Slow Days: Carbonara 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 Fast Diet 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.

There is an idea that this dish was created in Rome during the 1940s with ingredients from American GIs, since ‘bacon n eggs’ are so American. Not so, says Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Rather, it is traditional food of country men who go into the woods for days on end to burn charcoal in the hills outside of Rome. Since that activity involves flat-out work during days of living rough, there was a need for a meal that was quick to prepare from portable ingredients: dried ham, pasta, Romano cheese. Thus this is the pasta of il carbonaio, the charcoal maker. I’ve tried recipes with more ingredients that claimed to be authentic, but this is the dish that I will prepare again and again.

Grated cheese, egg, pasta, pancetta, flat green beans. These ingredients serve two [2] people.
Sv 8Sv 2
2 Tsp EVOO
6 thin slices pancetta
½ tsp EVOO 1½ slices pancettaCut meat into ¼“ strips. Heat oil and pancetta over medium, and cook until meat is crisp but not burnt. Take off heat, cover, set aside.
4 two-oz eggs
2 tsp grated Romano salt + pepper
1 two-oz egg
1 tsp grated Romano cheese salt + pepper
Grate the cheese to produce 4 oz [for 8 servings] or 1 oz [for 2 people]. Remove a bit for now and save the rest. Beat cheese into eggs, and add seasonings.
Boiling salted water
1# spaghetti
Boiling salted water 4oz wh-wh spaghettiCook pasta until tender but undercooked. Drain into a bowl and measure ¼ cup of pasta water.
¼ c pasta water cooked pancetta3 Tbsp pasta water cooked pancettaAdd pasta water to the pancetta in its pan and reheat, scraping up the brown glaze from the bottom.
Cooked pastaCooked pastaAdd cooked pasta to pan and stir to combine.
Beaten eggs
ground black pepper
Beaten eggs ground black pepperStir eggs into the pan until eggs are cooked and clinging to the pasta. Season with lots of pepper.
Scant 4 oz. RomanoScant 1 oz RomanoSprinkle with cheese and stir to combine. Plate, serve.
Delicious when served with flat green beans of the variety called Roma or Romano. Some crusty whole-grain bread completes the meal.

Parthians

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Do you remember studying the Parthians in a world cultures class? No? Me neither. Yet their mighty empire was so strong that they defeated the Romans in their bid to expand eastward under Augustus Caesar. Following the break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire, there was much in-fighting, as the struggle for territory and power played out. After the Parni of NE Iraq conquered the ruling Seleucids of Parthia near the Caspian Sea, a kingdom was formed in 250 BCE. Skip forward to the rule of Mithridates I in 171 BCE, and that kingdom stretches from the Euphrates River to modern Pakistan, from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean. Since the Parthian Empire was on the Silk Road, there was much contact with lands to the East and West, and the Parthians became very rich. Their culture was a fusion of Hellenistic and Persian, as seen in their art, their language, and their food. The 500-year old Parthian Empire ended when the king was killed by a rebel faction on April 27, 224 CE. Their relative obscurity in modern times rather makes one think of the Percy Shelley poem Osymandias, doesn’t it.

Apicus, a Roman merchant, wrote about Parthian food. ‘Parthian Beans’ seemed to have a prominent place in menus of the time. Parthians and Romans were very partial to a briny fish sauce, so they would have liked our eggs based on ingredients in those Parthian Beans. The dinner is an onion soup that Apicus said that the Parthian army ate while on maneuvers.

Parthian Scramble:  179 calories 8 g fat 2.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 16 g carbs 56 mg Calcium PB GF The flavors in this breakfast were favored by the Parthians, as recorded by the Roman historian Apicus. The sweet dates are a fine foil to the briny umami fish sauce in the eggs: very modern tastes.  HINT: this recipe is enough to serve two [2].

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  ¼ c chickpeas 1½ tsp fish sauce ¼ tsp ginger powder 1 Tbsp fennel frond, chopped   per person: 2 deglet noor dates 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]

Mash the chickpeas with the fish sauce, ginger, and fennel. Whisk into the eggs and cook to your liking. Plate with the dates. If you want more flavor, add a dash of fish sauce to the finished eggs.

Eshkeneh – Persian Onion Soup: 198 calories 9 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 16.4 g carbs 70 mg Calcium  PB GF – if omitting bread  This recipe is from Azlin Bloor who says that it is the modern version of an ancient Parthian soup.  HINT: The recipe makes 2 one-cup servings. Doubles easily. As always, preparing the soup a day before helps to develop the flavor — and there is a lot of flavor here.

