do Saxon family.  Her father was St Richard and her mother was Winna, sister of St Boniface [born Winfrid].  Walburga’s brothers were St Willibald and St Winnibald.  [I could not make this up if I tried.]  What does a family of saints talk about at dinner?  Prayer, I suppose. And Fasting, no doubt, since Walburga was known for it.  In her day, Walburga ran several religious houses and some credit her with being the first female author of England and Germany since she wrote a biography of her brother.  After she died on February 25, 779, her tomb seemed to exude a liquid which is said to have healing properties.  Somehow the good saint’s story became tied in with witches and their revels on the eve of May 1st.  Called ‘Walpurgis Night,‘ it is celebrated in Scandinavia and is likened to a little Hallowe’en in the mountains of southern Germany.                                                                                                           In honor of the origins of Walburga, we’ll breakfast in the English countryside.  For her gift of the healing oil, dinner will be the good-for-what-ails-you chicken soup, long touted by grandmothers as a universal panacea.

Cottage Breakfast:   157 calories   7.5 g fat   1.2 g fiber   8.3 g protein   14.8 g carbs 38 mg Calcium   PB  I wanted a breakfast that evoked a cottage in the English country-side, so here it is. The pan muffins are very good.Cottage Bfast A

1 pan muffin [see …Not By Bread…posted 7-Feb-2018]                                                                1 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                   one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                      5-6 oz fruit smoothie [79 calories] or green smoothie or natural apple cider                                   blackish coffee [53 calories], blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

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.

‘Therapeutic’ Chicken Soup:   278 calories   3.4 g fat   5 g fiber   18.5 g protein   36 g carbs [26 g Complex Carbs]   78 mg Calcium   PB  GF — if using GF noodles The recipe is from It’s All American Food  by David Rosengarten. Simple, filling, and Granma says it is good for you. NB: One serving = 2 cups of soup! Eat less if you need to.Therapeutic Chicken Soup

1-1/2 cups excellent chicken broth, homemade or purchased                                                          2 oz [½ cup] parsnips, diced                                                                                                             1 oz [¼ cup] carrots, in coins                                                                                                                         ¼ cup celery, sliced                                                                                                                            2 oz cooked chicken breast, cut in 1/2” cubes                                                                                1/2 oz Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles                                                                                                 3 Tbsp parsley

Prepare the vegetables. Cook the noodles in salted water until just underdone. Drain them and plunge into cold water. Drain again and hold at room temperature until needed.  Heat the stock to a simmer and add 3-4 Tbsp water, which will boil away as you cook. I added the parsnips first and cooked for about 5 minutes, then added the carrots. After another 5 minutes, I put the celery in the soup. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, then adjust the seasoning of the broth. Add the pasta and chicken. It will need extra flavor now since the pasta will have used it up. Add the parsley and cook about 5 minutes longer.

Christmas Eve

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.

Just today I was asked if I would be Fasting this week of Christmas. Well, I’ll admit that I’m glad that Christmas will be on a Friday, not Thursday. Fasting can occur as usual on a special day with a little thought. plan A: If you know you must go for the whole Feast for dinner,  have a regular Fast Day until then: a 300 calorie breakfast, no lunch, lots of water, and be sensible in eating at dinner.  plan B: French toast for breakfast and seafood chowder for dinner. The chowder [first posted November 25, 2015] is what we eat on Christmas Eve every year — delicious, out of the freezer [if you made a batch before Thanksgiving in November], and something that you look forward to, instead of feeling deprived.

French Toast    300 caloriesChristmas Tree French Toast

HINT: This recipe makes 4 [four] slices of French Toast. Prepare all 4, but put the other 2 in a bag in the freezer for a really fast breakfast later.                                                                                                         4 slices 70-cal whole grain bread, with a Christmas Tree cut-out                             one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp fat-free milk                                                                                                                  2 oz strawberries, fresh or unsweetened frozen                                                                   1 and 1/2 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                         one 60-cal sausage — I like Al Fresco brand sage breakfast links                         nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                      green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

THE NIGHT BEFORE: Whisk the egg and milk together. Cut the pieces of bread into Christmas Tree shapes, using a cookie cutter. [This step is important for the calorie count to come out right, so don’t skip it even if it seems too much like ‘crafty food.’  Feed the remaining bread to the birds or save for preparing Stuffed Clams, [Aug. 9 , 2015] Put the tree-shaped bread into a rimmed pan which is just big enough for the 4 bread pieces. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread, making sure it is all wetted. Let stand OVERNIGHT. Also combine the strawberries and syrup in a microwave-safe bowl.

The next morning, cook the batter-soaked bread in a hot non-stick pan with a spritz of non-stick spray. Cook until browned on both sides. Cook the sausage, too. Mash the berries a bit and add the maple syrup.   Warm the mixture a little and smear onto the plated toast. Enjoy with the sausage, hot beverage of choice, and green smoothie.

Seafood Chowder   275 calories  11 g. fat  15 g protein   16 g carb  GF This makes 10 one-cup servings. It freezes nicely, but it is great fresh! My husband found the recipe in Yankee magazine. He prepares this every year. It is wonderful. The directions look long and involved but the results are worth it.Seafood chowder on Wedgewood tile

4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced                                                                                     1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced                                                                                   1 pound baking potatoes, peeled + cut in ½” cubes                                              2 pounds steamer clams in their shells                                                                            one lobster, 1 and ½ pounds                                                                                                                                1 pound scallops                                                                                                                            1 pound shrimp, peeled                                                                                                                                      1 quart whole milk                                                                                                                   4 Tbsp butter                                                                                                                                   2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped                                                                                         ¼ tsp paprika plus salt + pepper to taste

In a medium skillet or saute pan cook the diced bacon until brown and crisp. Remove bacon and reserve. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat and add the onions. Cook slowly over low heat, stirring, until translucent [10 mins?]. Set aside with the bacon in a large bowl.

In a separate saucepan, cover cubed potatoes with salted water and boil until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and add to the bacon/onions.

Put clams in a large pot and add 1 quart water. Heat to boiling, cover, and cook until clams open, about 3 minutes. Remove the clams but leave the liquid in the pot. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with paper towel. Remove the clams from their shells and cut them into smaller pieces if necessary. Add to the potatoes, onion, and bacon.

Put the strained clam broth back into the empty pot and bring to a boil. Add the lobster head-first into the boiling broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lobster and let cool. Crack the shell to remove the meat. Cut the meat into 1/2” chunks and add to the previous ingredients.

Heat the broth until boiling. Add the scallops and shrimp. Reduce heat to low. Simmer about 3 minutes, until the scallops + shrimp are just cooked through.

Add all the previously cooked ingredients, along with the milk, butter, parsley and seasonings. Heat until steaming but not boiling.

Cover and cool. Let the pot sit in the ‘fridge or on a cool back porch for 12-24 hours. This really enhances the flavors. When ready to serve, heat to steaming hot but do not boil. Freeze what is left over in freezer containers which are the same size as a serving.