A hearty bowl of Parthian soup with gozleme bread.
Sv 2
1 tsp EVOO ½ tsp butter 1 c onion slicesCut onion in half and slice it thinly. Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan, and sauté onions gently for 2 mins.
1 clove garlic Add garlic, fry 30 secs. 
1 bay leaf
½ tsp turmeric
Add bay leaf and turmeric, and fry for another 30 secs.
½ c potato Cut potato in small dice. Add to pan and stir to coat.
fenugreek leaves OR ½ tsp dried seedFinely chop leaves, stopping 2” from stem ends. OR crush the seeds in a mortar. Add, stir, turn heat to lowest setting, cook 2 mins.
2 c meat stock
½ tsp salt
Add stock and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and cook 8-10 mins until potatoes are tender.
½ Tbsp verjus  ½ Tbsp lemon juiceAdd juices, stir and taste. Add a touch of salt if needed. Remove bay leaf.
2 two-oz eggsLightly beat eggs, pour into soup, over low heat. Immediately swirl in eggs with fork for a few seconds.
Black pepper 2 gozleme bread  OR 
1 Mongol flat-bread
Serve soup topped with pepper, with bread on the side. 2 gozleme bread = 52 calories 0 g fat 2 g fiber 2.8 g protein 10 g carbs 40 mg Calcium 1 Mongol bread = 86 calories 1 g fat 1.5 g fiber 4 g protein 21 g carbs 26.4 mg Calcium

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

1 two-oz eggMongol flatbread: white whole wheat flour
white flour, yeast, milk, honey, salt
low-fat cottage cheese blueberries/strawberries
bleu cheeseplain yogurt
applesauce + raspberriesmicrogreens
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

6 oz haddock4 oz cod or other firm-fleshed fish + sherry
Cheddar cheese brown pepper + coriander seed + onion
choice of vegetablesblack pepper + long pepper + ginger root
dandelion greens/spinach + brown rice + vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

eshkeneh soup

Saint Mark

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Zocido who is now Following.

Mark [or is it John Mark??] was a very young man when he met and began to follow Jesus. He was not in the inner circle of Apostles, but he was one of the group of people who followed the Rabbi [teacher] from place to place to hear him speak and to see what miracles might be performed. Perhaps he is the young man described as running away when Jesus was captured, Mark 14:51-52. Mark was one of the ’70 disciples’ who were sent out to preach after Pentecost. While he traveled with Peter, he heard Peter’s account of being one of the Apostles from the start. Mark eventually wrote these down in what became the Gospel According to Mark, the 2nd book of the New Testament. Throughout the book, hints are given as to who Jesus really is — but most of the Apostles don’t get it, except for Peter, sometimes. Mark leaves us hanging until the end of the book, where he details the death and resurrection of Jesus. Now the common reader can understand the full story, and that was Mark’s goal. Mark went to Alexandria, Egypt, where he became the bishop. The Coptic Christians trace their origin to him. Centuries after his death, merchants from Venice went to ‘liberate’ his remains. Fearful that the Muslim rulers of the region would not permit the export of the saint’s skeleton, the merchants hid the bones in baskets and covered them with a top layer of pork.

They knew that the Muslims would not touch the ‘unclean’ meat — and it worked! The relics went to Venice and Saint Mark’s Cathedral is their resting place. A mosaic on the front of the church depicts the daring ruse.

The Mediterranean region was ruled by Romans, so breakfast will have ingredients from modern Italy. For dinner, typical foods and flavors of the area and of the time.

Pizza Bake:  130 calories 6.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 9.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs 93.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Forget the cold slice, congealed on a greasy box…. pizza for breakfast just got healthier and more delicious. 

One 2-oz egg salt + pepper to taste 2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes 1 thin slice pepperoni, minced ¼ oz mozzarella cheese, grated ½ oz bell pepper, chopped large pinch Italian herbs 1.5 oz pear OR ¼ cup blueberries Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [70 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Prepare your beverages. Poach the bell pepper in a little water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Put the cheese, pepperoni, and bell pepper in a lightly-spritzed ramekin. Whisk the egg with the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs, then pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Pour the beverages, portion the fruit, and enjoy a healthy taste of pizza for breakfast.

Meze Meal: 297 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 21.5 g protein 22 g carb 174 mg Calcium  PB GF ‘Meze’ is the Greek equivalent of Spanish Tapas. Small servings chosen from multiple small plates make it easy to eat on a hot Mediterranean night. Well, we don’t live on a vast inland sea, but we’ll take good low calorie, low fat, delicious food where ever we can find it. There are lots of good recipes in the book Meze by Rosemary Barron.

¼ cup white beans ½ Tbsp capers ½ oz marinated mushrooms 2½ oz tomato, cubed generous pinch Greek oregano 2 oz cooked shrimp OR 1-1/4 oz cooked chicken 1 oz mozzerella cheese -OR- 1 oz feta 1½ oz lemon-marinated carrots   marinade: 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + pinch of granulated garlic + pinch oregano

Combine the white beans with the capers in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the tomatoes and the oregano with salt. Slice the carrots into small logs or coins and cook until tender. Drain and combine with the marinade in a small jar with a lid. Shake well, remove the lid and let the carrots cool in the marinade. Attend to the protein — seafood or chicken — and arrange on serving plate. Drain the marinade from the jar and pour it over the shrimp/chicken, and mix some with the white beans. Slice or cube the cheese. Plate the ingredients to please the eye. Look at photos of the Aegean Sea….

Walking Sticks

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.

What do Lady Danbury, French King Louis XIV, and Johnny Walker all have in common? They all have a ‘walking stick.’ Now Lady Danbury actually uses her’s for walking [or rapping on the floor for emphasis], but the others carried theirs’. So what’s with walking sticks? In the court of King Louis, swords were banned because the king feared assassination. Walking sticks came into fashion, I suppose to provide a nobleman something to hold onto instead of a sword hilt. These were not a prop for old age or infirmity, a walking stick was a prop, in the theatrical sense, suitable for posing. Eventually, the sticks became the de rigeur fashion accessory for men. They were not ‘carried:’ the proper term was ‘to wear’ a walking stick. By the time of the English Regency, no gentleman would be seen without one. In the late 1800s in the USA, a walking stick could also be for self defense when walking in an unsafe neighborhood. I own the stick of a Civil War veteran. The head is weighted with lead and it has a steel ferule on the tip — either end could hurt you. In 1909, the walking stick was still such a thing that the Boston Post newspaper, in a remarkable public relations scheme, donated 700 walking sticks/canes to small towns in their distribution region. The canes were given to the eldest man in town, to be handed down to the next town elder in perpetuity. 500 of the gold-topped ebony Boston Post canes are still in existence. The walking stick has come a long way since the 1600s — maybe there will be a revival in 2022.

Our meals really have nothing to do with fashion accessories, but by Fasting you will become healthier and slimmer, and everything will look better on you.

Spinach Fritatta: 131 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 11 g protein 6.6 g carbs [6 g Complex] 127 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF Long an item in food magazine brunch articles, it was time to take frittata to the Fasting table. Wait no more: this is delicious and filling.

1 two-oz egg 1 egg white 2 Tbsp cottage cheese ¼ oz Manchego cheese, grated ¼ cup scallions, chopped 3 Tbsp cooked spinach, pressed, drained, and chopped salt to taste + nutmeg + granulated garlic 2 oz grapes or strawberries   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Combine the cheeses, spinach, scallions, and flavorings. Spritz a 4” custard cup with non-stick spray and spread the cheese mixture evenly in the bottom. [Since I was cooking for 2, I used an oval 5×7” baking dish]  HINT: do this the night before and leave on the counter. Set the oven for 375 F. Beat the eggs until broken up and frothy. Pour over the spinach/cheese mixture and bake for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. Breakfast is great.

Whole-grain Bowl w/ Sausage: 252 calories 5 g fat 5 g fiber 9 g protein 38.5 g carbs 67 mg Calcium  PB  Some cooked grains in the ‘fridge inspired this meal. It turned out to be beyond hum-drum left-overs, becoming a very nice meal indeed. HINT: This preparation serves two [2] people.

4 oz/¼ cup cooked quick barley 4 oz/¼ cup cooked whole wheat orzo 4 oz/¼ cup cooked brown rice 1 link meat sausage @ 150 calories/link per serving: 3 Tbsp puttanesca sauce 1 oz cooked broccoli

Combine the cooked grains and warm them slowly. Cook the sausage and slice it. Cook the broccoli. Divide the warm grains between two bowls. Arrange the sausage slices on one side, the broccoli on the other side, and spoon the sauce into the middle. So easy. So filling.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
crushed tomatoes + pepperonichickpeas + fish sauce
mozzarella + bell pepperginger powder + fennel fronds
Italian herbs + pear or blueberriesdeglet noor dates
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

white beans + capers + olive oilonion + garlic + butter + olive oil + turmeric
shrimp or smelts + carrots + lemon juicebay leaf + fenugreek leaves or seeds
marinated mushrooms + tomato meat stock + verjus/lemon juice + egg
mozzarella or feta cheese + garlic powderpotato + gozleme bread or Mongol bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Paul Revere

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to unclearer who is now Following.

Apollos Rivoire was born in south-western France in 1702. His family were Huguenots, followers of the reformer Calvin, and Huguenots were not welcome in Roman Catholic France. Life became so difficult that the family left for the British Isle of Guernsey. In 1712, Apollos arrived in Boston, Massachusetts where there was a Huguenot population. He apprenticed as a goldsmith at age 18 and when his master died two years later, Apollos changed his name to Paul [1] Revere, bought out his contract, and set up shop on his own. He married and together he and his wife produced eight children, the 3rd of whom was named Paul [2] Revere [b. 1734/5]. Paul the son learned the gold-smithing trade from his father, inheriting the business when his father died. Paul [2] was drafted into the Massachusetts Colony militia for a stint in up-state New York to fight the French, then returned to Boston to establish his own name in his trade. In addition to making gold and silver pieces, Revere was a copper-plate engraver and had a side hustle as a dentist. [He did not make George Washington’s false teeth.] He became involved in local political groups as an intelligence gatherer and a courier. And so we get to the famous Midnight Ride. The Boston patriots [not the American football team] learned that the British were going to land troops in Boston, then march all night to Lexington to capture rebel leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Both Revere and William Dawes set out, but Revere made it to Lexington first. Neither man warned Concord, that was done by Samuel Prescott. Henry Longfellow’s poem makes it sound as if the whole thing was Revere’s idea and that he alone rode “to spread the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm.” More likely, it is difficult to find words to rhyme with ‘dawes.’ After service in the Revolutionary War, Paul Revere expanded his metals business: a hardware store in addition to the gold smithery; casting church bells [New England is peppered with them]; running America’s first mill for rolling copper [Old Ironsides and the Massachusetts State House are clad in his copper]. “Revere Ware,” a brand of copper-bottomed cook pans, was originated by him. After the War, Revere wrote an account of his ride on April 18, 1775, which held him in memory until Longfellow hit it out of the park with his poem in 1860, immortalizing Paul Revere for the ages. Ever since 1894, Massachusetts has celebrated Patriot’s Day on the day following Paul Revere and William Dawes’ ride. Before that, it was an official state Fasting Day.

We will observe National Poetry Month by providing a meal from one poem protagonist, Porphyro from Eve of Saint Agnes, to salute the protagonist of Paul Revere’s Ride by Longfellow. And as a nod to the American hero’s French ancestors, a French-inspired dinner.

Porphyro’s Picnic:  252 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 6.5 g protein 53 g carbs [43 g Complex] 128 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poemThe Eve of St Agnes. The meal is rather sweet [key to a teenage girl’s heart?] despite its low calorie count – it needs some other taste to cut it. A cup of black coffee? Full of fiber, this meal is sure to kick-start your tally of fruits/vegetables for the day.

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal 2 oz apple, diced 2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season 2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ oz Deglet Noor date, cut in 4 pieces. NO smoothie coffee or tea ONLY if it is black/blackish or lemon in hot water

Stir the yogurt and almond meal together and spoon onto the center of the plate. Chop the apple, cube the melon, and arrange them around the almond cream, along with the plums. Place the pieces of date at random. Combine the cider syrup with the cinnamon and drizzle it over the apple and melon. All set to eat and you still have 48 calories left over. Not responsible for what happens if you eat this by moonlight on January 20.

Mini-Quiche Dinner: 241 calories 11 g fat 3 g fiber 17 g protein 11 g carbs 315 mg Calcium  PG FG   A light, delicious, and nutritious dinner. If the the quiches were prepared previously, this is quick as a flash to prepare.

oops! Forgot to plate the asparagus!

3 slices of tomato, each 1 oz 5 oz asparagus spears or 1 cup cut asparagus 3 mini-quiches, just baked or re-warmed

Plate the tomato slices and salt them with a flavorful finishing salt. Cook the asparagus and plate it around the tomato slices Place the warmed quiches on top of the tomato slices. Isn’t that a treat for the eye? Now taste it!

Blue

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

The word ‘blue’ in English is derived from the French ‘bleu’ and is very close to the German ‘blau.’ The three words describe one of the primary colors. Visible light is made up of seven colors, each traveling in waves of differing lengths. Blue light has wavelengths between about 450 and 495 nanometers. Our eyes see the color blue because certain surfaces absorb all the other wavelengths of visible light but reflect the blue. Weird, but true. In English, ‘blue’ has various meanings besides color identification. ‘To make the air blue’ implies that a lot of profanity is being spoken. ‘To feel blue’ means feeling sad or depressed. In the USA, at election time, if a state ‘goes blue’ it means that a candidate from the Democratic Party was elected. If someone ‘looks blue’ in the Winter, he/she/they might be very cold and need to come inside. If an automobile comes ‘out of the blue,’ then you won’t see it until it hits you. A ‘blue blood‘ is someone born to privilege and maybe that person owns a lot of ‘blue chip stocks.’ “Blue Laws” prevented people from doing business on Sundays in Boston and Philadelphia, and prohibited Sunday liquor sales in many places. A “Blue Stocking” is a woman who is intelligent and well-read, an expression going back to the 1700s. “Code Blue” in a hospital means that someone is experiencing a medical emergency. In the diner, you might opt for the ‘blue plate special.’ And the “Blue Zone” in nutrition refers to several areas around the world where people live particularly long and healthy lives — presumably because of their dietary choices. I could go on until I am ‘blue in the face,’ but then I might ‘cross the blue line’ and that might earn a penalty.

Whether azure, or cobalt, or cerulean, or powder, or peacock — we are surrounded by the color blue. From the sky at noon to the waves of the ocean, our planet sees blue. So we will enjoy blue berries and blue fish for our meals, and nothing will cause us to feel blue.

Blueberry Flameusse: 206 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 14 g protein 24.5 g carbs 143.5 mg Calcium  NB: the food values given are for the plated items only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF  Fruit + eggy batter = flameusse. This meal is very simple and very good. I urge you to try it since I am sure you will like it.  HINT: this serves 2 [two]

One serving of flameusse with fruit.

2 two-oz eggs 6 oz skimmed milk 1 oz [by mass] = 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp white whole wheat flour 1.5 Tbsp sugar ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen 1 chicken breakfast sausage @ 33 calories each 1/2 clementine Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Spritz 2 ramekins or an oven-proof dish [1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Distribute the blueberries over 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 berries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a shake of powdered sugar. Cook the sausage. Serve with a hot beverage for a delicious start to your day.

Bluefish:  289 calories 10 g fat 4 g fiber 25 g protein 17 g carbs 45 mg Calcium   PB GF Bluefish is a sport fish of the East Coast of North America. As a youth, Dear Husband used to fish for them in New York’s Great South Bay with his father and uncles. When we are lucky, we can find them at a local market in Autumn. This is a delicious combination of flavors.

You will notice that this is served on a blue plate….

4 oz bluefish fillet 1½ Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise 1½ Tbsp Dijon mustard 3 oz green beans 1/4 c cooked brown rice

Start cooking the brown rice, which can take 35 minutes. Whisk together the mayonnaise and mustard. Put the fish on an oven-proof dish that has been lightly oiled. Spread the mayo-mustard sauce on the fish and bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes. Bluefish is dense-fleshed and takes longer than most fishes to cook. Plate with the green beans and rice for a delicious meal which is based on a recipe served by Legal Sea Foods in Boston.

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

apple + melon + deglet noor date1 two-oz egg + one egg white 
plain or low-fat French Vanilla yogurtcottage cheese + Manchego cheese
plum, canned or fresh garlic powder + cooked spinach
cinnamon + Cider syrupnutmeg + strawberries
almond mealoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

egg + ricotta + mozzarellaquick-cooking barley
Jarlsberg cheese + broccoliwhole wheat orzo + broccoli
onion + fresh tomato150-calorie sausage
asparagus + herbs of choiceputtanesca sauce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Orts & Sorts

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 reginaldgreenway who is now Following.

The word ‘ort’ comes down to us from the 14th century. It is an English word meaning ‘a bit of leftover food.’ In those days, the orts would be returned to the stewpot or fed to the pig. Royal households would give their orts to the poor in public displays of generosity. Nowadays, this word is beloved of crossword puzzle writers and Scrabble players. For two years I worked in a lab run by a professor from Kansas. One day he threw the expression ‘orts and sorts’ into a conversation. Although I had never heard it before, I took it to mean ‘bits of this and that.’ Apparently, this expression was unique to his family — if you Google the term, there are no results. ‘Of a sort’ is a pejorative term implying that something is not up to standards. ‘Ort of a sort’ could mean a truly questionable left-over food or it could be another made-up term. Some people distain left-overs and throw out perfectly good food [chicken carcass with meat still on it; cooked vegetables]. To me, that is unconscionable food waste. Up-cycle your orts into delicious soups or salads for Fast or Slow Days. Do your budget and the planet a favor.

Today’s menus have no theme — they are a bit of this and that, representing some favorite meals from older posts. You will want to eat them all and have no orts remaining.

Cottage Cheese & Pear: 164 calories 3.5 g fat 5 g fiber 10 g protein 26 g carbs [24 g Complex] 61 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  This is from the Fast Diet book and it is a great way to start the day. I added the pecans to this for deeper flavor and more protein.

4 oz pear [of which Comice is the best] 1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese ¼ c. blueberries ½ Tbsp pecans, finely chopped  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Section the pear into slices and remove the core. Do not bother to 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 optional beverages of choice. Good stuff!

Shrimp Quick-fry with Udon Noodles: 267 calories 7 g fat 24 g protein 33 g carbs   PB The back of a bag of udon noodles supplied this recipe and then I adapted it. This is one of my go-to meals.

1 oz of dry udon [or soba] noodles 3 oz raw shrimp, cut in half across the body 2 oz carrot, peeled and sliced into coins 1½ oz green cabbage 1 oz onion 1- 1/2 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp olive oil 1 oz chopped green onion

Put the frozen shrimp in a bowl with a little water to thaw. Cook noodles in a quart of water about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, shell, and peel the raw shrimp. Slice the shrimp across the body. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan or wok. Add the carrot, cabbage, and onion and some of the water from the thawed shrimp. Stir-fry/steam for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and any remaining liquid and cook one minute more. Toss the cooked noodles into the pan and mix to warm them. Add , salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Toss to mix ingredients. If you think this sounds complicated and long, I did it in 25 minutes and that included peeling carrots and cleaning shrimp. Satisfying and good to eat.  NB: If you don’t like shrimp, substitute just under 2 oz sliced chicken breast.

Slow Days: Oatmeal Cookies

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.

Cookies and Milk — what a heavenly combination! My mother was an enthusiastic baker of cookies. Prior to their marriage, she had promised my father that ‘the cookie jar would always be full.’ A very sweet vow indeed. Dad’s favorite cookies usually involved molasses, so my mother baked an oatmeal cookie recipe with molasses in it. Dear Husband was given an oatmeal cookie recipe by his Good Sister Barbara with no molasses, which I thought was heresy, but I would bake them on and off. Recently, I decided to alter that recipe, and here is the result. Dear Husband requests it often. What are the ‘improvements’ that I made? More egg for texture; white whole wheat flour for more whole grain and fiber; less sugar; added chocolate chips and dried cranberries for fun.

4 dozen cookiesPreheat oven to 350F. Put silicon mats or parchment paper on cookie sheets.
¾ c. butter 1 cup brown sugar, unpacked
1/3 c white sugar
Cream together by hand or with an electric mixer.
2.5 oz egg [1.5 eggs]Stir in thoroughly.
2/3 c white whole wheat flour 1/3 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda 2 c. rolled oats
Stir into the mixture until well combined.
½ c chocolate chips ½ c walnuts
½ c dried cranberries
Stir in to form a stiff dough. Portion with a 1.5 tsp scoop or use a spoon to form 48 balls of dough on prepared sheets. Flatten each dough ball by pressing gently with your fingers.
Bake for around 7 minutes, until dough is no longer soft in center.
Cool on the baking sheets. Super warm. Good keeping cookie.

Is this a ‘diet cookie’, one that tastes like a pale imitation at best and like sawdust at worst? No, this is a really good cookie, suitable for spouses, children, and a mid-afternoon treat for yourself with a glass of milk.

Here is the recipe provided by Good Sister Barbara:

4 dozen cookiesPreheat oven to 350F. Put silicon mats or parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets.
¾ c. butter
1 c brown sugar
½ c white sugar
1 small egg
¼ c water
1 tsp vanilla
Cream/mix these all together.
1 c. flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
Sift together.
Add to the butter-egg mixture.
3 c rolled oatsMix oats with existing batter and combine thoroughly.
Use a 1.5 tsp scoop or a spoon to form 48 balls of dough on baking sheets. 
Bake 9-12 minutes.
Cool on racks.

Claudius Ptolemaeus

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

When I taught my students about the development of our modern theories of the solar system, Ptolemy, aka: Claudius Ptolemaeus, emerged as the ‘bad guy.’ But to their geography teacher, he was a hero! Who was this man and what did he do to deserve this mixed reaction? He was born around 90 CE. A Roman citizen of Greek parents, he spent most of his adult life in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt. Ptolemy was an astronomer, mathematician, and geographer. As a researcher, he relied on secondary sources rather than doing his own observations. No points earned there. Even Aristotle, who predated Ptolemy by two centuries, did primary research. As a geographer, he asked ship captains about conditions in port cities and what they encountered on their voyages. Then he created a mariner’s chart of the Mediterranean Sea, showing wind and air currents. Very useful. He even marked the map with grid lines to aid location — precursors of latitude and longitude lines. In the Library of Alexandria, Ptolemy read the works of the ancient astronomers: Aristotle, Aristarchus, Hipparchus, and others. What he did not understand, he rejected. What he liked, he kept. Then he put it together in his master work: Syntaxis, 13 scrolls about the structure of the solar system and about the stars. Following Aristotle, on whom he lavished praise, Ptolemy put the Earth in the center of the universe, orbited by the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. This is called the Ptolemaic System. He thought that the planets did not orbit the Earth is smooth circles, but rather did little loop-de-loops which he called ‘epicycles.’ It is true that to the careful observer planets seem to move like that, but it is because we view the planets from an Earth that is NOT in the center of the solar system. Ptolemy had ignored the work of Aristarchus who had correctly put the Sun in the center in 210 BCE. Syntaxis was well-regarded during the Roman era and copies were distributed widely. Then 850 years later, the Arab astronomers discovered it. They thought it was so wonderful that they named it Almagest [meaning ‘the greatest’]. The Arabs introduced it to Spain, and from there it was read in Europe. Since the Ptolemaic System jived nicely with prevailing Catholic theology, his ideas were eagerly embraced. This is why Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo had such a difficult time getting people to believe their correct views of the Solar System. His lingering legacy of wrong ideas is what made him the ‘bad guy’ in the story of modern science. When wrong ideas persist, especially for 1500 years, it is a sad time for the truth.

For Ptolemy’s Roman citizenship, a breakfast grain very popular in that era. For his Greek parentage, a delightful salad who’s ingredients would have been recognizable in the second century CE.

Roman Porridge: 146 calories 1 g fat 4 g fiber 4 g protein 29.4 g carbs 14 mg Calcium NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  Farro is an ancient grain which was enjoyed by citizens of the Roman Empire for breakfast as a porridge. Here I have included a pear, which the Romans loved. TIP: Since Farro takes a while to cook, prepare the grain the night before. This meal is hearty, chewy, just sweet enough, and delicious.

½ c cooked farro** [do ahead] 1 oz pear, unpeeled, chopped 1 tsp honey   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee  [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

**Night before: Measure out 1 cup of farro and put it in a sieve/collandar. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Boil 1 quart of water with 1 tsp salt in a saucepan. Add the rinsed farro, return to the boil, turn down heat to medium-high and cook uncovered about 30 minutes. Farro should be soft but the water may not be all absorbed. Drain the cooked farro and save out the amount you need for today’s recipe. TIP: Serve remaining farro mixed with herbs/spices as a side dish on a Slow Day. It is delicious. Next morning: Warm the cooked farro. Stir in the honey until incorporated, then add the pear: stir it in or strew the fruit on top. This will keep a Roman on his/her feet for hours.

Greek Chicken Salad:  295 calories 13 g fat 5 g fiber 23.5 g protein 26.5 g carb 240 mg Calcium  PB GF  This recipe was long ago clipped from a magazine and stored in the recipe file. When I saw it anew, I recognized that if most of the olive oil were removed, it would make a smashing Fast meal. We like this one a lot.

1½ oz chicken, roasted and shredded 1½ c. shredded romaine or 3 oz salad greens ¼ c garbanzo or small white beans 2½ oz tomato chunks or 1 c cucumbers, cubed 3 black olives, pitted & sliced 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled 1½ tsp lemon juice ½ tsp olive oil ½ tsp each of mint, oregano, parsley

Prep the meat, greens, tomatoes, and olives as described. Measure the lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs into a salad bowl. Whisk together. Add the greens and toss to combine. Add the chicken, beans, tomato/cukes and toss gently. Top with the olives and feta.

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

pear2 two-oz eggs  + blueberries
pecansskimmed milk + sugar
2 %-fat cottage cheese white whole wheat flour
blueberries33-calorie chicken breakfast sausage
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

raw shrimp + green cabbagebluefish
udon or soba noodlesreduced-fat mayonnaise
soy sauce + olive oil Dijon mustard
green onion + onion + carrotgreen beans
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Sap Season

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to nycdesmond who is now Following.

Most people joke that Northern New England has only 2 weeks of Spring. Ha. Ha. Are they expecting the soft season of the deep South, filled with weeks of blossoms? Spring here begins in late February/early March when the Sugar Maple trees begin to wake up. The air is still cool but the sun is warm on your back. The sky is a brilliant blue and a light jacket is all you need. Present but silent all Winter, the Mourning Doves begin to sing, which tells us that the sap is running. Last Fall, the sap drained from the upper twigs and branches. Down into the roots it went, to be stored during the Winter. [That’s why the leaves turn colors and fall off: no sap to keep them alive.] When the days get longer in the late Winter and the sun sails higher in the sky, the sap begins to rise. When the night temperatures fall below freezing, the sap returns to the roots. The next day, it rises again. This is what we tap [literally] into by drilling holes in the bark [a 12″ diameter tree will have one tap, while a larger tree could have two or more], and hammering in a metal cone called a spile. A bucket is hung from the spile to catch the dripping sap. Such a sweet sound! The sap is collected, boiled down [we do it over a wood fire outside], filtered, and boiled some more until it turns to syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. After four to five weeks, the day and night temperatures equalize, the trees bloom, and the sap season is over. In late April, the daffodils flower; in May, the apple trees bloom; and in June, the lilacs. It takes more than flowering shrubs to make a Spring in northern New England.

During the sap run, we like to make our coffee with maple sap instead of water. Sweetens it just enough that you don’t need sugar! Since we have many jars of syrup in the Root Cellar, we can use it a lot: pancakes, of course, but also in porridge and some dinners.

10-Grain Pudding: 175 calories 1 g fat 5.4 g fiber 7.5 g protein 35 g carbs [29 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB Here is delicious hot cereal for any day of the week. The applesauce and maple syrup give just the right sweetness.

¼ cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal   1½ Tbsp cottage cheese 1 tsp maple syrup 1 Tbsp applesauce pinch of nutmeg + pinch of cinnamon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Put the cereal in ¾ cup of boiling water, turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. HINT: Do this the night before. Cool the cereal, then mix in the cottage cheese, maple syrup, applesauce and spices until well-combined. Put into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it until hot through. Pour the beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Maple-Glazed Salmon: 249 calories 8.4 g fat 2.4 g fiber 26.5 g protein 18 g carbs 54 mg Calcium PB GF What’s not to love about maple syrup on salmon?! Served with mounds of asparagus, it is early Springtime on a plate. 

4 oz salmon fillet, skin removed 1 Tbsp maple syrup ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp yellow Sriracha 4 oz asparagus, trimmed and sliced

30-40 minutes before dinner: whisk together the syrup, soy, mustard, and Sriracha, and pour over the salmon on a small pie plate. Marinate, turning frequently, for 20 minutes. NB: Be sure to save the marinade when you remove the fish from it. Trim and slice asparagus and put in a pan with some water, but not enough to cover. Turn heat on under asparagus to bring it to a simmer. Heat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet and spray it with cooking spray. Put salmon in the pan and cook 4 minutes on one side. Turn and cook 4 minutes on the other side. Remove fish to serving plate. Pour marinade into the hot pan from the fish and take off heat. It will foam and bubble up quickly as it thickens. With a plastic scraper, ease the sauce onto the fish. Drain the asparagus and put it into the now empty skillet to get all the sauce from it. Mound the asparagus around the fish, sprinkle with salt.